Week 17 AHL West Division recaps–The AD’s have it.

Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

With a pair of wins, Milwaukee took the lead over the West Division with a 26-13-2 record, but still are tied with 2 other teams at 60 points. Only 1 point seperates the top three from two other teams in the division.

The Admirals started their push on Friday taking on Peoria, taking in a season high eight goals in an 8-1 win in front of 10,793 at home. This effort was most goals that the Admirals had scored in a game this season. Blake Geoffrion had a five-point night, 2g-3a, the most of his career and the most by an Admiral this year. With Linus Klasen and Ryan Thang having a goal and two assists on the night, their line had a total ten points. Geoffrion score Milwaukee’s first goal just 42 seconds into the first, his second coming in the second period at 12:55. The Ad’s scored four goals in less than 13 minutes in the second period, with goals by Mark Van Guilder, Thuresson, Chris Muller, and Klasen. Mueller’s goal came on a short handed chance, putting Milwaukee ahead 5-0. Thang scored his sixth of the year on the power play in the third. Johnathan Blum ended the Admirals scoring with another power-play goal at 16:15. All Star Goalie Mark Dekanich earned his 17th win of the season with a 27 save performance.

The Admirals also took a 3-2 win at Rockford Saturday night. Dekanich stopped 13 shots in the first period, turning aside 27 of 29 in the game. Blake Geoffrion netted his eighth goal of the season at 5:34 in the first period. After just ten seconds, Mike Bartlett scored his fourth goal of the season. Roman Josi scored the game-winning goal at 2:23 in overtime.

Milwaukee will next face Peoria on Friday and Grand Rapids on Saturday.

San Antonio Rampage (PHX)

The Rampage fell 3-2 in overtime to the Texas Stars at on Monday night. Maxim Goncharov netted a power-play goal with eight seconds remaining in the first period to tying up the game for San Antonio. Left wing Alex Picard scored his 15th goal of the season at the 9:26 mark of the second period but the Rampage just could not pull out the victory. Matt Climie finished the night with 37 saves on 40 attempts.

On Wednesday, the Rampage did manage to take over the Abbotsford Heat 4-2 in the team’s first-ever school day game. Bracken Kearns netted his fourth power-play goal of the season at the 2:43 mark of the second period on a rebound shot. Left winger Alex Picard at 13:30 into the middle frame scored his 16th. The Rampage took the 3-1 lead with a goal from Brett MacLean at 3:52 into the third period. Al Montoya made 29 saves in the win.

Continuing on, the Rampage took a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Wolves at the on Friday night in front of a record-setting crowd of 14,339 fans. The Rampage improve to 29-18-2-0 as they tie for the top seed of the Western Division standings with 60 points. It was San Antonio’s first-ever “Pink in the Rink Night” to support breast cancer awareness as they skated on pink ice and wore pink-themed jerseys, raising $35,600. The Rampage shattered their previous attendance record of 10,265 set in 2009. MacLean had two assists in the win, giving him 78 career Rampage assists which ties him for the franchise record with former player David Spina. The Rampage tied it up, converting a five-on-three power play with a goal by Garrett Stafford at 12:08 into the second period. Mikkel Boedker at the 16:50 mark of the second period gave the Rampage the eventual game winner. Boedker scored a second at 3:58 into the third period. The Rampage seized and empty net opportunity by MacLean, finalizing the victory. David Brine assisted on the goal, earning his 100th AHL point. Climie stopped 37 shots by Chicago.

The rampage will see Lake Erie on Friday and Saturday.

Houston Aeros (MIN)

Houston Aeros defeated the Syracuse Crunch 4-3 on Wednesday night in overtime, their seventh win in their last nine games and climbed to within one point of first place in the West Division. Goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped 20 shots for the victory. Colton Gillies scored just 26 seconds into the game, Houston’s quickest goal this season, followed by Robbie Earl at 17:35. Captain Jon DiSalvatore scored the tying goal at the 3:45 point of the third period. Earl netted his team-leading, 16th goal of the season at 1:43 in overtime on a power play chance.

