TRENTON SCOUTING REPORT
In their second season and first under coach Troy Ward, the Titans have emerged as one of the elite teams in the league, entering Thursday's game vs. Charlotte with the best overall mark in the ECHL. ... Ward took over after Bruce Cassidy left to take the head coaching job with Grand Rapids of the International league. ... Titans on pace to set league records for team defense, leading the ECHL in that category (1.67 goals a game). ... Despite the call-up of Brian Regan (8-0-0, 1.86 GAA) to AHL Philadelphia, goaltending remains outstanding, led by Scott Stirling, who boasts the top GAA in the league (1.35) and a 8-2-1 record. ... Several additional players are on AHL recall, but they haven't missed a beat, going 8-2-0 in past 10 entering Thursday. ... With C Mike Hall on loan to Providence (AHL), LW Scott Bertoli leads the club in scoring (6 goals-15 assists-21 points). ... LW Benoit Morin (9-5-14) leads the team with 104 penalty minutes. ... D Vince Williams is fourth in the league with a plus-12 rating. ... Titans penalty kill leads the league (91.7 percent).
Trenton - F Stu Bodtker is on loan to AHL Springfield. F Mike Hall is on loan to AHL Providence. F Alain St. Hilaire and D Scott Kelsey are on injured reserve. Augusta - C Andrei Chouroupov (knee) is on the 14-day IR; D Denis Chervyakov (ankle) is questionable; Goalie Judd Lambert is on a 25-game PTO with AHL Providence.
Lynx defenseman Likit Andersson has looked forward to tonight's game since the ECHL schedule was released over the summer.
Andersson played for the Trenton Titans last season before being acquired by the Lynx on Feb. 28 for the rights to forward Stu Bodtker.
"I liked playing there and it was a great organization, and you always look forward to playing the team that traded you," Andersson said. "I'm not real close with any of the guys there now, but I have some friends still on that team, and it will be good to play against them."
Like Andersson, many Lynx fans had tonight circled on their calendars in anticipation of Bodtker's first game back in Augusta since the trade. But Bodtker, who got off to a fast start with the Titans, was recalled to Springfield of the American Hockey League in November.
Bodtker, who first was assigned to the Lynx by the Vancouver Canucks in 1998, scored 23 goals and tallied 52 points in 76 games over two seasons in Augusta. In 13 games with the Titans this season, Bodtker had seven goals and five assists.
Bowling for dollars
In an effort to foster better team chemistry, the Lynx players, coach Scott MacPherson and Paul Gamsby went bowling after practice on Wednesday.
"We had 23 guys show up wearing shirts from Goodwill and funny hats and phony teeth in the middle of a week of long practices," MacPherson said. "Our captains kind of put it together. Whether you go bowling or fishing or whatever, getting the guys together in an atmosphere where they can be relaxed and can laugh it up a bit is great. The rest of the time it's all business."
Defenseman Denis Chervyakov had an MRI on Wednesday after a mass was discovered in his right calf. After taking a day off to rest, the 32-year-old returned to practice on Thursday and is expected to play tonight. ... Trenton F Cail MacLean rejoined the team Thursday after a stint with AHL Philadelphia. ... MacPherson said Erasmo Saltarelli would start in net tonight. ... Trenton goalie Scott Stirling entered Thursday's game vs. Charlotte having won six straight starts (0.82 GAA) and ended a shutout streak of 179 minutes, 55 seconds in Saturday's win over Greensboro.
|Trenton Titans (18-5-1) at Augusta Lynx (9-13-2)|
When: 7:35 p.m.
Where: Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center
Tickets: Available (724-TICK)
Radio: WRDW-AM 16301480; WRFN-FM 93.1
The series: This is the first ever meeting between the teams.