AHL Weekly Release: ’07 AHL All-Stars making their mark

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic roster is set and ready to bring some of the best young players in hockey to the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on Jan. 28-29, as the 48 players on the two rosters have combined to play 175 games in the National Hockey League already this year.
Representing the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights and playing for the Canadian AHL All-Star Team is center Dustin Boyd who scored his first NHL goal, a game winner, in Calgary’s 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Jan.5. Richie Regehr will also represent the Knights in the AHL All-Star Classic, however he and Boyd will be on different sides of the ice as Regehr will be playing for the PlanetUSA squad. Regehr has appeared in six games this season with Calgary, where he tallied his first NHL goal against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 19.

After recording 19 goals and 52 points in 25 games for the Chicago Wolves and leading the AHL in scoring at the time, Jason Krog has played a regular part for the Atlanta Thrashers since Dec. 12, recording a goal and three assists in 14 appearances.

Kris Newbury joins teammate Erik Westrum in representing the hometown Marlies, however Newbury is playing for the Canadian squad while Westrum is on PlanetUSA. Newbury has appeared in seven games with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, registering two goals and four points and scoring in each of his
last three games for the Maple Leafs.

Defenseman Lawrence Nycholat, who is representing the Hershey Bears and playing in his third AHL All-Star Classic, has four assists and six points in eight games for the Washington Capitals in 2006-07.

Patrick O’Sullivan, who earned last year’s Outstanding Rookie honors, will be playing in his second AHL All-Star game, representing Manchester and playing for PlanetUSA. He has appeared in 12 games with the Los Angeles Kings this season.

Representing the Rochester Americans and playing for the PlanetUSA Team, right wing Drew Stafford has 14 goals and 27 points for the Amerks in 23 games as a rookie. A first round pick of the Sabres, Stafford has played 12 games while on call to Buffalo, where he has a pair of goals and five points.

NORFOLK MAKING WAVES … The Admirals continue their surge to the top of the East Division and overall lead by winning three games last week, with two of the three coming against division rival and, then leader, Hershey.

Norfolk forced their way into a tie with the Bears atop the division and overall lead in the league with a record of 26-8-4-1 and 57 points, while Hershey stands at 57 points with a 25-7-3-4 record through 39 games.

Norfolk defeated the Bears in back-to-back contests on Jan. 3-5. The Admirals have gone 10-2-0-0 in their last 12 games and have not lost at home since Dec. 6, in which they lost an overtime thriller 3-2 to Hershey.

HAYDAR KEEPS GOING, AND GOING … After returning to Chicago from recall on Jan. 2 by the Wolves’ parent organization, the Atlanta Thrashers, forward Darren Haydar extended his AHL-record scoring streak to 39 games, registering a pair of goals on Jan. 3, two assists in the Wolves 5-1 win at Omaha on Jan. 5 and one assist in a loss at Milwaukee on Jan. 6.

Haydar has a comfortable lead on the league’s scoring race, leading all players with 55 assists and 79 points through 39 games, 23 points more than teammate Brett Sterling who is ranked second in the league with 56 points.

ATLANTIC, NORTH DIVISION RACES HEATING UP … Having yet to lose a game in regulation play in the New Year, the Hartford Wolf Pack put themselves in a position to battle for the Atlantic Division crown. Hartford is 3-0-1-0 since Jan. 1 and has earned nine out of a possible 10 points in the standings by going 4-0-1-0 in its last five match-ups, which have all been against division rivals.

The Wolf Pack sit tied for third place with a record of 19-16-3-0 and 41 points in the Atlantic, where only six points separate seventh from second place.

Winning five consecutive games, Grand Rapids has positioned itself to battle the top teams in the North Division. The Griffins have earned 14 out of a possible 18 points, going 6-1-2-0 in their last nine games, sitting at 18-5-4-2 and 42 points. They are just five points out from second-place Manitoba, with two games in hand over the Moose, and seven points from Rochester, who leads the North with a 24-11-1-0 record and 49 points.

ETC.Jason LaBarbera recorded a season-high 59 saves in Manchester’s in Friday’s 3-2 overtime win over Hartford… The Norfolk Admirals have killed 49 consecutive power-play opportunities from the opposition, last allowing a goal on the man advantage on Dec. 16 against Springfield… Assigned by the Edmonton Oilers to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Patrick Thoresen recorded a goal and two assists in his first game with the baby-Pens on Jan. 5… Dustin Boyd recorded his first NHL goal, a game winner for the Calgary Flames in a 4-2 win over Dallas on Saturday… Springfield left wing Eric Healey earned his 400th career AHL point on Jan. 5 in the Falcons’ 4-3 win over Portland… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Noah Welch has a four-game scoring streak, registering six assists and eight points in that span and has five goals and 17 points in 18 games with the Pens… Assigned to a three-game stint with Providence by its parent club, the Boston Bruins, Phil Kessel scored an unassisted goal in the P-Bruins 2-1 loss on Friday… Brad Moran has a five-game scoring streak for Manitoba, scoring 11 assists and 13 points, including four multi-points games in-a-row… San Antonio netminder Josh Tordjman has won his last four starts, tying the franchise record for longest winning streak by a goaltender… Aeros’ right wing Mattias Weinhandl has seven goals and 14 points in 11 games since getting assigned by the Minnesota Wild… River Rats defenseman Kyle Cumiskey scored his first NHL goal in Colorado’s 2-1 shootout win over Minnesota on Jan. 6.