AHL West Division week 15– All-Star selections;A new #1

Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)


While the Barons players might be bringing in the awards and wins, the team itself still has a lot of work cut out for it to move out of sixth place in the West Division. Currently 3 Barons players are in the top 10 in AHL goals- Alex Giroux, Colin McDonald, and Liam Reddox, who is currently recalled to Edmonton. The week started with Giroux being awarded the AHL Performance of the Month award for December, earning the award for becoming the 44th player in AHL history to record 600 points. Giroux, with the recall of Binghamton’s Corey Locke (55 points) to Ottawa, is now the top scorer in the AHL with 47 points. Giroux, the Western Conference captain for the AHL All-Star game, will be joined by team-mate Linus Omark, still on recall to Edmonton. Omark has skated in 28 games with the Barons this season and has scored 31 points, owning Barons season highs for both goals in a game and assists in a game. Omark has played in 11 games with Edmonton and has scored six points.

Defenseman Bryan Helmer was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week, recording three goals and three assists for six points and was plus-5 in three games; three goals, seven assists, and a plus-5 rating in just six games since signing with Oklahoma City as a free agent on Jan. 7.

Oklahoma City finally were able to get some revenge on Peoria Thursday, the first of their seven game road-trip, ending the Rivermen’s 5-game win steak with a 7-2 win. The night was special as well for Helmer, who set the AHL record for career points by a defenseman with two goals and an assist in the game. Helmer now has 520 career AHL points, including 122 goals. The Barons took a 3-2 lead in the first period with goals by Greg Stewart, Giroux and Helmer. Four goals in the third sealed the Rivermen’s fate, including a second by Giroux. Teemu Hartikainen, and Philippe Cornet rounded out the scoring for Oklahoma City. Martin Gerber earned his 13th win, stopping 25 shots.

The Barons once again took it to Peoria, defeating them 4-1 on Friday. Jeff Deslauriers earned the win by making 33 saves. The teams combined for three fighting majors per club and a total of 50 penalty minutes further instilling in fans that the two teams do not like each other. In the five games between the two, they have averaged 50 combined penalty minutes.

Bryan Helmer, his second straight three-point night; Teemu Hartikainen, Milan Kytnar and Philippe Cornet,his third straight goal game, all scored against Peoria.

Oklahoma City won their fourth game in a row, 2-0 against San Antonio on Saturday for the second straight time meeting. Gerber made 18 saves in his third shutout of the year. Ben Ondrus scored finally at 3:01 in the third period for the games first goal and game winner. Alexandre Giroux then added a late empty-net goal.

The Barons remain on the road, seeing Lake Erie on Tuesday, Milwaukee on Thursday, Rockford Friday and Chicago on Sunday.


Chicago Wolves (ATL)


Right wing Spencer Machacek and defenseman Paul Postma were selected for the All-Star game. Postma shares fourth among AHL blueliners with 27 points (7G, 20A) in 42 games this season, two points shy of his 29-point total in 63 outings as a rookie last year. Machacek, currently on recall with Atlanta, ranks second on the Wolves with 14 goals and holds third on Chicago and shares 14th in the league with 33 points in 39 games this season. He also ranks second the Wolves and shares 12th in the AHL with a +14 plus/minus rating.

The Wolves dissappointed their young fans at the second annual “School Day Game” Wednesday, falling to the Texas Stars 4-2 before 11,626 strong crowd. The Wolves opened scoring, 56 seconds into the second period with a goal by center Jared Ross. Nigel Dawes scored his 20th goal of the season at 7:43 into the second period. Peter Mannino posted 22 saves in the loss.

Chicago once again fell, taking a 4-3 shootout loss to the Houston Aeros Friday night. Mannino kicked out 27 shots in regulation and overtime. Andre Deveaux scored on a power-play at 9:40 of the opening period. At 10:57 of the second, Jason Krog tapped in a rebound shot. Nigel Dawes also scored at 2:24 of the third period.

The Wolves lost their fifth straight to the Rockford IceHogs a 1-0 before 12,053 fans Saturday night. Drew MacIntyre posted 26 saves on 27 shots for Chicago.

Chicago held off a third-period by the San Antonio Rampage to snap their losing streak, winning 5-2, Sunday night. Netminder Drew MacIntyre held off 33 shots in-goal. Netminder Drew MacIntyre stopped 33 shots in goal. Darren Haydar, Jared Ross, Ryan Garbutt and Tim Stapleton (G, A) and defenseman Paul Postma (G, A), all scored the Wolves goals.

Grand Rapids visits Chicago on Friday and Saturday, Oklahoma City on Sunday.


Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)


Goaltender Mark Dekanich and left wing Linus Klasen have been selected to play in the All-Star game, the first All-Star selection for both players. Dekanich currently has a record of 15-5-3 with a 1.77 goals against average and a .938 save percentage, in which he both ranks third in the AHL. He has four shut outs, tying him for second in the league; he set the franchise record of consecutive shut out minutes recording 209:31 from November 7-19.

