With some wins and losses in unlikely places, the Western Division has rearranged it’s team standings. San Antonio is sitting at the number one spot, tied with Oklahoma City in points at 15. Oklahoma City is sitting in second place due to playing 2 games more than San An., losing both. Peoria, once on top, is now sitting at third place in the standings.
With the easiest schedule in the AHL this week , the Rampage only had to play one game for this weekend. Posting a 5-2 victory over the Houston Aeros on Friday night, they extended their win streak to 6 games. The Rampage now lead the league with a 7-2-1-0 record (15 points).
Netminder Matt Climie made 41 saves in the win.Tim Stapleton got his fourth goal of the year at 11:49 in the first period. Other scorers for the Rampage were Michael Stone, at 19:47 in the first on a power-play. Viktor Tikhonov and Alexandre Picard both scored goals in the second period at 7:35 and 11:36. Tikhonov’s goal was a shorthanded goal considered to be the game winner,while Picard scored on a Rampage power play. Brett MacLean scored the fifth goal of the night for San Anotonio with :36 seconds left in the game.
A very busy week for the Stars, playing 5 games winning 3 of the 5. Tuesday night the Stars took on the Peoria Rivermen in front of a 5,013 member crowd. The Stars won 3-0, giving goaltender Richard Bachman his first win on his first start of the season. Backman saved all 38 shots that the Rivermen took at him. Dan Spang, at 4:15 into the game, on a powerplay chance, put the Stars on the board. Cody Chupp got his first professional goal at 7:14 in the second period. Travis Morin scored his second point and his first goal at 14:38 in the third period.
The next night Texas faced off against Rockford, beating the Icehogs in a 4-3 shoot out. Stars center Mathieu Tousignant brought home the win by ending the nine-round shootout. Goalie Brent Krahn grabbed the victory by stopping 28 shots in regulation and seven of nine in the shootout. Stars rookie Tristan King scored his first pro goal at 3:21 in the first period. At 15:55, Aaron Gagnon got his second goal of the year. In the third period, defenseman Maxime Fortunus gave Texas the lead at 7:45, but it wasn’t enough as Rockford tied it up shortly after and the game went into OT, then shoot out.
Thursday had the Stars facing the Chicago Wolves, where they logged in another win, beating the Wolves 4-3. Richard Bachman turned aside 40 shots in the win. All combined goals but one were scored in the second period. At 1:59 in the second Mathieu Tousignant blasted a one-timer and opened up the scoring with his first goal of the season. Tristan King got his second goal of the season at 8:29 on a rebound shot. Maxime Fortunus got his power play goal at the 14:09 mark of the second period as well. Fabian Brunnstrom rocked in an unassisted slapshot at 1:08 into the third period for the game-winning goal.
Saturday and Sunday had Texas squaring off against the Houston Aeros both nights. Unfortunately, the Stars fell both nights. 5,516 fans were on hand Sat. night for the teams first ever “Pink in the Rink Night” at Cedar Park Center and watched the 3-1 loss. Richard Bachman made 14 saves as the Stars saw their three-game winning streak come to an end. Fabian Brunnstrom scored the only Texas goal with 1:24 left in the first period. Sunday’s rematch fared no better with the Stars taking a 4-2 loss. Francis Wathier tried getting the Stars back in the game at 15:20 of the second, while Mathieu Tousignant scored his second goal of the season 2:16 into the third.
The Barons are sitting happy after a successful road trip this weekend. The Barons are second in PK with a 94.2% right behind Syracuse’s 94.4%.
Wednesday had the Barons playing in Chicago, beating the Wolves 4-1. Alexandre Giroux found the net twice in the first period, first at 10:30, his second goal coming at 13:12 on a power play. Colin McDonald put in a rebound on the power play at 8:56 of the second period; Liam Reddox scored an empty net goal at 19:59, one second remaining in the game to seal the win in grand fashion. Martin Gerber made 34 saves in the win.
Thursday the Barons took on the Grand Rapid Griffins and again continued their roll of scoring. The first shoot out in team history was won 5-4 by the goal from Brad Moran. Moran does not get credited with a goal per AHL rules, it is recorded as a “bench” goal. Brad Moran scored his first goal at 3:10 on a power play and Liam Reddox scored at 4:22 in the first period. Teemu Hartikainen scored in the second at 13:46 on another power play goal and Milan Kitnar, his first professional goal, scored in the third at 4:03. Gerber stopped 25 shots on goal in the shoot out win.
After Saturday’s dismantling of the Peoria Rivermen, OKC is now second in the West Division, tied point-wise with division-leading San Antonio. The Barons improved to 7-4-1-0 and have played two more games (losses) than San Antonio. Peoria drew first blood but it was all Barons after the first period. At 8:59 of the second period, the Barons’ Matt Marquardt scored his first goal of the season. Linus Omark got a goal at 1:31 in the third, while Brad Moran got an empty netter at the 19:44 mark for his 5th of the year. Martin Gerber had 17 saves to extend the Barons’ winning streak to four games.
The Icehogs were defeated 4-3 Wednesday in a shoot out by the Texas Stars in front of 2,096 home fans. Hannu Toivonen made 28 saves in regulation and six of nine in the defeat. Brandon Pirri scored first for the Icehogs on a power-play goal at 9:01 of the first period. Jeff Taffe scored the second power play goal at 2:41in the second period. Rookie Kyle Beach notched the 3-3 tie score 8:58 into the final period.
Things didn’t get any better for Rockford Saturday night taking on the Chicago Wolves as they lost 3-2.
