Western Division Week 13–The Mighty are falling

Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)


The Barons were unable to hold on to an early lead, falling 4-3 to the Texas Stars Tuesday evening. It was Oklahoma City’s fourth time this season losing to the Stars. Brad Moran put Oklahoma City up 1-0 just 43 seconds into the game. The goal was the second fastest goal to start a game this season, J.F. Jacques scored 17 seconds in against San Antonio on Nov. 9. Moran scored again for the Barons 2:36 into the second period on a power play goal. Taylor Chorney scored his second goal of the season at 14:54 in the second. Goalie Martin Gerber stopped 37 shots in regulation.

With a quick turn around, OKC traveled to San Antonio Wednesday, taking a 5-3 loss to the Rampage.San Antonio has won all four meetings between the two teams. The Barons had the at 2:13 a deflected shot was tapped in by Teemu Hartikainen. The lead was 2-0 just 1:08 later with their seventh shorthanded goal of the season by right wing Colin McDonald at 3:21. McDonald scored again with a team-high 17th goal of the season and second of the evening at 18:28 in the second period. The Barons could not get any offense going in the third period, letting the Rampage take all the points and the win. Gerber had 36 saves in the loss.

Friday gave the Barons a second chance facing the Rampage, this time taking the win, snapping a six-game winless streak. Three third-period goals gave OKC a 4-1 win over San Antonio, Gerber putting on a great show,stopping 44 total shots in the win. Alex Giroux scored three of the four Barons goals, his first just 46 seconds in to the game, his second of the night at 2:58 of the third. After a goal by Liam Reddox at 7:29 off a 2-on-1 break away, Giroux put the game away with an empty-net goal in the final minute. Giroux’s hat trick is the third by a Barons player this season, Linus Omark and Brad Moran have each had hat tricks this season.

Oklahoma City beat Rockford 2-1 Saturday night in the Icehogs first visit to OKC. The biggest selling point to the pair of games was the return of Wade Brookbank, a former Oklahoma City Blazer of the CHL. Brookbank was with OKC for almost two years, a fan favorite for his fighting ability. The Barons , at 9:06 of a third period, from Colin McDonald on his 18th goal of the season, tied up the game. McDonald’s previous career best has been 12 goals. Not long after, Linus Omark, who returned to OKC Friday after his call up with Edmonton, scored on the power play at 11:50 in the third. Pitton made his first home start in net for the Barons and turned away 30 shots.

The IceHogs took their revenge on the Barons Sunday afternoon, handing them 6-5 loss. A back-and-forth game reminiscent of the first game between the two back in December. Gerber faced 36 shots, while the Reddox-Teemu Hartikainen-Omark line was productive twice in the first to no avail. At 12:34 of the second, Chris VandeVelde netted to keep the chance alive. At 6:42 in the third, Reddox drew the Barons to within one with his second goal of the game. With just 25.9 seconds left on the clock, Taylor Chorney scored on a power-play goal but it just wasn’t enough for the win.

Goaltender Jeff Deslauriers returned from representing Team Canada the Spengler Cup in Switzerland. Deslauriers was named the Outstanding Goaltender of the tournament.

Okc returns to action Friday and Saturday hosting Peoria, Lake Erie on Sunday.


San Antonio Rampage (PHX)


San Antonio could not get past the Aeros, taking a 2-1 loss Monday night. The Rampage got on the board first with a power-play goal by center Bracken Kearns at the 4:11 mark in the first period. Al Montoya turned away 15 of 17 Aeros shot attempts.

The Rampage rallied to beat the Oklahoma City Barons 5-3 on Wednesday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 6, 894. Right winger Matt Watkins recorded his first professional hat trick, the 11th Rampage hat trick in franchise history, the last by former Rampage forward David Spina on March 9, 2010. Ryan Hollweg scored on a power play chance at1:12 into the second period, while right wing Blair Riley scored his first AHL goal in his Rampage debut at the 12:03 mark of the second period. With 35 seconds remaining, the Rampage were able to capitalize on the Barons goalie being pulled with Watkins gaining his hat trick. Matt Climie made 30 saves on 33 Barons shot attempts.

