AHL West Division week 22 recap—Barons pull out a stunner


Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

The Admirals still remain on top of the West Division and the Western Conference with 81 points, two ahead of the closest team. Milwaukee started the week with defeating the Toronto Marlies for the second time this season with a 3-1 victory on Tuesday. Netminder Mark Dekanich was back for his first start in nine days and stopped 31 shots in the win. Gabriel Bourque netted his 11th goal of the season, second power play goal, in the first period, putting the Ad’s on the board. Mike Bartlett netted his sixth goal in the second period, while Grant Lewis scored a power-play goal at 15:12 of the third period.

Milwaukee fell in overtime to the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-4 at Hamilton.The Admirals did not get on the board until 4:31 of the second period with a goal from Teemu Laakso. Scott Ford and Andreas Thuresson with his ninth goal of the season, third on the power play, also scored in the second period, keeping the Ad’s alive. Bourque tied the game up half way through the third period, sending the game to overtime, where a former Admiral would get the winning goal for Hamilton.

The Admirals twent on to post a 3-1 win over the Chicago Wolves Friday night. Mark Dekanich stopped 42 shots earning his 22nd win for the season. Connor Shields scored at 3:01 of the first period, his first as an Admiral. Just 27 seconds into the second period on the power play, Ryan Thang gave Milwaukee a 2-0 lead. Defenseman Patrick Coulombe also scored his first goal as an Admiral at 3:42 of the third period.

Saturday was the showdown between the North and West Division leaders, the Manitoba Moose coming to Milwaukee in their final meeting this year, defeating the Ad’s 4-2. Dekanich made 26 saves in the loss. Grant Lewis at 9:47 of the first period with a power play goal put Milwaukee on the board. Ryan Flynn in the third at 2:59 scored the other Admiral goal.

Milwaukee will see Rockford on Friday and Peoria on Sunday.


Houston Aeros (MIN)

Houston set a franchise record and AHL season high with a six power play goal outburst. The Aeros defeated the Rockford Icehogs 8-1 on Wednesday, marking a season-high and tying a franchise record with those goals scored. Jon DiSalvatore and Marco Scandella scored twice, Patrick O’Sullivan, Max Noreau, his career 50th, J.M. Daoust, Colton Gillies rounded out with a goal each.

The Aeros won their second game for the week with a 3-1 decision over the Syracuse Crunch on Friday night. Goaltender Josh Tordjman turned aside 22 shots for his third win of the season,his first start since mid January. Jarod Palmer tied it up for the Aeros at 8:45 of the first period. Chad Rau put the Aeros up 2-1 while on a 5-on-3 power play goal at 13:51 of the second. Patrick O’Sullivan earned the assist, extending his scoring streak to eight games and tying a team season-high in the process. Palmer had his second goal of the night at 14:28 of the third.

Houston fell 3-1 to the Texas Stars on Saturday night, Jon DiSalvatore scoring Houston’s lone goal, his team-leading 18th goal of the season. Tender Matt Hackett made 23 saves in the loss.

The Aeros fell 5-4 to the Abbotsford Heat on Sunday, remaining two points out of first place in the West Division behind Milwaukee. DiSalvatore tied up the game twice, first at 1:39 and then again at 10:43 in the second period, his 20th of the season, marking his eighth consecutive 20-goal season as a pro. Marco Scandella assisted on both goals. Rau and Palmer also put one in the net in the loss, with O’Sullivan extending his scoring streak to a team season-high 10 games with an assist, the longest by an Aeros player since Max Noreau’s eight-game run last season. Tordjman made 31 stops in the loss.

Houston will face off against Manitoba on Friday and Sunday.


Texas Stars (DAL)

Texas defeated the San Antonio Rampage 6-5 in overtime Friday night in front of 5,036 fans at Cedar Park Center. Goalie Richard Bachman stopped 28 shots to preserve the win, although allowing the Rampage to score five consecutive goals in the third period. The Stars opened up the first period with four unanswered goals, Ray Sawada netted two himself, Brandon Segal and Cody Chupp scoring as well. Center Aaron Gagnon scored the final regulation goal with 19 seconds left to force overtime. Right wing Greg Rallo scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 2:59 remaining in the overtime session.

