Devils Lose to Jackals in ECHL Record Four-Overtime Game, 5-4
TRENTON, N.J., (April 11, 2009) -- Game 1 of the North Division Semifinals proved to be an instant classic as the Trenton Devils and Elmira Jackals played in the longest game in Kelly Cup Playoffs history, with the Jackals coming out on top, 5-4.
Josh Aspenlind put home the game-winner off a rebound from a Wes Cunningham shot 6:10 into the fourth overtime, which broke a nine-year league record for the longest game in postseason history. The game was the 14th longest between the NHL, AHL and ECHL.
Slavomir Tomko broke the ice for the Jackals with a goal 2:10 into the game by slamming in a loose puck from the slot.
After the Devils' first power play expired, Tony Zancanaro picked up a goal in his third straight game to tie the contest at 8:26. Zancanaro fired home a pass from Jeff Prough over the right shoulder of Michael Teslak for his first career playoff goal.
The Jackals then picked up two late goals courtesy of Pierre-Luc Faubert to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Devils trimmed the deficit thanks to the power play, as Trevor Kell cashed in off a deflection from an Eric Castonguay at 5:25 to put the Devils within one.
Dan Eves tied the game for Trenton early in the third period with a breakaway tally as he was being hooked by Guillaume Lepine. Eves came through the slot and fired a shot past the stick side of Teslak at 1:53.
Zancanaro pushed the Devils in front with 9:08 left in regulation with another goal after a Devils power play. Zancanaro fired a one-timer from the far circle to net his second of the game and give the Devils their first lead.
Unfortunately for the Devils, the lead would not last as the Jackals tied the game with the extra attacker, which game shortly after the apparent tying goal was waved off. Chris Korchinski deflected in a shot by Aspenlind with 58.5 seconds remaining to force sudden-death overtime.
The first two overtimes were controlled by the Devils, who outshot the Jackals, 32-13 in the extra two periods. The third overtime was more defensive-oriented, as shots were tied at eight apiece. There were several opportunities for both squads to net the game-winner, though neither team was unable to convert on the power play or on their chances through the first three overtimes.
The Jackals started to take advantage over the Devils in the fourth overtime with several early chances and constant pressure in the Devils zone. Aspenlind would net the game-winner on Elmira's 70th shot of the night, ending the longest game in ECHL history. Teslak made 71 saves for Elmira while Gerald Coleman made a team-record 65 saves for the Devils.
The Devils return to Sovereign Bank Arena for Game 2 of the North Division Semifinals against the Jackals tonight, with the puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Fans can order their tickets online through www.trentondevils.com or by phone at (609) 599-9500.
Season tickets for the 2009-10 season are now available! To find out more about season plans and benefits, visit the Trenton Devils official website at www.trentondevils.com.
TRENTON DEVILS - The Trenton Devils are a member of the ECHL -- North America's Premier "AA" Hockey League. The Trenton Devils are owned and operated by the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League.
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