Originally created 11/30/03

Dumont might not let go of scoring record



Rocket Rod Taylor held the ECHL scoring record for just 10 months.

With the way Louis Dumont is going, he might hold it for 10 years.

The former Augusta Lynx star took his place in the history books Thanksgiving night in Biloxi, Miss., when he knocked in a rebound at 2:45 of the second period for the Mississippi Sea Wolves in a 2-1 loss to Columbus.

With that, one of the most popular players and likable players the league has ever seen became the most prolific scorer in the ECHL's 16-year history. The goal was Dumont's 690th point, moving him past Taylor, who set the record in January with the South Carolina Stingrays.

The question now is how long Dumont will keep his place on top of the list?

Chances are, he will be there for a while.

"I have spent a lot of years in the ECHL," Dumont said. "I still love to play the game and I'll suit up as long as my body holds up."

Dumont is only 30 and is in the best shape of his career. His fitness can be attributed to his two seasons with the Pensacola Ice Pilots, when Dumont said he was revitalized and refocused after a frustrating 2000-01 season with the Lynx.

The result was two of the most productive years of his career, including his first ECHL scoring title in 2001-02 with 102 points in 72 games.

All along, Dumont credited his former Pensacola linemate and good friend Greg Pankiewicz, and Ice Pilots coach Todd Gordon for his rebirth. Dumont now spends more time in the gym than ever before.

What's more, Dumont has been injury free the past two-plus seasons and has avoided catastrophic injuries his entire career. His two-month stint on injured reserve with the Lynx after having surgery to repair a severely broken thumb is the longest time on the shelf in his career.

Taylor was 37 when he passed former Charlotte Checkers star Daryl Noren.

Dumont might not play until he's 37. But he reached 690 points in 581 games. And if continues on a point-a-game pace for a few more years, in a league that is getting younger and younger all the time, our good friend Louie just might finish with a mark that may never be broken.

MEGA-LINE: Florida Everblades coach Gerry Fleming knew he was getting instant offense when he signed Brian McCullough this summer.

What Fleming couldn't have predicted is that a couple of his grinders would be right there with McCullough among the ECHL scoring leaders.

Florida's top line, centered by Brent McDonald with wingers Keith Anderson and McCullough, combined for 76 points in 16 games.

McCullough - third in the ECHL in scoring for Reading last year - was leading the league with 30 points through Friday, and was tops in goals, with 14. Anderson was second in goals (12) and tied for second in points (27) with McDonald.

Anderson, 25, averaged 12 goals and 33 points in his first two pro seasons. McDonald, 24, averaged around 13 goals and 38 points in his first three seasons, including 52 games for AHL Lowell last year. The trio has led the Everblades to their best start in three years under Fleming and the top spot in the Southern Division at 12-4-3.

"I knew McCullough was going to add a lot of offense to our team," Fleming said. "But that whole line has been outstanding."

RISING SONS: The Japanese National Team will tour the ECHL in late December, with stops in Trenton, Reading, Long Beach and Idaho. The team features players ages 20-26 from a Japanese university and corporate hockey leagues, and is coached by former Winnipeg Jets assistant Glen Williamson.

Along with their exhibition against the Titans in Trenton, Japan will also play a team from St. Petersburg, Russia, also in town that week.

STOPS AND STARTS: Apparently, you can't get good scungilli in Dayton. Former Lynx captain Brad Ralph abruptly left the miserable Bombers last week to sign with a team in Italy. Ralph, who played one NHL game for Phoenix in 2000-01, signed with Dayton after the Coyotes did not re-sign him. ... They say Fresno is the armpit of the West coast (ask Jerry Tarkanian), but try telling that to the Fresno Falcons. They opened the new $100 million Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus Nov. 15 before a crowd of 12,462 fans. ... Toledo Storm defenseman Paul Ballantyne, a Red Wings sixth-rounder in 2000, tallied a season-high six points (1 g-5 a) in a 9-3 win at Wheeling Nov. 23., and was named ECHL Player of the Week. ... Congratulations to Columbus Cottonmouths first-year coach Brian Curran, who threw a few buckets of ice water on the hot seat upon which he is perched, thanks to Thursday's win at Mississippi. That ended a 12-game winless skid. If you think there's no way Columbus general manager Phil Roberto - a guy who is very, very, very high on himself - won't ax Curran and take over the team for a second straight season if things don't improve, you completely underestimate Roberto's ego. And don't forget, all-time Snakes fan favorite Jerome "Boom Boom" Bechard is now Curran's assistant, and also be next in line for the job. Won't matter much to Lynx fans next season, when Roberto and his Snakes are expected to go back to the Circus, uh, Central Hockey League, after three abysmal ECHL seasons. ... Speaking of the hot seat, fans of the last-place Greenville Grrrowl need to settle down and lay off John Marks. The second-winningest coach in ECHL history is one of the best in the business. He's going nowhere.