Klasen leads the Admirals with 29 points (16g-13a) in 31 games in his first season skating in North America. In October, Klasen was named AHL Player of the Week after he posted six points in three games.

The Admirals four-game winning streak came to an end Thursday with a 3-0 loss to the Manitoba Moose. Goaltender Mark Dekanich stopped 18 of 20 in the loss.

Milwaukee turned around and took a 3-2 win over the Moose Saturday night. The win moved the Admirals record to 24-12-2-4, with 54 points accrued, moving the Admirals into sole possession of first place in the AHL’s West Division. Linus Klasen posted his 17th goal of the season and the game-winner just 29 seconds into overtime. Scott Ford netted his first goal of the year, Klasen and Ryan Thang with the assists. Aaron Johnson tied the game at 2:21 of the third period with his seventh goal of the year. Dekanich finished with 30 saves to earn his 16th win of the season.

Milwaukee will face Okc on Thursday, San Antonio on Fri., Saturday Texas.


San Antonio Rampage (PHX)


Defenseman Garrett Stafford and right wing Brett MacLean have been selected to the Western Conference AHL All-Star Team. Stafford leads all AHL defensemen with 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists) in 34 games. His 17 power-play points, including 14 power-play assists, is the most on the Rampage roster and ranks him third in the league among defensemen. MacLean leads the Rampage in scoring (36 points), goals (16), power-play goals (7), shots (163) and plus/minus (+12). He is tied for eighth in the league in scoring (36 points) and is ranked second among skaters in shots (163).

The Rampage took a 5-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday night despite 44 shots on goal. The Rampage finally got on the board at the 14:44 mark of the second frame by Jamie Bates who scored his first goal after being added to the San Antonio roster earlier in the day. Rookie Maxim Goncharov extended his point streak to four games with a power play goal at 12:02 in the third period. Matt Climie finished the night with 20 saves.

San Antonio were shutout 2-0 by the Oklahoma City Barons in front of a season-high crowd of 9,920 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night. The Rampage head coach Ray Edwards pulled Climie with 50 seconds remaining in the contest, but the Alex Giroux took advantage of the empty net to finalize the Barons victory. Climie stopped 24 pucks on 25 Barons shot attempts.

The Rampage were unable to take the win over the Chicago Wolves, falling 5-2 at on Sunday afternoon. The losses helped drop the Rampage into fourth place in their division. Ryan Hollweg put San Antonio on the board at 1:39 in the third period, followed shortly later by

Andrew Ebbett at 2:53. Jamie Bates recorded his first AHL multiple-point game collecting two assists on the night. Al Montoya made 27 saves in the loss.

Next for the Rampage; Rockford on Monday, Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday Rockford again.


Houston Aeros (MIN)


Aeros defenseman Maxim Noreau has been selected to participate in the All-Star Classic. He is currently second in Aeros team scoring (7-16-23) and leads the team in assists. His 14 power play points (5-9-14) are also tops on the club, while he ranks tied for second among all AHL defensemen in power play goals (5) and shots (116). Currently in his fourth season as an Aero, Noreau leads the team with seven multi-point games. He also represented the Aeros at the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic.

Houston won their second straight in a 4-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs on Wednesday night. Matt Hackett made 27 saves in the Aeros win. Justin Falk scored the games first goal at 12:13 in the first period. Warren Peters also scored with a power play goal at 16:55 still in the first. Chad Rau broke a tie at 7:18 into the final period with his fourth goal of the season. Colton Gilles added an empty-net goal, his second in as many games, to solidify the victory. The Aeros defeated the Chicago Wolves 4-3 Friday night. Josh Tordjman turned aside 19 shots plus five more in the extra-extra as he earns his first win in an Aeros sweater. Jon DiSalvatore at 7:07 in the first period started the scoring. Carson McMillan created a deja vu moment when at 7:07 in the second, he put Houston up by one goal,his seventh. Chad Rau netted the tying goal at 11:15 in the third senging the game to overtime and eventual shooutout, where DiSalvatore netted the game winner.

Houston skated to it’s fourth-straight win with a 2-1 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins in front of 9,178 fans Saturday at Toyota Center. The Aeros four-game win streak ties a season-high, while the victory was Houston’s fifth-straight home win. Patrick O’Sullivan, in his first game of the season for Houston, scored on his first shot at 13:38 in the first period. Cody Almond gave Houston the lead with a power play goal at the 6:01 mark of the third period. Josh Tordjman turned aside 28 shots in the win.

The Aeros took a 3-2 shootout loss Sunday once again facing the Griffins before 5,486 at Toyota Center. The point earned in extra time was enough to launch the Aeros into possession of third place in the division. Houston goals were by Patrick O’Sullivan and Robbie Earl, giving the Aeros an early lead within a span of 1:55 in the first period. Matt Hackett took the shootout loss with 35 saves.

Houston will next see Texas on Friday, Lake Erie on Saturday and Toronto on Sunday.


