Friday, November 26, 2004
Save Mart Center at Fresno State
Victoria Salmon Kings at Fresno Falcons
(3-9-0, 6 pts) (5-7-1, 11 pts)
2004-05 vs. Victoria: 2-1-0
ECHL Game #190, Falcons Game #14,
Home Game #12
Referee: Dean Sanborn (#9)
Linesmen: Jason Burkart (#46), Craig Kneale (#44)


The Falcons and Salmon Kings square-off for the final time this season at Save Mart Center following Fresno’s 4-2 win last night. Kris Porter, Derek Krestanovich and Shaun Sutter helped the Falcons take a 3-0 second period lead before the Salmon Kings used a pair of power play goals to get right back into the hockey game early in the third. Fresno finally gave themselves some breathing room when David Brisson added an empty-netter for the final margin with under a minute to play. The Falcons now lead the season series with the West Division’s eighth-place team with a record of 2-1-0 and next meet the Salmon Kings when they venture to Victoria on two separate occasions for a total of five games during the month of February.

Fresno won its fourth game in a row at home last night, bringing their record at Save Mart Center to an even .500 at 5-5-1. The two points also allowed the club to leap-frog the San Diego Gulls in the standings as they moved into sixth place in the West Division. Tonight the Falcons cap a stretch of 12 of 14 at Save Mart Center to begin the season before they head out on the road for three in a row beginning tomorrow in San Diego.

Both teams had several chances with the extra man last night with Fresno failing to convert any of its seven chances and Victoria capitalizing twice in eight opportunities. The Falcons are ranked 23rd (11.9%) on the power play and 25th (79.1%) on the penalty kill, while the Salmon Kings are 12th (17.5%) and 24th (80.8%), respectively.

The line of Derek Krestanovich at center, Shaun Sutter at right wing and Jason Weaver at left wing has been responsible for six of Fresno’s last eight 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 before adding his fifth last night. His linemates then each scored last Saturday in a 3-2 victory over the Gulls, and Sutter netted the game-winner last night with his third of the year. Combined, the trio has six goals and eight assists in the last three games, and Krestanovich and Sutter both carry a team season-high four-game point streak into tonight.

Goaltender Brett Jaeger is ranked 8th (93.3%) in the league in save percentage and 10th in goals against average (2.04)…The only opponent Fresno has out-shot this season is Victoria, which they have done during all three meetings between the two clubs…Wes Rypien picked up his first career professional point last night with an assist on Krestanovich’s goal…Thierry Douville is tied for second in the league in penalty minutes (70 PIM) with Victoria’s Blue Bennefield…Dan Tessier still leads the Falcons in scoring with 13 points (3g-10a) after notching a pair of helpers last night.

The Falcons signed forward Jan Sochor to a contract today, who has played the past seven years in the Czech Elite League before a brief stint with the Central Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Blazers this season. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the sixth round (161st overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and represented the Czech Republic at the 2000 World Junior Championships. Fresno suspended forward Shawn Heaphy earlier in the week and traded goaltender Simon Lajeunesse on Wednesday 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. 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. Kris Porter suited up last night to help with the team’s injury-depleted offensive corps and scored the game’s first goal. He was released today with the arrival of Sochor.