AHL Quick Hits: Marlies, River Rats on Leafs TV

In Thursday’s action, Brett Sterling scored his league-leading third overtime goal of the season to lift Chicago past Rockford, 4-3… Pascal Pelletier netted a pair of goals as Providence downed Albany by a 3-1 final… Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge pitched a 31-save shutout in the Marlies’ 2-0 win over Grand Rapids… Geoff Platt scored twice, including the overtime game-winner, as Portland edged Manchester, 3-2.

Thu 12/27
Providence 3, ALBANY 1
CHICAGO 4, Rockford 3 (OT)
San Antonio 5, MILWAUKEE 3
W-B/Scranton 3, SYRACUSE 1

LOWELL 4, Worcester 3 (OT)
Portland 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT)
Philadelphia 6, NORFOLK 3
HAMILTON 3, Manitoba 1
TORONTO 2, Grand Rapids 0

A West Division battle pits Chicago against Milwaukee at the Bradley Center on Friday… The rivals have split a pair of games, with each club winning in overtime at home… Brett Sterling has scored the ovetime game-winner in Chicago’s last two games overall and is tied for the league lead with 19 goals (19-10-29)… Jason Krog leads the AHL with 43 points (13-30-43) and has a seven-game scoring streak (4-13-17)… Wolves winger Darren Haydar, a member of Milwaukee from 2002-06, has eight points (2-6-8) in three games since being reassigned from parent-club Atlanta… Admirals center Cal O’Reilly has a point in eight of his last nine games (2-7-9) and a team-high 27 points overall (7-20-27)… Goaltender Pekka Rinne is tied for the league lead with 15 wins (15-10-1)… Milwaukee’s 87.2% penalty-kill rate is tops in the AHL.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton puts its six-game winning streak on the line Saturday when it hosts division-rival Binghamton… The Penguins have vaulted to third place in the East Division, six points out of the top spot… Kurtis McLean has a three-game goal-scoring streak (4-0-4) and leads the team with three game-winners on the season… Nathan Smith sports a six-game scoring streak (4-4-8), and his 24 points (9-15-24) are tied with Tim Brent (3-21-24) for the team lead… Rookie goaltenders John Curry and David Brown have each won three times during the Penguins’ current six-game run… Binghamton’s Denis Hamel is third in the league with 17 goals (17-8-25) and has a team-high five goals and seven points against the Penguins.

Also Saturday, North-leading Toronto opens a two-game weekend with a divisional tilt at Hamilton… The Marlies (21-5-0-4) have won a season-high five straight and are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 outings… Goaltender Justin Pogge is 7-0-2 in his last nine starts with a 1.78 GAA, .924 save percentage, and one shutout over that span… Leading scorer David Ling (7-24-31) has a point in four of his last five games (2-3-5)… Derrick Walser’s 23 points (9-14-23) are tied for third among AHL defensemen, and his nine goals are tied for first… The Marlies have scored a league-high 11 shorthanded goals and are 16-0-0-1 when leading after the second period… Hamilton goaltender Jaroslav Halak is 2-1-0 with a 1.95 GAA since returning from parent-club Montreal… He posted a 25-save shutout in a 3-0 win over Toronto on Nov. 23.

(all times Eastern)
Fri 12/28
Binghamton @ Philadelphia, 7:05
Hershey @ Norfolk, 7:15
Providence @ Bridgeport, 7:30
Hartford @ Springfield, 7:30
Manitoba @ Lake Erie, 7:30
Hamilton @ Rochester, 7:35
Chicago @ Milwaukee, 8:00
Houston @ Quad City, 8:05
Peoria @ Iowa, 8:07

Sat 12/29
Philadelphia @ Albany, 5:00
Hartford @ Bridgeport, 7:00
Lowell @ Springfield, 7:00
Norfolk @ Hershey, 7:00
Milwaukee @ Grand Rapids, 7:00
Toronto @ Hamilton, 7:00
Providence @ Portland, 7:05
Manchester @ Worcester, 7:05
Binghamton @ W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Manitoba @ Syracuse, 7:30
Rochester @ Lake Erie, 7:30
Quad City @ Chicago, 8:00
Houston @ San Antonio, 8:00
Rockford @ Peoria, 9:00

Sun 12/30
Iowa @ Peoria, 4:00
Albany @ Toronto, 4:00
Hartford @ Manchester, 4:05
Lowell @ Worcester, 4:05
Syracuse @ Rochester, 6:05

Mon 12/31
Providence @ Springfield, 1:00
Philadelphia @ Hershey, 5:00
Lake Erie @ Manitoba, 5:00
Lowell @ Portland, 5:35
Bridgeport @ Binghamton, 6:05
Worcester @ Manchester, 6:05
Norfolk @ W-B/Scranton, 6:05
Houston @ Iowa, 6:05
Hamilton @ Grand Rapids, 7:00
Milwaukee @ Rockford, 8:05

On Thursday, 2007 AHL All-Star Ville Koistinen’s first career NHL goal was the game-winner as Nashville downed Columbus, 4-3… Also Thursday, Pittsburgh forward Jeff Taffe, who led AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with 12 goals (12-9-21) prior to his recall, tallied his first NHL marker of the season in the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime win over Washington.

.988 — Houston goaltender Nolan Schaefer’s save percentage over his last three games… He has stopped 80 of 81 shots over that span, including two straight shutouts… The Aeros, who are 8-2-0-1 in their last 11 outings, play four divisional road games in five days beginning Friday at Quad City.

2008 AHL All-Star Classic Fan Balloting presented by Reebok is underway now through January 6 on theahl.com. Vote today to help pick the starting lineups and for a chance to win a team-signed AHL All-Star jersey.

B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts of every AHL game… Visit theahl.com for details.