Peoria Rivermen (STL)


Goaltender Jake Allen and defenseman Nathan Oystrick have been selected to represent the Peoria Rivermen in the All-Star game. Allen was selected to be the starting goaltender, having 15 wins in his first 18 games for Peoria (15-3-0) this season. Allen earned four shutouts in eight appearances to begin the year and boasts a league-leading five shutouts overall. He also paces the AHL in save percentage (.945) while ranking second in goals-against average (1.76) for the Western Conference-leading Rivermen.

Oystrick is on pace to set a career-high in points this season with 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in just 26 games with the Rivermen. He leads the AHL blueliners in power-play goals (6), and is tied for the league-lead in goals scored by a defenseman. This is his second all-star appearance for Oystrick, who made the team as a rookie during the 2006-07 season as a member of the Chicago Wolves, and the first for Allen.

The Rivermen had their five game win streak ended on Thursday night with a 7-2 loss to the Oklahoma City Barons. The Barons put up four power-play goals and had their perfect penalty kill in action. The five-goal differential and the seven goals against were both season highs against the Rivermen. Graham Mink put Peoria on the board for his 11th of the year at 12:02 in the first. Stefan Della Rovere scored his sixth of the year at 18:20,ending the goals for Peoria. Jake Allen did make 26 saves in the loss.

Friday night the Barons handed the Rivermen their second straight defeat by way of a 4-1 score. Derek Nesbitt scored Peoria’s lone goal on the power play at 4:31 of the second period, his team-leading 14th goal of the season. Nathan Oystrick and T.J. Hensick picked up the assists, Hensick’s assist the 200th point of his career. Ben Bishop took the loss with 22 saves.

With their first meeting since October, the Texas Stars defeated the Peoria Rivermen 3-1 in front of 5,593 fans on Saturday night, knocking the Rivermen out of first place. The lone Rivermen goal was scored in the second period by Graham Mink at 5:34, his 12th goal of the season. Jake Allen made 35 stops in his second weekend loss.

Tuesday and Wednesday Peoria sees Abbotsford; Toronto on Saturday and Lake Erie on Sunday.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)


Defenseman Brian Connelly was named to the Western Conference All-Star squad. He leads all Rockford skaters with 24 points, including a team-best 20 assists on the season, the only IceHogs skater to have appeared in all 36 games so far in 2010-11. His 24 points are just 11 shy of his rookie season total from a season ago.

Rockford fell 4-2 to the Houston Aeros on Wednesday, Alec Richards making 18 saves on 21 Houston shots. Rob Klinkhammer chipped in his sixth goal of the season at 13:50 in the first to tie the game. Ryan Potulny netted one at 2:39 in the third.

The IceHogs pulled off the win over the Texas Stars 3-1 at the Rockford MetroCentre on Friday. Kyle Beach gave the IceHogs a 1-0 lead at 2:10 in the second. Jeremy Morin scored one for his eighth goal of the season, giving the IceHogs a 2-1 lead at 2:47 in the third period. Ryan Potulny sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 19:25. Hannu Toivonen picked up his eighth win of the season turning away 29-of-30 chances.

Rockford took back-to-back wins, beating the Chicago Wolves 1-0 on Saturday. With a 32-save night by Hannu Toivonen with his second shut out, the IceHogs moved two-games above .500 for the first time this season. Kyle Beach scored his ninth goal of the season at 9:38 of the third period for the game winning goal.

Monday Rockford faces San Antonio, Oklahoma City on Friday and Saturday San Antonio again.


Texas Stars (DAL)


Center Travis Morin has been named a starter for the Western Conference All-Star team, making his AHL All-Star debut, leading the Stars in scoring through the first 38 games of the season with a team-high 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points. He is also second on the team with a +10 and five power-play goals, playing 117 straight games, placing second in team history with 34 goals and first with 46 assists and 80 points. The second-year AHLer also played in 24 Calder Cup Playoff games with 12 assists and 16 points.

The Stars defeated the Chicago Wolves 4-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Allstate Arena, goalie Richard Bachman making 31 saves in the win. Dan Spang at 18:32, his fourth goal of the year, put Texas on the board in the second. Fabian Brunnstrom scored his first of two at 1:49 into the third period. At 2:32 of the period, Colton Sceviour put Texas on top. Brunnstrom added his second goal of the night with 58 seconds left in regulation with an empty-netter. All-Star center Travis Morin had two assists in the win.

Texas was defeated by Rockford 3-1 on Friday night, with Bachman stopping 30 of 32 Rockford shots in the loss. Colton Sceviour had the lone Stars goal at 1:38 of the third, as the team dropped to 11-7-0-1 on the road this season. Forward Greg Rallo and defenseman Maxime Fortunus each had an assist on the goal.

The Stars defeated the Peoria Rivermen 3-1 on Saturday night at Carver Arena. Defenseman Philip Larsen scored his first pro goal at 10:39 of the first period for the game’s opening goal. Greg Rallo scored on a power-play goal, his 12th goal of the year, at 18:35 in the first. Forward Brandon Segal scored an empty-net goal for his first goal of the season at 18:47. Stars rookie goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 30 of 31 Rivermen shots in the win.

Texas see Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Houston on Friday and Milwaukee on Saturday.




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