Oklahoma City managed their revenge with a 4-1 win on Friday Night. Petr Prucha scored the lone goal for the Rampage to extended his point streak to five games, at 8:08 in the third period. Climie faced 23 Barons shot attempts.

The Rampage dropped their second consecutive game when the Houston Aeros rallied for a 4-3 victory Saturday. Brett MacLean got his name at the top of the record books yet again playing in his 183rd Rampage game for most games played in franchise history. Garrett Stafford put the Rampage on the board at 15:51 in the first with a power play goal. At the 1:02 mark of the second period, Stafford netted his second goal of the evening. With two minutes remaining in the second period, Bracken Kearns gave the Rampage a chance, but the Aeros would deny them. Montoya ended the night with 26 saves.

After a 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Sunday evening, the Rampage’s record stands at 23-12-1-0 as they share the Western Conference lead with Peoria at 47 points. Andrew Ebbett proved to be the lone Rampage scorer, with a rebound goal 1:18 into the third period. Climie stopped 17 of 20 Admiral shots on goal.

The Rampage will see Peoria on Wednesday, Texas Friday, Saturday and Sunday Houston


Chicago Wolves (ATL)


The Chicago Wolves fell into an early hole, but after watching teammate Jared Ross taken off the ice on a stretcher, fired off five unanswered goals to hand the Grand Rapids Griffins a 6-3 loss Monday night. The win also gave Head Coach Don Lever his 300th career AHL victory. Center Jason Krog also became the third player in Wolves history to record 300 points. Tender Peter Mannino posted 24 saves in the win. The Wolves’ Ross scored a power play goal at 5:01 in the second period to get on the board.

At just over a minute after the goal, Ross and Griffins defenseman Greg Amadio collided and was taken off the ice in a stretcher. This incident lit a fire under hie Wolves teammates. Mark Matheson started off the score fest at 9:07 still in the second. At 13:33 four players were escorted off the ice following a series of fights, but 13 seconds later, Nigel Dawes scored again for the Wolves. Shortly later at 15:02 Darren Haydar scored his 13th of the year. On a power-play goal just 58 seconds into the third period, Paul Postma put the Wolves up by two. Akim Aliu brought the score to 6-3 at 10:52 of the third period.

Tuesday brought the Wolves to Hamilton, leaving with a 5-3 win. Chicago opened scoring with a goal by Spencer Machacek, 1:16 into the first period. Angelo Esposito scored again for Chicago at 12:46. Michael Davies scored on the power play 3:21 into the second to tie it up. Postma at 9:29 on a power-play marker put Chicago in the lead. Mike Siklenka one timed a power-play shot at 12:10 in the third to seal the win. Mannino stopped 23 shots in the win.

Chicago earned a 3-2 shootout victory against the Toronto Marlies Wednesday night. At 12:29 into the third period, center Ryan Garbutt put the Wolves on the board. With 26 seconds left in the final period, Jason Krog tied the game. After a scoreless overtime, the game went into a shootout. MacIntyre posted 34 saves in regulation and overtime.

Chicago was handed a 4-1 loss against the Manitoba Moose Friday night. Defenseman Mark Matheson scored the lone goal for Chicago with three seconds left in the game to keep the Wolves from being shut out. Mannino stopped 23 shots in the loss.

The Wolves kicked off the new year with a 3-2 win against the Manitoba Moose Saturday night. MacIntyre had to only stop 14 shots for his third straight win. Postma snapped a shot in at 10:52 in the second period. Andre Deveaux gave the Wolves a lead at 1:52 in the third period. Postma posted his second goal of the night at 3:50 for the game winner.

Chicago now starts a seven-game homestand starting Wednesday with Toronto. Saturday sees Hamilton, Sunday Toronto once again.


