AHL week 20 game recaps-The cards continue to shuffle

Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

With a 2-1 win on Friday night against the Houston Aeros, the Admirals moved into a first place in the West Division. With netminder Mark Dekanich recalled to Nashville, Jeremy Smith had to step up and that he did, putting in his top performance of the season with 34 saves, stopping four of six in the shoot-out. Mark Van Guilder scored his seventh goal of the season at just 29 seconds into the second period. The game would remain tied throughout the third period, taking it into overtime. Neither team could produce, each having only three shots on goal in the overtime session. Blake Geoffrion and Roman Josi both scored in the shootout, giving the Ads the win.

Milwaukee cruised past the Peoria Rivermen on Saturday at Carver Arena by way of a 3-0 shut out. Smith kept his streak alive, recording his second shutout of the season, stopping 24 shots and improved to 10-4-1 for the season. The game started with fireworks as Kelsey Wilson and Peoria’s bad boy Ryan Reaves got into it and were assessed fighting majors just two seconds into the game. Wilson would ultimately win the battle as he scored his seventh goal of the season at 7:18 of the first period. Just 2:50 minutes after Wilson’s goal, Blake Geoffrion scored on a power play, his 11th goal of the season, third on the power play. Gabriel Bourque finished off the Ads scoring with his ninth goal of the season at 17:42 in the third period.

Sunday the Admirals saw their three game win streak come to an end, taking a 2-1 loss to the Texas Stars. Jonathon Blum scored Milwaukee’s lone goal on a power-play goal at 13:49 in the first period. Roman Josi assisted on the goal, giving him at least one point in 13 straight games. Josi’s streak is the longest by an Admiral since 2008 and the longest streak in the AHL this season. Mark Dekanich, on his return to the Ads from Nashville, made 22 saves in the loss.

Milwaukee now heads out for a road trip, hitting Houston on Tuesday, Oklahoma City on Wednesday, Chicago on Friday then home on Saturday against Rockford.


Houston Aeros (MIN)

Houston is tied with the Milwaukee Admirals for first place in the West Division and Western Conference race after a pair of losses over the weekend. The Aeros took a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves Thursday on home ice. It was the first loss in regulation for the Aeros at the Toyota Center since Dec. 21. Jon DiSalvatore scored the only goal for Houston at the 16:48 mark in the third period, despite outshooting the Wolves 28-5 in the second and third periods. Anton Khudobin made 14 stops in the loss.

Houston took another loss in a 2-1 shootout with the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night. Patrick O’Sullivan scored Houston’s lone goal at 1:04 in the second period, his ninth goal in 14 games since joining the team in January. The tying goal helped the Aeros earn a standings point, keeping them alive for first place. Matt Hackett made 19 saves for the night.

The Aeros came alive on Saturday, flying through to a 5-3 victory over the Rockford IceHogs. Matt Hackett made 22 saves in the win. Jon DiSalvatore, Justin Falk, Maxim Noreau, Chad Rau and Jed Ortmeyer each scored a goal in the win. Rau’s goal in the third period proved to be the game winner.

The Aeros see Milwaukee on Tuesday, Texas on Friday and Oklahoma City on Saturday.


Texas Stars (DAL)

With two losses in five games over the weekend, the Stars moved into second place with 70 points, 1 point shy of first in the Division and Conference. The Stars first loss came Monday against the Lake Erie Monsters, 3-2. The loss was the second time all season which the Stars dropped a one-goal game in regulation. In the second period, at 15:18, defenseman Dan Spang scored off a rebound putting Texas on the board, his seventh goal of the year. Newly aquired Dave Bonk scored the other Stars goal at 19:50 in the third.

The Stars were again defeated by Lake Erie, 4-2 on Wednesday afternoon. Michael Neal scored for Texas at 2:56 in the second period. Dave Bonk netted his second goal of the season in as many games, at 14:33 in the third. Brent Krahn made 32 stops in the loss.

