AHL West Division week 21 recap-Tight race

Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

Milwaukee remains on top in the West Division with 76 points along with four ather Division teams ruling the Conference. The Admirals have a one-point edge over Houston, whom they defeated on Tuesday 5-4. In his AHL debut, Anders Lindback earned the win stopping 31 shots. Lindback is playing his first season in North America and has played 21 games in the NHL with Nashville. Just 24 seconds into the game, Houston took a penalty and allowed Andreas Thuresson at 1:19 to score his seventh goal of the season, second on the power play. Chris Mueller’s unassisted goal at 10:20 was his 17th of the season. The remaining scoring, all in the third period, started with Brett Palin at 4:19 then two by Matt Halischuk at 7:50 on the power play and again at 9:43.

Grant Lewis had a three point night and five different Admirals scored Wednesday to defeat the Oklahoma City Barons 6-1. Anders Lindback stopped 32 shots in his second straight win. Gabriel Bourque at 5:01 of the first got the scoring started for the Ad’s. Grant Lewis at 19:02 and Ryan Flynn at 19:55 rounded out the first peeriod scoring. In the second period, Ryan Thang at 9:16 and Lewis at 13:29 scored his second goal of the night. Andreas Thuresson’s goal at 16:18 in the second was the final score.

Milwaukee took a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves Friday night. Lindback was once again on top of his game despite the loss, making 29 saves. With just 1:43 left in the game, Mark Van Guilder finally put the Ad’s on the board in their second straight home loss.

The Admirals did not fare much better on Saturday, giving the Rockford IceHogs a 4-3 overtime win. Lindback, again in net, stopped 26 of 30 in the loss. Kelsey Wilson on the power play first tied the game for the Admirals. The game was tied yet again at 12:27 of the second period with a goal from Ryan Flynn for his fourth goal of the season. Mike Barlett at 10:53 in the third rounded out the scoring chances for Milwaukee.

Milwaukee will see Toronto on Tuesday, Hamilton Wednesday, Chicago on Friday and Manitoba on Saturday.


Houston Aeros (MIN)

The Houston Aeros fell 5-4 to the Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday night, settling into second place in the division. Battling back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period, the Aeros scored four-straight goals, though taking the loss. Patrick O’Sullivan got his first three-point game of the season, scoring a goal in the first and third periods. Brandon Buck and Warren Peters also netted a point in the game. Anton Khudobin made 25 saves for the night.

With their 33rd win of the season over the Texas Stars on Friday, the Aeros equaled last season’s total win output. 7,582 home fans were on hand for the 4-3 win. Khudobin turned aside 33 shots in the win. Nate Prosser put Houston on the board at 10:35 in the first, followed by Joe DiSalvatore with a power play goal at 12:15. DiSalvatore also scored the tying goal with 7:27 left in the third period. Casey Wellman scored the game winning goal on the power play 29 seconds into overtime, his first time back in the lineup since missing the previous 10 games with an upper body injury.

The Aeros got their third shut out of the season, handing the Oklahoma City Barons a 5-0 loss on Saturday night. Matt Hackett made 31 saves in his second pro shutout. Matt Kassian, Casey Wellman, Jed Ortmeyer and Patrick O’Sullivan all scored, Ortmeyer recording his first multi-goal game of the season, an even-strength goal and a short-handed goal.

Next up for Houston, Rockford on Wednesday, Syracuse on Friday, Texas Saturday and Abbotsford on Sunday.


Texas Stars (DAL)

The Stars were defeated by the Peoria Rivermen 5-2 on Wednesday night, ending the Stars three-game winning streak. Richard Bachman took the loss with 16 saves on 21 shots in two periods of work, being replaced by Tyler Beskorowany in the third period, making 14 saves. Defenseman Maxime Fortunus and forward Ondrej Roman each scored for Texas in the loss.

Texas were defeated by the Houston Aeros 4-3 in overtime on Friday night as well, despite Bachman making 40 saves in the defeat. Texas opened the scoring 45 seconds into the first period with a goal from Francis Wathier, his 15th goal of the year. The Stars tied the game at 14:04 of the second period, Luke Gazdic putting in a rebound goal for his eighth of the year. At 10:14 of the third period off a power-play goal by defenseman Jordie Benn, Texas took the lead but could not hold on for the evnetual win.

Another loss came for the Stars on Saturday by the San Antonio Rampage in a 3-2 shootout. Tyler Beskorowany made 29 saves in regulation and stopped four of seven attempts in the shootout. Luke Gazdic scored the lone goal in the first period at 10:01 for a Stars lead. Darren Sprang scored again for Texas at 5:13 in the second period.