Houston Aeros (MIN)


Houston Aeros took the win from the San Antonio Rampage 2-1 Monday night. Goalie Anton Khudobin made 39 saves in the win. Carson McMillan at 5:29 in the first period. Robbie Earl at 13:24, with a shorthanded goal, also in the first, finished off the scoring in the game.

The Aeros were handed a 3-2 loss Wednesday night by the Milwaukee Admirals. Nate Prosser had a goal 16:17 in the first period tying up the game. Cody Almond scored on the team’s third power play, at 3:00 in the third. Anton Khudobin stopped 16 of 19 in the loss.Robbie Earl scored Houston’s only goal and Matt Hackett made 25 saves in the 3-1 loss to the Rockford Icehogs. Earl’s goal was his team-leading 10th goal of the season.

The Aeros swept past the San Antonio Rampage 4-3 Saturday at Toyota Center in front of 10,552 fans, the second largest crowd seen. Almond first scored for the Aeros at 17:28 on a short handed chance. Tyler Cuma, at the 4:04 mark of the second netted his first pro tally. Chad Rau and Warren Peters each scored a goal 20 seconds apart in the final minute to give Houston the win.

Houston sees on Friday Lake Erie, San Antonio on Saturday and Sunday.


Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)


Milwaukee Admirals lost 4-1 to the Rockford IceHogs Tuesday night. Dylan Hunter recorded his first goal as an Admiral this season at 8:24 in the second period, after playing most of the season with Cincinnati in the ECHL. Mark Dekanich recorded 25 saves and took his fourth loss of the season in his first start at home since spending two weeks on recall with the Predators.

The Admirals were able to hold off the Houston Aeros by a final score of 3-2 Wednesday night. Ryan Thang got the scoring started for Milwaukee at 9:18 of the first period. Matt Halischuk scored 1:35 into the third period, Blake Geoffrion adding another goal just 17 seconds later. Dekanich turned away 35 Houston shots and picked up his thirteenth win of the season.

Peoria knocked off the Milwaukee Friday night, 3-1. Admirals lone goal was scored with 4:48 to play, off a Santorelli fed pass to wide open Ryan Thang. Jeremy Smith replaced Dekanich in the third period. Dekanich stopped nine of 12 shots in two periods. Smith stopped all ten in the third. Milwaukee outshot the Rivermen 31-22.

In their first appearance on home ice in 2011, the Admirals won over the San Antonio Rampage by a score of 3-1 Sunday. Jeremy Smith put up another strong performance, stopping 26 shots. Gabriel Bourque first put the Admirals on the board at 18:39 in the first period. Matt Halischuk scored the game-winner and his first power play goal of the season at 12:36 of the second period. Jonathon Blum netted his sixth multiple point game of the season at 6:35 in the third.

Thursday the Ad’s will see Grand Rapids, Toronto on Sat.and Sun. Hamilton.


Peoria Rivermen (STL)


On Monday, Peoria suffered a 5-2 loss to the Manitoba Moose. Manitoba’s power play, which came in ranked 28th in the league, posted a 2-for-5 performance against the Rivermen top-ranked penalty kill. Nathan Oystrick put Peoria ahead 1-0 at 9:43 of the second period on a power play. Rookie Phil McRae scored his 11th goal of the season at 15:47 in the second. Jake Allen took his first regulation loss since Nov., making 29 stops.

For the first time since Nov. the Rivermen have dropped three straight games after a 4-1 with a loss to the Manitoba Moose on Tuesday. The offensively driven game saw a total of 79 shots. Derek Nesbitt kept Peoria from being shut out with a goal at 14:08 of the third period. Ben Bishop suffered his first loss on the road since Nov., making 41 stops.

Peoria ended 2010 with a bang Friday, taking a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Admirals in front of 7,090 home fans. Nathan Oystrick started the scoring on a power-play goal at 5:13 of the first period. Nick Drazenovic put Peoria up 2-0 at 3:56 of the second period a second power-play goal of the game. Anthony Pelsuo netted one at the 5:17 mark of the second period for his fourth goal of the season. Allen finished with 21 saves in the win.

