Jackals victorious in Chiefs' final game
The Elmira Jackals earned a victory in their final regular season game of 2009-2010 and the final game for the Johnstown Chiefs before the club moves to Greenville, S.C., winning 5-3 in front of a crowd of 4,017 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pa. on Saturday night. The Jackals will take on the Florida Everblades in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs beginning Tuesday.
The Jackals scored on their first shot of the game and set the pace by doing so when Brendan Connolly skated behind the net and fed Wes Cunningham in front who knocked the puck past Chiefs goaltender Kris Mayotte to get the Jackals on the scoreboard at 2:55 of the first period.
Later on in the period, R.J. Anderson swatted a puck out of midair to give the Jackals a 2-0 lead at 11:55.
At 17:18 of the first period, Dan Collins sent a puck in to give the Chiefs a goal on the power play, making it 2-1.
The Jackals responded moments later, however, when Chaz Johnson sent in a rebound from a Justin Donati shot at 18:10 to make it 3-1 in favor of the Jackals.
Johnson added another one at 4:27 of the second period on a beautiful backdoor play involving both Tyler and Justin Donati, giving the Jackals a goal on their first power-play attempt of the game.
Olivier Proulx took the puck over at the blue line and sent the puck down low for Justin Donati who beat Mayotte glove side to give the Jackals their fifth goal at 19:18 of the second period, the 26th time this season Elmira recorded five goals in a game.
At 18:43 of the third period, with Chiefs fans on their feet to applaud the Chiefs in their final minutes, Collins knocked in a goal on the power play. Troy Schwab added a goal on a two-on-one play at 19:50 of the final period to end the scoring.
Jackals goaltender Julien Ellis made 33 saves on 36 shots and was 14-6-1-1 with Elmira this season. Mayotte made 38 saves on 43 shots, ending his season at 10-16-2-3.
The Jackals ended their regular season at 37-26-6-3 with the third seed in the American Conference while the Chiefs' final season came to a close at 18-43-7-4. The Jackals were 10-0-0-0 against the Chiefs this season.
Tyler Donati had two points on the game and led the ECHL in 2009-2010 with 114 points and 76 assists. Justin Donati's three points ensured him second in the league with 104 points. He led all rookies in scoring along with 42 goals and 62 assists.
The Jackals' five goals gave them a total of 275 on the season which led the ECHL, two goals ahead of second-place Kalamazoo.
Elmira's penalty kill of 86.4% was the best in the ECHL this season, and the Jackals led in that category since play ended on Nov. 28.
The Jackals will host the Everblades in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, Apr. 9 at 7:35 p.m., Saturday, Apr. 10 at 7:35 p.m., and Sunday, Apr. 11 at 4:05 p.m. The Jackals will open the series in Estero, Fla. on Tuesday, Apr. 6 and Wednesday, Apr. 7. The series is best-of-five, with the first two games in Florida and the last three in Elmira.
On Monday at 10 a.m., individual game tickets will go on sale to the general public. Tickets for each playoff game cost $20, $15, and $14 depending on seat location. When sales open for individual tickets, fans may call (607) 734-PUCK (7825), visit the First Arena Box Office, or click here to log onto First Arena's page on Ticketmaster.com.
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