TWO MORE RETURNING: COLEMAN, CRUM
The Alaska Aces have re-signed goaltender Gerald Coleman and defenseman B.J. Crum for the 2013-14 season, Aces head coach Rob Murray announced today.
The duo has combined for six seasons of experience with the Aces and boosted the total to nine players returning from last season’s team that captured their third straight Brabham Cup title for the ECHL's top regular season record. Last season, the Aces ranked second in fewest goals allowed per game (2.3) and third in fewest shots allowed (27.1) per game.
“We’re very confident of carrying out our game plan defensively with Gerald and B.J. contributing each day,” said Murray. “Gerald’s ability makes him an elite goaltender of our league and provides a calming influence for our defensemen. B.J. is as steady as they come and was a valuable piece for us down the stretch last season.”
Coleman, 28, is set to return for his fourth season between the pipes with the Aces after ranking second in the ECHL last season with a 2.17 goals against average, tying for fourth in save percentage (.918) and sixth in wins (23). He went 23-6-3 and posted two shutouts.
“Top to bottom, this is a terrific organization that is dedicated to a winning mentality,” said Coleman. “It made sense to stay close to family and plenty of guys who are coming back this season hungrier than ever - whether they’re veterans looking to lead or young guys looking to get to the next level with our affiliation in Calgary. I’m excited to think of the achievements possible for us with commitment.”
The 6-foot-5, 214-pound netminder was named Reebok ECHL Goaltender of the Year, First-Team All-ECHL, and helped guide the Aces to their second Kelly Cup championship in 2010-11 with a 30-15-1 record, 2.19 goals against average, .913 save percentage, and a career-high four shutouts. As the third goaltender in Aces history to capture the league’s Goaltender of the Year award (J.P. Lamoureux and Matt Underhill), he also became one of just 46 goaltenders in ECHL history to reach the 30-win plateau in one campaign.
Coleman is 120-58-18 lifetime with 13 shutouts, a 2.48 goals against average, and .911 save percentage in 204 ECHL games with Alaska, Trenton, Phoenix, Augusta, and Johnstown. He made his National Hockey League debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2005-06 and was 0-0-1 with a 2.77 goals against average in two games.
The native of Evanston, Ill. carries 98 games of American Hockey League experience with Lake Erie, Lowell, Worcester, Portland, and Springfield. He was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the seventh round (224th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Crum, 30, earned eight points (2g-6a) and a +7 rating in 27 games last season with the Aces and totaled three points and a +3 rating in six playoff games. He arrived for his third season in glacier blue after signing as a free agent on Jan. 21, 2013 and started last season with Mississippi of the Southern Professional Hockey League, collecting seven points (2g-5a) in 20 games.
Despite missing the final three regular season games and entire postseason due to injury in 2008-09, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound blueliner was a part of the Aces squad that advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals that season with three points in 51 regular season games, split between Alaska and Augusta. He joined the Aces as a free agent signee that season after Augusta ceased operations on Dec. 2.
The Hampden, Mass. native has 18 points in 74 career Central Hockey League games (2010-12) with Laredo and Arizona. In 184 career ECHL games with Alaska, Augusta, and Johnstown, Crum has posted a +9 rating and 25 points (6g-19a). He also has six points (4g-2a) in 15 career Kelly Cup Playoff games.
“There are so many great reasons to come back to Alaska,” said Crum. “This will be my fourth season as an Ace and the impact of the fans, winning tradition, and amazing home atmosphere remains consistent every year. There’s no better place with more supportive fans in this league. We’re looking forward to continuing our effort of putting up more banners in Sullivan Arena.”
Crum spent all four seasons of his college career at the University of Connecticut (NCAA), earning 38 points in 133 games.
Aces training camp information for the 2013-14 season will be announced soon.
The proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, the Aces will begin their 2013-14 season at home on Friday, Oct. 18 at Sullivan Arena when they host the San Francisco Bulls. Season ticket and sponsorship packages are currently available through the Aces office at 15th & Gambell. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.