Elmira, NY – Yesterday, the Elmira Jackals made a coaching change, firing David Leger and putting Player/Assistant coach Mike Duco in charge behind the bench. To read more about the changes, click here.
The Jackals didn’t show much promise to begin the Mike Duco era as the Reading Royals scored 6 of their 8 goals in the first period of last night’s 8-2 loss. Andy Iles was just not having a good night but the Jackals were forced to stick with Iles, as backup goalie Nick Neidert was signed as an emergency backup, so Neidert was only allowed to play if Iles got hurt. Earlier in the week Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner had gotten sick thus, the trickle down went into effect. The Sabres called up Linus Ullmark from Rochester, then the Amerks called up Jason Kasdorf from Elmira, which led the Jackals to sign Nick Neidert.
Despite giving up a half-dozen in the opening frame, the Jackals did end up playing much better in the remaining two periods, tying Reading in goals 2-2, but the frustration had already boiled over. It started with Tyson Fawcett taking down Matt Wilkins past the halfway point of the 2nd period. Jackals Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel also racked up 12 penalty minutes including a 10-minute misconduct.
The Elmira Jackals will have two more games against Reading this week, with the second of a back-to-back tonight at First Arena and then going to Reading on Monday for an afternoon game.
As mentioned above Jason Kasdorf was sent up to Rochester earlier in the week. Brycen Martin was also called up to Rochester. Martin was sent down last week to Elmira and played in 3 games (2 in Norfolk, 1 in Adirondack) and didn’t record a point.
The Elmira Jackals also traded forward J.P. LaFontaine to Toledo for cash. LaFontaine played 13 games with the Jackals registering 1 goal, 4 assists, 2 penalty minutes, with a +4 rating.
Earlier in the week it was announced that new ownership of the Arena and Jackals team would be worked out by the end of January. A resolution was passed on Monday stating Chemung County support of a Public-Private partnership as the IDA or also known as Industrial Development Agency will prepare to hand the arena off to a new owner.
County officials have not publicly stated who the buyer is, but County Executive Tom Santulli told Elmira Star-Gazette that “he is a local businessman with the resources and experience necessary to operate the facility and the Elmira Jackals hockey team.”
The IDA and City of Elmira will assist the new owner with upgrades to the Arena. Santulli went on say that they have found a way to help the new ownership while not taking one dollar of taxpayers property money.
Santulli went on to say “If that place is going to survive, with us at least helping him to get him started, and the money he’s going to put in, this thing is doable,” Santulli said. “We’re either going to have an arena open at the end of the season, or we’re going to have an arena that’s closed. There’s no in-between. I think the next couple of weeks are critical.”
Stay with The Sin Bin for more on this developing story.