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Wranglers, Aces Mirror Each Other In West

December 19, 2005 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release

Back-to-back road wins at Stockton helped Las Vegas extend its winning streak and its road winning streak to seven games and move one point closer to West Division leader Alaska. The Aces saw their team and ECHL season-high winning streak end at 11 games with a 5-4 overtime loss at Victoria on Friday, but rebounded with an 8-0 win on Saturday.

The Wranglers and Aces are both 9-0-1 in their last 10 games and 12-0-1 in their last 13 games. The Aces are 18-3-3 and lead the ECHL with 39 points while Las Vegas is second in the division and the league at 18-4-2 and 38 points. Idaho is third in the division at 15-6-2 and 32 points while Utah is fourth at 14-9-2 and 30 points.

Las Vegas' seven road wins breaks the team record of five games set Jan. 17-Feb. 7, 2003 while the seven wins breaks the team record of six games set Nov. 28-Dec. 19, 2003 and tied Mar. 12-26, 2004. The Wranglers won eight consecutive home games from Oct. 25-Dec. 2, tying the record set Nov. 5-Dec. 26, 2003 and tied Feb. 15-Mar. 26, 2004.

Alaska's 11 consecutive wins breaks the team record of six games set Dec. 31, 2004-Jan. 11, 2005. The Aces have won their last nine home games which more than doubles the team record of four games, achieved three times previously.

Las Vegas hosts Long Beach on Monday and plays at Long Beach on Wednesday while Alaska plays at Victoria on Monday.

Since losing 4-3 in overtime at Bakersfield on Nov. 5 in his first professional game, Las Vegas rookie Mike McKenna has started seven games and is 7-0-0 with three shootout wins and a shutout. He is tied for second in the league in shootout wins and ranks third in goals-against average with 2.09. Marc Magliarditi, who has won his last four starts, is 11-4-1 with two shutouts and is tied for the league lead in wins and shutouts while ranking fifth in the league with a goals-against average of 2.16.

Dan Tudin leads Las Vegas with 11 assists and 20 points in 21 games while Chris Stanley leads the team with 11 goals and has 18 points which ties him for second on the team with Derek Edwardson (10g-8a).

Alaska defenseman Ryan Gaucher has a 10-game scoring streak (5g-16a) and a seven-game assist streak (14a) and teammate Barrett Heisten also has a 10-game scoring streak (6g-10a). Gaucher leads the Aces in the last five games with 12 points (2g-10a) and in the last 10 games with 21 points (5g-16a). Gaucher leads the league with 23 assists and is tied for sixth in scoring with 30 points in 24 games. Among ECHL defenseman, Gaucher is first in assists and scoring while also leading in game-winning goals with three and power-play assists with 13.

In his last six starts, Matt Underhill is 6-0-0 with two shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.17 and a save percentage of .958. Underhill is 9-3-1 and leads the league in goals-against average with 1.92 and is tied for the league lead with two shutouts while ranking third in save percentage with .932. Chris Beckford-Tseu, who was called up to St. Louis on Friday and served as the backup for the Blues on Saturday, is 9-0-2 with a shutout and ranks second in the league with a goals-against average of 1.96 while ranking second in shootout percentage with .900 and fourth in save percentage with .927.

Falcons Go 3-0 In Keystone State To Stay Atop Pacific

Three wins in Pennsylvania over the weekend allowed Fresno to end its road trip at 3-0-3 and remain atop the Pacific Division at 13-4-7, five points ahead of Long Beach (13-11-2). San Diego is seven points back at 11-9-4 followed by Bakersfield at 9-9-4.

The Falcons won 3-2 in a shootout at Johnstown on Friday, a win that ended an 0-0-4 streak, and then overcame a 6-2 deficit to win 7-6 in overtime at Reading on Saturday as defenseman Cory Murphy scored the game-tying and game-winning goal. Fresno closed out the weekend with a 3-2 win at Reading to improve to 6-1-4 on the road. During the six-game road trip, Brett Jaeger was 2-0-2 with a goals against of 3.12 while Luke Curtin (1g-8a) and Cory Murphy (4g-5a) led the offense with nine points.

The Falcons, who do not return to the ice until Dec. 26 when they will host Stockton, have played six consecutive one-goal games, including three that were determined in a shootout (1-2) and two that were decided in overtime (1-1), and 10 of their last 14 games (7-1-6) have been one-goal games, including seven that were determined in a shootout (2-5) and three in overtime (2-1).

