West Division AHL Week 14 recap-Rivermen take control

Peoria Rivermen (STL)


Peoria took a 7-4 win over San Antonio in a match-up of the top West Division teams on Wednesday. Jake Allen took the win, making 24 saves. ECHL starter Derek Nesbitt had four goals and an assist for a five-point night, racking up a team-high 13 goals to go along with six assists in just 21 games since joining the Rivermen. His career-best 17 goals he scored as an AHL rookie for Rockford in 2007-08.

Nathan Oystrick, Tyler Shattock, and Stefan Della Rovere rounded out Peoria’s score fest with a goal each.

The Rivermen continued their road domination with a 5-2 win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Friday night. Dave Spina scored just 5:35 into the first period, him and Graham Mink both registering two-goal nights. Jake Allen finished with 37 saves, earning his, and the team’s, fourth straight win in their first trip to Oklahoma City. Peoria’s first power play led to their third goal, netted by Graham Mink at 13:14 still in the first, ending a 12-game goal drought. The second period featured three fights and one goal for each side. Ryan Reaves (Peoria) and Jake Taylor (OKC) were both ejected from the game for a secondary altercation and Reaves was assessed an extra roughing minor for his refusal to let up on Taylor while he was down on the ice.

In the much anticipated rematch on Saturday, Peoria once again were able to walk away with a victory from Oklahoma City, winning 5-4 in overtime. Nathan Oystrick netted the game-winner just 16 seconds into the extra session to give Peoria its 25th win of the season and stretch its winning streak to five games. 16 seconds after allowing a shorthanded goal, Mark Cundari scored at 2:37 in the first period, tying the game at 1-1. Nick Drazenovic tied the game once again at the 19:08 mark still in the first. Adam Cracknell netted the second power play goal of the night at 13:20 in the second period. Coming from behind once again, at 16:25 in the third, Della Rovere forced overtime. Ben Bishop finished with 23 saves.

The Barons now head to Peoria for a Thursday and Friday rematch. Peoria sees Texas on Saturday.


San Antonio Rampage (PHX)


Coming off their longest losing skid since Feb. 2010, the battle between the top two teams in the Western Conference ended with a 7-4 victory for the Peoria Rivermen as the San Antonio Rampage dropped their fourth consecutive decision Wednesday. The Rampage started the scoring at the 16:06 mark in the first with a Petr Prucha power-play goal. Just 57 seconds later, the Rampage extended their lead with a Bracken Kearns rebound goal. Leading scorer Brett MacLean recorded his 15th goal of the season at the 10:33 mark of the middle stanza. Montoya recorded 30 saves in the loss.

The Rampage got the 5-1 victory over the Texas Stars Friday, in front of a sold out crowd of 7,701. The Rampage tied the game 1-1 on an Andrew Ebbett power-play goal at the 16:33 mark of the first period.

Nolan Watkins at the 1:44 mark of the second period and 1:20 later a goal by Tyler Mosienko put the Rampage on top. Nolan Yonkman was credited with assists in both goals, his first as a member of the Rampage. San Antonio sealed the victory with a Mikkel Boedker goal at 12:41 mark of the third period. Matt Climie made 27 saves in the win.

San Antonio shut out the Houston Aeros 4-0 on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 6,930 for their 25th win of the season. Maxim Goncharov recorded his first mult-point game with two assists, Mikkel Boedker posting his 10th multiple point game with one goal and one assist. The Rampage scored first at 6:49 in the first with a goal from Ebbett. San Antonio took a 2-0 lead just 55 seconds into the second period with a goal from Bracken Kearns. The lead was extended by leading scorer Brett MacLean scored a power-play goal at the 5:03 mark of the second. The fourth and final goal of the night was netted by Boedker at 9:13 in the second period. Matt Climie made 24 saves to post his third shutout of the season.

The Rampage took a 3-1 loss to the Houston Aeros Sunday evening. The Rampage dropped to a 25-14-1-0 record, 51 points and third place in the West Division standings. Rampage opened the scoring at the 16:27 mark of the first period on a power-play goal by Ryan Hollweg just 24 seconds into the power-play. Al Montoya turned away 30 of 32 Aeros shots.


San Antonio will see Grand Rapids on Thursday;OKC on Saturday and Chicago Sunday


Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)


The Admirals took a 5-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins Thursday night at home. Ryan Flynn started the scoring for Milwaukee with a pair of goals, the first of his career, at 18:18 of the second. With just 38 seconds remaining in the second period, Matt Halischuk scored the eventual game-winning goal, his second in as many games, to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead. Flynn scored his second goal of the night 3:30 into the third period. Just thirteen seconds later, Gabriel Bourque scored his second goal in as many games.Andreas Thuresson completed the Admirals scoring at 6:44 of the third, his first goal since October 22. Jeremy Smith made 30 saves giving him his seventh win of the year.

