Rumble In The Garden State
ATLANTIC CITY - WEEK RECORD: 2-0-0 - SEASON RECORD: 42-22-8 - 3rd NORTH DIVISION
BULLIES REWIND: The Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies concluded the 2004-05 regular season with a pair of victories over Reading and Johnstown. Despite winning six out of their final seven games, the Bullies finished in third place, one point behind both Reading and Trenton, and therefore will begin their quest for a second Kelly Cup in three seasons on the road Wednesday at Trenton.
Friday, Trevor Koenig stopped 27 shots and three different players tallied goals to lead the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies to a 3-2 win over the Reading Royals before 4019 at Historic Boardwalk Hall. Atlantic City (41-22-8) opened the scoring with back-to-back goals 2:48 seconds apart in the first period. Dave Reid beat Reading goaltender Cody Rudkowsky with a slap shot from the right point over Rudkowsky's shoulder at 15:24 of the period to give the Bullies a 1-0 lead. Kelsey Muench extended the lead with a power play goal at 18:12. Muench slipped behind the Reading defense and took a beautiful pass in front of the cage from Ian Walterson before slipping the puck through Rudkowsky's pads for a 2-0 advantage. Reading's (43-21-7) Preston Mizzi cut the deficit in half with a shorthanded goal at 15:40 of the second period. Mizzi spun around at the right-wing circle and shot the puck of Bullies goaltender Trevor Koenig and into the cage to make it a 2-1 game. But the Bullies would respond when Ryan Reid collected Fraser Clair's rebound at the high slot and beat Rudkowsky with a slap shot along the ice at 19:15 to regain their two-goal advantage at 3-1. Regan Rome brought the Royals back to within one at 3-2 with a power play goal at 17:11, but they would get no closer. Reading out-shot Atlantic City 29-28. Koenig stopped 27 shots to improve to 27-13-4 on the season. The Bullies went 1-5 on the power play.
Saturday, Captain Ian Walterson tallied the go-ahead and eventual game-winning goal early in the third period and goaltender Jeff Weber in his first professional start stopped 25 shots to lead the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies to a 3-2 victory over the Johnstown Chiefs before 2442 at the Cambria County War Memorial. Shawn Mather opened the scoring for Atlantic City (42-22-8) at 13:57 of the first period when he stripped Johnstown's David Bowman of the puck in front of the Chiefs net and stuffed it through the pads of Johnstown goalie Mark Scally for a 1-0 lead. Mather extended the lead to 2-0 when he beat Scally with a wrist shot from the left wing off a terrific pass from J-F Plourde in the slot at 19:01. Johnstown (22-36-14) countered with a pair of goals in the second period to tie the game at 2-2. Peter Trovato collected Ian Manzano's rebound in the slot and tipped the puck past Weber 40 seconds into the period to cut the Bullies lead to 2-1. Johnstown netted the equalizer at 19:14 when Matt Reid beat Weber from the right-wing circle with a slap shot over the blocker to tie the game at 2-2. Walterson netted the game-winner on a power play goal at 1:39 of the third period. Walterson collected Geoff Platt's rebound in the slot and tucked it through the pads of Scally that would give the Bullies a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish. Atlantic City out-shot Johnstown 28-27. Weber improved to 2-0 on the season. The Bullies went 1-3 on the power play.
BULLIES "TOP DAWG" AWARD: Each Monday from now until the end of the season, Public Relations and Broadcasting Manager Dan Weiss will select the Bullies "Top Dawg" for the week. This week features co-winners as forwards Fraser Clair and J-F Plourde share the honors. Clair and Plourde led the Bullies offensive charge with three assists each. Clair has a point in six out of the last seven games, while Plourde has tallied six goals and 17 points in 15 games with the Bullies. Honorable mention goes out to rookie center Geoff Platt who notched an assist in each of his first two professional games.
