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The race in the North Division is one of the tightest as only four points separate second-place Cincinnati and sixth-place Trenton.

Six of the teams in the division are in the Top 12 in the league in winning percentage led by Wheeling at 24-12-6 and 54 points. Defending Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati is in second place at 22-15-5 and 49 points followed by Johnstown at 23-16-2 and 48 points, Dayton at 21-17-5 and 47 points, Elmira at 21-18-4 and 46 points and Trenton at 21-16-3 and 45 points.

The two hottest teams are Cincinnati, which has won their last six games to improve to 8-2-0 in the last 10 games, and Trenton, which is 8-2-0 in the last 10 games and 18-5-2 in their last 25 games. The Cyclones will host Elmira on Wednesday before traveling to Dayton on Friday and Saturday while the Devils play at Elmira on Friday and Saturday.

The Nailers play at Reading on Friday before hosting Mississippi in a televised game on Saturday while Johnstown will host Mississippi on Wednesday and Friday and Reading on Saturday.

Wheeling rookie Bryan Ewing leads the league with 56 points (29g-27a) while rookie Jordan Morrison, who was called up to the American Hockey League by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Jan. 15, is tied for the league lead with 36 assists and third with 52 points. Ewing is first among rookies in goals and points and second in assists while Morrison is first in assists and second in points. Cincinnati's Jimmy Kilpatrick (17g-19a) and Mark Van Guilder (11g-25a) are tied for sixth among league rookies in scoring and Van Guilder is third in assists.

Gerald Coleman of Trenton leads the ECHL with a goals-against average of 1.63 and a save percentage of .940. He is 14-2-1 and tied for third with three shutouts while ranking fifth in wins.

Wranglers, Condors Wear Prison Uniforms Friday

The Las Vegas Wranglers® will host the Bakersfield Condors and "Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night" this Friday.

The promotion was inspired by impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was indicted in a federal investigation on a variety of charges including allegedly attempting to realize personal gain from filling the vacated Illinois Senate Seat vacated when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.

The Wranglers jerseys on Friday will have broad, horizontal black and white stripes and an identification number that begins "ILLGOV-" followed by the player's actual uniform number. The Condors jerseys will resemble the orange jumpsuits typically issued to prisoners and the on-ice officials will wear ‘prison guard' jerseys.

There is also a premium seat located between the team benches now available to the highest bidder on eBay. The seat, which is actually a pair of seats, includes complimentary concessions and a replica of the Wranglers prison jersey.

National Conference - Pacific Division

Bakersfield Condors

* Bakersfield is second in the ECHL on the power play with 22.5 percent.

* Dave Bonk has a three-game goal streak (4g).

* Bakersfield plays at Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday.

Las Vegas Wranglers

* Steve Makway tied team record with a plus-minus rating of +5 on Sunday against Victoria.

* Defenseman Dan Spang tied team record with four assists on Sunday against Victoria.

* Las Vegas hosts Phoenix on Tuesday and Bakersfield on Friday and Saturday.

Ontario Reign
* Ontario averaged 8,224 fans the last two games including third-largest crowd of 7,916 on Sunday.
* Todd Jackson (3g-3a) and Itan Chavira (1g-3a) each have four-game point streak.
* Ontario plays at Alaska on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Stockton Thunder
* Stockton is 8-2-1 since Matt Thomas was named head coach on Dec. 29.

* Rookie James Bates has 14 points (5g-9a) in his last eight games.

* Stockton plays at Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday and at Phoenix on Saturday.

National Conference - West Division

Alaska Aces

* Alaska is 4-0-1 in its last five games and 6-1-1 in the last eight games.

* Alaska has won the last two meetings and is 2-1-0 against Ontario.

* Alaska hosts Ontario on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Idaho Steelheads

* Kris Sparre had eight points (4g-4a) in three games at Utah.

* Ben Nelson had seven assists in three games at Utah.

* Idaho returns to the ice on Feb. 4 at Bakersfield.

Phoenix RoadRunners

* Phoenix has won a season-high three consecutive road games.

* Rookie P.J. Fenton has a five-game point streak (4g-1a) including his first multiple-goal game on Sunday.

* Phoenix plays at Las Vegas on Tuesday and at Stockton on Saturday and hosts Utah on Friday.

Utah Grizzlies

* Utah has a point in its last eight games (2-0-6).

* Ryan Kinasewich has an eight-game point streak (7g-14a).

* Utah plays at Phoenix on Friday.

Victoria Salmon Kings

* Victoria leads the ECHL on the penalty kill on the road with 90.9 percent (100-for-110).

