Fresno Falcons at Anchorage Aces
October 24 - 26, 2003

The Falcons arrive in Alaska for this three-game set having won last year’s season series against the Aces with a record of 10-3-1, including a 6-1-0 mark here at Sullivan Arena. Fresno had several of its biggest offensive outputs of the season at Alaska’s expense, scoring six goals in a game twice and scoring seven, eight, nine and 11 goals once each. Of the club’s eight hat tricks last year, four came against the Aces, three of which were four-goal performances (former Ace Yvan Corbin had a four-goal game versus the Falcons for good measure). Last season’s leading scorer Kris Porter also set a new Fresno single-game record with a six-point outburst (all assists) here in Anchorage on Jan. 25, 2003, in a 9-2 Falcons win. Following this weekend, the two teams next meet on Nov. 30 in the Falcons’ new home arena, Save Mart Center at Fresno State.

The Falcons opened their 2003-04 campaign last Friday with a 3-0 shutout victory at Bakersfield, avenging last year’s season opening shutout at the hands of the Condors. Porter scored twice for Fresno and rookie goaltender Nolan Schaefer secured the shutout by making 23 saves in his professional debut. This weekend’s trek to Anchorage is part of an 11-game road trip to begin the season while Save Mart Center’s construction is completed. The team does not play in Fresno until Nov. 16 and spends 16 of its first 18 games away from home.

Fresno’s Drew Schoneck was the other goal scorer for the Falcons last Friday in Bakersfield on a goal that came on the power play as the club went 1 for 2. The team killed off all four of the Condors’ extra man opportunities, giving up just one shot on goal.

The Falcons roster has undergone the largest turn-over of Head Coach and General Manager Blaine Moore’s now five-year tenure with just six returning players from last season. Back in the fold are All-WCHL Forward and captain Jason Weaver, leading scorer Porter (35g-39a-74pts), goaltender Terry Friesen (all-time Falcons leader in goals against average, 3.11, and shutouts, 5), defenseman Schoneck (coming off career highs in goals, 9, assists, 26, and points, 35) and second-year forwards Scott Borders (WCHL All-Rookie Team) and Jordan Landry (22 of his 25 points came in the team’s last 40 games). Moore is now in his fifth campaign behind the bench with an overall regular season record of 140-119-30, which includes his club’s season opening win. Former Falcons captain Greg Spenrath, the club’s all-time leader in games played, is back for his second season as Moore’s top assistant.

One would assume Weaver is happy to see the Aces again after recording 24 points (12g-12a) in 12 games against Alaska last season. Not only did his exploits include a four-goal, five-point game on Jan. 25, 2003, but he passed a couple of career milestones as well. The Falcons captain notched the 200th point of his professional career during a three-point night on Oct. 20, 2002, and tallied the 100th goal of his career during a game on Jan. 14, 2003. He also scored a rare unassisted, short-handed goal while the Falcons were down five-on-three during a game at Sullivan on Feb. 26, 2003.

Weaver and rookie forward Erik Jensen both have been activated off 7-day IR and will make their season debuts this weekend. Borders and rookie Jason Goulet were both placed on 7-day IR earlier this week and will not appear this weekend.