Originally created 02/03/01

ECHL notebook



Lynx goalie Reg Bourcier never made the trip to the injured reserve list. Instead, he made the road trip with the team.

Good thing, because goalie Erasmo Saltarelli was recalled to Norfolk of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, meaning the Lynx ended up needing Bourcier's services after all.

The 20-year-old Bourcier was slated to go on the 7-day IR before the team left for Louisiana on Wednesday. The move was announced by the team and appeared on the national transactions wire, but the team caught a break because the proper paperwork had not yet been filed with the league.

Judd Lambert got the start Friday against the Louisiana IceGators. Coach Jim Burton planned to begin rotating Lambert and Saltarelli, but Lambert likely will see the bulk of the action with Bourcier backing up.

For Saltarelli, this is his second stint with Norfolk. He recently returned to Augusta from a three-week stint with the Admirals. The 26-year-old is under contract with Norfolk's parent club, the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.

BENAZIC BACK: Defenseman Cal Benazic was reassigned from Manitoba of the International League on Thursday and joined the team in Louisiana, just in time to help out on a depleted blue line.

Defenseman Tom O'Connor did not make the trip because his wife, who is expecting the couple's second child, is experiencing some complications with her pregnancy and was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday.

All-star defenseman Likit Andersson also was suffering from the flu, and Burton did not know if he would be ready to play Friday night.

In 13 games for the Lynx, Benazic has nine points on five goals and four assists. The 6-foot-4 defenseman adds size and another big shot from the point, and he also should help out on the power play.

STEVENS OUT: The Lynx traded forward Troy Stevens to the Greensboro Generals for cash on Thursday.

With the addition of center Paul Vincent in a trade on Monday, the Lynx needed to free up some room under the league's salary cap. They planned to waive Stevens, but got a call from Greensboro coach Jeff Brubaker requesting his services.

The Lynx also had to restructure the Vincent trade on Monday because Russ Guzior is under contract with Cincinnati of the International League. In essence, the Lynx acquired Vincent for future considerations, and Cincinnati reassigned Guzior to Arkansas to complete the deal.

BANNED: Brandon Sugden's first game with the Peoria Rivermen also was his last in the East Coast Hockey League.

The 22-year-old forward was banned for life by the ECHL on Thursday for an incident involving two fans in a Jan. 26 game against the Dayton Bombers. It is the first lifetime ban in the league's 13-year history.

"We took the necessary time to complete our due diligence in this unfortunate incident, including the review of police reports and interviews with the parties involved," ECHL president and CEO Rick Adams said in a statement. "The conduct of Mr. Sugden is totally unacceptable and it cannot and will not be tolerated by the East Coast Hockey League. The ECHL prides itself on providing family entertainment."

The 6-foot-3, 202-pound enforcer was arrested by Fairborn, Ohio, police after throwing his stick into the stands at a fan.

Sugden, who played for Dayton for parts of the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, said he was taunted by a woman with chants of "Rehab, rehab," and that he was offended by the personal nature of her verbal assault. He did not elaborate on the reference. He said he threw the stick at her male companion after the man spit on him.

The son of former professional boxer and wrestler Cowboy Trey Travis, Sugden was Toronto's fifth-round choice in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He racked up 745 penalty minutes in 166 games over three seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League.

Sugden played for Worcester in the American League and Tallahassee in the ECHL before Peoria acquired his contract for cash from Tallahassee on Jan. 26. In 88 pro games over the past three seasons, he had five points on one goal and four assists and totaled 552 penalty minutes. He is under contract with Peoria's NHL parent club St. Louis.

Rivermen president John Butler refused comment on the decision. An ECHL rule prohibits team officials from discussing disciplinary actions with the media.

Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425 or robm99@hotmail.com