* Todd Ford was 2-0-0 with a shootout win and a goals-against average of 1.44 at Las Vegas last weekend.

* Victoria hosts Stockton on Tuesday and Wednesday.

American Conference - South Division

Charlotte Checkers

* Charlotte had second-largest crowd in team history with 11,848 at Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday.

* Brad Ralph has a four-game point streak (2g-3a).

* Charlotte plays at Gwinnett on Friday and hosts South Carolina on Saturday.

Florida Everblades

* Kevin Baker has 11 power-play goals, tying the team record held by Reggie Berg (2007-08), Joe Blaznek (2002-03) and Tim Ferguson (1998-99).

* David Leggio has four shutouts, one shy of the team record held by Jeff Maund (2003-04) and Marc Magliarditi (1998-99).

* Florida plays at South Carolina on Friday and at Gwinnett on Saturday.

Gwinnett Gladiators

* Gwinnett is 11-5-4 when scoring the first goal.

* Jordan Fox leads the team with 14 goals, 20 assists and 34 points in 36 games.

* Gwinnett plays at South Carolina on Tuesday and hosts Charlotte on Friday and Florida on Saturday.

Mississippi Sea Wolves

* Mississippi is 2-1-0 against the North Division.

* Ryan Cruthers is fifth among ECHL rookies with 29 points and tied for fifth with 19 goals.

* Mississippi plays at Johnstown on Wednesday and Friday and at Wheeling on Saturday.

South Carolina Stingrays

* South Carolina is fourth in the ECHL on the power play with 20.2 percent (42-for-208).

* Travis Morin is tied for the league lead with 36 assists and is fourth with 48 points.

* South Carolina hosts Gwinnett on Tuesday, Florida on Friday and Charlotte on Saturday.

American Conference - North Division

Cincinnati Cyclones

* Cincinnati had second-largest crowd in history with 8,508 on Saturday.

* Ryan Nie has won first six games setting club record for most wins at start of a career.

* Cincinnati hosts Elmira on Wednesday and plays at Dayton on Friday and Saturday.

Dayton Bombers

* Dayton is outscoring its opponents 52-38 in the third period and is 12-1-1 when leading after two periods.

* Mike McLean has 17 points (4g-13a) in his last 12 games.

* Dayton host Elmira on Tuesday and Cincinnati on Friday and Saturday.

Elmira Jackals

* Elmira is 11-1-0 when leading after two periods.

* Chris Korchinski leads Elmira in January with seven goals and 13 points in 11 games.

* Elmira plays at Dayton on Tuesday and at Cincinnati on Wednesday and host Trenton on Friday and Saturday.

Johnstown Chiefs

* Johnstown is 6-0-0 against Reading this season and has won the last 10 games against the Royals.

* Petr Pohl has a five-game point streak (2g-4a).

* Johnstown hosts Mississippi on Wednesday and Friday and Reading on Saturday.

Reading Royals

* Brock Hooton has a 10-game point streak (6g-14a) and a six-game assist streak (10a).

* Kirk MacDonald has a four-game goal streak (5g) and a five-game point streak (5g-4a).

* Reading hosts Wheeling on Friday and plays at Johnstown on Saturday.

Trenton Devils

* Trenton has won eight consecutive home games, breaking the team record set Oct. 12-Nov. 23, 2001 and tied Feb. 20-Mar. 21, 2004.

* Devils are 18-5-2 in their last 25 games.

* Trenton plays at Elmira on Friday and Saturday.

Wheeling Nailers
* Wheeling is 19-3-4 when scoring first.

* Rookie Bryan Ewing leads the league with 56 points (29g-27a).

* Wheeling plays at Reading on Friday and hosts Mississippi on Saturday.

Watch Games Live on B2 Networks, the "Official Broadband Broadcast Provider" of the ECHL

Watch ECHL Games Around The Clock On ECHL TV on B2CableTV.com

Premier 'AA' Hockey League Fast Facts

* The ECHL celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

* ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 16 states and British Columbia in 2008-09.

* The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.

* Affiliations with 24 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League marking 12th consecutive season that the league has had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.

* 390 former ECHL players have played in NHL.

ï* 134 have played their first NHL game in the last four seasons.

