First things first -- let us all work our magical karma for one of the good guys, former Alaska Aces center Ethan Cox.
Cox, traded to ECHL Reading late last season, is in a goal-scoring slump -- he hasn't scored a goal for the Royals in 18 games this season, though he does have six helpers and is +1, and we'll assume he's doing his usual fine job killing penalties. But add in four scoreless playoff games last springs and that's 22 straight games without a goal. (We should note, however, that in his final regular-season game for Reading last season, Cox bagged a hat trick).
In any event, we're putting Cox down for a goal Saturday night, when Reading entertains Evansville. (This is not pressure on Ethan, this is good vibes and support).
Moving on, but sticking to former Aces for a moment, Allen Americans winger Scott Howes, the 2011 Kelly Cup MVP for the Aces, bombed Arizona for a goal and four helpers tonight in a 7-1 win. That gives him 10 points in the last five games, and with 10-9--19 and +6 totals in 12 games, he leads the Central Hockey League in goals, and in power-play goals (5) and is tied for fifth in points. Also, in that game, former UAF forward Ron Meyers, recently released by ECHL Idaho, made his debut for Arizona with a power-play helper.
One last pro note that's not about a former Ace, but a former Aces opponent that the Cowbell Crew probably remembers from his time as a sniper with the Idaho Steelheads. Evan Barlow was in Anchorage recently with the expansion San Francisco Bulls and didn't look quite himself. Remember, this is a guy who before this season owned ECHL regular-season career totals of 59-89--148 totals in just 110 games. Anyhow, he owned just 2-3--5 and -9 totals in nine games (and with only 20 shots on goal) for San Francisco before it recently traded him to Reading, Cox's club.
Gee, think a change of scenery, and a move to a much better team in helping? All Barlow has done in four games for Reading is furnish 4-6--10 and +10 totals, with 19 shots on goal.
On the college front, Minnesota State-Mankato freshman goaltender Stephon Williams of Fairbanks earned his first college win tonight with 32 saves in a 4-2 victory at Wisconsin. The empty-net insurance strike for the Mavericks came from forward Eli Zuck of Anchorage.
Also, Colorado College senior captain William Rapuzzi of Anchorage continues to shine. His team trailed New Hampshire 4-0 more than halfway through a nonconference game tonight before rallying for a 4-4 tie. Rapuzzi assisted on Rylan Schwartz's goal at 16:28 of the third period to cut the deficit to 4-3, then potted the game-tying goal at 18:05. Rapuzzi leads CC in goals and plus-minus, and is tied for first in points, with 7-9--16 totals and a +9 rating in 13 games. During his current four-game points streak, he is 4-6--10 and +6.
Lastly, winger Alev Kelter of Eagle River continues to tear it up for the Wisconsin women's team. She had two more goals in a 6-0 win over St. Cloud State, which gives her goals in five straight games (6-1--7 in that span). She's 10-2--12 and +11 in 15 games, which places her second on the team in goals and tied for third in points.