Jackals Weekly Release 12/22-12/28




ELMIRA, N.Y. - December 22, 2014 - The Elmira Jackals, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres and AHL's Rochester Americans, head into the holiday break with a 15-10-3 overall record following a 2-1-0 road trip this past week.

Last Week's Record: 2-1-0
Overall Record: 15-10-3; third place in East Division, fifth place in Eastern Conference

Goals: Matt Tassone (11)
Assists: Steven Shamanski (13)
Points: Matt Tassone, Steven Shamanski (19)
+/-: Matt Tassone (+11)
PIMs: Nick Tuzzolino (72)
PPG: Taylor Stefishen (4)
SHG: Matt Tassone, Rob Florentino, x Taylor Stefishen & Mike Seidel (1)
Wins: Travis Fullerton (9)
GAA: Sam Marotta (2.49)
SVP: Sam Marotta (.918)

Previewing the Upcoming Week:

12/26 vs. Reading Royals - 7:05 p.m. EST; 12/27 at Reading Royals - 7:05 p.m. EST
Home vs. REA 1-0-1, Away vs. REA
This weekend the Jackals face the Royals for the sixth and seventh meetings this season. Elmira returns home on Friday night, following six consecutive road games, to take on Reading for the third of seven meetings in First Arena this season. On Saturday, the Jackals visit Santander Arena for the fourth of eight times this year. The last meeting between these two foes this season occurred on November 26th in Reading. The Royals scored first and added two power-play goals but the Jackals clawed back and defeated their East Division rival 4-3 in a shootout. Rob Florentino scored a short-handed tally to get the Jackals on the board in the first period and Taylor Stefishen added a goal early in the second frame. Jackals captain Matt Tassone tied the game in the third period to force overtime and the eventual shootout. Colin Jacobs, Tassone and Allan McPherson netted shootout goals to provide the Jackals with their first shootout win of the season. The Jackals hold a 47-44-11 advantage in the all-time series against the Royals.


Recapping Last Week:

12/17 at Evansville: W 4-1
Box Score, Recap
Mitch Holmberg led the Jackals to a 4-1 victory with his first career hat-trick in his team debut at the Ford Center in Evansville. Holmberg notched his first goal of the night 5:29 into the first period. Brodie Reid made his return to the lineup after two separate call-ups to the AHL and started the scoring play with a pass to Justin Daniels who found Holmberg in front for the backhand marker. Evansville tied the game 2:20 into the second period with Colin Murray's third goal of the season. Holmberg registered his second goal of the night at 10:16 of the middle frame to regain the Jackals lead. Daniels entered the offensive zone in a four-on-four situation and found Holmberg at the net for the tip-in tally. Holmberg completed the hat-trick at 5:56 of the third period with a redirect off of Zach Tolkinen's point shot. Reid also added his second assist of the game on Holmberg's third goal. Reid would be the recipient of a tic-tac-toe passing play with Holmberg and Daniels at 13:16 of the third period. Daniels entered the offensive zone on the right side and moved it to Holmberg in the middle who fed Reid on the left side for the one-timer. The Jackals improved to 12-2-1 all-time against Evansville and 6-0-0 at the Ford Center.

12/19 at Cincinnati: W 3-2
Box Score, Recap
The Cyclones stormed out to an early 1-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game. Two first period fights sparked the Jackals bench and fed into a charged attack. Mike Seidel drew an interference penalty against Brian Nugent and on the ensuing power-play Matt Tassone worked the puck down to the goal-line to Lucas Bloodoff who jammed it on net and the rebound popped out to a waiting Steven Shamanski. The rookie defenseman potted his sixth goal of the season and tied the game. Just a minute and two seconds later Justin Daniels fed Brodie Reid with a pass and as Reid entered the Cincinnati zone he dropped the puck to Mitch Holmberg, who snapped a quick release short-side top-shelf over Rob Madore. Holmberg's fourth goal of the season gave him four goals in four periods as a Jackal. The Cyclones would break through after 17:56 of scoreless second period hockey. Nugent passed the puck to Stephan Vigier who whistled a shot past Fullerton from inside the Jackals' blueline. Reid, who already notched an assist, would prove to be the game's hero at 6:44 of the third period. Cincinnati had a delayed penalty upcoming, giving the Jackals a bonus offensive opportunity while possessing the puck. Reid controlled the puck in the Cyclones' end and blasted a shot into a diving blocker, but he was able to regain possession and get off another shot from the bottom of the right circle, which squeaked past Madore. Seidel and Daniels earned assists on Reid's fifth point in the last two games.

12/20 at Cincinnati: L 0-2
Box Score, Recap

The Jackals entered the night searching for a three-game sweep on the road, but were thwarted by Rob Madore, who stopped 23 shots and shutout the Jackals 2-0. Neither team could break through in the opening period, with seven shots apiece directed on net. However, the first 20 minutes did not lack excitement. At 8:01 of the frame, Mike Bergin challenged Christiaan Minella and landed some hard body shots in the tussle. The scoreless tie lasted over 30 minutes until Minella deposited the loose puck past Marotta to give Cincinnati the lead at 10:55 of the period. Marotta got a piece of the puck following a scrum in front, but couldn't get all of Minella's shot. The Jackals upped the pressure, but were turned aside each time. As the final seconds of the period ticked off the clock another scrum ensued and tempers flared. Justin Sawyer was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head, which resulted in a five minor penalty kill for the Jackals to begin the third period. The Cyclones were able to extend their lead to two with a power-play tally 1:30 into the third period. Branden Gracel took a slapshot from the top of the left circle and powered it past Marotta for his fifth goal of the season. The Jackals killed off the remainder of the penalty kill but could not solve Madore and dropped the weekend finale 2-0.


Quick Hits:


* Sam Marotta leads all rookie goaltenders with a 2.49 goals-against-average and second with a .918 save percentage.


* Steven Shamanski leads all rookie defensemen with six goals and 19 points. He is tied for second among all defensemen with 10 power-play points and is tied for fourth in points.


* The Jackals lead the league with 641 penalty minutes.


* Elmira is 11-2-2 when scoring first.


* The Jackals are 15-0-1 when scoring three or more goals.


* Elmira is 10-0-1 when leading after two periods.


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Upcoming Events:


Friday, December 26: Elmira Jackals vs. Reading Royals, 7:05 p.m. EST. All Elmira Jackals broadcasts are carried on WNGZ 104.9 FM and 93.5 FM in Elmira. Neulion provides pay-per-view internet TV broadcasts of all Jackals games as well. Check out how you can watch the Jackals on Neulion by clicking here . All Jackals broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to faceoff with the Pregame Show. Visit jackalshockey.com for tickets.

Saturday, December 27: Elmira Jackals at Reading Royals, 7:05 p.m. EST. All Elmira Jackals broadcasts are carried on WNGZ 104.9 FM and 93.5 FM in Elmira. Neulion provides pay-per-view internet TV broadcasts of all Jackals games as well. Check out how you can watch the Jackals on Neulion by clicking here . All Jackals broadcasts begin 15 minutes prior to faceoff with the Pregame Show. Visit jackalshockey.com for tickets.