AHL Western Division week 9—Rampage rampaging

Houston Aeros (MIN)

With a pair of home games against Rockford, the Aeros aimed for the sweep, but were left with a split. Thursday, the Aeros did manage to pull out the win with a final of 4-3 after a shootout, in front of 7,535 fans. Jon DisSalvatore opened up the game with his fifth goal of the season at 19:06 of the first period. J.M. Daoust also scored his fifth goal of the year at 7:05 in the third period to tie up the game. Cody Almond flipped a loose puck over the shoulder of Toivonen at 18:41 in the third, for his third goal and again tying it up. Anton Khudobin made 25 regulation saves and five overtime saves.

Friday night for the rematch, Rockford enacted their revenge, felling the Aeros 2-1 in front of 4,471 fans. Robbie Earl netted the early goal for Houston at 3:21 into the game. Chad Rau returned to the lineup after missing the last 20 games with an injury, but manged zero points. Matt Hackett made 27 saves in the loss.

Saturday the Aeros hit the road for a match against the Texas Stars, defeating them 4-3. The Houston win pulled them into a tie for fourth place in the Division with the Milwaukee Admirals, each team having 29 points. Nate Prosser scored on a power play chance at 7:36 into the first. Colton Gillies scored at 8:21 of the second period, giving Houston a 2-0 lead. After Texas tied it up, Warren Peters answered to pull the Aeros ahead at 6:32 in the third. Texas again tied the game, sending it into overtime, but Aero’s Almond scored the game winner at 2:42 on a power play chance. Khudobin made 21 saves for the night.

Houston will travel Tuesday to Oklahoma City and see San Antonio on Friday, Lake Erie on Sunday.

Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

Despite a couple road losses, the Barons are still holding strong in their Division. The barons still hole top spot when it comes to the penalty kill, sitting on a 0.897 %. Ex- Providence scorer Colin McDonald is still putting up big numbers even this early in the season, just 24 games in. Colin now has 12 for the season, matching his AHL single-season high record. His overall career-high for a goals in a season is 13 and will surely be matched with-in the next couple games. Liam Reddox is tied for the AHL lead in shorthanded goals with 3 along side Milwaukee Admiral Chris Mueller. Reddox is also tied up with team mate Linus Omark for the teams top scorer spot, both sitting at 13.

Tuesday was a low point for the Barons while taking on the Texas Stars. Losing 5-2, it marked the first time this season the Barons lost consecutive road games. Greg Stewart opened the scoring for Oklahoma City at 6:03 of the first period. Liam Reddox made it 3-2 with a Barons goal at 9:26 of the second period. Jeff Deslauriers stopped 12 of 15 shots in the first period before being benched. Bryan Pitton stopped 19 of 21 shots in relief.

Friday had the Barons in Manitoba for a two game stretch. The Moose beat Okc 3-2 in the two clubs first ever meeting. Reddox put in his 13th goal at 8:01 of the first period to give the Barons an early lead. At 19:09 still in the first, Colin McDonald regaining the Barons lead. The Moose would tie the game, eventually leading to the shoot out were the would overtake Oklahoma City. Martin Gerber was back in the lineup after spending a few games with the Oilers, making 29 saves in the loss.

Saturday’s 4-0 win over the Moose leaves the Barons sitting with a 14-8-1-2 record and maintaining third place in the Division. Gerber made 37 saves and the Barons killed all seven power play chances.

Matt Marquardt opened the scoring with a shot at 8:06 of the second period, followed by Ryan O’Marra with his first goal of the season, at 17:28 of the second. Omark scored his 13th of the season at 13:58 of the third. Alex Giroux finished the Barons scoring at 16:51, snapping a 14-game drought without a goal. Omark finished with a three-point game.

The Barons will meet with Houston on Tuesday, Manitoba again on Friday, both at home. The to Rockford and Milwaukee on Saturday and Sunday.

Chicago Wolves (ATL)

A busy week of playing leaves the Wolves feeling more confident on their scoring and game winning abiltites, winning 3 out of 4 of the matches. The week started on Tuesday facing the Manitoba Moose, winning 2-1 in a shootout victory. Peter Mannino stopped all five Moose attempts and posted 25 saves in the win. Jason Krog finally got Chicago on the board at 17:35 of the third period to tie the game and eventual shoot out. Darren Haydar netted the shoot out winning goal.