Saturday gave a 2-0 Peoria Rivermen win over the Grand Rapids Griffins. Netminder Jake Allen celebrated the New Year by having his league-best fifth shutout of the season. Allen improved to 13-2-1-0 overall, lowering his goals-against average to 1.60 and raising his save percentage to .950, both leading the AHL. Allen finished with 30 saves, bringing the Rivermen to 5-0-0 against the Griffins this year. Anthony Nigro broke a scoreless game at 12:01 in the third, followed by T.J. Hensick at 19:42 on an empty-netter for his ninth goal of the season.

Wednesday Peoria faces San Antonio, Friday traveling to OKC for two games.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)


Rockford beat Milwaukee 4-1 on Tuesday night. Mathis Olimb scored his fourth goal of the season at 10:54 in the first period. Rookie winger Ben Smith scored his sixth goal of the season past at 18:49 in the second. Evan Brophey extended the Rockford lead to 3-1 at 5:48 in the third. Olimb got his second in the game with an empty net goal set up by Kyle Beach at 17:41. Hannu Toivonen made 22 saves in the win.

Rockford rallied to complete a comeback and defeated the Houston Aeros 3-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 6,116 at the Rockford MetroCentre on Thursday. Mathis Olimb started the scoring comeback for Peoria at 6:55 in the third. Rob Klinkhammer at 16:39 and Kyle Hagel at 19:44 with an empty netter rounded out the points. Toivonen turned away 29 shots to pick up his seventh win of the season.

Saturday had Rockford in Oklahoma City, who beat the IceHogs 2-1. Evan Brophey scored Rockford’s lone goal and his fourth goal of the season at 11:11 of the second period. Toivonen had his six-game unbeaten streak come to an end after making 24 saves.

Sundays rematch against the Barons proved better for the Icehogs, taking home the 6-5 win. Rockford got on the board first at 7:58 of the opening period from a goal by Ivan Vishnevskiy. Kyle Beach scored his sixth goal of the year at 17:16 still in the first. Ryan Potulny scored first in the second period at 7:36. Ben Smith also netted one at 13:59 of the second period, giving Rockford the 4-3 edge. Evan Brophey gave Rockford a two-goal lead at 5:41 of the third period. Peter LeBlanc sealed OKC’s fate at 10:16 of the final period. Alec Richards make 30 stops in the win.

Friday has Rockford taking on Toronto, Saturday Grand Rapids.


Texas Stars (DAL)


The Stars defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday. Goalie Richard Bachman, stopping 32 shots in regulation and three of five in the shootout, preserved the road win. Greg Rallo scored the Stars first goal at 12:22 in the first on a power play chance. Rookie forward Tomas Vincour netted his fourth with a goal 1:49 into the third period. Fabian Brunnstrom tied the game 3-3, scoring his sixth of the year with 49 seconds left in regulation.

The Stars defeated the Abbotsford Heat 4-1 on Thursday night. Bachman made 38 saves and picked up an assist, holding Abbotsford scoreless for the first 51:49 of the game. Vincour put Texas on the board at 6:21 in the first. The Stars had their lead expanded at 5:44 of the second period after a power-play goal by Fabian Brunnstrom. 36 seconds later, Ondrej Roman scored his third goal of the season at 6:22. Left wing Luke Gazdic scored his fifth goal of the season just 3:38 into the third period for the 4-0 lead.

The Stars defeated the Heat 3-0 on Friday night as well. Tyler Beskorowany made 25 saves for his first AHL shutout. Texas moved within one point of San Antonio for first place in the West Division. At just 57 seconds into the first period, for the third straight game, Fabian Brunnstrom put Texas on the board. At 11:57, right wing Ray Sawada shuffled in a rebound for the 2-0 Stars lead. Mathieu Tousignant sealed the win with an empty-net goal with only seven seconds left in regulation for the final score of 3-0.


The Stars face San Antonio on Friday, Saturday Lake Erie


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