The Stars did not fare better at home, as they were defeated by the Oklahoma City Barons 3-2 in another shootout on Sunday night in front of 5,545 fans. Richard Bachman stopped 35 shots, helping the Stars earn a point in the defeat. Defenseman Trevor Ludwig and right wing Greg Rallo each got Texas on the board.

Next up for Texas on Tuesday is Abbotsford, then San Antonio on Friday and Houston on Saturday.


Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

The Barons moved into a fourth-place tie in the Division with Peoria at 71 points, though improving to 18-8-0-1 on the road. Despite scoring first, the Barons lost to the Milwaukee Admirals Wednesday 6-1. Center Milan Kytnar scored his seventh goal of the season just 1:29 into the first perios, OKC’s only point. Martin Gerber and Jeff Deslauriers shared duties, Gerber making 13 saves, Deslauriers with 4 stops.

The Barons got the win Friday night, defeating the San Antonio Rampage 3-2. Alex Giroux scored the first Barons goal at 10:35 in the first period. Zack Stortini at 3:52 in the second was his first goal since joining the Barons earlier this month. A goal by Brad Moran at 6:08 in the second put the game away. Deslauriers made 22 saves for the win.

Things were much bleaker for the Barons on Saturday, taking a 5-0 shut out loss from Houston. Deslauriers stopped 25 of the 30 shots he faced.

After 3 previous defeats at Texas, OKC finally managed a win, beating the Stars 3-2 on Sunday. Philippe Cornet opened the scoring for the Barons on a rebound goal at 4:01 into the first period. Teemu Hartkainen at 2:07 of the second period put OKC ahead 2-0. Colin McDonald would net the winning goal in the shoot out. Bryan Pitton, recently reassigned from Stockton for the Gerber call up to Edmonton, made 29 saves in the win.

Oklahoma City will host Abbotsford both Friday and Satuday.


Peoria Rivermen (STL)

The Rivermen took a 6-3 in over Rockford on Monday. Jake Allen finished with 28 saves on 31 shots in picking up the victory, now 4-0-0-0 against the IceHogs. Forward Graham Mink tied a career high with four goals, two in the first period, his second four-goal effort of his AHL career. Mink has racked up more than 200 AHL goals and has won a pair of Calder Cups while in Hershey. Nicholas Drazenovic and T.J Hensick provided final tallies of the first period, Hensick his team-leading 17th of the season. At the 8:02 mark of the second, Mink scored his first hat trick since 2008 while with Hershey. Mink closed out his score fest at 14:04 in the third on a power play chance.

The Rivermen went on to take a 5-2 victory over the Texas Stars Wednesday night at home. Brennan Evans was the hero after going 48 games without scoring a goal this season but came up with three goals and getting his first career hat trick. Jake Allen stopped 27 of 29 shots for his 18th win of the year. Chris Porter scored his ninth of the year and Ian Cole gained 2 points.

The Rivermen, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their 1991 Turner Cup championship team, lost to the Rockford IceHogs 4-2 on Friday night in front of 5,990 fans. What was thought to be the game’s first goal in the opening period, Dave Scatchard’s goal was disallowed after being ruled he played it in with his hand, creating the slide for Peoria. Nathan Oystrick officially put the Rivermen on the board at 5:34 of the second with his 12th of the year on the power play. Mark Cundari scored his fifth power play goal at 16:51. Jake Allen made 23 saves for the win.

The Rivermen took a 5-2 loss on Saturday night to the Chicago Wolves, ending a six game in eight night stretch for Peoria and kicked off a set of five games over the next 13 days between Peoria and Chicago. After a scoreless first period, the Rivermen scored at 1:26 in the second with a goal from Adam Cracknell for his sixth of the year. Brett Sonne had his third goal of the year with just 49 seconds left in the game. Allen in net again, made 21 stops.

Peoria will face Chicago twice this week, on Tuesday and again on Saturday. Friday they see Manitoba.


San Antonio Rampage (PHX)

The Rampage dropped a 6-4 decision to the Toronto Marlies on Monday afternoon. Brent MacLean got the Rampage on the board with his 23rd goal of the season at 12:56 of the second. Viktor Tikhonov at the 2:08 mark, Alex Picard at 10:59 and defenseman Jeff May at 14:28, his first of the year, all scored in the third period. Matt Climie finished with 15 saves on 20 Marlies shot attempts.

San Antonio fell 3-2 to the Oklahoma City Barons to conclude their road trip on Friday night. The Rampage jumped on the scoreboard first with a goal from right wing Matt Watkins, his first power-play goal of the season 2:24 in the first. Randy Robitaille scored his first goal of the season at the 2:03 mark of the third period.Both tender Joe Fallon and Matt Climie made 14 saves in the loss.