With a 1-0 win over the Toronto Marlies on Saturday night, the Admirals posted their 900th game played at the Bradley Center. In his first game back from injury Dekanich made 33 saves and turned away all five shootout attempts to give him his fourth shutout of the season. It was the second time this season in the AHL that there has been a scoreless game decided in a shootout, the first being on November 10 when Milwaukee played at Grand Rapids. Mark Van Guilder, who was Milwaukee’s fourth shooter, scored the game winning goal.

Milwaukee topped Hamilton 3-2 Sunday afternoon. Mark Dekanich stopped 28 shots in the win. Linus Klasen put the Admirals on the board at 7:16 in the first period, ending the night with his 9th multi-point game. Minutes later, Ryan Thang gave Milwaukee the lead, with a goal at 10:29. Blake Geoffrion scored short-handed at 9:52 of the second, sealing the Ad’s win.

Head Coach Lane Lambert broke the news during the pre-game show of the Admirals’ radio broadcast, prior to their game Saturday night against Toronto, that forward Jamie Lundmark had left the Milwaukee Admirals. Stating, “Jamie Lundmark, who was supposed to provide us with offense this year, and didn’t really….decided to pack it in. And that’s okay. We certainly would rather see him do that than give us half an effort or decide that he wanted to do that later on in crunch time.” He has been placed on unconditional waivers, and there have been reports that he has been in contact with a team in Europe.

Milwaukee has a short schedule this week, seeing Manitoba Thursday and Sunday


Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)


The Oklahoma City Barons signed defenseman Bryan Helmer to a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).

Helmer is entering his 18th season as a professional and has played each of the last two seasons with the Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears. As a professional, Helmer has played in 1,178 professional games, scoring 562 points. With 18 games played, he will become the seventh player in AHL history to play in 1,000 games.

The Barons fell 5-2 to the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night in front of 4,789 home fans. Milan Kytnar scored the Barons first goal

at 19:54 in the second period. In his first game back after a call-up to Edmonton, Ryan O’Marra netted his second goal of the season at 18:58 in the third period. Already earning his keep, the goal was assisted by recently signed Bryan Helmer. The Barons had just two fewer shots on goal than Peoria at the end of the game, 41-39.

Oklahoma City was unable to come up with the win after an early lead, falling 5-4 in overtime to the Rivermen again on Saturday evening. It was just the second time in it’s fifth overtime session the barons took the loss. Ben Ondrus scored the game’s opening goal at the 2:21 mark of the first period while on the penalty kill. Oklahoma City again took the lead at 3:19 when Alexandre Giroux scored on the power play. Chris VandeVelde gave Oklahoma City a 3-2 lead at 3:31 on the Barons 2 shot on goal in the second period. Giroux, at 4:35 in the third, scored his second goal of the night on a 3-on-2. Helmer picked up his second assist of the night on the goal. Jeff Deslauriers made 29 stops in his first game for the Barons since Dec. after playing for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup.

Oklahoma City finally got back on the winning track Sunday afternoon with a 5-1 win over Lake Erie. The Barons scored on the power play three out of five attempts to beat the Monsters for the fourth time this year. Colin McDonald opened the scoring at the 10:54 mark of the first period. McDonald scored his second of the afternoon at 3:45 in the third. The two goals marks 20 goals on the year, a new career high for the right winger. McDonald is now one of three AHL players to reach the mark this season. The Barons second goal at 14:11 came from the first power play unit led by Giroux. Assisting again, Helmer gets his fourth assist in the last three games. Philippe Cornet scored the first professional goal of his career to put the Barons up 3-1 at 9:28. Giroux scored his second of the night with an empty net goal at 16:38. Jeff Deslauriers made 20 saves, picking up his fifth win of the season.

Oklahoma city hits the road for its next seven games, Thursday and Friday at Peoria, San Antonio on Saturday.


Chicago Wolves (ATL)


The Chicago Wolves steamrolled past visiting Toronto to the tune of a 9-3 final on Wednesday night, opening up a season-high seven-game homestand. The nine goals set a season high for Chicago. Nigel Dawes scored four goals to lead the Wolves in the rout, earning him the AHL’s Player of the week award. Dawes’ four-goal performance was the first by a Wolves player since 1996, and just the third time in franchise history. Dawes scored twice as part of a five-goal second period for Chicago. Goaltender Drew MacIntyre made 32 saves in the win. Ex-Marlies defenseman Jaime Sifers also finished with multiple assists on the night. Forward Riley Holzapfel ended his 27-game goal-scoring drought with a pair of goals in the victory. Ryan Garbutt, Jason Krog, and Andrew Kozek each scored a goal as well in the win. Dawes completed his hat trick with an empty-net tally with four seconds remaining in second, after Toronto pulled their goalie with just over 30 seconds remaining.

