News, Notes and Hockey Insights - 12/7/2012

Friday, 12.07.2012 / 1:23 PM
By Frank Albin - Director of Broadcasting / The Daily Chomp
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The Daily Chomp
News, Notes and Hockey Insights - 12\/7\/2012


With the news earlier this week that the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls are coming to San Jose for a game on December 17th, it seems like a good time to up our ECHL knowledge.

The 23-team ECHL (formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League, got its start in 1988 and is considered on the relative skill level as baseball’s Double A (AA), 2 rungs below major league. Through the years the ECHL has ‘graduated’ 490 players to the NHL. Presently 25 of 30 NHL teams have affiliation to an ECHL club. The Sharks’ affiliation is with the Bulls.
The ECHL rose from the ashes of two folded leagues, the Atlantic Coast and All-American leagues. The league today is composed of 2 conferences with 5 divisions. Three divisions are in the east and 2 in the west. No regular season games are scheduled between the 2 conferences. But their respective champions do meet in the league finals. The ultimate winner takes home “The Kelly Cup”.

Through the years there have been 49 clubs, representing markets from Orlando to Alaska, from San Diego to Johnstown. Some the more colorful teams have been, the Knoxville Cherokees, Pensicola Pilots, Toledo Storm, Louisville Ice Frogs, New Orleans Brass, Columbus Cottonmouths and Arkansas River Blades.

The expansion San Francisco Bulls are in their inaugural season and play their home games at the famous Cow Palace. The same Cow Palace that the Sharks called home for their first 2 seasons.

In San Jose on December 17th the Bulls opponent will be Northern California’s other ECHL team, the Stockton Thunder. The Thunder are in their 7th season having come from a franchise that originally was located in Cincinnati, moved to Birmingham then to Atlantic City until they found a home in Stockton. The Thunder are an affiliate of the Oilers.

As of December 6th the Bulls sit in 3rd place in the Pacific Division with a 9-12-1-2 record. The ECHL uses a shootout to settle ties similar to the NHL, except they use 5 shooters rather than 3. Stockton has had a remarkable season thus far with a 13-5-2-1 record. Good for 2nd in the Pacific. The Southern California Ontario Reign lead the division with a 14-5-1-0 mark.

The Bulls top 2 scorers are Justin with 6 goals and 18 assists for 24 points and Dean Ouellet with 14-8-22.

Bowers is a 27 year old center from Nova Scotia. He scored a career-high 19 goals last season in Greenville. Ouellet is a 25 year old winger from New Brunswick. He played 4 years of junior in the QMJHL then 4 more in Canadian University hockey. Thus far Dean has been a special teams star netting 6 powerplay goals.

On the Stockton side Finnish rookie Toni Rajala ranks 8th in league scoring with 13-12-25. The 21 year old right winger was a 4th rounder in 2009 pick of the Edmonton Oilers.

While not of NHL caliber hockey, it is entertaining and hard hitting. Each player gives their all on every shift working toward the ultimate goal of making it in the NHL.

Hope to see a big crowd at HP Pavilion on Monday December 17th. Gametime is 7:30.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 82 41 38 23 79
J. Thornton 82 11 65 20 76
P. Marleau 82 33 37 0 70
L. Couture 65 23 31 21 54
B. Burns 69 22 26 26 48
T. Wingels 77 16 22 11 38
D. Boyle 75 12 24 -8 36
J. Demers 75 5 29 14 34
T. Hertl 37 15 10 11 25
M. Nieto 66 10 14 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 12 5 2 .932 1.87
A. Niemi 39 17 7 .913 2.39
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