The Wolves fell 6-3 to the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday but managed to win in style the rest of the weekends games. Ryan Garbutt opened the scoring at 3:28 of the first period. Mannino made 19 saves overall in the loss. After five unanswered goals, on a power-play chance, Paul Postma fired in a goal at 10:18 into the third period. Jamie Sifers also scored at 16:46 in the third but it wasn’t enough for the Wolves. Lake Erie’s Patrick Rissmiller, who began the season with the Wolves, potted four goals and five points.

Saturday the Wolves fared better facing the Hamilton Bulldogs, winning the game by way of a 2-1 win.

Mannino stopped 33 of 34 Bulldog shots. Jason Krog opened the scoring with a power-play goal 3:26 into the second period. Jared Ross scored the second Chicago goal at 18:26 in the same period.

On Sunday, Chicago earned their largest margin of victory this season with a 5-1 win over the Toronto Marlies. Krog started off the score fest at 2:36 into the first period, then Mark Matheson, bringing the Wolves lead to 2-0 at 18:44. Patrice Cormier backhanded one in at 45 seconds into the second period, followed by a shorthanded goal at 15:25 by Ross. The final goal was netted at 3:27 in the third period by Andrew Kozek.Mannino stopped 21 shots in his fourth straight start this week.

Chicago will see San Antonio on Wednesday then travel to Abbottsford for games Friday and Saturday.

Peoria Rivermen (STL)

The Rivermen defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 2-1 on Friday night. Jake Allen ran his personal winning streak to 5-0-0 while stopping Bulldogs’ goaltender Curtis Sanford’s five-game streak in the process. Both entered the game with identical 8-1-0 records. Hamilton ended Peoria’s streak of 38 straight penalty kills at 14:11 of the second. Phil McRae with his eighth goal of the season, scored at 18:05 in the second. Graham Mink scored the game-winner at 16:15 in the third. Allen stopped 29 out of 30 shots giving him his ninth win.

The Rivermen defeated the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday night, Ben Bishop turning aside 22 shots. Phil McRae scored the first goal of the game at 16:49 of the first period, his team-leading, ninth goal of the year. Derek Nesbitt’s power play goal on an empty net at 19:46 sent the game to overtime.

Sundays’ high scoring game left Peoria with a 5-4 loss to Milwaukee. After trailing 4-0 midway, the Rivermen scored our unanswered goals to force overtime. Nathan Oystrick got the Rivermen scoring started at 12:34 in the second period. Derek Nesbitt with his second power-play goal in as many games, scored at 12:43 in the third. Nikita Nikitin just 13 seconds later at 12:56 scored his first of the season. Oystrick’s second goal at 18:21 tied up the game, sending it to overtime. It was his fourth point, matching Graham Mink’s performance in Oct. as the only two Rivermen this season to record four points in a game. Jake Allen took the loss for the Rivermen with 23 saves, but still has the top save percentage spot in the AHL at 0.952.

The Rivermen have a long break, facing Grand Rapids on Saturday for their only game.

San Antonio Rampage (PHX)

The Rampage still sit on top of the Western Conference with 37 points as well as owning top spot in the league for power play goals on the road. San Antonio started this week with a 2-1 shootout win over the Texas Stars on Friday. Forward Brett MacLean scored his 61st goal with the Rampage at 18:41 in the first, to become the all-time franchise leading goal scorer. Both Mikkel Boedker and Matt Beaudoin scored goals in the shootout, sealing the victory. Matt Climie made 26 saves in the win.

The Rampage won their second consecutive game as they defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-3 on Saturday. Petr Prucha opened the scoring for San Antonio at 16:55 into the first period with a shorthanded goal. Oliver Ekman-Larsson opened the second period with his first professional goal just 16 seconds into period. With wo seconds remaining on the power play, Ekman-Larsson netted his second of the period at 15:47. Prucha scored again with 12 seconds left in the second period. Andrew Ebbett scored at the 4:50 mark of the third period, with MacLean scoring his fifth power-play goal of the season at 10:37 into the third period. Al Montoya started, stopping 20 of 23 Griffins shots.