A SPITTING IMAGE: In true irony, the Bullies finished the 2004-05 regular season, their final season in Atlantic City, with an identical 42-22-8 record they achieved during the inaugural 2001-02 season. Not surprisingly, the 2001-02 edition of the Bullies also finished in third place in what was then known as the Northeast Division. The 42 wins and 92 points ties for third most in club history, while Atlantic City's road record of 20-13-3 also ranks as third best. The 2004-05 Bullies surrendered just 189 goals, second fewest in organization history only to the club record of 159 allowed by last year's team. Individually, rookie center Derek Edwardson led the Bullies in scoring and finished tied for third in the ECHL Rookie scoring race with 21 goals and 64 points. Acquired just before the March 22 trading deadline, center Shawn Mather finished as the team leader in goals with 30 tallies. Mather notched 11 goals and 19 points in just 11 regular season games with Atlantic City. Dave Reid led all defensemen in scoring with 10 goals and 27 points. Reid, along with defenseman Eric Nelson and forward Paul Caponigri each played in 70 games, more than any other Bullies player in 2004-05. Goaltender Trevor Koenig led the team with 27 wins, finishing four shy of the club record of 31 held by Scott Stirling from the 2001-02 season. For the first time in club history, five different Bullies goaltenders recorded at least one victory this season.
MILESTONES REACHED: Forwards Shawn Mather (30) and Jason Notermann (28) and defensemen Ian Walterson (10) and Dave Reid (10) each established career-bests for goals in a single season. Mather (62 points), Notermann (55 points), and Fraser Clair (33 points) also set personal career-highs in scoring. Forward Luke Curtin recorded his 400th professional point on November 5 at Peoria and played in his 400th career game on December 31 vs. Trenton. Goaltender Trevor Koenig earned his 200th career victory on March 30 vs. Wheeling and became the first goaltedner in Bullies history and the eighth in ECHL history to score a goal when he accomplished the feat on March 2 at Wheeling.
THE SERIES: The Bullies went 5-4-1 against Trenton in the regular season and 4-1-0 at Historic Boardwalk Hall. Nine out of the ten meetings were decided by two goals or less and five of those contests were one-goal games, including the final four meetings of the regular season. Atlantic City outscored Trenton 29-27 in the regular season and 13-8 in third periods. The Bullies went 10-62 (16.1%) on the power play and tallied three shorthanded goals, while killing off 42 of 48 Titans power plays, an 87.5% efficiency rate. Individually, center Derek Edwarson led Atlantic City with five goals and 11 points in nine games against Trenton, including his first professional hat-trick in a 6-3 Bullies victory on November 27 at Sovereign Bank Arena. Jason Notermann also finished with five goals and 9 points in nine games against the Titans. Goaltender Trevor Koenig was 1-1-0 in two starts against Trenton allowing six goals on 66 totals shots for a 2.92 goals against average and a .909% save percentage. Trenton's Scott Bertoli finished with four goals and nine points in 10 games against Atlantic City to lead the Titans. The ECHL Player of the Month for March, Bertoli tallied nine goals and 26 points in the final 19 games of the regular season. Veteran Rick Kowalsky has returned from a month long stint on the injured list with seven goals and 15 points in his first nine games back. Goaltender Andrew Allen was superb against the Bullies, going 4-1-2 in seven games and allowing just 14 goals on 183 total shots, a 2.04 goals against average and a .923% save percentage. Despite holding a winning record against the Titans, Trenton captured the fourth and final Garden State Cup by virtue of taking 12 points in the series to the Bullies 11.
