Week 25 AHL Western Division Recap-Playoffs around the corner


Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)

The Admirals took the win from the Oklahoma City Barons in their final meeting of the season on Tuesday, winning in a shootout 4-3. Milwaukee came back to the top of the standings in the West Division, also breaking a recent 1-5 slump at home. With his first goal at home since February, Ryan Thang put the Ad’s on the board first at 14:34 in the first period. Chris Mueller scored in the second period and Kelsey Wilson scored his ninth goal in the third. After a scoreless overtime, the game went to a shootout, where all four Milwaukee skaters scored. Mark Santorelli, Mark Van Guilder , Gabriel Bourque and Thang all netted a goal. Jeremy Smith earned the win stopping 35 of 38 shots, including two shootout attempts.

The Admirals defeated the Chicago Wolves 4-2 Friday night in the final match of this season’s Amtrak Rivalry. The night also marked Gabriel Bourque’s eighth multiple point night of the season. Milwaukee got on board first with a goal from Grant Lewis at 9:42 of the first period, his sixth goal of the year. Dylan Hunter also netted at 12:34 still in the first. Kelsey Wilson scored the game-winning goal at 8:25 in the second period. Bourque netted his goal at 9:02 of the third period. Jeremy Smith made 21 saves.

Milwaukee took a 3-2 loss to the Rockford IceHogs Saturday at the Rockford MetroCentre. The Admirals haven’t lost in regulation since Jan., at Manitoba. Season highs were set in shots on goal, 46 and shots in a period, 19 in the third stanza. New goalie Atte Engren made his North American debut and stopped 20 shots in the loss. Admirals tied up the game with a goal from Andreas Thuresson at 9:23 of the first period on a power play chance. Thuresson got his second goal of the game at 11:41 of the third period for his 12th goal of the season.

The Admirals were able to beat the San Antonio Rampage 2-1 Sunday night, earning their 40th win and becoming the first team in league history to notch 90-plus points and 40 wins in eight consecutive seasons. Jeremy Smith finished with 29 saves in the win. Milwaukee scored first at 6:12 of the first period with a power-play goal from Teemu Laakso. Andreas Thuresson netted the game winner at 15:41 of the second with his fifth power-play goal of the season.

Milwaukee will see San Antonio on Wednesday, Houston on Friday and Peoria on Sunday.


Houston Aeros (MIN)

The Aeros took a 3-0 loss to the Texas Stars on Tuesday night. The Houston loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Aeros. Goaltender Matt Hackett stopped 33 of 36 shots and saw a personal four-game winning streak end in the loss.

Houston won their fifth in the last six games with a 4-1 victory over the Oklahoma City Barons in front of 6,313 fans on Friday night at Toyota Center. The Aeros remain one point behind the Admirals for first place in the West. Houston won it off a pair of power play goals, at 4:44 from Jon DiSalvatore, his 24th goal of the season. Casey Wellman followed up at 8:47 in the first. Warren Peters made it a 3-1 Aeros lead on an even-strength goal at 15:36. Late in the third, Houston struck again on the power play with another goal from DiSalvatore, the sixth double-goal game for him this season. Matt Hackett made 26 saves in the win.

The Aeros and Barons were at it again on Saturday in front of 7,927, Houston taking the close win 6-5. Jed Ortmeyer started the Houston scoring with 12 seconds left in the first period. The teams combined for six goals in the middle period, Pascal Morency scoring his first goal as an Aero at 3:54 in the second. Chad Rau notched a goal and assist in the game, scoring at 13:26 of the third period. Casey Wellman has the game-winning goal in two straight games, a reglation goal in the third then the winner in the shoot out. Robbie Earl scored in the second period made him the second Aeros player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season. It also marked his first 20-goal season as a pro.

The Aeros set a season-high six-game home winning streak with a 5-4 victory over the Barons in front of 4,582 on Sunday, ending the three game run. Matt Hackett made 20 saves for the Aeros in the win. Chad Rau, Colton Gillies, Robbie Earl and Jon DiSalvatore all notched goals in the win, Warren Peters scoring the deciding goal at 15:40 in the third.

Houston will see Chicago on Thursday, Milwaukee on Friday and Chicago on Saturday.


Texas Stars (DAL)

The Stars started the week defeating the Houston Aeros 3-0 in front of 6,863 fans at Cedar Park Center Tuesday night, the fourth time this year having a sellout crowd. Richard Bachman stopped all 20 shots faced for his sixth shutout of the year. Texas started the scoring late in the first period, left wing Francis Wathier scoring on a power play chance at 16:39. Wathier netted his second of the night with a short-handed goal at 18:58 in the second. Center Travis Morin scored as well with a power-play goal at 8:40 in the third period, his 18th goal of the year.

Texas defeated the Grand Rapid Griffins 5-3 in front of 6,094 fans at Cedar Park Center Friday night, scoring five unanswered goals for the win. Goalie Richard Bachman stopped 17 of 20 shots to preserve the win. Right wing Colton Sceviour tallied two goals and an assist to lead the comeback. Forwards Aaron Gagnon, Greg Rallo and Mathieu Tousignant each scored a goal in the win, Rallo and defenseman Maxime Fortunus having a multi-point night.

The Stars again defeated the Griffins, 5-1 in front of 6,040 fans at Saturday night. Richard Bachman stopped 29 shots, extending the streak to a season-high four straight. Four Texas players had a multi-point night, led by Colton Sceviour’s second straight three-point night. Forwards Greg Rallo, Francis Wathier and Ray Sawada each tallied two points in the blow out.

The Stars will face Chicago on Friday, travel to Oklahoma City on Saturday then back home on Sunday for Rockford.