Greg Hewitt and Long Beach have both won their last three games, including a 5-0 shutout of Phoenix on Saturday and a 3-1 win at San Diego on Friday. The Ice Dogs will play at Las Vegas on Monday and then host the Wranglers on Wednesday.

Hewitt stopped 54 of 55 shots over the weekend, including 24 against Phoenix, to improve to 11-10-1 while lowering his goals-against average to 2.89 and raising his save percentage to .894. Hewitt leads the league with 1,266 minutes and is tied for the league lead with 11 wins while being tied for second with three overtime wins and ranking fifth in saves with 514.

San Diego won two of three games last week, including an 8-1 win against Bakersfield on Saturday that saw Steve Hildenbrand (3g-2a) and Jesse Bennefield (2g-2a) combine for nine points. The Gulls open a four-game road trip on Dec. 27 at Las Vegas. San Diego's Tyler Weiman has won three of his last four starts while lowering his goals against to 3.10 and raising his save percentage to .894.

Wheeling Rookies Among ECHL Leaders

Wheeling's Kurtis McLean and Sean Collins lead the Nailers offense and league rookies with 33 points each and are only two points behind Garrett Bembridge for the scoring lead among all players. Both players are under contract to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League and in their first professional season.

The 25-year-old McLean has a league-leading 19 goals and is tied for the league lead with eight power-play goals and is tied for fifth overall with 15 power-play points in 25 games. Among league rookies, McLean is the leader in goals, power-play goals and power-play points and is tied for the lead with three game-winning goals while ranking fifth with seven power-play assists. The 5-foot-11 and 175-pound McLean played four seasons at Norwich University from 2001-05 and had 212 points (118g-94a) in 115 games.

The 22-year-old Collins leads league rookies and ranks second overall with 22 assists in 25 games. Collins is second among league rookies with 14 power-play points while his nine power-play assists tie him for second and he is tied for fifth among rookies with 11 goals and five power-play goals. Selected in the ninth round (289th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Collins played four seasons at the University of New Hampshire where he had 173 points (77g-96a) in 164 games.

Utah's Matt Craig is tied for fourth overall with 17 goals and is tied for fifth in game-winning goals with three while his 29 points tie him for ninth. Among rookies, the 23-year-old Craig is tied for the game-winning goal lead while ranking second in goals and third in scoring and he is tied for third in power-play goals with six.

Three Hat Tricks Highlight League Scoring On Saturday

The ECHL had a season-high three hat tricks on Saturday bringing the total hat tricks for the week to a season-high seven and the season total to 27, up from 22 hat tricks in the first nine weeks of 2004-05.

There have been 15 hat tricks in the last three weeks, including two by Wheeling rookie Kurtis McLean, who is the only player with more than one hat trick. McLean had his second hat trick of the season in a 4-2 win at Dayton on Thursday and recorded his first professional three-goal game in a 6-3 win against Charlotte on Dec. 1.

Charlotte, Florida and Wheeling are tied for the league lead with three hat tricks each while Alaska, Augusta, Gwinnett and Utah each have two hat tricks and Bakersfield, Dayton, Fresno, Greenville, Idaho, Las Vegas, Reading, San Diego, Toledo and Trenton have one apiece. Gwinnett scored both of its hat tricks days last week with Pascal Pelletier scoring four goals in a 6-3 win against Columbia on Tuesday and Brad Schell scoring three goals in a 6-3 win against Toledo on Saturday. The teams that have not scored a hat trick are Columbia, Johnstown, Long Beach, Pensacola, Phoenix, South Carolina, Stockton and Victoria.

Wheeling and South Carolina are tied for the league lead with three hat tricks allowed while Columbia, Florida, Idaho and Toledo have each allowed two hat tricks and Augusta, Bakersfield, Charlotte, Dayton, Fresno, Greenville, Gwinnett, Johnstown, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Pensacola, Utah and Victoria have each allowed one hat trick. The teams that have not allowed a hat trick are Alaska, Phoenix, Reading, San Diego, Stockton and Trenton.

Did You Know ...
Alaska's Matt Underhill (1.92) and Chris Beckford-Tseu (1.96) are first and second in the league in goals-against average while Las Vegas' Mike McKenna (2.09) and Marc Magliarditi (2.16) rank third and fifth.

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ECHL Stories from December 19, 2005

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