The Stars got back into the swing of winning with a win over the Grand Rapids Griffins 3-2 in a shootout on Friday. Tender Richard Bachman made 35 saves in regulation and stopped all five shootout attempts. Defenseman Dan sprang netted the first point for the Stars with a power-play goal at 16:04 in the first period. The Stars tied the game in the third with a goal from Brandon Segal with his fifth goal of the year at 1:41. After a scoreless overtime, the teams went into a shootout were Francis Wathier scored the only Stars shootout goal for the win.

Texas went on to defeat the Chicago Wolves 3-2 on Saturday night. Goalie Richard Bachman made 41 saves to help the Stars take the win. Left wing Francis Wathier put Texas ahead just 36 seconds into the first period. Right wing Colton Sceviour netted a short-handed goal 1:32 into the third period. Greg Rallo supplied the game winner with a power-play goal at 14:46.

The Stars defeated the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 on Sunday night. One day after getting recalled from Idaho, rookie goalie Tyler Beskorowany made 34 saves to give the Stars the win. Center Mathieu Tousignant gave Texas the lead with his eighth goal of the year at 7:23 in the first. With a power-play goal from right wing Sean Backman at 7:34 of the second period, the Stars took and held the lead for the win.

The Stars 8 game road trip continues as the head to Peoria on Wednesday, Houston Friday, San Antonio on Saturday the return home Sunday for Oklahoma City.


San Antonio Rampage (MIN)

The Rampage beat the Syracuse Crunch 4-2 on Friday night. Right wing Brett MacLean recorded his first professional hat trick, the 10th player in franchise history and second Rampage player this season to score three goals in one game, as he skated in his 200th professional contest tonight. His ninth power-play goal of the season at 8:51 of the first put the Rampage on the board first. Center Bracken Kearns at 13:38 of the second period put the Rampage out ahead. Maclean scored his second goal of the game just 26 seconds later, his 21st goal of the season. Randy Robitaille supplied an assist on the goal for his first point in a Rampage uniform. MacLean was later awarded a penalty shot, the Rampage’s second penalty shot opportunity of the season, and scored his hat trick at 14:12 in the third. Tender Matt Climie turned aside 37 Crunch shot attempts. Ray Emery, who has started in 163 NHL games in his career, made 27 saves on 31 Rampage shot attempts in his Crunch debut, coming back to ice after surgery on his hip.

San Antonio took a 3-1 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon. Center Bracken Kearns scored the lone Rampage goal on the first power-play opportunity of the game 6:16 into the contest. Climie made 29 saves on 31 Bulldogs shot attempts in the loss.

San Antonio will next see Toronto on Monday, Oklahoma City on Friday and Texas on Saturday.


Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

As part of the NHL’s Heritage Classic festivities, the Barons had their first meeting of the year against the Abbotsford Heat, taking a 3-1 win on Friday in Calgary, Alberta. The game also marked a milestone for defenseman Bryan Helmer, who became the seventh player in AHL history to surpass the 1,000 games played mark. In his fourth straight start, Martin Gerber made 18 saves for the win. Rookie Mark Arcobello scored his first AHL goal at 7:18 of the second period to tie the game up for OKC. Alexandre Giroux scored to put the Barons ahead with 1:06 left in the third, followed by an empty netter by Chris Vandevelde.

With the rematch on Saturday, the Barons yet again took a 3-2 win over the Heat on, this time back in Abbotsford, B.C. Netminder Jeff Deslauriers made 34 saves for the win. Brad Moran scored the first Oklahoma City goal at 18:03 in the first period. Teemu Hartikainen was able to tie the game 1:34 into the third on the power play eventually sending it into overtime. Mark Arcobello continued making a name for himself, getting the game winning goal with 1:05 remaining in overtime.

Oklahoma City returns home on Wednesday to take on Milwaukee, then San Antonio on Friday, Saturday Houston then travels to Texas on Sunday.