Friday’s match against Abbotsford went through five rounds in a shootout, giving Houston a 4-3 win before 5,862 on Friday night at Toyota Center.The Aeros now have points in seven consecutive home games, sitting on a 6-0-0-1 home record. Tender Khudobin made 21 saves and four in the shootout. J.M. Daoust gave Houston the 1-0 lead at 16:56 of the first period, his eighth goal of the season and 300th pro point. Carson McMillan scored at 2:17 in the second, one of 4 goals scored in the period. Patrick O’Sullivan scored on the power play at 14:35 also in the sceond.

Houston has an easy week coming off the All-Star break, having one lone game against the Texas Stars on Friday.

Peoria Rivermen (STL)

Peoria Rivermen returned home Tuesday to beat the Rockford IceHogs 3-2 for their second straight win. Netminder Ben Bishop stopped 35 of 37 Rockford shots, getting his 12th win of the season. Chris Porter one-timed the puck to get Peoria on the board at 19:01 in the first. Anthony Peluso scored the only goal of the second period, just 2:51 in. T.J Hensick scored his 11th of the year and first game-winning goal with goals at 16:54 in the third period.

Peoria’s luck didn’t last however, the Milwaukee Admirals defeating the Rivermen 8-1 on Friday night. The goals marked a season-high for the Admirals and goals-against for the Rivermen. It is only the third time since joining the AHL that the Rivermen allowed at least eight goals in a game, in 2005 and 2006. The first shot of the third period by Mark Cundari on the power playat 1:11 was the Rivermen’s lone goal.

In front of a season-high crowd of 7,369, the Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Rivermen 3-2 on Saturday, breaking Peoria’s 10-game winning streak against them. Jake Allen stopped 33 shot on goal in the loss. Rivermen struck on the power play at 5:39 of the first period with a goal by Dave Spina. Chris Porter got the team within one after Allen was pulled for the extra attacker, scoring at 19:02 in the third. Not helping their case, the Rivermen were assessed 36 of their 46 penalty minutes in the third period alone.

The Rivermen will travel to Oklahoma City for games on Thursday and Friday, Chicago on Saturday.

Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

On the return to home ice, coming off a seven-game road trip, the Oklahoma City Barons could not shake their home woes, losing to the Chicago Wolves 5-4 in a shootout Wednesday in front of 3,564 fans. Teemu Hartikainen put the Barons on the board at 12:43 on a huge deflection pass from behind the net in the first period. The Barons continued scoring momentum, with back-to-back goals a season- best 28 seconds apart by Greg Stewart and Brad Moran. Matt Marquardt got on the board at 7:52 in the third. Colin McDonald was the only Baron to get one in the net in the shootout overtime. Martin Gerber made 33 saves in the loss.

Before Friday nights game against Texas, Bryan Helmer was honored highlighting his 520th AHL point, now being the top scoring defenseman in AHL history. Unfortunately he could not help his team to overcome the Stars, handing the Barons another defeat by way of a 2-1 score. Teemu Hartikainen was the Barons lone goal scorer at 8:12 in the second period. A previous goal attempt in the second period was waved off with a penalty whistle. Tender Jeff Delauriers made 32 saves in the loss.

The Barons were finally able to bring back their hometown salute Saturday when were able to bring back a win and defeat the Chicago Wolves 5-2. A hometown crowd of 6,174 were on hand, the first crowd of that size for OKC since opening night. Alex Giroux made sure to make it memorable the ngiht before flying out to Hershey for the All-Star game by recording his second hat-trick of the year.

The top line of Giroux, Brad Moran and Colin McDonald combined for 11 of the Barons’ 13 points. Deslauriers made 31 saves for the win. Giroux scored his first goal at the 1:21 mark of the first, his second goal at 5:19 giving the Barons a 2-0 lead. Moran’s goal put it even further out reach for Chicago at 8:22. McDonald scored the lone goal of the second period at 17:54 while on the power play. Giroux’s hat trick shot came at 6:45 in the third.

Oklahoma City stays home, bringing back Peoria for Thursday and Friday games, Texas on Saturday.