ï* 35 former ECHL players have made their NHL debut this season: former Wheeling Nailers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Paul Bissonnette (Pittsburgh on Oct. 4), former Stockton Thunder and ECHL All-Star right wing Troy Bodie (Anaheim on Jan. 16), former Bakersfield Condors center Alexandre Bolduc (Vancouver on Nov. 27), former Florida Everblades defenseman Brett Carson (Carolina on Dec. 7), former South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Sean Collins (Washington on Dec. 6), former Las Vegas Wranglers and Wheeling Nailers goaltender John Curry (Pittsburgh on Nov. 26), former Greenville Grrrowl goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (Edmonton on Oct. 17), former Johnstown Chiefs center Andre Deveaux (Toronto on Nov. 27), former Dayton Bombers center Philippe Dupuis (Colorado on Dec. 12), former Gwinnett Gladiators left wing Chris Durno (Colorado on Jan. 18), former Gwinnett Gladiators right wing Pat Dwyer, former Columbus Cottonmouths and Tallahassee Tiger Sharks left wing Mitch Fritz (New York Islanders on Oct. 30), former South Carolina Stingrays right wing Andrew Gordon (Washington on Dec. 23), former Charlotte Checkers center Dwight Helminen (Carolina on Oct. 28), former Trenton Devils right wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (New Jersey on Oct. 22), former Gwinnett Gladiators defenseman Scott Lehman (Atlanta on Dec. 18), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Steve MacIntyre (Edmonton on Oct. 15), former Florida Everblades left wing Kenndal McArdle (Florida on Dec. 2), former All-Star and Wheeling Nailers center Kurtis McLean (New York Islanders on Jan. 19), former Phoenix RoadRunners and Wheeling Nailers center Cam Paddock (St. Louis on Nov. 14), former Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Adam Pardy (Calgary on Oct. 9), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Warren Peters (Calgary on Dec. 7), former Charlotte Checkers defenseman Corey Potter (New York Rangers on Dec. 7), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Kevin Quick (Tampa Bay on Jan. 13), former Charlotte Checkers, Columbia Inferno and Elmira Jackals defenseman Bryan Rodney (Carolina on Dec. 11), former Gwinnett Gladiators center Jared Ross (Philadelphia on Oct. 11), former Alaska Aces goaltender Marek Schwarz (St. Louis on Oct. 25), former Greenville Grrrowl and Stockton Thunder center Tim Sestito (Edmonton on Nov. 26), former Dayton Bombers and Las Vegas Wranglers defenseman Tyler Sloan (Washington on Oct. 21), former Utah Grizzlies and ECHL All-Star center Trevor Smith (New York Islanders on Dec. 31), former Johnstown Chiefs and Mississippi Sea Wolves forward Radek Smolenak (Tampa Bay on Dec. 2), former Augusta Lynx defenseman Brett Skinner (New York Islanders on Oct. 27), former Las Vegas Wranglers and ECHL All-Star defenseman Tyson Strachan (St. Louis on Dec. 18), former Wheeling Nailers right wing Tim Wallace (Pittsburgh on Dec. 10) and former Idaho Steelheads center Tom Wandell (Dallas on Dec. 10).

* There were 72 former ECHL players on NHL opening-day rosters.

* Twenty-six former ECHL players made their NHL debut in 2007-08 including six who played in both the ECHL and the NHL: Chris Beckford-Tseu (Alaska and St. Louis), Adam Berti (Pensacola and Chicago), Joe Jensen (Wheeling and Carolina), Dan LaCosta (Elmira and Columbus), Jonathan Quick (Reading and Los Angeles) and Danny Taylor (Reading and Los Angeles).

* Record 47 former ECHL players played their first NHL game in 2005-06.

* ECHL is represented for the eighth consecutive year on the National Hockey League championship team in 2008 by Aaron Downey of the Detroit Red Wings.

* Former ECHL coaches working as head coaches in the NHL are Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals and Scott Gordon of the New York Islanders. Boudreau, who coached Mississippi for three seasons winning the Kelly Cup championship in 1999, was named NHL Coach of the Year in 2007-08 becoming the first former ECHL coach to receive the award. Peter Laviolette, who began his coaching career with the Wheeling Nailers, led Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
* There are 18 assistant coaches in the NHL who were players or coaches in the ECHL.
* There are 18 former ECHL officials scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2008-09 with referees David Banfield, Chris Ciamaga, Ghislain Hebert, Marc Joannette, Mike Leggo, Wes McCauley, Dean Morton, Dan O'Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh and linesmen Steve Barton, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak and Jay Sharrers. Barton, Joannette, Leggo, McCauley, Nowak, Pollock, Rooney and Sharrers all worked the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* ECHL has affiliations with 23 of the 29 teams in the American Hockey League and for the past 19 years there has been an ECHL player on the Calder Cup Champion.

* In the last six seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over 2,000 call-ups involving more than 1,000 players since 2002-03.

* Further information on the ECHL is available from its website at ECHL.com.
 
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