6:55 PM — Your goalies are…
3:30 PM — The Mike Ashmore “Back To Reality” Tour takes us to the Sun National Bank Center here in lovely Trenton, NJ for the first regular season visit by the Alaska Aces and first overall since the 2005 Conference Finals.
This could be a long night.
Already without both of its goalies, Trenton has now lost two of its best players as well…forwards Kory Nagy and Darcy Zajac have both been summoned to the AHL, where they’ll join Dave Caruso and Jeff Lerg in Albany.
Matt Vokes, however, has been activated from IR, and we all know what he can do when he’s healthy.
Anthony Felice has been added as the “if Mike Brown gets hurt or gives up ten” goalie, and Brown will make his team debut between the pipes. With Adam Courchaine having played for Alaska last night, you’d have to imagine it’ll be Gerald Coleman getting the call for the Aces tonight.
I’ll be sure to update this with any information I get before the game…
But, before I go…a few thank you’s from what had to be one of the greatest months of my career.
The first star of the trip would have to be Colorado Avalanche PR man Craig Stancher, who was crazy enough to credential me for four NHL games out in Denver. He and his staff couldn’t have been more helpful in making sure I had access to every player I needed, which was quite a few given the ECHL alum heavy nature of the Avs roster.
Alex Gilchrist and Steve Hoem of the Anaheim Ducks, Scott Emmert of the San Jose Sharks, Jeff Moeller of the Los Angeles Kings and Lyndsi Erickson of the Las Vegas Wranglers all deserve special thanks as well for putting up with me in various forms…whether it be a phone interview request with the Kings or game credentials at the Honda Center, HP Pavilion and Orleans Arena.
It was nice to feel like a big shot…even if it was only for a little while, and I can assure you that taste of the bright lights will not be forgotten and will only drive me even more to provide better coverage down here in the ECHL; whether it be for this team or for the league’s website with the features I’m getting to do.
It is, thankfully, safe to say that those games will not be my last in the NHL. I’ve spoken to a number of teams about visiting them for similar features, and have had a largely positive response.
But today is a day for me to get back to the team I’ve enjoyed covering for the past two and a half seasons…let’s play hockey.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com