Rampage got their win on Saturday over the Texas Stars in a 3-2 shootout in front of 10,447 fans at the AT&T Center. It was the second-highest attended game in franchise history for the Rampage. Garrett Stafford netted his 12th goal of the season at the 1:51 mark of the second period. The game was tied up yet again at the 15:33 mark of the third period with Ned Lukacevic’s fourth goal of the season. Forwards Viktor Tikhonov, MacLean and Robitaille each scored in a seven-round shootout. Climie finished with 24 saves and stopped five of seven shootout shots.

Wednesday the Rampage host the Abbotsford Heat then they face Texas on Friday, Syracuse on Saturday.


Chicago Wolves (ATL)

Chicago held on through a late rally and took a 4-3 victory over the Rockford Icehogs Wednesday night, the fourth victory in five games for the Wolves. Nigel Dawes took an easy goal from Rockford at 3:48 into the first period when Rockford’s goaltender was out of position. Ryan Garbutt put the Wolves ahead 2-0 at 7:27 also in the first. Dawes scored his second of the night at 19:40 in the second period. Just 39 seconds into the third period, Fredrik Pettersson put the wolves back up by two for the win. Drew MacIntyre posted 27 saves for Chicago.

The Wolves took a 2-1 win against the Milwaukee Admirals at the Bradley Center Friday night. Drew MacIntyre kicked out 29 shots, holding Milwaukee scoreless for the first 58:17 of the game, getting his fifth straight win. After going scoreless for 36 minutes, Mark Matheson at 16:05 in the second period got the scoring started. Tim Miller got his goal on a short-handed chance, putting the puck into the empty net 3:23 into the last period.

With four goals in the third period, the Wolves picked up a 5-2 win over the Peoria Rivermen before 10,310 fans at the Allstate Arena Saturday night, their sixth victory in the last seven games. Goaltender Peter Mannino stopped 24 of 26 shots he faced. Right wing Darren Haydar led the way with two goals, one in each the first and second period. Chicago took a two-goal lead with a power-play goal from Paul Postma at 5:25 in the third. The Wolves goals were rounded out at 7:28 of the third period with a short-handed goal from Pettersson and then an empty net goal from Jason Krog.

Chicago will see Peoria again on Tuesday and Saturday, Milwaukee on Friday, and then Manitoba on Sunday.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

Rockford IceHogs lost to the Peoria Rivermen 6-3 Monday afternoon at the Rockford MetroCentre. Jeff Taffe netted his 18th goal of the season at 14:09 in the first. Brian Connelly scored for Rockford in the third period off a 50-foot slap shot at 1:25. Peter LeBlanc also netted one for the Icehogs at 11:12. Alec Richards stopped 32-of-38 shots.

In what seems to be a recuring theme, the IceHogs dug themselves an early hole, battled back, but eventually fell to the Chicago Wolves 4-3 ton Wednesday. Garnet Exelby put Rockford on the board in the second period, his first tally of the season, at 11:12. Jeff Taffe extended his team season-high point streak to 12-straight games, scoring at 19:20, tying the game for the IceHogs. Ryan Stanton blasted in his first career goal at 9:27 of the third period. Hannu Toivonen turned aside 27 shots for the IceHogs.

The IceHogs finally turned things around, defeating the Peoria Rivermen 4-2 on Friday, ending a four game losing streak and a seven-game road winless streak. Richards made 22 saves on the night, helping Rockford earn their first win of the season in Peoria in their final visit. Ryan Potulny scored his 18th goal of the season at 10:38 of the second period getting Rockford on the board. Jeff Taffe then scored the next two for the Icehogs, with Rob Klinkhammer notching his eighth goal of the season into the empty goal at 19:53.

Rockford continued on, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals in overtime, 4-3, in front of a sold out crowd at the Rockford MetroCentre on Saturday night. Rockford took the lead off an Evan Brophey goal at just 42 seconds into the game,his eighth goal of the season. Rob Klinkhammer then scored two, one at 9:28 in the second and again at 4:19 in the third period. Ben Smith won the game for Rockford at 3:07 into overtime. Richards picked up the win after stopping 33 shots.

Getting their third straight win, the Icehogs capped off the weekend with a 3-2 victory over the Houston Aeros on the road, kicking off a seven game road trip. Toivonen finished the night with 36 saves in the win. Jeff Taffe gave Rockford the lead just 11-seconds into the second period, his 22nd goal of the season and extending his point streak to 15-straight games, tying Martin St. Pierre for the longest in franchise history. Rob Klinkhammer extended the lead to at 9:01 of the middle period, Igor Makarov netting his seventh goal of the season at 2:23 of the final period.

Rockford continues their road trip, seeing Houston on Wednesday, Lake Erie on Friday and Saturday.


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