AHL Quick Hits: AHL clubs ring in the new

In Thursday’s only AHL action, David Spina netted a hat trick to lead San Antonio over Lake Erie, 6-2… On New Year’s Eve, Simeon Varlamov posted a 30-save shutout as Hershey blanked Springfield, 2-0… Jimmy Howard made 24 saves in Grand Rapids’ 6-0 win over Iowa, the Griffins’ fourth team shutout in six games… Milwaukee rallied for its sixth straight win, a 3-1 decision at Peoria… Former Wolves forward Guillaume Desbiens scored in overtime to lift Manitoba over Chicago, 2-1… Manchester captain Marty Murray tallied a goal and an assist in the Monarchs’ 4-2 win over Providence.

Wed 12/31
Hershey 2, SPRINGFIELD 0
MANITOBA 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
PORTLAND 2, Norfolk 1
Milwaukee 3, PEORIA 1
Albany 2, BINGHAMTON 1
MANCHESTER 4, Providence 2
Houston 2, WORCESTER 1
ROCKFORD 3, Quad City 2 (SO)

Thu 1/1
SAN ANTONIO 6, Lake Erie 2

Houston continues its eight-game road trip by visiting Binghamton on Friday, Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and Providence on Sunday… Friday will mark the first-ever clash between the Aeros and Senators… Houston, 6-1-0-2 in its last nine road games, opened the trip with a 2-1 win at Worcester on New Year’s Eve… Nolan Schaefer made 40 saves in the victory over his former team… Defenseman Tomas Mojzis has three goals in his last two games for Houston, and Jesse Schultz has 11 points (4-7-11) in his last 10 games… The Senators’ Brian Elliott leads all AHL goaltenders in wins (17-8-1, 2.39, .924)… Captain Denis Hamel shows four goals over his last five games for the Sens… Binghamton’s top-ranked power play (24.2 percent) will go up against Houston’s fourth-ranked penalty-killing unit (85.9 percent).

Bridgeport travels to Philadelphia on Friday for a date with the Phantoms, who are trying to snap a four-game winless slide (0-3-0-1) before heading out on a five-game road trip on Saturday… Philadelphia is 8-0-0-2 in its last 10 home meetings with Bridgeport… The Phantoms’ Danny Syvret leads AHL defensemen with 32 points (5-27-32) and shows four assists in his last two games… Jonathan Matsumoto has notched three goals in his last two outings… The Sound Tigers have been idle since a 5-4 loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Dec. 27… Ben Walter has registered 17 points (5-12-17) in just 18 AHL contests… Mike Iggulden (15-21-36) and Kurtis McLean (9-26-35) continue to pace the Bridgeport offense… Trevor Smith, who has 11 goals in his last 11 AHL games, made his NHL debut with the N.Y. Islanders on Wednesday.

Chicago hosts Rockford on Friday as the intra-state rivals kick off a home-and-home set… The Wolves have outscored the IceHogs 12-5 in taking two of the teams’ three meetings at Allstate Arena this season, while the IceHogs have won both clashes at the MetroCentre behind a 13-4 scoring edge… Joe Motzko has netted a goal in six straight (6-2-8) and 11 of 12 games (12-6-18) for the Wolves and ranks second overall in the league with 22 goals… Chicago’s Jeff Hamilton has registered a point in eight of his last nine outings (4-7-11)… Rockford is trying to snap a five-game road losing skid that began with a 6-1 loss to the Wolves on Dec. 6… Jack Skille shows seven points (3-4-7) in five games agaisnt Chicago… Rob Klinkhammer (1-3-4) and Tim Hambly (1-3-4) each has a point in three of the last four games.

ahllive_300.jpg(all times Eastern)
Fri 1/2
Bridgeport @ Philadelphia, 6:05
W-B/Scranton @ Albany, 7:00
Grand Rapids @ Hartford, 7:00
Iowa @ Toronto, 7:00
Houston @ Binghamton, 7:05
Hershey @ Providence, 7:05
Norfolk @ Worcester, 7:05
Syracuse @ Hamilton, 7:30
Manchester @ Springfield, 7:30
San Antonio @ Peoria, 8:00
Milwaukee @ Quad City, 8:05
Rockford @ Chicago, 8:30
Rochester @ Manitoba, 8:30

Sat 1/3
Philadelphia @ Toronto, 4:00
Bridgeport @ Albany, 7:00
Iowa @ Hamilton, 7:00
Hershey @ Hartford, 7:00
Grand Rapids @ Manchester, 7:00
Norfolk @ Portland, 7:00
Providence @ Springfield, 7:00
Houston @ W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Lowell @ Worcester, 7:05
Syracuse @ Lake Erie, 7:30
San Antonio @ Quad City, 8:05
Chicago @ Rockford, 8:05
Rochester @ Manitoba, 8:30
Peoria @ Milwaukee, 8:30

Sun 1/4
Manchester @ Lowell, 4:00
Springfield @ Portland, 4:00
Houston @ Providence, 4:05
Hershey @ Worcester, 4:05

Mon 1/5
No games scheduled

Tue 1/6
Syracuse @ Lake Erie, 7:00
Philadelphia @ Hamilton, 7:30
Hartford @ Manitoba, 8:30

On Thursday, two-time AHL All-Star Jiri Hudler scored twice and added an assist as Detroit dropped Chicago, 6-4, in the NHL’s Winter Classic at Wrigley Field… First-year pro Dustin Jeffrey, who has 17 points in 30 AHL games this year, scored his first career NHL goal in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 loss at Boston… Sean Collins scored his first NHL goal in Washington’s 7-4 win at Tampa Bay… Chris Bourque (Washington), Brian Lee (Ottawa) and Jonathon Kalinski (Philadelphia) each scored his first career NHL goal on Tuesday night.

72-31 — Scoring edge for Manitoba during its current 15-0-0-1 streak against Rochester, which began Jan. 4, 2007… The Moose host the Amerks for two games at the MTS Centre this weekend.

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