The Stars went on to defeat the Houston Aeros 3-1 Saturday night in front of 6,544 fans at Cedar Park Center. The win pulled Texas within two points of second place in the West Division and ended a 6 game losing streak to the Aeros. Goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped 29 shots as Houston outshot Texas 30-25. The Stars took the lead at 8:14 in the first period with a goal from defenseman Maxime Fortunus, his fourth of the year. At 6:40 of the second period the Stars took a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal from Brandon Segal, his seventh goal of the year. Right wing Greg Rallo notched the empty-net goal with just 23 seconds remaining in the third, his 21st goal of the season.

Texas will see Syracuse on Monday and Friday, Hamilton on Saturday and Toronto on Sunday.


Peoria Rivermen (STL)

Despite a tough fought game, the Rivermen could not overcome the Manitboa Moose, dropping a 4-3 shootout decision on Friday night. Dave Spina netted his 10th of the year and third shorthanded goal at 10:45 in the first period. Mark Cundari scored his ninth of the year at the 5:55 mark in the second.  Dave Scatchard tied the game for the Rivermen with an empty net goal only with 53.9 seconds remaining in regulation, his fourth of the season.  Jake Allen ended the night with 36 saves.

In front the largest crowd of the season (9,025) the Rivermen fought to defeat the Chicago Wolves 6-5 in a shootout Saturday night. The heated division rivalry featured 123 penalty minutes. Rookie Chris Langkow started the scoring for Peoria and got his first career AHL goal in the first period. Derek Peltier at 11:53 on the power play later in the first period. Graham Mink continued to lead the team in goals after putting one in at 10:30 of the second period, his 19th of the season, while on the power play.

Dave Spina netted his 11th of the season and Nathan Oystrick scored as well at 13:51 of the third. The overtime remained scoreless, seeing each team called for minor penalties and misconducts, leading to the shoot out where Derek Peltier scored the game-winner. Allen stopped three of four shots in the shoot out and 24 total shots to pick up his 20th win of the season.

Peoria will see Grand Rapids on Tuesday, Chicago on Wednesday & Friday then close out with Milwaukee on Sunday.


Chicago Wolves (ATL)

The Wolves took a 3-1 loss from the Milwaukee Admirals at the Allstate Arena Friday night. Defenseman Arturs Kulda scored Chicago’s lone goal in the second period. The loss was the Wolves first regulation loss in four games despite having 43 shots on goal. Tender Pete Mannino had the easy night, stopping only 16 shots for the Wolves.

Chicago managed to force overtime with Peoria but would eventually lose 6-5 in the shootout Saturday night. Mannino stopped 32 shots in regulation and overtime. Forward Tim Miller scored two goals for Chicago, while right wings Darren Haydar, Spencer Machacek and defenseman Paul Postma all potted goals for the Wolves. Chicago head coach Don Lever was later suspended for two games under the provisions of AHL Rule 28.1 (supplementary discipline) after receiving a game misconduct at 4:21 of the overtime period. Lever argued repeatedly with the ref after a goal had been called back.

The Wolves held on to their lead to collect a 3-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose at home Sunday night. Goaltender Edward Pasquale made 29 saves in his first start since Jan. 29. Darren Haydar gave the Wolves the 1-0 lead at 11:18 into the first period. Tim Miller brought the Wolves lead up to 2 at 7:06 into the second period. Jason Krog put in the final Wolves goal at 17:28 of the second period.

Chicago will again see Peoria on Wednesday and Friday, then see Rockford on Sunday.


San Antonio Rampage (PHX)

The Rampage earned their second consecutive win, beatting the Abbotsford Heat 3-2 on Wednesday night. Going scoreless throught the first period, the Rampage got on the board at 5:44 into the second period a goal from Matt Watkins, his first goal of the night. Watkins netted his second goal at the 1:21 mark of the third period. Left winger Ned Lukacevic got the assist on both of Watkins’ goals. Matt Pope at 7:40 in the third period was the final point for the Rampage.

