AHL Week 23 West Division recap-Rounding the playoff corner

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Sorry it’s almost a week late, a dead laptop screws things up a bit…………………..

 

Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

The Admirals wrapped up their three game homestand and even with a loss, stay atop the West Division and Conference standings with 83 points.

On Friday, the Rockford IceHogs took the win from first place Admirals with a 2-0 shootout score. The loss is the first time since November that the Admirals have dropped back-to-back games in regulation and their fourth consecutive home defeat. Goalie Mark Dekanich recorded 32 saves in a game that did not have a goal scored until the third period.

With four consecutive losses at home, Milwaukee finally came through and beat the Peoria Rivermen 2-1 Sunday, after 104 minutes and 36 seconds of being blanked by the opponent. The win came off two quick goals just 11 seconds apart from Admirals center Mark Van Guilder and winger Mike Bartlett, helping break their longest home losing streak since March of 2000. Dekanich turned away 31 shots to pick up his 22nd win of the season.

Milwaukee will hit the road for games with Houston on Tuesday, San Antonio on Wednesday and Friday, Lake Erie on Sunday.

Houston Aeros (MIN)

The Houston Aeros managed to earn a standings point although taking a 2-1 shootout loss to the Manitoba Moose in front of 7,633 home fans on Friday. Nate Prosser scored Houston’s lone goal, forcing overtime with a power play goal at 9:38 of the third period. Robbie Earl and Jarod Palmer earned the assists on the goal. The Aeros rookie goalie Matt Hackett made 37 saves, making 18 first period saves, tying a season high for opponent shots in the first period.

The Aeros netted six goals in the third period, taking a 6-3 win over the Moose on Sunday, avenging their loss their Friday loss. The six goals set a franchise record for goals in one period. Matt Hackett made 25 saves in the win. Robbie Earl, Patrick O’Sullivan, J.M. Daoust and Cody Almond all scored, while captain Jon DiSalvatore registered two goals and an assist.

Houston will next face Milwaukee on Tuesday, San Antonio on Saturday and Sunday.

Texas Stars (DAL)

The Stars were defeated by the Syracuse Crunch 3-1 on Monday at home. Goalie Tyler Beskorowany stopped three of six shots, relief Richard Bachman then stopped all 13 shots. Defenseman Brad Lukowich scored the Stars lone goal with a power-play goal at 11:33 in the second period. Forwards Colton Sceviour and Greg Rallo scored the assists.

The Stars hit the road, facing the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, and taking a 1-0 shootout loss. Richard Bachman made 25 saves in regulation, but only stopped one of five attempts in the shootout. The teams went scoreless through 65 minutes of action, forcing a shootout. Colton Sceviour, Greg Rallo and Aaron Gagnon each scored in the shootout for Texas.

The Stars were defeated by the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 on Saturday afternoon. Richard Bachman made 30 saves for the loss, his club faliing to 16-13-1-3 on the road this season. Center Travis Morin scored both Stars goals, one at 14:54 in the first for his 14th goal, his first goal since returning to the lineup after missing 14 games with an injury. Morin’s second goal of the night came at 19:55 in the third period on a power-play goal.

Texas managed to finally get a win over the weekend, defeating the Toronto Marlies 2-1 in a shootout on Sunday. Goalie Tyler Beskorowany made 30 saves in regulation and stopped all four attempts in the shootout to seal the victory. Stars center Travis Morin scored the team’s lone goal in regulation to tie the game and force overtime

After a scoreless second period, Texas tied the game at 8:47 of the third period. Center Travis Morin was again the Stars lone goal scorer, netting his 16th. Right wing Sean Backman and defenseman Jordie Benn each had an assist on the game-tying goal. Texas forwards Greg Rallo and Francis Wathier each scored in the shootout.

Texas will face Manitoba on Friday and Sunday.

Peoria Rivermen (STL)

Peoria took a 3-0 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday night at Carver Arena. Jake Allen stopping 32 of 35 Griffins shots. The Rivermen were able to stay in fourth place in the Division with 79 points.