Peoria Rivermen (STL)

The Rivemen still can’t seem to find their groove, dropping all three games this weekend, starting with a loss to the Rockford IceHogs by way of a 2-1 score on Wednesday night. Despite the Rivermen outshooting the IceHogs 35-27, only one goal got through. With just two seconds left in the third period, Graham Mink spoiled the shutout by Rockford on a 6-on-4 power-play goal. T.J Hensick and Nathan Oystrick were credited for with the assists, extending his point streak to 11 games. Ben Bishop made 25 stops in the loss.

Peoria took a 3-0 defeat from the Milwaukee Admirals in front of 7,304 home fans at Carver Arena, the second time the Admirals shut out Peoria at home. Jake Allen stopped 20 shots while T.J. Hensick saw his season-long 11-game point-streak come to an end.

The Rivermen again dropped another game, this time losing to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the first in five meetings this season Peoria has lost, dropping their second straight game 4-2. Nicholas Drazenovic, with his 15th of the year, got the scoring for the Rivermen started at just 39 seconds into the game. Ian Cole netted his second goal of the year at 16:16 of the first period with a power play score. Allen took the loss with 33 saves on 37 shots.

Peoria will try to improve their slide on Monday against Rockford, Wednesday Texas, Rockford again on Friday and Chicago Saturday.


Chicago Wolves (ATL)

The Wolves were able to defeat the Houston Aeros Thursday by scoring three straight goals for a 3-1 win. Andre Deveaux put Chicago on the board at 5:57 into the first period with a power-play goal. Noah Welch took the lead at 12:24 into the second period, with Riley Holzapfel just 37 seconds later giving Chicago the 3-0 lead. Peter Mannino nearly recorded the shut out, kicking out 34 shots in the win.

Wolves took a 4-3 win from the Rockford IceHogs Friday night. At 16:05 into the first period, Ryan Garbutt scored the Wolves first goal. Jason Krog gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead at 3:08 in the second period. Andrey Zubarev at 18:59 in the second and Tim Miller just 44 seconds later, rounded out the Wolves goals. Netminder Drew MacIntyre kicked out 29 shots in the win.

The Wolves ended their streak taking a 3-2 loss to the Texas Stars before a home crowd of 10,721 Saturday night. Jason Krog at 4:24 of the first period scored for Chicago,even though the puck deflected off of a Texas player and into the net. Paul Postma scored on a power-play opportunity late in the second period, 1:06 remaining. Peter Mannin posted 24 saves for the loss.

Chicago will next take on Rockford again on Wednesday, Milwaukee friday and Peoria on Saturday.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

The IceHogs ended the Peoria Rivermen’s three game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 win Wednesday night,

also ending Rockford’s four-game winless streak. The IceHogs struck first with a power play goal from Jeff Taffe at 7:02 in the first. At 16:29 in the second, Evan Brophey made it a 2-0 lead for the Icehogs.

Alec Richards turned away 34 shots to earn the win.

Rockford just couldn’t hang on, losing to the Chicago Wolves 4-3 win on Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre. The Hogs were on the board first with a goal from Ryan Potulny with his team-high ninth power-play marker of the season at 14:07 in the first period. Potulny slapped in his second goal of the night and 16th of the season at 9:56 in the third. Kyle Beach netted Rockford’s third power-play goal of the game at 13:17 in the third period, with Jeff Taffe credited with an assist, his third of the game.

Richards was handed a loss, though stopping 24-of-28 chances.

Facing another large deficit, the IceHogs could not rally back, taking a 5-3 loss on Saturday night to the Houston Aeros in front of a sold out Rockford MetroCentre. Rockford started their comeback at 19:21 in the first period with a goal from Ryan Potulny. Brandon Pirri at 4:29 in the second and Kyle Beach at 5:50 into the third period were the remaining goals scored for the Rockford loss. Hannu Toivonen took the loss this time around, making 31 saves on the night.

Rockford will try again to pull out some wins when they see Peoria on Monday, Chicago on Wednesday, Peoria again on Friday, Milwaukee Saturday and rounding out with Houston on Sunday.


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