Chicago Wolves (ATL)

For their 50th game of the season last night, the Wolves brought in a 5-4 shootout win in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. Scoring was opened up at 6:58 into the first on a two-man advantage power-play goal by Andre Deveaux, followed 47 seconds later by a goal from Ryan Garbutt. Fredrik Pettersson netted his goal in the seocnd period to keep the Wolves in the game, tying it up. The Wolves pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, with Garbutt scoring at 19:36 to send the game into overtime. Drew MacIntyre kicked out 25 shots in regulation and overtime.

The Wolves success could not carry over in San Antonio Friday night, dropping the decision 4-1. Left wing Nigel Dawes scored the only goal for Chicago at 8:40 into the game on a power-play chance. Peter Mannino made18 stops in the loss.

The Wolves did not have the same luck returning to Oklahoma City on Saturday, falling 5-2 to the Barons. Mannino started in net but after giving up three goals and stopping two shots in 8:22 minutes of play, he was replaced by Edward Pasquale. Pasquale blocked 25 shots in 51:25 minutes of relief duty. The Wolves got on board with a power-play goal 12:08 into the first period with a score from Jason Krog. Tim Miller managed to get the credit for a strange bounce off the boards and then off Barons goalie Jeff Deslaurier’s back and into the net 6:29 into the third period.

Chicago will see Abottsford on Friday and Peoria Saturday.

Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

The Icehogs could not find any luck this weekend, first losing to the Peoria Rivermen 3-2 Tuesday night. Both teams went scoreless in the game’s first 19-minutes, then each managed to score in the final minute of period one. Just 39-seconds after a Peoria goal, Brandon Pirri tied it up for Rockford at 19:40 and again at 5:52 of the third, bringing his goal total to 7 of the season. Hannu Toivonen made 32 saves in the loss.

The Grand Rapids Griffins and Chris Minard put the hurt on the IceHogs on Friday, taking the 5-2 win.

It marked the first regulation loss against the Griffins in 11 previous match-ups. Ryan Potulny gave Rockford a 1-0 lead, scoring his 11th goal of the season on a power play at 5:30 of the opening period.

The winger notched his second goal of the game at 16:00 still in the first, but Grand Rapids was able to shut down Rockford’s scoring chances after that. The Icehogs had a season-high 41 shots on goal. Alec Richards stopped 28 shots in the loss for the Icehogs.

Saturday had the Icehogs facing Milwaukee, losing once again, this time 3-2 in an overtime match. Jeff Taffe scored on the power-play to bring Rockford within one in the second period, Mathis Olimb tying the game at 16:02 in the third. Toivonen started in net, but was relieved by Richards after a little over five minutes of playing time. Toivonon gave up 2 goals in three shots by Milwaukee, Richards coming in giving the Icehogs a chance making 19 saves.

With a week for Rockford to regroup, they will face Milwaukee again on Friday and Abbotsford on Saturday.

Texas Stars (DAL)

The Texas Stars defeated the San Antonio Rampage 3-2 in overtime on Monday night in front of 4,339 fans at Cedar Park Center. Goalie Richard Bachman stopped 27 to take the win. Aaron Gagnon helped the Stars strike first with 2:13 left in the first period with a power-play goal. Greg Rallo tied the game again for Texas at 13:22 in the third period. At only 31 seconds into overtime, Rallo scored yet again, getting the game-winning goal, in his 300th career pro game.

The Stars then traveled to defeat the Oklahoma City Barons 2-1 on Friday night. Bachman again had a good game, making 28 saves on the night, including 15 saves in the third period. Gagnon again opened the scoring at 7:11 of the second period on a power-play goal. Colton Sceviour managed to pull the Stars out in front and netted the eventual game winner at 10:06 in the second period.

Texas finally were defeated by the Abbotsford Heat 5-4 after a shootout on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 6,863 fans at Cedar Park Center. Richard Bachman stopped 25 of 29 shots in the shootout loss as Texas extended its points streak to four games. Center Aaron Gagnon yet again, for the third game in a row, scored the first goal for Texas, 25 seconds into the second period to tie the game. Two defenseman Philip Larsen and Dan Spang each added a goal to the match. The Stars tied the game 4-4 with one minute remaining in regulation as Francis Wathier notched his 13th goal of the year.

Texas will see Houston on Fri and Saturday, Oklahoma City.

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