Well, it looks like there’s quite a bit to write about in the few days since I’ve left Denver and thankfully made it back home.
First things first, things will likely be pretty interesting tomorrow at Sun National Bank Center. With Dave Caruso (who gave up 7 tonight in Manchester) and Jeff Lerg (who inexplicably watched Caruso do this the whole time) in the AHL, Trenton is likely to trot out Mike Brown for his season debut in net. Anything other than Gerald Coleman between the pipes for Alaska would be incredibly disappointing.
Who knows what to expect from Brown? He has a little bit of time in the A, but has bounced around in the E and last played in a Single-A league this year.
And wasn’t Lerg on an AHL deal last year? Does signing a PTO suggest he’s strictly on an ECHL deal this year? I’d doubt that Lerg is back tomorrow, and would assume that Anthony Felice — who has more masks than actual game appearances — will be added as the emergency backup.
Anyway, Trenton hosts Alaska tomorrow at 7 PM and Cincinnati on Sunday at 4 PM. I’ll be working both for The Trentonian. I’ll have a few more vacation-related nuggets, as well as some much-deserved thank you’s for the NHL and ECHL folks who made a lot of that trip what it was.
Before I take you through the team’s weekend in Florida, let me quickly pass along my latest ECHL.com feature on Troy Bodie and let you know that you’ll likely see one on David Koci coming up next.
Estero, FL – Bobby Goepfert recorded his seventh-career ECHL shutout and the ECHL’s leading point scorer Mitch Fadden had two assists to lead the Florida Everblades to a 3-0 victory over the Trenton Devils Wednesday night at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida.
Matt Pistilli fired a hard shot off of T.J. Miller’s skate and past Lerg to open the game’s scoring with his ninth marker of the season, giving Florida a 1-0 lead at 5:36. The Devils couldn’t tie the game in the first period as Bobby Goepfert stopped all nine Trenton shots with Jeff Lerg making 12 saves of his own in the opening stanza.
In the second period, Jared Staal made the score 2-0 Everblades by notching his first-career professional goal off a feed by Mitch Fadden, who increased his ECHL-leading point total to 25 on the night. Fadden added his second assist less than six minutes later, this time on the power play, with Elgin Reid benefitting from Fadden’s playmaking skills by potting his third goal of the season to make the score 3-0 Florida after two periods.
Down by three goals and facing a Florida squad who entered the night with a perfect 6-0-0-0 record when leading after two periods, the Devils couldn’t mount a third period comeback as the Everblades defense clogged the neutral zone and stopped the Devils offense at every turn. Although the Devils finished the night with 29 shots, they couldn’t sneak a pea past Bobby Goepfert who was brilliant in recording his first shutout of the season.
The Everblades earn a split in their two-game series with the Devils, winning 3-0 to improve their record to 10-9-0-0, with the Devils falling to 6-7-0-1. The Devils return to Sun National Bank Center to face the Alaska Aces for the first time since the 2005 Kelly Cup playoffs Saturday night. Opening faceoff is set for 7:00 p.m.
Estero, FL – Ryan Ginand scored two goals, Jeff Prough added two assists and Jeff Lerg got his fifth win of the season by stopping 22 of 24 shots as the Trenton Devils defeated the Florida Everblades, 3-2, Tuesday at Germain Arena.
The Devils took two early penalties to send the Everblades’ second ranked power play to a five-on-three manpower-advantage where Mitch Fadden beat Jeff Lerg to make the score 1-0 Florida. Assisted by Francis Lemieux and Elgin Reid, Fadden took over the ECHL-lead in points with his game-opening score at 6:26. Down by one, the Devils carried play later in the first period, but were held scoreless by Jaroslav Janus, who made 13 first period stops.
Unable to break through the Florida defense in the first period, the Devils took advantage of an Everblades turnover while shorthanded with Martin Nolet finishing off a two-on-one rush with Tony Zancanaro by beating Janus with his second goal of the season off a breakout feed by Matt Lombardi 9:12 into the second period. The Devils then went ahead for the first time when Ryan Ginand deposited his fourth marker of the season into a gaping net at 14:41. The goal had been vacated when goaltender Janus was caught off-guard by a tricky carom off of the end-boards and a heavy forecheck from Darcy Zajac and Jeff Prough. Each received assists, Zajac’s fourth in four games, and Prough’s fourth overall by making the sharp centering feed. Less than two minutes later, Ryan Ginand chipped in another tally, sticking home a rebound off a point shot from Justin Coutu, to make the score 3-1 Devils after two periods of play.
The Everblades narrowed Trenton’s lead to 3-2, 3:34 into the third when Alexandre Imbeault cashed in his ECHL-leading 13th goal of the season by tipping home a goal past Lerg as Ross Carlson slid the puck toward the goal mouth from the right wing circle. Although the Everblades drew close to the Devils, they were never able to tie Trenton as Jeff Lerg made a key save late in the third period by stopping a Florida two-on-one in the game’s final minute to preserve the Devils advantage.
With the 3-2 victory, the Devils improve to 6-6-0-1 while Florida falls to 9-9-0-0 with the loss. The clubs battle again Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.