The Rampage fell to the Texas Stars 6-5 in overtime on Friday night. The Rampage and Stars combined for 43 penalty minutes in the second period alone, 29 penalty minutes within the first five minutes of the third. The Rampage went on to score four goals within a five-minute span to tie up the game. Right wing Viktor Tikhonov scored at the 4:10 mark of the third period to get the show started for San Antonio. Alex Picard and Matt Beaudoin each scored on the same power play, Bracken Kearn’s 14th goal of the season coming at 9:28 in the third. Jonas Ahnelov netted the Rampage’s final tally at 16:26. While starting in net, Matt Climie was pulled and replaced with Joe Fallon after the Stars tallied three goals within the first 6:10 of regulation. Fallon went on to make 21 stops.

The Rampage fell 4-1 to the Syracuse Crunch in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,935 on Saturday night, sitting at 73 points on the year with a 35-24-3-0 record. Captain Nolan Yonkman scored his first goal of the season and lone goal for San Antonio. Climie finished the night with 26 saves.

San Antonio will host Oklahoma City on Thursday, Manitoba on Saturday and then Grand Rapids on Sunday.


Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

The Barons hosted the Abbotsford Heat over the weekend, splitting the wins in dramatic fashion. Friday had the Heat taking the win by way of a 5-3 score. Colten Teubert, who was aquired from a trade on Monday, scored the first Barons goal of the game. Colin McDonald scored his 25th goal of the season at 8:26 on the power play in the second period. OKC then fell apart and allowed the Heat to score four unanswered goals, effectively taking over the game. Starter Jeff Deslauriers was replaced in favor of Martin Gerber who had just returned from Edmonton after the Heat goals. Deslauriers stopped 19 of the 23 shots he faced on the night in the loss, Gerber three of the four shots he faced. Defenseman Kevin Montgomery, who was also recently acquired with a trade from Colorado earlier in the week, scored the final goal for the Barons at 13:29 in the third.

Oklahoma City rose to the occasion and beat the Abbotsford Heat 2-1 on Saturday in an intense match-up. Newcomer Teubert won hearts when, after pulling Martin Gerber for an extra attacker, Teubert at 17.1 seconds left in regulation, tied the game and sending it to overtime. Brad Moran solidified the OKC win with the winning goal at 3:37 in overtime. Gerber made 22 saves in the win.

The Barons will host Manitoba on Tuesday, travel to San Antonio on Thursday, then come back home Friday and Saturday to host Grand Rapids.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

The Rockford IceHogs struggled on Wednesday night, gaving up a franchise record of six power-play goals in an 8-1 loss to the Houston Aeros. Brandon Bollig scored the lone goal for the Icehogs at 12:04 in the third for his fourth goal of the season. Jeff Taffe had his franchise record tying and league season-high point streak come to an end at 15 games in the loss. Alec Richards stopped 19 shots on goal.

Getting into penalty trouble again proved to bring the IceHogs to another defeat on Friday night, dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Lake Erie Monsters. Garnet Exelby netted his second goal of the season at 2:17 of the first period, putting Rockford on the board. Ben Smith continued his scoring ways, netting his tenth goal at 3:18 of the second period. Hannu Toivonen was solid in goal for Rockford, making 33 saves in the OT loss.

Saturday night the IceHogs held on to and finally got their win, defeating the Monsters 3-2. Hannu Toivonen made 36 total saves, earning the win. Rookie winger Ben Smith found the net for the second straight game, scoring goal number 11 at 2:25 into the first period. Rob Klinkhammer then extended the lead with a shorthanded goal, his 12th of the season, at 2:01 in the second period. Evan Brophey got the game winner at 1:59 in the third.

Rockford will take on Toronto on Tuesday, Hamilton on Wednesday, Milwaukee on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.


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