Peoria Rivermen (STL)

The Rivermen took a loss on Friday night at Carver arena as the San Antonio Rampage handed a 4-2 loss out. Graham Mink put Peoria on the board at18:15 in the first period, followed by a goal from Brett Sonne at 9:55 in the second off a rebound chance. Ben Bishop made 20 saves in the loss.

Peoria, in front of the second biggest crowd in team history, a total of 9,531 fans on Saturday, shut out San Antonio with a 2-0 win. Jake Allen stopped all 28 San Antonio shots for his sixth shutout of the year. Nick Drazenovic scored at 8:07 of the second period, Dave Scatchard in the third with an empty net goal for his seventh of the year.

Peoria took a 3-1 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday. Scoring for Peoria was opened up at 13:09 of the first period on Graham Mink’s fourth goal in the past five games, his team-leading 24th goal of the season. Allen recorded 25 saves in the loss.

Peoria will next face San Antonio on Friday and Saturday, then Milwaukee on Sunday.


Chicago Wolves (ATL)

The Wolves fell 4-2 to the Milwaukee Admirals in the Amtrak rivalry matchup Friday night. Despite the loss, Chicago wins he Amtrak Rivalry trophy by winning six victories to four. Spencer Machacek was named the Amtrak Rivalry MVP after posting nine points (2G, 7A) in nine games against the Admirals this year. Ryan Garbutt scored at 10:50 in the first, getting Chicago on the board. Machacek netted his goal at 11:40 into the third frame. Edward Pasquale stopped 17 shots before being replaced by Peter Mannino, who had to stop only one shot in 10:37 of relief duty.

Chicago took a 2-1 shootout victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Allstate Arena Saturday night. Wolves defenseman Mark Matheson tied up the game for Chicago at 6:15 into the third period. Rookie center Sergio Somma scored the shootout winner, in only his second American Hockey League game. Drew MacIntyre, who began the season with the Wolves, turned aside 27 of his former teammates’ shots. Pasquale posted 31 saves in regulation and overtime for the Wolves.

Chicago lost to the Rockford IceHogs by way of a 3-2 score before 11,255 fans at the Allstate Arena Sunday night. Fredrik Pettersson evened it up for the Wolves at 11:21 of the first period. Left wing Carl Klingberg netted his first AHL goal at 13:38 in the third. Pasquale posted 37 saves for the Wolves in the loss.

Chicago will face Houston on Thursday, Texas on Friday and Houston again on Saturday.


Oklahoma City Barons (EDM)

The Barons woes continued into this week, starting with another loss to the Milwaukee Admirals, 4-3, on Tuesday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Anthony Aiello followed at 19:41 on a power play goal in the first.Andrew Lord also netted a goal in the second period, tying the game once again for the Barons. Rookie Mark Arcobello tied the game up first for the Barons at 16:33 with the only goal in the third period while on a power play. Jeff Deslauriers made 27 stops in the loss.

In the first of a three game series against the Houston Aeros, the Barons were never close, taking a 4-1 loss on Friday. The lone OKC goal was scored by Alex Giroux, who had just returned from a stint with the parent team, Oilers. Bryan Pitton replaced starting goaltender Jeff Deslauriers after one period and made 14 saves, Deslauriers making 14 stops.

Saturday had the Barons waking up and scoring, but they just couldn’t pull out the win, the Aeros taking the 6-5 win. Bryan Helmer, Colin McDonald and Milan Kytnar each scored in the second period, Mcdonald netting twice. Mark Arcobello tied the game to give the Barons a chance with 33.1 seconds remaining, forcing overtime and the eventual shootut. Bryan Pitton took the shootout loss, making 30 stops.

The Barons conitinued their downfall on Sunday, giving Houston a 5-4 win and just about killing their chance to making the playoff rounds. Mark Arcobello put the Barons on the board off a power-play goal at 18:05 of the first period. Milan Kytnar scored once in the second and then again in the third to keep OKC in the game. Brad Moran scored his 20th of the year in the third.

Oklahoma City plays their last two home games this weekend, hosting Rockford on Friday and Texas on Saturday.


Rockford Icehogs (CHI)

Rockford started their week with a 5-1 win over the San Antonio Rampage on Wednesday night.Jeff Taffe put the Icehogs on the board first at 11:07 of the first period for his team-leading 24th goal of the year. Ryan Stanton netted his at 13:07. Ben Smith put the Hogs up 3-1 at 18:16 in the second period. Igor Makarov chipped one in at 2:50 of the third, followed by Stanton with his second of the night. Hannu Toivonen picked up his 15th win of the season, turning away 39-of-40 San Antonio shots.

The IceHogs beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-3 in overtime on Friday night to win their third-straight home contest for the first time this season. Igor Makarov netted the game-winning goal at 1:46 of the OT, Toivonen picking up his 16th win, turning away 28 of 31 Hamilton shots.

Rockford finished off the Milwaukee Admirals 3-2 in overtime in front of 5,455 fans Saturday night, their fourth-straight win at home and third-straight overall. Rockford took the 1-0 lead at 8:10 in the first period with a goal from Brandon Pirri. Pirri scored his second of the night at 3:47 in the second. Brian Connelly scored the game winner in overtime. Hannu Toivonen came up with 44 saves in the win.

Rockford closed out with a 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves on Sunday, the road team now winnning five of the nine games so far in 2010-11.Rockford outshot the Wolves 22-6 in the opening period alone. Mathis Olimb netted his eighth goal of the season at 4:53 of the first period, putting the Icehogs on the board. Ben Smith scored his 17th goal of the season with a five-hole shot on Pasquale at 10:18 in the second. At 17:08, Rob Klinkhammer finalized the Icehogs win. Alec Richards made 21 saves for the IceHogs in the win.

Rockford will try to continue their win streak on Wednesday facing off against Lake Erie, Friday at Oklahoma City, and Texas on Sunday.



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