AHL Quick Hits: April 8-10

On Thursday, former first-round draft pick Peter Holland (GWG, 2a) and goaltender Igor Bobkov (43 saves) turned in impressive pro debuts as Syracuse topped Norfolk, 5-3… On Wednesday, 2011 AHL rookie of the year Luke Adam put up four points (2-2-4) to lead Portland past Manchester, 6-5… Michael Ryan notched his second hat trick of the season in Adirondack’s 4-1 win over Albany… Binghamton clinched a playoff spot with a 2-1 overtime win over Norfolk.

Wed 4/6
PORTLAND 6, Manchester 5 (OT)
ADIRONDACK 4, Albany 1
LAKE ERIE 3, Toronto 2
BINGHAMTON 2, Norfolk 1 (OT)
Grand Rapids 2, MILWAUKEE 1
PEORIA 3, Texas 2

Thu 4/7
SYRACUSE 5, Norfolk 3

Seven of the eight Eastern Conference playoff berths have been claimed, leaving Connecticut (86 points) and Worcester (85) battling for the final spot… The Whale play a home-and-home with last-place Bridgeport this weekend before hosting Norfolk on Sunday, while Worcester has just two games remaining – both in Charlotte… Connecticut’s magic number to clinch the berth is three points (gained by Connecticut or lost by Worcester)… The Whale appeared to be cruising toward the playoffs before suffering a four-game losing skid from Mar. 26 to Apr. 34, all against non-playoff teams, but halted the slide with a 4-2 win over first-place Portland last Sunday… Rookie Mats Zuccarello has recorded a point in three straight games (0-4-4) since returning to the Whale from the parent N.Y. Rangers… Dale Weise is coming off a two-goal effort on Sunday, and leading goal-scorer Jeremy Williams (31-21-52) is riding a three-game scoring streak (2-1-3)… Connecticut owns a 5-2-0-1 mark against Bridgeport this year but suffered a 5-1 setback in the teams’ most recent meeting, on Mar. 26 in Hartford… Worcester, which split a pair of clashes with Charlotte at the DCU Center this season, has earned a point in four of five overall (3-1-0-1) despite totaling just nine goals in that span… T.J. Trevelyan has netted a goal in three straight games (3-0-3) and five of six (5-0-5) for the Sharks, and Finnish-born goaltender Harry Sateri has stopped 63 of 65 shots (.969) over his last two outings… Worcester is looking to avoid missing the playoffs just one season after winning the Atlantic Division, while the Whale seek to return following a one-year absence.

Milwaukee needs just one point to clinch the West Division title tonight as it begins a three-game weekend by hosting Texas at the Bradley Center… The Admirals, who won the West in 2004 and 2006 en route to Calder Cup Finals appearances and captured it again in 2009, hold a two-point lead over a Houston squad which does not play again until Sunday… The Admirals are coming off just their second set of back-to-back regulation losses since mid-November… Milwaukee owns the AHL’s third-ranked defense, surrendering 2.43 goals per game… Defenseman Teemu Laakso saw his four-game goal-scoring run (4-0-4) end on Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to Grand Rapids… Andreas Thuresson has a point in seven of his last eight games (4-4-8) for the Admirals, while Chris Mueller boasts five points (3-2-5) in his last three outings… Texas has taken four of five meetings (4-1-0-0) between these teams this season, including both of its prior visits to Milwaukee – a 2-1 win on Feb. 20 and a 3-2 triumph on Dec. 11… Rookie Sean Backman and team scoring leader Greg Rallo (26-27-53) have each posted two goals and an assist in the season series… Overall, Rallo has been held without a point in three straight contests for the first time since a four-game dry spell from Feb. 20-26… Texas forward Colton Sceviour racked up 5-2-7 in a three-game span from Mar. 25 to Apr. 1 but hasn’t found the scoresheet in three straight outings since.

Five West Division teams are still in playoff contention heading to the final weekend, but no fewer than two will be left on the sidelines come Sunday night… Two big games on the Friday slate feature Chicago (86 points) at Peoria (90), and San Antonio (85) hosting Oklahoma City (87), which currently occupies the Western Conference’s crossover berth… The Wolves, just one point back of that spot, have taken a point in all seven prior meetings with Peoria this season (4-0-1-2)… Darren Haydar (4-3-7), Tim Miller, Jason Krog (2-5-7), and Ryan Garbutt (1-6-7) have all collected seven points in the season series… Haydar (26-45-71) and Krog (18-52-70) each rank among the AHL’s top six scorers this year… The Rivermen have used a four-game points streak (3-0-1-0) to move into a share of third place in the West… Rookie goaltender Jake Allen is 4-2-0 (2.23, .918) with a shutout in his last six outings for Peoria, and leading scorer T.J. Hensick (20-46-66) has piled up five points (2-3-5) in five games since returning from parent-club St. Louis… San Antonio desperately needs a win on Friday to remain in serious playoff contention… Matt Watkins is riding a four-game scoring streak (2-3-5) for the Rampage, and defenseman Garrett Stafford has a point in three of four (2-1-3)… The Rampage feature the AHL’s second-best power play (21.6 percent) but are just 21st on the penalty kill (81.2 percent)… The Barons, who are playing 12 of their last 14 games on the road, have begun April with two consecutive victories… Barons forward Alexandre Giroux is on a nine-game scoring streak (3-8-11), and Milan Kytnar shows a point in four straight outings (4-2-6)… Each of these teams’ previous nine clashes this year has ended in regulation, with San Antonio holding a 5-4-0-0 edge to date.

(all times Eastern)

Fri 4/8
Connecticut @ Bridgeport, 7:00
Worcester @ Charlotte, 7:00
Abbotsford @ Grand Rapids, 7:00
Adirondack @ Manchester, 7:00
Portland @ Providence, 7:05
Hershey @ W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Albany @ Springfield, 7:30
Binghamton @ Rochester, 7:35
Texas @ Milwaukee, 8:00
Oklahoma City @ San Antonio, 8:00
Lake Erie @ Rockford, 8:05
Chicago @ Peoria, 8:05
Hamilton @ Manitoba, 8:30

Sat 4/9
Rochester @ Toronto, 3:00
Providence @ Springfield, 7:00
Portland @ Albany, 7:00
W-B/Scranton @ Hershey, 7:00
Bridgeport @ Connecticut, 7:00
Worcester @ Charlotte, 7:00
Adirondack @ Binghamton, 7:05
Abbotsford @ Lake Erie, 7:30
Norfolk @ Syracuse, 7:30
San Antonio @ Chicago, 8:00
Oklahoma City @ Texas, 8:00
Milwaukee @ Peoria, 8:05
Grand Rapids @ Rockford, 8:05
Hamilton @ Manitoba, 8:30

Sun 4/10
Albany @ Bridgeport, 3:00
Adirondack @ W-B/Scranton, 3:05
Rockford @ Chicago, 4:00
Springfield @ Portland, 4:00
Manchester @ Providence, 4:05
Norfolk @ Connecticut, 5:00
Syracuse @ Hershey, 5:00
Abbotsford @ Toronto, 5:00
Oklahoma City @ Houston, 5:05
Lake Erie @ Rochester, 5:05
Texas @ San Antonio, 5:30
Grand Rapids @ Milwaukee, 6:00

(End of regular season)

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