Johnstown, Pa. - The Johnstown Chiefs were tested by some of the top teams in the American Conference last week, and were able to navigate the waters to remain atop the North Division. This week they will look to steal some points on the road against their in-state rival Reading Royals and the Cincinnati Cyclones
Record: 14-5-1, 29 pts., 1st place North Division
Goals - Andrew Sarauer: 10
Assists - Petr Pohl: 12
Points - Petr Pohl: 21
+/- - Andrew Sarauer/Kyle Wharton: +10
PIMs - Alex Penner: 71
PPG -Randy Rowe/Jon Landry: 4
Wins - Kris Mayotte: 10
GAA - Kris Mayotte: 2.33
SVP - Kris Mayotte: .922
12/3 at Reading, 7:05 p.m. - Home (3-0-0), Away (1-0-0) Wednesday's game will mark the start of the Chiefs' second four-game road trip of the season. It will be their second visit to Reading's Sovereign Center, and first since 10/25. Johnstown has defeated its in-state rival in each of the first four games this season, and has not lost to the Royals since a 4-3 decision at Reading on 2/1/08. Reading has found the treading difficult on home ice this season, and has won twice in 10 tries at the Sovereign Center. Johnstown, meanwhile, has been solid away from the War Memorial winning six of eight and outscoring its opponents 25-19. Johnstown's eight straight wins against Reading, including three on the road, have not been easy to come by. Only one game, a 4-1 win at Reading on April 2, had more than a two-goal margin of victory, and the average margin of victory in those eight games is 1.6.
12/5 & 6 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. - Home (1-1-0), Away (0-0-0) The Chiefs will end this week with a pair of games against the defending Kelly Cup Champion Cyclones at U.S. Bank Arena. That building has been a difficult one for the Chiefs to find points in during the last two seasons. Going back to 2006-07, the Chiefs are 2-6-2 in the regular season in Cincinnati and 0-2-0 in the playoffs. The 2007-08 campaign was particularly difficult for Johnstown in Cincy as it didn't win a game in five regular season games, or two playoff games, and was outscored 35-14 in those seven contests. The Chiefs' last win in Cincinnati was a 3-1 triumph on 3/27/07. The teams split the first two games of this season in Johnstown with the Chiefs winning 7-4 on 11/12 and the Cyclones responding with a 6-3 win on 11/29.
Day by Day:
Mon. 12/1: Off
Tues. 12/2: Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at CCWM, 11:00 a.m.
Wed. 12/3: Chiefs at Reading Royals, 7:05 p.m.
Thurs. 12/4: Practice at UPMC Health Plan Ice Rink at CCWM, 11:00 a.m.
Fri. 12/5: Chiefs at Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. 12/6: Chiefs at Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. 12/7: Off
Wed. 12/3: Chiefs at Reading Royals, 7:05 p.m. - radio and internet
Fri. 12/5: Chiefs at Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:30 p.m. - radio and internet
Sat. 12/6: Chiefs at Cincinnati Cyclones, 7:30 p.m. - radio and internet
All Chiefs radio broadcasts can be heard on 1490 AM WNTJ and AM 990 WNTW, and live streaming audio of every Chiefs game is available courtesy of B2 Networks at www.johnstownchiefs.com or www.echl.com. The Chiefs radio network is presented by Dodge.
Last Week: (2-1-1)
11/26 vs. Wheeling: W 3-1 It was a battle for first place in the North Division on Thanksgiving Eve between Johnstown and Wheeling. Johnstown used a three-goal game from Andrew Sarauer and a 33-save performance from Kris Mayotte to come away with the victory. Sarauer's two first period tallies gave Johnstown the advantage after 20 minutes, but Tommy Goebel got Wheeling back within one with a power play goal in the second period. Sarauer completed the hat trick at 5:22 of the third, and the defense made the two-goal advantage stand up. It was the Chiefs second straight win at WesBanco Arena this season, and Mayotte improved to 2-0-0 against Wheeling. The hat trick by Sarauer was his first as a pro and the first for Johnstown this season.
11/28 vs. Trenton: W 3-2 SO The Chiefs had comfortable wins (6-2, 4-1) the last two games against Trenton in Johnstown. This time would be different as the Devils and their new goaltender, former Chief, Gerald Coleman kept this one close throughout. Andrew Sarauer scored his fourth consecutive goal to open the scoring at 3:56 of the first, and Johnstown took the 1-0 lead into intermission. The teams would be tied at one after two periods thanks to Jeff Prough's power play goal in the second. Jeremy Akeson gave the Devils the lead 11 seconds into the third, and it looked like that would turn into the game winner. However, with Kris Mayotte pulled for the extra attacker, Ryan Del Monte sent the game to overtime with his third goal of the season at 19:30 of the third. Neither team converted in the extra frame so a marathon 11-round shootout ensued. Trenton led 2-1 with Randy Rowe, Johnstown's last shooter, up. Rowe tied it at two goals each, and Petr Pohl, shooting for the second time in the 11th round scored for the second time to end it.