Rockford grabbed the 2-0 lead in the first with goals from Brandon Pirri at 13:01 for his third goal of the season and Nick Leddy at 17:08, who notched his first career AHL goal. The potential game-tying goal was waved off with less than 20-seconds remaining in regulation. The referee ruled that Jeremy Morin knocked the puck in with a high stick. Alec Richards took the loss, making 26 saves.
The weekend ended with bad feelings between the Rivermen and their fans after the Oklahoma city game on Friday night. Following the loss, the Rivermen locked out media from the locker room and made fans wait until after 40 minutes before the players finally came out and participate in the jersey auction for cancer charity. Tuesday didn’t start things off well for Peoria, losing to Texas 3-0. Chris Porter led the scoring chances with six shots on net, followed by Dave Spina with five. Peoria outshot the Stars in every period and a 38-23 total in the game.
Saturday, Oklahoma City came to town to finish off the Rivermen troubles. With 5,980 fans in attendance, the Rivermen lost 3-1 to the Barons. Chris Porter got the Rivermen on the board just 2:45 into the first period on a power-play goal. His goal ended a six-game stretch in which Peoria had not scored a power-play goal. The Rivermen tallied just two shots on goal in the second period. Peoria’s Graham Mink took a penalty after the whistle at 6:49 of the third when he crosschecked Oklahoma City’s Richard Petiot in the face. Mink drew a five-minute crosscheck penalty and was ejected. Peoria did kill off the ensuing power play and held the Barons to three shots. Peoria has their third straight loss and now sits at 7-4-0-0, third place in the West Division.
Friday in front of 5,255 fans, the Aeros faced off against the San Antonio Rampage and lost 5-2. Cody Almond and Maxim Noreau each scored their first goals of the season; Almond at 0:27, Noreau at 13:08 on a power play chance, both in the first period. Goaltender Matt Hackett stopped 29 shots in the loss. Houston has failed to score more than 2 goals for seven straight games now. Houston took on the Texas Stars both Saturday and Sunday night, winning both matchups.The Aeros snapped their six-game winless streak in a 3-1 victory. Anton Khudobin made 29 saves in the win, Nate Prosser earning his first professional goal at 2:12 into the third. Marco Scandella scored at 11:20 in the first to get the scoring started in the game. Carson McMillan put one in at 15:34 also in the first to give the Aero’s a 2-0 lead.
Sunday, with a crowd of 3,353, Houston wins 4-2. Kris Fredheim gave Houston a 1-0 lead with his first AHL goal 5:03 into the first period. Kris Fredheim gave Houston a 1-0 lead, netting his first AHL goal 5:03 into the first period. Warren Peters at 11:37 in the second period for his first of the season. Carson McMillan was credited with the game-winner at the 6:00 mark of the third. Nate Prosser grabbed the extra goal at 9:51 to help secure the win for the Aeros. Netminder Anton Khudobin made 34 saves in the win, his second.
The Wolves first had to face the Oklahoma city Barons on Wednesday night, losing 4-1. Ondrei Pavalec, who was in his first game of a conditioning assignment from the Atlanta Thrashers stopped 19 shots. This marked his return to action after suffering a fainting spell and concussion 2:25 into the Atlanta Thrashers’ season opener on Oct. 8. It was Pavalecs’ first return the AHL, who backstopped Chicago to the Calder Cup championship in 2008, since April 3, 2009. Spencer Machacek scored the only goal for Chicago at the 14-minute mark of the third period.
Thursday had the Wolves hosting the Texas Stars in front of a home crowd of 3,718, losing 4-3. Both teams combined for six goals during the second period going back and forth on points, three being power-play goals. Darren Haydar at 10:52 on the PP, Andre Deveaux at 4:28 also on the PP, and Riley Holzapfel at 16:54. Texas scored the lone goal of the third period to snag the win. Edward Pasquale made 22 saves in the home loss.
Saturday had the Wolves face off against Rockford, winning the match up 3-2 scoring three unanswered goals. Nigel Dawes, along with Darren Haydar on a two-on-one breakaway at 13:21 in the second period, put Chicago on the board. Jaime Sifers scored his second goal of the season at 18:57 in the second. Mike Siklenka grabbed the game winner with a power-play goal at 10:48 in the third period. Peter Mannino stopped 22 shots in his first start of the season.
*Goaltender Chet Pickard has been reassigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL and Goalie Jeremy Smith has been recalled to the Admirals.
** Linus Klasen, last weeks AHL player of the week, was recalled to parent team Nashville and made his NHL debut on Saturday at Detroit, playing 6:22 minutes. He was reassigned to Milwaukee on Monday.
The Admirals squared off against the Abbotsford heat both Friday and Saturday, splitting wins. Milwaukee came out on top Fri. winning 3-2, beating the Heat in each of the 3 games they have faced each other so far this season. Matt Halischuk first put Milwaukee on the board at just 42 seconds into the game. Kelsey Wilson also scored at 12:44 of the first on a power play goal. The game-winning goal was scored at 4:16 of the second by Chris Mueller for his first goal of the year. Mark Dekanich stopped 26 shots by the Heat.
On Sunday the tables were turned and Abbotsford effectively handed Milwaukee the 4-2 loss. Milwaukee could not stop it’s turnover trouble, letting the Heat score three goals in a span of 2:58 in the third period. Matt Halischuk scored his 4th goal of the season at the 14:05 mark in the third, followed by Steve Begin scoring his first goal of the year at 18:09. Begin was recently aquired by Nashville from the Boston Bruins. Dekanich in net again, stopped 30 shots on the night.