Thursday, November 25, 2004
Save Mart Center at Fresno State
Victoria Salmon Kings at Fresno Falcons
(3-8-0, 6 pts) (4-7-1, 9 pts)
2004-05 vs. Victoria: 1-1-0
ECHL Game #182, Falcons Game #13,
Home Game #11
Referee: Andy Thiessen (#3)
Linesmen: Jason Burkart (#46), Craig Kneale (#44)
The Falcons and Salmon Kings square-off in a two-game, Thanksgiving
set tonight and tomorrow as Fresno tries to keep alive a three-game
winning streak at home. Victoria arrives having snapped a six-game
losing streak last Sunday with a 4-1 victory over the Alaska Aces.
The eighth-place Salmon Kings wrap-up a season-opening, 14-game
road trip in Bakersfield on Saturday before finally making their
ECHL home debut on Dec. 5 with three straight against the Condors.
The Falcons dropped their first clash with Victoria on Oct. 24,
5-0, before exacting a bit of revenge in a come-from-behind, 6-4
win on Nov. 13 to even the season series at a game apiece. This
two-game set marks the Salmon Kings’ final visit to Fresno
this season. The Falcons venture to Victoria on two separate occasions
for a total of four games during the month of February.
The Falcons notched their third straight win at Save Mart Center
by virtue of a 3-2 win against the San Diego Gulls last Saturday.
Rookie goaltender Brett Jaeger made 36 saves and Shaun Sutter,
Jason Weaver and Dan Tessier all scored to help lead Fresno to
the victory despite getting out-shot, 38-17. The win draws their
record at home to within a ½ game of .500 after a 1-5-1
start. These two games against Victoria cap a stretch of 12 of
14 at Save Mart Center to begin the season, which will be followed
by a three-game road trip beginning on Saturday in San Diego.
The Falcons enter tonight’s game ranked 22nd (12.7%) on
the power play and 24th (79.2%) on the penalty kill. The Salmon
Kings are also ranked 24th (79.2%) when short-handed and 13th
(16.7%) with the man advantage. The last time the two teams met,
Fresno converted 2 of 5 power play chances while killing off all
four Victoria opportunities.
KRESTANOVICH LINE CARRIES THE LOAD:
The line of Derek Krestanovich at center, Shaun Sutter at right
wing and Jason Weaver at left wing has been responsible for four
of Fresno’s last five goals. Krestanovich took over the
team’s goal scoring lead last Friday in a 4-2 loss to the
Long Beach Ice Dogs with his third and fourth tallies of the season.
His linemates then each scored last Saturday in the victory over
the Gulls. Combined, the trio has four goals and seven assists
in the last two games.
Jaeger’s second career win last Saturday moved him up the
league goaltending rankings to 6th (93.7%) in save percentage
and 10th (2.05) in goals against average…Tessier has back-to-back
game-winners for the club. On Nov. 13 he scored a power play goal
with 1:29 remaining to finally lift Fresno in front of Victoria,
and what seemed like an insurance goal late in the game against
San Diego last Saturday turned into the game-winner when the Gulls
cut the lead to one less than a minute later…Tessier still
leads the Falcons in scoring with 11 points (3g-8a), and Sutter
is second with 10 points (2g-8a).
Although he’s not wearing his usual #47, the Fresno player
wearing #55 tonight is no stranger to the club - it’s
former Falcon Kris Porter, who’s been signed to help the
team through a sudden rash of injuries to its forwards. Mike Kiesman
has been activated off seven-day IR, but Jim Lorentz (7-day) has
now joined John Wroblewski (7-day) and Lanny Gare (30-day) on
the injured list. Fresno suspended forward Shawn Heaphy earlier
in the week and traded goaltender Simon Lajeunesse yesterday to
the Gwinnett Gladiators in exchange for cash. Michael Dilorenzo
fills the void left by Lajeunesse’s departure as an emergency
back-up to Jaeger.