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Playoff hunt heats up tonight

LOOKING BACK:
On Tuesday, Grand Rapids scored five unanswered goals to earn a 5-3 win at Milwaukee… On Monday, Mathias Tjarnqvist and Jamie Johnson scored in the shootout to lift Iowa past Hamilton, 5-4… Omaha won for the ninth time in its last 10 road games, 5-3 at San Antonio.

Mon 3/13
Iowa 5, HAMILTON 4 (SO)… Omaha 5, SAN ANTONIO 3

Tue 3/14
Grand Rapids 5, MILWAUKEE 3

LOOKING AHEAD:
Iowa continues its six-game road trip with a stop in Manchester on Wednesday (7:05 ET)… The Stars are 4-1-0-1 in their previous six outings, but still trail fourth-place Omaha by five points in the West Division… Kyle Brodziak recorded a goal and an assist in the teams’ first meeting, a 4-2 Stars win in Des Moines on Jan. 21… Junior Lessard and Toby Petersen both hit the 20-goal mark for the season in Iowa’s 5-4 shootout win in Hamilton on Monday… With Brad Smyth and Jeff Tambellini lost in deadline deals, Connor James and Noah Clarke share the scoring lead among active Monarchs… Defenseman Joe Rullier, re-acquired by Manchester on Monday, compiled a plus-55 rating and amassed 807 penalty minutes over four seasons with the Monarchs (2001-05).

Grand Rapids hosts Manitoba on Wednesday night (7:00 ET) in a North Division clash… Three of the teams’ first five meetings this season were decided in a shootout, and on Feb. 14, the Moose handed the Griffins one of their five regulation losses all season at Van Andel Arena… This game marks the finale of an eight-game trek for Manitoba (3-2-2-0)… Jesse Schultz has nine points on the trip, including a hat trick in Sunday’s 5-2 win in Toronto… Grand Rapids, winner of four in a row, continues to ride the hot hand of Donald MacLean, who has scored a goal in eight straight games to raise his league-leading total to 51 on the season… Jiri Hudler earned his 84th point of the season on Tuesday, tying the Griffins’ AHL team record.

Another key battle in the North Division on Wednesday night pits Toronto against Hamilton at Ricoh Coliseum (7:30 ET) for the 10th meeting of the season between the Golden Horseshoe rivals… With an 11-3-0-1 mark since Feb. 12, the Bulldogs have closed to within eight points of the fourth-place Marlies in the North… Brad Winchester is coming off consecutive three-point nights, and has scored seven goals in five games against Toronto this season… Jaroslav Halak has allowed nine goals while posting three shutouts over his first seven career AHL starts (5-2-0, 1.26, .958)… J.S. Aubin, who has made 11 consecutive starts in net for the Marlies, was recalled by the parent Maple Leafs on Tuesday… 2006 AHL All-Star Aleksander Suglobov has two goals in three games with Toronto, both in Saturday’s 4-2 win at Syracuse.

(all times Eastern)
Wed 3/15
Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00… Wilkes-Barre at Binghamton, 7:05… Iowa at Manchester, 7:05… Hartford at Philadelphia, 7:05… Peoria at Rochester, 7:05… Hamilton at Toronto, 7:30… Houston at Chicago, 8:00… Omaha at San Antonio, 8:00

Thu 3/16
No games scheduled

Fri 3/17
Cleveland at Grand Rapids, 7:00… Hershey at Binghamton, 7:05… Wilkes-Barre at Philadelphia, 7:05… Bridgeport at Providence, 7:05… Hartford at Norfolk, 7:15… Albany at Syracuse, 7:30… Peoria at Manchester, 7:35… Iowa at Rochester, 7:35… Lowell at Springfield, 7:35… Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00

ALUMNI WATCH:
On Tuesday, 1998 AHL rookie of the year Daniel Briere had two goals and two assists as Buffalo rallied past Washington, 6-4… 2006 AHL All-Star Jeff Tambellini scored his first NHL goal and 2005 AHL All-Star Sean Bergenheim recorded a goal and two assists to help the N.Y. Islanders roll past New Jersey, 6-1… Three-time AHL All-Star Dwayne Roloson made 30 saves as Edmonton edged Minnesota, 2-1… On Monday, 2001 AHL All-Star Jonathan Cheechoo’s fourth hat trick of the season gave him 40 goals on the year and lifted San Jose past Los Angeles, 4-3.

BY THE NUMBERS:
1 — Regulation win for the Houston Aeros in their last 21 visits to the Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena, entering Wednesday night’s game between the West Division foes in Rosemont, Ill.

AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:
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