AHL Quick Hits: Rampage, Rivermen square off

In Tuesday’s action, Mark Derlago scored his first two career AHL goals as Manitoba won its ninth straight, a 7-2 decision at Lake Erie… Joel Ward tied the game with 44 seconds left in regulation, and Houston went on to a 3-2 shootout win over Peoria… On Monday, Wade Flaherty earned his 300th career professional victory as Rockford downed Milwaukee, 4-1.

Mon 3/24
Rockford 4, MILWAUKEE 1

Tue 3/25
HOUSTON 3, Peoria 2 (SO)
Manitoba 7, LAKE ERIE 2

A pair of red-hot North Division rivals square off on Wednesday when Toronto visits Syracuse at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter… Both clubs enter winners of five in a row, while the Crunch sport a 10-0-0-3 mark in their last 13 games and are 14-1-0-5 since Feb. 2… Syracuse has taken three straight in the season series from the Marlies after Toronto captured the teams’ first four meetings of the year… Duvie Westcott is riding a seven-game scoring streak (2-7-9) for the Crunch, and captain Zenon Konopka has seven points (3-4-7) over his last four games… Karl Goehring has gone nine straight games without allowing more than two goals, posting a 1.19 GAA over that span (7-0-2)… Marlies leading scorer and former Crunch forward David Ling has tallied six goals and three assists in six games against Syracuse this season… Colin Murphy has a point in six of his last seven (2-5-7) for Toronto… The Marlies lead the AHL with an 87.6 percent penalty-kill rate, while Syracuse ranks fourth at 85.4%.

The East Division could have a new leader for the first time since the morning of Oct. 7 after Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hosts Bridgeport at the Wachovia Arena on Wednesday… The second-place Penguins, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, are just one point behind idle Philadelphia, while the Sound Tigers sit five points out of the division’s fourth and final playoff spot… Fourth-year pro Tim Brent has tallied a career-high 54 points (15-39-54) to pace the Penguins, while Kurtis McLean leads the team with 21 goals and ranks second with 47 points… Eight of McLean’s 21 goals have been game-winners, tying him for the league lead in that category… John Curry leads all AHL rookie goaltenders and ranks fourth overall with a 2.11 GAA in 32 games this season (20-9-2)… Colton Fretter has five goals over his last four games and has racked up seven goals and eight points in nine games since joining the Sound Tigers on Feb. 28… Rookie Trevor Smith boasts a three-game scoring streak (1-3-4) and has a point in five of his last six outings (3-3-6) for Bridgeport.

Peoria continues a four-game Texas swing with a visit to San Antonio in Thursday’s only AHL action… The Rivermen are 3-1-0-1 in their last five games and will enter two points out of fifth place in the West Division and what would be the final playoff spot in the conference… Reigning Rbk/AHL Player of the Week Julian Talbot leads the Rivermen with 23 goals (23-23-46), and his plus-18 rating is tied for second among all AHL rookies… Four-time AHL All-Star Jean-Guy Trudel has 10 points (4-6-10) in his last eight games for Peoria, and his 55 points overall (20-35-55) rank him second on the team behind Charles Linglet (20-41-61)… The Rampage, gunning for their first playoff berth since 2003, have dropped four straight games in regulation for the first time all season and sit in the West Division’s fourth spot, one point better than Milwaukee and three up on Peoria… Six of San Antonio’s final 10 games are against the Admirals and Rivermen… Chris Durno has an AHL career-high 41 points (20-21-41) for the Rampage, including five goals and six points against Peoria.

(all times Eastern)
Wed 3/26
Toronto @ Syracuse, 7:00
Lake Erie @ Grand Rapids, 7:00
Portland @ Manchester, 7:05
Hartford @ Lowell, 7:05
Bridgeport @ W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Hamilton @ Binghamton, 7:05
Manitoba @ Rochester, 7:05
Hershey @ Norfolk, 7:15

Thu 3/27
Peoria @ San Antonio, 8:00

On Tuesday, 2008 AHL All-Star Brian Lee made his NHL debut in Ottawa’s 6-3 win at Buffalo… 2007 AHL All-Star Karri Ramo stopped 34 shots as Tampa Bay dropped Florida, 3-1… 2005 Calder Cup champion Mike Richards scored in overtime to give Philadelphia a 2-1 win over the N.Y. Rangers.

— Consecutive victories by Manitoba over Rochester, including six this season, entering the teams’ meeting on Wednesday at the Blue Cross Arena… The Amerks last defeated the Moose on Dec. 6, 2006, in Winnipeg.

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