THE SERIES CONTINUED: Atlantic City is 6-0 lifetime in postseason play against Trenton, having swept the Titans three games to none in both the 2002 Northeast Division Finals and the 2003 Northeast Division Semifinals. This is the second time that the Bullies have been the lower seed in the series as they were also the lower seed in 2002. Of the six playoff meetings, only two games have been decided by a single goal. The Bullies have out-scored Trenton 26-10 in the postseason and 14-6 at Sovereign Bank Arena. Atlantic City has also posted two shutouts against the Titans, one each at SBA and Historic Boardwalk Hall. The Garden State Cup Series began on October 14, 2001 when Trenton defeated Atlantic City 4-2 at Sovereign Bank Arena. Since that night, the teams have competed in arguably the ECHL's most exciting rivalry over the past four years as 21 of the total 46 games, including the playoffs, have been decided by a single goal. Trenton captured the inaugural Garden State Cup in 2001-02 and again in 2003-04 by winning six out of the ten meetings in both seasons. The Bullies won their only Garden State Cup in 2002-03 when they also knocked off the Titans six times in the regular season. Atlantic City leads the all-time regular season series 19-17-4.
KELLY CUP PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Got your Kelly Cup Playoff tickets? 14-game playoff packages are now available by contacting your Bullies Customer Service Representative at (609) 348-7825. Call now to reserve the same great seats for every Bullies home playoff game. Individual playoff tickets will also be available for purchase by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-736-1420 or by visiting the Boardwalk Hall Box Office Monday through Friday from 11AM-5PM.
POWER PLAY FOR UNITED WAY: For a second consecutive season, the Bullies have teamed up with United Way to support the Power Play For United Way. For every power play goal the Bullies score in 2004-05, area businesses including Baumgardner Construction, RLS CopiScan, AtlantiCare, Tropicana Casino Resort & Hotel and Glenn Insurance will donate $10 to the United Way of Atlantic County. This season the Bullies finished with 50 power play goals, good for a total of $2500 towards Power Play for United Way, benefitting those in Atlantic County. The Bullies would like to the above sponsors for their support in the second year of the Power Play for United Way.
WATCH THE BULLIES LIVE IN '04-05: The Bullies have teamed up with B2 Networks to bring you live action of Boardwalk Bullies hockey in 2004-05. Bullies fans will be able to click the Watch the Game Live icon at the Bullies website to view and listen to the game. These broadcasts are available to fans for a charge of $6 per game. All 36 Bullies home broadcasts will be available in addition to over 20 road games in Trenton, Reading, Johnstown, and Wheeling. A cable or DSL Internet connection and Windows Media Player 9 are required to view the games.
UP NEXT: 2005 ECHL NORTH DIVISION SEMIFINALS (BROADCAST OPTION)
Wednesday, April 13: Game 1 - Atlantic City @ Trenton 7PM (ESPN 1450AM)
Friday, April 15: Game 2 - Atlantic City @ Trenton 7:30PM (ESPN 1450AM)
Sunday, April 17: Game 3 (Game A) - Trenton @ Atlantic City 4:05PM (SurferNetwork)
*Tuesday, April 19: Game 4 (Game B) - Trenton @ Atlantic City 7:05PM (SurferNetwork)
*Wednesday, April 20: Game 5 - Atlantic City @ Trenton 7PM (ESPN 1450AM)
* If Necessary
Catch Game 1 and Game 2 live on ESPN Radio 1450AM and the entire series live on the SurferNetwork at www.boardwalkbullies.com beginning with "Bullies Countdown" 20 minutes prior to face-off.
BULLIES SCHEDULE WEEK OF APRIL 11
Monday, April 11: Practice 10:30AM-12PM
Tuesday, April 12: Practice 10:30AM-12PM
Wednesday, April 13: Morning Skate 10AM; Depart for Trenton @ 3:30PM; Bullies @ Trenton 7PM; Return to Atlantic City
Thursday, April 14: Practice 10:30AM-12PM
Friday, April 15: Morning Skate 10AM; Depart for Trenton @ 4PM; Bullies @ Trenton 7:30PM; Return to Atlantic City
Saturday, April 16: Practice at Flyers SkateZone TBA
Sunday, April 17: Bullies vs. Trenton 4:05PM
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