The Rampage were not finished with their streak, taking a 3-2 victory against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday, claiming their third straight win. Ebbett scored a power-play goal at the 14:45 mark of the first period to get the scoring started for the Rampage. Prucha tied the game up at 12:17 of the third, sending it to overtime, the Rampage’s fifth overtime game of the season. Matt Beaudoin scored the overtime game winner on the power play 2:35 into overtime. Climie made 29 saves for the win.

San Antonio travels to Chicago on Wednesday and Houston on Friday. They are back home Saturday to meet Manioba.

Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

The Admirals were able to hand their ex-coach a 6-3 loss Wednesday night in their first home game since November 7. Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel coached the Admirals from 2003-2007 and guided the club to their only championship in team history back in the 2003-04 campaign. Jamie Lundmark scored the lone goal of the first period on a power play at 3:18 that put the Admirals up 1-0.

Gabriel Bourque scored at just 47 seconds into the second period. Chris Mueller made it 3-0 at 5:16 of period with his ninth goal of the year. Linus Klasen netted his 11th of the season at 8:22, also in the second period. Mueller scored with his second of the night on an empty-netter with 51 seconds to play.

Mike Bartlett added another on a three-on-one break away for his second of the year at 19:39. Mark Dekanich turned aside 27 shots to collect his tenth win of the season.

The Ad’s dropped a 5-2 decision to the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night, the first in regulation for the Admirals at home this season. Mike Bartlett scored his second goal in as many games at 4:06 of the first period. Chris Mueller picked up his 11th of the year at 12:17 in the second period. Jeremy Smith made 18 saves in the loss.

Sunday brought a 5-4 overtime win over the Peoria Rivermen for the Ad’s. Milwaukee struck first with a power play goal from Aaron Johnson at 15:29 of the first period. Johnson scored yet again at 8:52 in the second. Klasen scored his team-best 12th goal of the season at 11:19 of the second period. Blake Geoffrion scored yet again for Milwaukee at 11:55 of the second. After the four unanswered goals, Peoria went on to score their own four unanswered, tying the game up, sending it into overtime. Teemu Laakso scored the game winning at 2:17 of overtime. Jeremy Smith stopped 31 of 35 shots to earn the win, bringing Milwaukee’s record up to 13-7-1-4.

Milwaukee next see’s Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Rockford on Friday and Texas Saturday.

Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

It was a short playing week for Rockford, only having a double-header match up with Houston.

Thursday had the Icehogs falling to the Aeros 4-3 in a shootout at Houston in an early school day game.Hannu Toivonen blocked 37 Aeros shot in the loss. Brian Connelly put Rockford on the board at 3:15 of the second period. Ryan Potulny scored for his fifth goal of the season at 9:56 of the second. Connelly scored yet again at 8:41 in the third, turning in his first career multi-goal game.

Friday featured some solid goaltending by Alec Richards, putting up 38 saves in the 2-1 win over the Aeros rematch. Ivan Vishnevskiy tied the game up at 2:27 of the second period, and for the second straight game, Ryan Potulny gave Rockford a 2-1 lead at 14:53 in the second period.

Rockford will head home for a season-high seven-game homestand, starting Wednesday vs Texas,Fri. Vs Milwaukee and Sat. vs OKC.

Texas Stars (DAL)

The Dallas Stars recalled Texas center Aaron Gagnon, who appeared in 20 games for Texas this season, scoring five goals and four assists for nine points with six penalty minutes.Dallas also recalled defenseman Philip Larsen, who has appeared in 18 games for Texas this season, earning nine assists with four penalty minutes and a +2 rating.

Texas also had a pretty easy week of games, but could not manage to pull out a win on the pair.

Friday left the Stars defeated by the San Antonio Rampage by a score of 2-1 in a shootout in front of 5,976 home fans. Fabian Brunnstrom scored the only Texas goal of the night on a power play chance at 6:59 of the first period. Goalie Richard Bachman stopped 30 shots in the loss.

Saturday the Stars were defeated by Houston, 4-3 in overtime on in front of 5,009 fans at home. Richard Bachman stopped 32 shots in the overtime loss. Travis Morin scored first for Texas in the second period at 16:26 on the power play. At 1:13 into the third period, the Stars tied it up with a goal by Colton Sceviour. Cody Chupp’s goal with 5:02 remaining in regulation to tie the game sent it to overtime, where the Aeros would prevail.

Texas will face Manitoba at home on Tuesday; travel to Grand Rapids Friday, Milwaukee Saturday then Grand Rapids again on Sunday.

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