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West Notes: TOR’s trip ends, Aeros take flight

 Also see… East Notes

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Abbotsford is currently on a six-game points streak (5-0-0-1) and leads the North Division at 11-6-0-2 (24 points) overall, though the Heat have played a division-leading 19 games thus far… This is the Heat’s longest points streak since closing last regular season on an identical 5-0-0-1 surge… NHL veteran Quintin Laing has a point in all three games since joining the club (1-3-4)… Rookie Bryan Cameron didn’t score a goal in any of his first 14 games this year but has netted one in three straight contests since… Goaltender Leland Irving has increased his personal winning streak to six games… Abbotsford concludes its five-game road trip with a pair of tilts in Peoria this weekend.
 
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Chicago has lost seven straight games to match a franchise record… The Wolves also dropped seven straight from Nov. 3-17, 2001, and from Dec. 31, 2008 to Jan. 11, 2009… Chicago has scored two or fewer goals in every game of its current skid, and the team now ranks 27th in the AHL in offense (2.44 goals per contest)… Veterans Darren Haydar (8-7-15) and Jason Krog (2-13-15) are tied for the team lead with 15 points apiece, and Krog has still yet to go more than two straight games without a point this year… Second-year pro Akim Aliu shows a goal in each of his last two outings (2-0-2)… Chicago returns home from an eight-game road swing to host Houston and Lake Erie this weekend.
 
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Grand Rapids has scored only three goals in its last four games (1-2-0-1) and suffered a pair of shutouts in that span… The lone win was a 2-1 victory at Hamilton on Sunday in which defenseman Brandon Straub’s first career AHL goal proved to be the game-winner… Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Bulldogs snapped Grand Rapids’ road winning streak at five games, which fell two shy of a franchise record… The Griffins have been to overtime four times so far, and all four games have also extended to the shootout; Grand Rapids is 1-3 in those contests… The Griffins host Houston and Lake Erie this weekend, beginning a stretch in which they will play 16 of their next 22 games on home ice.
 
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Since returning from injury, Hamilton goaltender Curtis Sanford has made five appearances thus far and hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of them, stopping 113 of 120 shots over that span (4-1-0, 1.38, .942)… The Bulldogs haven’t scored more than two goals in any of their last four games but still show a 2-2-0-0 mark in that span, having collected a pair of 2-1 victories… After opening the season on a 13-game scoring streak (5-12-17), David Desharnais is without a point in his last two games… Aaron Palushaj has found the scoresheet in nine of his first 10 games played (3-11-14)… Hamilton, which has played 11 of its first 15 games at home, embarks on a six-game road swing this weekend by visiting Rochester on Friday and Toronto on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
 
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Houston began the season 2-5-1-0 but has collected at least a point in eight of nine games since (6-1-0-2)… The Aeros have climbed from the West Division cellar to a share of fourth with Peoria at 19 points apiece… Petr Kalus has netted a goal in each of his last two games on the heels of going 11 straight games without one… Rookie goaltender Matt Hackett has won back-to-back games for the first time since claiming victory in Houston’s first two games of the season… The Aeros have netted a power play goal in five of their last six games (8-for-35; 22.9 percent)… Houston visits Grand Rapids and Chicago this weekend before returning to host Texas on Sunday.
 
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Lake Erie snapped a brief two-game losing skid on Wednesday with a 3-0 triumph over Grand Rapids… Goaltender Jason Bacashihua now has two shutouts on the season, both occurring over the span of his last five appearances… Bacashihua has not topped the two shutout mark in a season since the 2003-04 campaign, when he had three for the Utah Grizzlies… Rookie Mark Olver snapped out of a seven-game goal-scoring drought with a pair of tallies on Wednesday… The Monsters are 3-2-1-1 thus far on their season-high eight-game homestand, which concludes on Friday vs. Toronto… The Monsters then visit Grand Rapids on Saturday and Chicago on Sunday.
 
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Manitoba has followed up a four-game winless skid (0-3-0-1) from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 with a four-game winning streak, most recently a two-game weekend sweep of Rochester… The Moose outshot the Amerks by a combined total of 88-42 in the two games, and Friday’s 45-shot attack was Manitoba’s highest since firing 46 shots against Chicago on Feb. 22, 2009… Two-time AHL All-Star Jeff Tambellini scored his 100th career AHL goal in Saturday’s 6-2 victory… Tambellini has racked up four goals and five points in five games since joining the Moose… Rookie Cody Hodgson is on a four-game goal streak (5-3-8) and a six-game points streak (6-3-9)… Manitoba hosts Rockford on Thursday and Friday.
 
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Milwaukee is riding a season-best five-game winning streak, the club’s longest run since winning five in a row from Dec. 5-15, 2009… The Admirals have surrendered just five goals over the course of their current run, including a pair of shutouts by goaltender Mark Dekanich… Dekanich leads AHL goaltenders in save percentage (.945) and ranks second in goals-against average (1.48) through 11 appearances (8-1-1)… Ex-Monster Chris Mueller notched a pair of goals in each of Milwaukee’s two victories at Lake Erie last weekend… Rookie goaltender Jeremy Smith earned his first career AHL victory on Saturday, making 25 saves in a 3-2 triumph… The Admirals continue a 10-game road trip this weekend by visiting San Antonio, Texas, and Oklahoma City.
 
