With the 2018 ECHL All Star Classic less than two weeks away, the league is approaching the halfway point of its 30th anniversary celebration. What better way to celebrate the league’s 30th birthday, then to dig up some of the more notable and sometimes wacky events from the past that have made the premier “AA” hockey league what it is today. So without further adieu, welcome to our new bi-weekly feature called ECHL Time Capsules, where we’ll do just that very thing. So, let’s take a step back into the past and start this thing off by taking a look at one of the ECHL’s more bizarre moments that occurred on this day, exactly 11 years ago.
Back on January 5th, 2007, in a defense optional contest between the Florida Everblades and Charlotte Checkers at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, the Everblades would write themselves into the ECHL record book with a feat that many have come close to eclipsing, but none have been able to repeat or break it.
In a heavily penalized affair where both Charlotte and Florida would each have ten power play opportunities, both teams were only able to capitalize once while on the man advantage. However, the Everblades made their living while on the man disadvantage as they potted not one, not two, not three, but four shorthanded goals against the Checkers, which holds the ECHL record for the most shorthanded goals by one team in a single game.
In the early stages of the middle stanza, Florida’s Brent McDonald would sit for a hooking minor, sending the Everblades to the penalty kill. Just 53 seconds into the man disadvantage, at the 3:53 mark of the period, Reggie Berg would pot the first shorty of the night, only to be followed by Brad Zancanaro just 35 seconds later for a pair of Everblade shorthanded strikes on the same penalty.
Later on in the second frame, now it was Steve Czech of the Everblades sitting for a pair for hooking. This time, it only took Florida 46 seconds to make Charlotte’s power play unit pay as Zancanaro would pick up his second shorthanded tally of the period at the 14:00 mark.
Late in the final period, with Jonathan Lehun serving yet another hooking minor, the Everblades would put the nail in the coffin for Head Coach Derek Wilkinson‘s Checkers. Berg would pick up his second shorty of the night and complete his hat trick in the process to seal a 9-7 victory for Gerry Fleming‘s club.
Berg (three goals, one assist) and Zancanaro (two goals, two assists) led the way for the Everblades, with each picking up four points on the evening. However, there was no shortage of contention from the Checkers as Charlotte’s Blake Bellefeuille recorded five points (four goals, one assist) in the losing effort.
There’s been a few different times when an ECHL club has potted three goals in one game, the most recent occurrence coming just a couple weeks ago on December 22nd, when Tommy Olczyk of the Indy Fuel posted a shorthanded hat trick in a 7-4 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones. However, none have been able to overcome the four-goal shorthanded effort by the Florida Everblades just 11 short years ago just yet; yet, being the key word of that sentence.
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