For the second time in four days, Peoria and Chicago met and played to a shootout. The Rivermen were just 1 second away from victory Wednesday, but the Wolves managed to overcome, taking the win in the shootout 3-2. Ben Bishop stopped 40 of 42 Chicago shots in his first start since returning from a three-week stint with the St. Louis Blues. Jim McKenzie, in his debut, scored the Rivermens first goal at the 3:23 in the second period. The Rivermen scored again at 6:48 in the second with a power play goal from Mark Cundari, his eighth power-play goal and 10th of the season. At just 2:50 into the third, Dave Spina after a breakway chance was awarded a penalty shot and was stopped by Pasquale, the first penalty shot of the season for a Rivermen skater. Akim Aliu, who played 43 games with the Wolves earlier this season, was the only Rivermen shooter to beat Pasquale in the shootout.

The Rivermen got their revenge on Friday with a 5-4 shootout win over the Chicago Wolves. It was the fourth consecutive game between Peoria and Chicago that went to overtime, ending an eight-game losing streak at Allstate Arena. Former Wolves’ starter Akim Aliu scored his first goal as a Rivermen at just 21 seconds into the game. Graham Mink scored his 20th goal of the season at 7:40 also in the first. The goal marked the seventh time in Mink’s 10-year AHL career in which he has scored 20 goals. Tyler Shattock scored a shorthanded goal at 19:50 in the second period to tie the game up for the Rivermen. It was his first game back since he was injured in a game on March 5 against Chicago.With just 1.5 seconds left in the game, Derek Nesbitt netted his 16th goal of the season. Newbie Rob Ricci scored the deciding shootout goal, in just his third career AHL game, in the sixth round of the shootout.

Sunday the Rivermen fell to the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1. Jake Allen stopped 28 of 30 shots in the loss. Peoria kept Milwaukee 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Rivermen never received a power-play opportunity in the contest, the second time this season that Peoria did not get the chance. Peoria scored the only goal scored in the third period at 17:47 of the third with a goal from Derek Nesbitt, his second goal in as many games and his 17th of the season.

Peoria will face Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Rockford on Saturday and Lake Erie on Sunday.

San Antonio Rampage (PHX)

San Antonio took a 4-3 victory over the Oklahoma City Barons on Thursday night at home. Left wing Dane Byers recorded two assists and Bracken Kearns scored two goals, earning each their first multiple-point night with the Rampage. San Antonio was first on the board at 2:11 into the first period with a goal from right wing Viktor Tikhonov on San Antonio’s first power-play opportunity of the night. Bracken Kearns netted his 15th goal of the season at 15:39 still in the first. While on a 5-on-3 power play, Randy Robitaille netted his goal at 6:07 into the second period. Kearns’ second goal came at 11:40 into the second period. Matt Climie in net made 24 saves on 27 Barons shot attempts.

The Rampage took a 7-2 loss to the Manitoba Moose on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,446 fans at the AT&T Center. Defenseman Jeff May recorded his first goal of the season at 15:30 of the first period, getting the Rampage on the board. Center Randy Robitaille was able to get San Antonio one more goal at 15:57 in the third. After allowing two goals in the opening nine minutes, head coach Ray Edwards pulled Matt Climie for back-up goaltender Joe Fallon. Climie and Fallon combined for 21 saves in the loss.

The Rampage took their first shootout loss of the season, falling 5-4 to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday. Matt Beaudoin, Alex Picard and Randy Robitaille were responsible for nine of San Antonio’s 11 points, each player recording a three-point night. The Rampage’s leading scorer Matt Beaudoin got them on the board at 3:37 in the first period. San Antonio enjoyed the lead when Dane Byers scored his first goal in San Antonio at 11:42 into the first period. Beaudoin scored his second goal of the night at the 2:55 mark of the second period. San Antonio took a 4-2 lead off a goal from left wing Alex Picard with his ninth power-play goal of the season at the 11:36 mark of the second period. Despite the lead, San Antonio would allow the Griffins to come back and tie the game, leading to a shoot out decision. Climie turned aside 43 of 47 Griffins shot attempts in the loss.

San Antonio will face Milwaukee on Wednesday and Friday, Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

Chicago Wolves (ATL)

Chicago took a 3-2 shootout victory over the Peoria Rivermen at home Wednesday night. Edward Pasquale posted 20 saves in the win. With a power-play goal by jason Krog at 13:15 in the second period put the Wolves on the board. The Wolves pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and defenseman Mark Matheson capitalized at 19:58 of the third period to tie the game. Forwards Ryan Garbutt and Jason Krog scored for Chicago in the shootout, with Pasquale stopping four of five shootout attempts.