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Oklahoma City goaltender Martin Gerber is riding a personal seven-game winning streak and is 9-1-0 in 10 appearances since beginning the season with three straight losses… Shawn Belle earned a call-up to Edmonton on Tuesday after leading all AHL defensemen with 15 points (2-13-15) through his first 17 games for the Barons… Linus Omark and Liam Reddox were each held off the scoresheet in Oklahoma City’s first three games of the year; in the 14 games since, Omark shows a team-leading 10 goals and 19 points, and Reddox has put up nine goals and 16 points… The Barons are 3-2-0-0 thus far on their season-high eight-game homestand, which concludes this week with tilts against Texas on Friday and against Milwaukee on Sunday and Tuesday.
 
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Peoria started the season with seven wins in eight games (7-1-0-0) but has won just twice in nine contests since (2-6-0-1)… The Rivermen averaged 3.63 goals per game during that opening eight-game stretch and have averaged only 1.77 goals during the current nine-game downswing… T.J. Hensick was recalled by parent-club St. Louis on Tuesday after registering four goals and six points in his previous five games for Peoria… Rookie defenseman Mark Cundari’s four-game scoring run (2-2-4) ended on Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to San Antonio… Peoria has the AHL’s third-best defense, allowing an average of 2.35 goals per game… The Rivermen host Abbotsford on Friday and Saturday before welcoming Rockford to town on Sunday.
 
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Rochester dropped back-to-back games at Manitoba last weekend by a combined score of 9-4… Prior to that, the Americans had been 7-1-1-0 on the road this season… Brady Calla scored in his return to the Amerks lineup on Saturday following a four-game absence… Defenseman Michael Caruso has a point in three of his last four games (2-1-3) after going his first 10 games played this year without a point… Rochester is just 2-5-1-0 against North Division opponents this season but shows a 6-3-0-0 mark against non-divisional foes… The Americans have played 11 of their first 17 games on the road, but they will now play 11 of their next 13 contests at home, beginning with games this weekend vs. Hamilton, Albany, and Syracuse.
 
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Rockford is 0-2-0-0 thus far on a five-game road swing which continues with games at Manitoba on Thursday and Friday; the IceHogs close the stretch with a visit to Peoria on Sunday… Rockford has totaled just eight goals in its last five games (1-4-0-0), and four of those came in a 4-1 win over Peoria on Nov. 9… Second-year defenseman Brian Connelly is pacing the IceHogs with 11 points, all assists… he IceHogs have topped the 30-shot plateau in five straight games for the first time since a five-game stretch from Nov. 18-27, 2009… After starting the season killing off just four of their first 12 penalties (33.3 percent), Rockford has killed off 54 of their last 62 (90.3 percent).
 
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San Antonio has won five straight games and is just one victory away from winning six in a row for the second time this season; the Rampage won six straight from Oct. 17-29 and are currently 13-4-1-0 overall, good for an AHL-best 27 points… The Rampage’s line of Alexandre Picard, Mathieu Beaudoin, and Viktor Tikhonov has combined for 29 points (11-18-29) in their last 11 games… Brett MacLean’s goal on Wednesday at Peoria was his 59th in a Rampage uniform, moving him within one goal of Joel Perrault for most in franchise history… MacLean has a point in three straight (2-1-3) and four of his last five games (3-3-6)… San Antonio hosts Houston on Friday in its lone game of the weekend.
 
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Texas is on a mini two-game winning streak, both over Chicago, and outscored the Wolves 11-4 in the two contests, including an 8-2 triumph on Tuesday… The Stars went 5-for-7 on the power play in that game, raising their overall power play ranking from 28th in the AHL (8-for-65, 12.3 percent) to 14th in the league (13-for-72, 18.1 percent)… Greg Rallo has notched a goal in three of his last four games (3-0-3) after going without a goal in 10 straight games to begin the year… Travis Morin shows a point in four of his last five contests (1-4-5) and continues to lead the Stars with 12 points (5-7-12) in 14 games overall; no other member of the Stars is in double-digits in points… Texas visits Oklahoma City on Friday and Houston on Sunday, with a Saturday home tilt vs. Milwaukee in between.
 
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Toronto is an impressive 6-0-0-3 through nine games of its 10-game road swing, which concludes on Friday at Lake Erie… The Marlies will then return home to play Hamilton on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons… Rookie goaltender Jussi Rynnas began the year with three straight losses but has gone 3-0-2 (1.03, .970, 1 SO) in six appearances since… Justin Hodgman’s five-game scoring streak (2-5-7) ended on Tuesday in a 2-1 shootout loss at Hamilton… Defenseman Danny Richmond has returned from an 11-game absence and posted two points (1-1-2) in two games… Former Calder Cup champion Joey Crabb has netted a goal in five of his last seven contests (5-1-6)… Toronto is just 1-5-0-1 against divisional opponents but 7-1-0-2 against non-divisional foes.