Devils Shake Off Scoring Slump
TRENTON, NJ - The Trenton Devils fought through a tough stretch against the best opposition the ECHL has to offer this past week. The Devils suffered tough losses against the best and second-best teams in the league, Texas and Cincinnati, on Tuesday and Friday, respectively. They then bounced back and earned a point in an overtime loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators Saturday. The Devils hope to gain ground against the Johnstown Chiefs for the final playoff spot in the North Division this week, when they host the Chiefs in a matinee on Monday before heading out to take on Elmira, Reading, and Johnstown yet again. The Devils are 18-27-2-4, and sit in sixth place in the North Division with 42 points.
TEXAS HOLD'EM: Trenton discovered why the Texas Wildcatters have the best record in the league on Tuesday, when the 'Catters used surprise trick shots and outstanding goaltending to blank the Devils 3-0. Dave Caruso stopped 23 of 26 shots, but was foiled by a short-handed tally and two blind behind-the-back shots in the slot. Anton Khudobin, sent down by the Houston Aeros (AHL) just before the game, improved his record to 20-1-1-3 by earning his third shutout of the season.
CYCLONES BLAST THROUGH: The Devils suffered their worst loss of the season Friday night, a 7-0 rout against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Trenton stayed strong in even-strength play but was foiled on special teams, where Cincinnati scored five power play goals and stopped all 11 of the Devils' chances. Cedrick Desjardins earned his fifth shutout of the year by stopping 39 Trenton shots.
HAIL THE GLADIATORS: Trenton appeared to be heading in the same direction against Gwinnett as it had in its two games prior: towards a devastating shutout. But three goals in two minutes marked a triumphant Trenton return to the score sheets, and gave the Devils a temporary lead in an eventual 5-4 overtime loss. Andrew Leach was responsible for breaking the scoring slump. The forward hammered away at Gwinnett netminder Dan Turple's pads and forced the puck up and over his shoulder for the first Devils goal 19:52 into the second frame. Jim Henkel's tally with eight seconds left in the period was followed by Matt Radoslovich's snapshot from the right circle to give Trenton a 3-2 lead just 1:01 into the third. Gwinnett's power play goals in the third period and overtime, however, would decide the contest in the end.
QUICK HITS: Matt Radoslovich has caught fire as of late; his 1g-1a game Saturday against Gwinnett was his first in the ECHL, but he has 6 points (1g, 5a) in the past ten games... Ryan Gunderson is tied for third among all ECHL defensemen in scoring with 36 points (4g, 32a)... The All-Star leads the Devils in power play points with 22 (2g, 20a)... Thomas Harrison tops the league in major penalties (20)... Trenton is sixth in the league in fewest penalty minutes per game at 17.45, and generates the second-fewest number of minor penalties at 295.
UPCOMING GAMES Monday, February 18, 2:00pm - Devils vs. Johnstown Chiefs
With just four games left against Johnstown, the Devils need to pick up the "W" Monday afternoon to gain ground in the postseason race. With the support of the crowd at Sovereign Bank Arena, the Devils should feel good about their chances. Trenton trails the season set 1-5-0, but leads the all-time series with the Chiefs 45-26-6.
Tuesday, February 19, 7:05pm - Devils @ Elmira Jackals
Trenton travels to the First Arena for the first time since mid-December to take on the Jackals. Elmira has sputtered as of late, losing five straight to fall seriously out of the race for top team in the North Division. The Devils hope to win their first of the season at Elmira's barn; they have won the last two contests against the Jackals, but trail the season and all-time sets, 2-3-2.
Friday, February 22, 7:05pm - Devils @ Reading Royals
The Devils take on their arch-rivals, the Reading Royals, at the Sovereign Center in a contest which is sure to be heated. Both sides are fighting for playoff positioning, with the Royals hoping to catch up to the Jackals for second place in the North. Trenton looks to clinch at least a tie of the season set against Reading with a win. The Devils are 5-4-0 against the Royals this season and are 40-24-8 all-time.
Sunday, February 24, 5:05pm - Devils @ Johnstown Chiefs
Trenton takes on Johnstown in another pivotal matchup for the Devils. Can the Devils' defense clamp down on the high-scoring ways of the Chiefs, and let the Trenton offense go to work against two goaltenders who both save fewer than 90% of their incoming shots?
Monday, February 18 -
Game vs. Johnstown - 2:00pm
Travel to Elmira
Tuesday, February 19 - Pre-Game Skate TBD
Game @ Elmira - 7:05pm
Travel to Trenton
Wednesday, February 20 - Practice @ Sovereign Bank Arena - 10:30am
Thursday, February 21 - Practice @ Sovereign Bank Arena - 10:30am
Friday, February 22 - Pre-game skate @ Sovereign Bank Arena - 10:00am
Game @ Reading - 7:05pm
Travel to Johnstown
Saturday, February 23 - TBD
Sunday, February 24 - Pre-game skate @ Cambria County War Memorial Arena
Game @ Johnstown - 5:05pm
Travel to Trenton
Monday, February 25 - TBD
ALONG THE BOARDS WITH CHRIS HUDSON: Along the Boards continues Wednesday, February 20th at 7:00pm. During the program the Voice of the Devils, Chris Hudson, brings listeners an in-depth view of the Trenton Devils with interviews of coaches and players while recapping the team's past games. This week Chris welcomes to the show Head Coach Rick Kowalsky as well as center Tony Zancanaro. Along the Boards is hosted at Alstarz Family Sports Pub in Bordentown, NJ (next to Mastori's) and can be heard live from 7:00 to 8:00pm on WBCB 1490 every Wednesday the team is not playing or traveling.
DEVILS GAME BROADCASTS: Tune in as the Voice of the Devils, Chris Hudson, brings you all of the Devils' hockey action live on WBCB-1490 AM Sunday through Thursday and WTSR-91.3 FM on Friday and Saturday. Fans can also watch or listen in on the Devils website, http://www.trentondevils.com, courtesy of B2 Networks. Video broadcasts are available for a charge of $6 per game, while audiocasts are free of charge. A cable or DSL Internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 are required to view the games.
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