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Goaltenders stealing the show

December 2, 2013 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

There is an old adage in sports that the best offense is a good defense. Through the first six weeks of the ECHL season, the league's goaltenders are proving that to be true.

Among goaltenders who have played enough to be eligible for the league leaders, five have posted a goals-against average of under 2.00, while six have a save percentage of .930 or higher.

Ontario's Michael Hutchinson, who leads the league with 12 wins and is tied for first with a 1.77 goals-against average, enjoyed a stellar month of November where he went 10-1-1 and allowed just 20 goals in his 12 appearances. Hutchinson has allowed two goals or less in 11 of his last 12 appearances, and in 12 of 15 games overall this season.

No stranger to success in the ECHL, South Carolina's Jeff Jakaitis is right on Hutchinson's heels with 11 wins and a 1.77 goals-against average. The 2012 ECHL Goaltender of the Year while with Gwinnett, Jakaitis has allowed just six goals over his last five games, and has notched at least 30 saves in a game five times over his last nine appearances.

Florida's Kristers Gudlevskis is the top rookie goaltender in the league through six weeks, ranking third overall with a 1.83 goals-against average, while his seven wins are second among first-year netminders. He has won three of his last four starts, and has allowed two goals or less in seven of his last eight appearances.

Another rookie off to a strong start this season is Wheeling's Mike Condon, who leads all first-year goaltenders with eight wins, while ranking fifth overall with a 1.97 goals-against average and third with a .939 save percentage.

Greenville's Connor Knapp also has adjusted well to the pro game. The first-year pro leads all ECHL goaltenders with a .942 save percentage, and he has made at least 30 saves seven times in his nine appearances.


Atlantic Division

- Artem Demkov leads Elmira with three power-play goals.

- The Jackals have killed off 16 consecutive penalties at home.

- Elmira hosts Fort Wayne on Friday and Sunday.

- Louie Caporusso had 14 points (1g-13a) in 10 games in November.

- Reading is 7-1-0 against Atlantic Division opponents.

- The Royals are at Wheeling on Friday and host Fort Wayne on Saturday.

- Zack Torquato is tied for fourth with 15 assists.

- The Nailers are 7-0-1 when scoring first.

- Wheeling hosts Reading on Friday and Cincinnati on Saturday.

North Division

- Barry Almeida has eight points (6g-2a) in the last seven games.

- The Cyclones are 6-0-0 in games decided in overtime or a shootout.

- Cincinnati hosts Evansville on Friday and travels to Wheeling on Saturday.

- Garrett Bartus recorded his first pro win on Friday at Gwinnett.

- Evansville is 10-for-10 on the penalty kill in its last five games.

- The IceMen host Toledo on Thursday and Saturday and are at Cincinnati on Friday.

- Joe Hartman scored his first pro goal on Saturday against Florida.

- The Komets are 4-1-3 in one-goal games.

- Fort Wayne visits Elmira on Friday and Sunday and Reading on Saturday.

- Joel Martin 's shutout streak ended at 163:28 on Saturday against South Carolina.

- Kalamazoo is 5-1-1 when outshooting its opponent.

- The K-Wings are at Greenville on Thursday and Saturday and Gwinnett on Friday.

- Emerson Clark leads all rookies with 79 penalty minutes.

- The Walleye are third in the league in attendance with 6,635 fans per game.

- Toledo is at Evansville on Thursday and Saturday.

South Division

- Kyle Bonis leads rookies with 10 goals.

- Everblades lead the league with six shorthanded goals.

- Florida hosts Colorado on Friday and Saturday.

- Connor Knapp leads the league with a .942 save percentage.

- Greenville is sixth with 2.37 goals-against per game.

- The Road Warriors host Kalamazoo on Thursday and Saturday and Gwinnett on Sunday.

- Kurtis Bartliff is fifth among rookies with seven goals.

- The Gladiators are 33 for their last 36 on the penatly kill (91.2 percent).

- Gwinnett hosts Kalamazoo on Friday and visits Greenville on Sunday.

- Bryce Aneloski is tied for fourth among rookies in plus-minus at +9.

- Orlando leads the Eastern Conference with eight home wins (8-2-0).

- The Solar Bears host Colorado on Wednesday and Sunday and South Carolina on Friday and Saturday.

- Jeff Jakaitis is second with 11 wins.

- Stingrays have outscored their opponents 29-16 in the third period.

- South Carolina visits Orlando on Friday and Saturday.

Mountain Division

- Brendan Connolly has seven points (2g-5a) in the last five games.

- The Aces lead the league with 1.75 goals-against per game.

- Alaska is at Utah on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

- Kyle Ostrow has five goals in the last six games.

- Colorado is 9-2-1 when outshooting its opponent.

- The Eagles are at Orlando on Wednesday and Sunday and at Florida on Friday and Saturday.

- Mitch Wahl leads the league with 13 power-play points (3g-10a).

- Seven of the Steelheads' 18 games have gone past regulation, second-most in the ECHL.

- Idaho hosts Stockton on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

- David Vallorani leads the Grizzlies with 13 points (3g-10a).

- Utah is sixth with 26.31 shots-against per game.

- The Grizzlies host Alaska on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Pacific Division

- Joel Broda has six points (2g-4a) in the last two games.

- The Condors are 4-2-0 in their last six games.

- Bakersfield is at Las Vegas on Friday and hosts the Wranglers on Saturday.

- Jeff May is tied for first among defensemen with seven goals.

- Las Vegas leads the league on the power play on the road at 23.1 percent (9-for-39).

- The Wranglers host Bakersfield on Friday, visit the Condors on Saturday and host San Francisco on Sunday.

- Kyle Kraemer has seven points (5g-2a) in the last four games.

- The Reign lead the league with 14 wins and are second with eight road wins.

- Ontario hosts San Francisco on Friday and Saturday.

- J.P. Anderson recorded his first pro win on Friday at Utah.

- San Francisco is 5-0-2 in one-goal games.

- The Bulls are at Ontario on Friday and Saturday and Las Vegas on Sunday.

- Ryan Constant leads defensemen with 16 points (3g-13a).

- The Thunder lead the league on the power play at 24.6 percent (16-for-65).

- Stockton is at Idaho on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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