11/29 vs. Cincinnati: L 3-6 Having won four in a row overall, and seven in a row on home ice, the Chiefs were looking for more against the defending champs. However, a slew of call ups to the AHL left the Chiefs one defenseman short making it tough to contain the Cyclone's high-powered offense. Thomas Beauregard stole the show with a career-high five points (4G, 1A) while Olivier Latendresse added three helpers. The Chiefs never led in the game but were able to cut the Cyclones' lead to one on two different occasions. Jason Spence's third of the year made it 2-1 at 8:18 of the first, and Petr Pohl's seventh had the Chiefs down 4-3 at 4:50 of the third. Skating in his first game with the Chiefs after coming over in a trade from Mississippi, Andy Contois assisted on Pohl's goal for his first point with the team. Kris Mayotte was handed only his second regulation loss of the season.
11/30 vs. Florida: L 3-4 OT The Sunday evening match up was the first ever between Johnstown and Florida, and featured the top teams from the North and South Division. Everyone was treated to a thrilling contest as the Chiefs were forced to attempt another dramatic comeback. Peter Metcalf (2) and Ernie Hartlieb scored power play goals to counteract Johnstown's even-strength marker from Petr Pohl to hold a 3-1 lead as the third period hit the midway point. The Chiefs converted a 5-on-3 power play chance, their first in the last four home games, with Andy Contois' first goal as a Chief to get within one. Petr Pohl gave the Chiefs one point for getting to overtime as he tied it with 33 seconds left in regulation with his second of the game and ninth of the season. Johnstown's perfect overtime record was disturbed, though, when Doug O'Brien banked a shot off a defender's skate past Kris Mayotte with 33 seconds left in overtime to earn the win. Mayotte was sensational in goal throughout the game as he made 53 saves, including two on breakaways by Everblades' captain and leading scorer Kevin Baker.
- Petr Pohl; 11/29-11/30: 2 gms (3G)
- Andy Contois; 11/29-11/30: 2 gms (3A)
- Mike Bartlett; 11/28-11/30: 3 gms (3A)
- Kyle Bushee; 11/29-11/30: 2 gms (2A)
- Ray Macias; 10/30-11/2: 3 gms (4A)
- Petr Pohl; 11/29-11/30: 2 gms (3G, 1A)
- Andy Contois; 11/29-11/30: 2 gms (1G, 3A)
- Mike Bartlett; 11/28-11/30: 3 gms (3A)
- Kyle Bushee; 11/29-11/30: 2 gms (2A)
- Ray Macias; 10/25-11/2: 4 gms (1G, 4A)
And the Nominees Are: Two Johnstown Chiefs are in the running for an ECHL monthly award after a strong November. Kris Mayotte, who won the ECHL Goalie of the Week award for 10/27-11/2, is a strong candidate for the Saver of the Month award with his 10-2-1 record, 2.33 goals against average, and .922 save percentage for November. Mayotte earned all but one of the Chiefs' victories this past month, and is second in the league win 10 wins, one behind Alaska's Jean-Phillipe Lamoureux. Andrew Sarauer, meanwhile is in the running for the Rookie of the Month for November. Sarauer is second on the team with 19 points (10G, 9A), and leads the team in goals. After registering one point, an assist, in five games in October, Sarauer exploded for 18 points this month. Highlights of Sarauer's month included a six points (2G, 4A) in a 7-3 win over Cincinnati on 11/12, and his first pro hat trick in a 3-1 win over Wheeling on 11/26.
No November Rain Here: Johnstown had an extremely busy month of November with 14 games on the schedule. Fortunately the Chiefs hit their stride at the perfect time, won their first seven games of the month, and ended with an 11-2-1 record to improve to 14-5-1 overall. Thanks to the fast start last month, this year's team became the fastest group of Chiefs to win 14 games. Needing only 18 games to reach the mark, they bested the 2003-04 team that needed 20 games to reach 14 wins. After 20 games this season, the Chiefs are tied with the record setting team from 2003-04 with a 14-5-1 record. The Chiefs were equally strong at home (7-1-1) and on the road (4-1-0) in November as they moved to first place in the North Division.
Back in the U.S. of A.: Chiefs left wing Andy Contois began this season playing in Finland, most likely had no plans of donning the black and gold this season. But after coming back to the states, and the ECHL, Contois was traded from Mississippi to Johnstown and quickly boosted the Chiefs' offense. In his first game against Cincinnati last Saturday, Contois assisted on Petr Pohl's seventh goal of the season, and the next night against Florida he assisted on both of Pohl's goals and scored one of his own. Contois was a teammate of Chiefs rookie winger Andrew Sarauer for two seasons at Northern Michigan University, but has found chemistry on a line with Pohl, the speedy right wing from the Czech Republic. Skating mostly together in the last two games Contois (1G, 3A) and Pohl (3G, 1A) each have a two game point streak.
Lending a (Healthy) Hand: Set to return to the Chiefs' lineup this week is left wing Mike Sgroi. Sgroi joins the Chiefs after suffering a broken hand in training camp with the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. Acquired in a trade last season that sent rookie Michael Cohen to Pensacola, Sgroi skated in 27 games for Johnstown and produced 25 points (13G, 12A) and 192 penalty minutes in the 2007-08 season. Last season was Sgroi's most productive with 47 points (25G, 22A) in 53 games between Pensacola and Johnstown. Now in his ninth season of professional hockey, Sgroi has amassed 69 goals, 70 assists and 1,499 penalty minutes in 414 games between the ECHL, AHL, and former UHL.
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