In the rematch game on Friday, this time the Rivermen came away with the 5-4 shootout victory. The Wolves took a 1-0 lead just nine seconds into the game with a goal from Tim Miller. Miller again scored at 10:13 of the first period. Ryan Garbutt scored at 45 seconds into the second period. Center Riley Holzapfel put Chicago ahead 4-3 with a goal at 16:31 in the third. Pasquale made 20 saves for the Wolves and stopped three of six shootout attempts.

The Wolves went wild, scoring four unanswered goals to grab a 5-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs at the Rockford MetroCentre Sunday. Chicago opened the scoring on a power-play goal at 5:37 in the first period from Paul Postma. Fredrik Pettersson also scored at 3:39 in the second period. Arturs Kulda Riley Holzapfel and Ryan Garbutt rounded out the scoring for the Wolves. Pasquale stopped 38 of 39 shots in the win.

The Wolves will battle for position in standings when they see Oklahoma City on Friday and Saturday.

Oklahoma City barons (EDM)

The Barons fell to the Manitoba Moose 4-1 on Tuesday at home,continuing their home losing trend. Richard Petiot was at first awarded with the lone goal, which would have been his first goal of the season, but it was later corrected to Matt Marquardt. The goal was scored on a power play goal at 10:49 in the third period. Martin Gerber made 24 saves in the loss.

Oklahoma City lost to San Antonio 4-3 on Thursday night. Martin Gerber made 17 in the loss, snapping a three-game winning streak against the Rampage. Matt Marquardt at 12:12 in the first put the Barons on the board. Mark Arcobello, soon after a power play expired, gave the Barons a 2-1 lead 15:01. Chris Vandevelde went on to score OKC’s last goal at 18:09 of the second.

The Barons went on to win over the Grand Rapids Griffins 6-5 after a powerful comeback performance once again at home. Just 10 seconds into the second period, Colin McDonald put the Barons on the board. Shortly after, Mark Arcobello on the power play netted one at 1:28. Chris Vandevelde scored as well in the second at 16:45 followed by Arcobello for his second goal at 17:06. The goals, 21 seconds apart, are the fastest two goals scored by the Barons this season. Teemu Hartikainen tied the game at 10:14 in the third, sending it to overtime. Anthony Aiello scored his first Barons goal in dramatic fashion, netting the game winner just 36 seconds into the overtime session. Tender Jeff Deslauriers stopped 33 of 38 shots improving his record to 11-11-2.

Saturday, for the rematch with the Griffins, the Barons could not pull out a win, handing it over 5-2. Colin McDonald at 15:10 in the first period scored his 27th goal of the season. Chris Vandevelde scored a short handed, the ninth scored by the Barons this season, at 3:20 in the second period. Martin Gerber stopped 23 of 28 shots in the loss.

The Barons will head out on a 14 game road trip starting off in Peoria on Tuesday, then off to Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Rockford on Friday and Saturday then Chicago on Saturday and Sunday.

Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

Rockford fell 3-2 to the Toronto Marlies in the shootout on Tuesday, after nearly three months since they had to participate in a shootout. At just 28 seconds into the second, rookie winger Ben Smith netted his 12th goal of the season. Smith would strike again at 11:14 of the third period. Hannu Toivonen faced a season high 43 shots on goal and made 41 saves in the shootout loss.

In continuing their shootout fate, Rockford had their second straight shootout and came away with the 2-1 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs on Wednesday night. Rockford finished their franchise record 11-day, six-game road trip with a 3-1-1-1 (.750) record. Hannu Toivonen made 44 saves in the win. Rockford struck first in it’s fourth straight game with a goal from Ben Smith who notched a goal in his fourth straight game on a 5-on-3 power play for his 14th goal of the season. Brandon Pirri scored the winner in the shootout, giving Rockford their first ever win over Hamilton in five all-time meetings.

Rockford shutout the Milwaukee Admirals 2-0 on Friday night. Hannu Toivonen made 28 saves,taking his third shutout of the season and even added his first assist of the season on the game-winning goal. Rockford finally got on the board off a power play goal from Brian Connelly at 12:49 in the third, his sixth goal of the season. Igor Makarov scored his eighth goal of the season into the empty net at 19:39.

After seven-games and 14 days on the road, Rockford finally wore out, falling 5-1 to the Chicago Wolves at the Rockford MetroCentre in front of 5,642 fans. Ben Smith scored the lone Icehog goal 6:42 in the first. Toivonen stopped 24 shots in a loss.

Rockford will host Oklahoma City on Friday, and face Peoria on Saturday and Grand Rapids and Sunday.

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