The Wolves Saturday drew an AHLseason-high 15,654 fans, but could not pull out the win as they fell 4-1 to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Nigel Dawes scored the lone goal for Chicago at 8:47 of the third period.

Peter Mannino posted 32 saves in the loss while Hamilton’s Sanford stopped the 15 of Chicago’s other shots.

The Wolves fell to the Toronto Marlies in a shootout, 4-3, at the Allstate Arena Sunday night. Chicago opened scoring three minutes into the second period with a goal from Garbutt. Arturs Kulda gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead at 6:55 into the second period. Kozek put Chicago up in front again at 1:56 into the third period. MacIntyre made 34 saves in regulation and overtime in his first loss in five games.

The Wolves will host their second annual “School Day Game” on Wednesday versus the Texas Stars, facing Houston on Friday; Sat. Roockford and Sun. San Antonio


Houston Aeros (MIN)


The Houston Aeros earned a shut out against the Lake Erie Monsters 3-0 Friday night in front of 5,377 fans for their third-straight home win. The victory was Houston’s 20th at the official midway point of the 80-game American Hockey League schedule. J.M. Daoust scored on a penalty shot at 13:08 of the first, his sixth goal of the year. Chad Rau put the Aeros up 2-0 at 14:21 of the second, Robbie Earl getting the assist. Earl followed up 2:10 later with his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Matt Hackett made 25 saves for his first pro shutout.

Saturday the Aeros faced San Antonio, getting shut out by the Rampage 4-0. Hackett stopped 9 shots before being replaced by Josh Tordjman who stopped all 12 shots he faced. Tordjman was summoned back from Bakersfield (ECHL) due to Anton Khudobin’s recall to Minnesota. This is sixth time this season the Aeros were shut out, second vs. San Antonio.

The Aeros gained their revenge against the Rampage in front of 5,635 fans Sunday by way of a 3-1 score. The win helped Houston maintain possession of the No. 6 spot in the West Division race and pulled them to within six points of the third place Rampage. J.M. Daoust once again scored the game-winner in the weekend set of games. Daoust broke the 1-1 tie at 16:13 in the third after the teams traded first period tallies, his seventh goal of the season. Kris Fredheim scored first for the Aeros at 18:59 in the first. Colton Gillies, who assisted on Fredheim’s goal, added an empty-net on the power play with 18 seconds left in regulation. Jed Ortmeyer assisted on the game-tying and empty net goals to record his first multi-point contest in Aeros sweater. Matt Hackett turned aside 28 shots in the win.

Houston will face Rockford on Wed., Chicago on Friday and Saturday; Sunday Grand Rapids.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)


The Toronto Marlies knocked off the Rockford IceHogs, 5-1, on Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre. The IceHogs managed to get the scoring started with Igor Makarov netting a shorthanded goal on an unaware Ben Scrivens at 1:22 in the first period. Alec Richards came in to relieve Hannu Toivonen and made 24 saves on 26 shots. Toivonen had allowed three straight goals on three shots.

The Icehogs trounced the Griffins 6-0 on Saturday, now 3-0-0-0 against the Griffins in 2010-11 and the IceHogs have picked up points in 11-straight games (10-0-0-1) against Grand Rapids. Alec Richards stopped all 22 shots he faced, picking up his second shutout. Ivan Vishnevskiy started the Hogs scorefest at 4:35 in the first. At just four seconds into a power play, Vishnevskiy notched his second goal of the night at 5:51. Shawn Lalonde, Brian Connelly, Jeff Taffe, and Kyle Beach rounded out the remaining goals for Rockford. Ben Smith gained 3 assists.

Rockford will face Houston on Wednesday, Texas Friday and Saturday Chicago.


Texas Stars (DAL)


The Stars were defeated by the San Antonio Rampage 5-1 Friday night. Texas goalie Richard Bachman took the loss with 18 saves. Texas had the early lead 4:10 into the first period with a goal from left winger Fabian Brunnstrom for his ninth goal of the year.

The Stars were defeated by the Lake Erie Monsters 3-1 on Saturday night in front of a soldout crowd of 6,863 fans at Cedar Park Center. Bachman stopped 26 of 29 shots in the loss. Aaron Gagnon scored the lone goal for Texas, with 2:40 remaining in the third period.

Prior to the game, Texas recalled defenseman Guillaume Monast from the Idaho Steelheads. Monast has played in 30 games for Idaho this season, tallying one goal and four assists while adding 20 penalty minutes. The Quebec native spent his rookie season with Idaho, helping the Steelheads reach the Kelly Cup Finals.

Texas on Wed, will see Chicago, Friday Rockford and Saturday division leading Rivermen.



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