AHL Western Division week 12–short work week

Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

After battling back from a 3-0 deficit, the Barons could not pull out the win over the Texas Stars, taking the 4-3 loss Monday at Texas. The Barons started their comeback with a power play goal from Colin McDonald at 12:20 of the second. Greg Stewart followed with a goal at 2:35 of the third to add to the comeback. Shawn Belle added his power play goal at 9:24 of the third. Goalie Jeff Deslauriers stopped a penalty shot 1:55 into the final period by Travis Morin, making 25 total saves in the loss. It was his last game with the team before heading to meet with team Canada in Switzerland for the Spengler Cup tournament. Oklahoma City heads into a 7-day break on a season-high four-game losing streak at 16-12-1-3 and drops to sixth in the West Division.

The Barons have five games in a six nights starting at home Tuesday against the Texas Stars. They hit the road Wednesday and Friday to face San Antonio, coming back home over New Years weekend to face Rockford for the two teams first meeting Saturday and Sunday.

Chicago Wolves (ATL)

Even with holding a solid lead over the Milwaukee Admirals, a forced overtime brought the Wolves a 3-2 shootout loss Tuesday night. Goaltender Peter Mannino posted 30 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped one Milwaukee attempt in the shootout. At just 2:16, Darren Haydar put Chicago on the board. Jared Ross sneaked one under Dekanich at 17:12 of the second period to give the Wolves the lead. It was not in the clouds, as Milwaukee tied the game, sending it to overtime and eventually to the shootout, handing Chicago the loss, knocking them into seventh place in the Division.

The Wolves return from a holiday break to host the Grand Rapids on Monday; Tuesday at Hamilton, Wednesday at Toronto and Friday and Saturday at Manitoba.

Peoria Rivermen (STL)

For the first time since Nov., the Peoria Rivermen lost a game in regulation, falling 6-3 to the Toronto Marlies on Tuesday night. The loss ended a 13-game point streak for the Rivermen, the longest streak in the AHL this season. At just 2:09 into the first period, Anthony Nigro one timed the puck in, his fourth of the year and second in as many games. At 19:42, Peoria tallied their first shorthanded goal of the year by Dave Spina with his fourth of the year. Nikita Nikitin scored on a 5-on-3 power-play at 3:31 of the third period, tying the game up at 3 apiece. Both of Nikitin’s goals this season have come on the man advantage. Ben Bishop made 20 saves in the loss.

Peoria signed Derek Nesbitt to a standard player contract (SPC), releasing him from his professional tryout contract (PTO). Nesbitt has played in 15 games since joining Peoria in Nov. He has recorded eight goals and five assists. Over the past weekend, Nesbitt scored the game-winning goal in all three Rivermen victories, leading the team with five power-play goals.

Peoria will see Manitoba on Monday and Tuesday; Milwaukee on Friday; Grand Rapids on Saturday.

San Antonio Rampage (PHX)

The Rampage had the entire Christmas week off with no games scheduled. On Monday San Antonio will host the Houston Aeros.

San Antonio will take on Oklahoma City Wednesday and Friday, Houston again on Saturday and Milwaukee on Sunday.

Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

Milwaukee faced the Chicago Wolves on Tuesday, winningin the shootout 3-2, in one of the Amtrak Rivalry games at Chicago. Mark Dekanich turned aside 19 shots for the Admirals and thwarted three of four Wolves shootout attempts. The Admirals tied up the game at first, at 12:38 of the second period with a Linus Klasen goal. Milwaukee drew even again, 2-2, 1:20 into the third period off a goal by defenseman Jonathon Blum.

Sunday Milwaukee had a 2-1 win at Rockford. Dekanich stopped 24 shots in the win. Blake Geoffrion put Milwaukee on the board first with a power play goal at 9:09 of the second period. Milwaukee went up 2-0 just 1:27 later on another power play goal. Jonathon Blum hit a slapshot from the point for his fourth goal of the season, third on the power play.

Tuesday Milwaukee faces Rockford, Wednesday Houston, Peoria on Friday, San Antonio on Sunday.

Texas Stars (DAL)

Texas defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 4-3 on Monday night in front of 6,611 fans at Cedar Park Center. Stars struck early in the first period when Aaron Gagnon notched his seventh goal of the season at 5:30. The scoring continued at 13:28 by Colton Sceviour slipped in a shorthanded goal. In the second period, Francis Wathier notched a power-play goal at 9:29 tapping in a rebound. Raymond Sawada at 8:06 in the third period put it out of reach for Oklahoma City. Netminder Richard Bachman stopped 20 of 23 shots in the victory.

The Stars were defeated by the Houston Aeros 4-3 in a shootout on Sunday afternoon. Bachman made 30 saves in the shootout loss, as the Stars dropped to 7-5-0-1 on the road this year. The Stars got on the board with a power-play goal at 6:42 by Captain Brad Lukowich. Sceviour scored at 11:40 of the first period to give Texas the lead.It was his sixth goal of the year. Wathier scored with 19 seconds left in regulation, tying the game and forcing the eventual overtime and shootout.

Texas will make a stop in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Abbotsford Thursday and Friday.

Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

USA Hockey and the World Junior Championship have signed on IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin and defenseman Nick Leddy to the team, starting play on Dec. 26th. The 19-year-old duo is the first two active IceHogs players to participate in the World Jr. Championships. The U.S. team is the defending tournament champions and Morin is one of eight players who skated on last year’s gold medal winning squad. They are two of four AHL players making the tournament.

Rockford had one lone game this week, closing out a seven game homestand and slipping below the .500 mark with a 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday. The loss marked an end to rookie winger Peter LeBlanc’s team, season-high, four-game goal scoring streak come to an end. Shawn Lalonde was the lone Icehogs point scorer, at 13:20 in the second period. The IceHogs have scored a league-low 18 first period goals. Alec Richards made 28 saves in the loss.

Rockford will take their first ever visit to Oklahoma City for a Saturday and Sunday game. Tuesday at Milwaukee and Thursday Houston.

Houston Aeros (MIN)

Houston set a season-high for shots in the second period with 23 but it could not earn the win over the Hamilton Bulldogs taking a 5-0 loss Tuesday night. Bulldogs goalie Curtis Sanford turned aside all 38 shots he faced to hand the Aeros their fourth consecutive defeat. Aeros goalie Anton Khudobin took the loss, stopping 12 of 17 shots in the first 33:02 of action. Matt Hackett replaced Khudobin in the second period and stopped 12 shots.

The Aeros took home a 4-3 shootout win over the Texas Stars in front of 7,513 fans Sunday at Toyota Center. Matt Hackett turned aside 22 shots in the win, including five of seven in the shootout. The win ends a four-game slide by the Aeros and leaped them ahead of both Chicago and Oklahoma City into fifth place in the West Division. Warren Peters gave the Aeros team its AHL-leading 23rd first goal of the season at just 30 seconds into the first. Jon DiSalvatore scored on a power play goal with a minute left in the second, snapping a 10-game personal goal drought. DiSalvatore scored again on another power play at 8:56 of the third. Texas would tie the game sending it into OT and evental shootout.

Houston will see San Antonio on Monday, Milwaukee on Wednesday, Rockford Thursday and San Antonio again on Saturday.

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