AHL Weekly Release

AHL Standings || Scores and Schedules || League Leaders

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … News and notes as the AHL welcomes the new year:

As the American Hockey League rang out 2012 on Monday night, here’s a look at some of the regular-season leaders for the calendar year:

Skaters (points)
Tyler Johnson, NOR-SYR 74gp, 37-44-81
Chris Bourque, HER-PRO 69gp, 16-54-70
Cory Conacher, NOR-SYR 75gp, 32-37-69
Tim Kennedy, SA-WOR 74gp, 24-41-65
Peter Holland, SYR-NOR 74gp, 23-41-64
Martin St. Pierre, SPR-RFD 76gp, 19-45-64
Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, CT-SPR 73gp, 21-42-63
Jeff Taffe, HOU-HER 73gp, 18-44-62
Kris Newbury, CT 71gp, 23-38-61
Richard Panik, NOR-SYR 75gp, 30-31-61

Skaters (goals)
Tyler Johnson, NOR-SYR 74gp, 37-44-81
Matt Fraser, TEX 74gp, 33-12-45
Cory Conacher, NOR-SYR 75gp, 32-37-69
Chris Mueller, MIL 76gp, 31-24-55
Cam Atkinson, SPR 51gp, 30-24-54
Richard Panik, NOR-SYR 75gp, 30-31-61
Ryan Potulny, HER 65gp, 28-29-57
Tomas Tatar, GR 74gp, 28-29-57
Jon DiSalvatore, HOU-HER 75gp, 28-31-59
Bill Thomas, SA-LE 73gp, 28-22-50

Defensemen (points)
Bobby Sanguinetti, CHA 69gp, 15-43-58
Mark Barberio, NOR-SYR 75gp, 16-38-54
Mike Kostka, NOR-TOR 73gp, 10-43-53
Matt Donovan, BRI 71gp, 11-37-48
Justin Schultz, OKC 31gp, 17-28-45
T.J. Brennan, RCH 58gp, 22-22-44
Brian Connelly, RFD-ABB-HOU 69gp, 4-39-43
Matt Irwin, WOR 71gp, 5-34-39
Victor Bartley, MIL 78gp, 9-30-39
Tyson Barrie, LE 49gp, 7-30-37
Brayden McNabb, RCH 57gp, 6-31-37

Goaltenders (wins)
David Leggio, RCH 34-25-3, 3 SO
Dustin Tokarski, NOR-SYR 32– 9-3, 4 SO
Carter Hutton, RFD 32-21-4, 4 SO
Kevin Poulin, BRI 29-11-6, 4 SO
Ben Scrivens, TOR 27-16-1, 4 SO
Yann Danis, OKC 26-16-4, 3 SO
Jeremy Smith, MIL 26-24-2, 5 SO
Eddie Pasquale, STJ 24-21-2, 6 SO
Chad Johnson, CT-POR 23-19-3, 2 SO
Scott Munroe, WBS-ADK 21-15-1, 3 SO
Eddie Lack, CHI 21-16-1, 4 SO
Braden Holtby, HER 21-18-2, 5 SO

Teams (points percentage)
Norfolk .685 (49-22-2-0, 100 pts.)
Toronto .676 (47-21-3-3, 100 pts.)
Bridgeport .667 (46-21-1-7, 100 pts.)
Syracuse .630 (43-23-4-7, 97 pts.)
Oklahoma City .615 (41-24-4-5, 91 pts.)
Chicago .596 (40-26-6-1, 87 pts.)
Springfield .588 (39-26-4-5, 87 pts.)
Rockford .586 (41-28-2-5, 89 pts.)
Rochester .581 (37-25-8-4, 86 pts.)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton .574 (40-29-3-2, 85 pts.)

Tyler Johnson led all AHL players in goals (37), points (81) and plus/minus rating (+33) during 2012… Johnson also owned the highest-scoring month of the year, putting up 22 points in 12 games during March… Eddie Pasquale, Danny Taylor and Curtis McElhinney each had a league-best six AHL shutouts during the year… Justin Schultz (17-28-45) was fifth among all defensemen in scoring despite not playing his first game until Oct. 12… Between Norfolk and Syracuse, Tampa Bay’s affiliates combined to go 55-14-3-3 (116 points, .773) in 75 regular-season games during 2012, along with a 15-3 record during last year’s Calder Cup Playoffs.

Two of the 10 largest crowds ever to see a regular-season American Hockey League game occurred last week as the AHL continued on a record attendance pace.

On Boxing Day afternoon, 18,800 fans packed the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to see the Marlies face off against the Hamilton Bulldogs. It was the largest crowd ever for an indoor AHL game in Canada, surpassing the 17,428 who witnessed Game 7 of the 2003 Calder Cup Finals in Hamilton.

The ACC crowd checked in as the ninth-largest in AHL history, but fell to 10th place just two days later when 19,070 fans filed into the First Niagara Center in Buffalo for the Rochester Americans’ game against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday night. It was the largest crowd ever in the Amerks’ 57-year history.

Through Jan. 1, AHL attendance league-wide is up 6.8 percent from the same point last season, with 30 teams averaging 5,386 fans per game.

Highest AHL attendance, single game (regular season)
1. *45,653 — Jan. 6, 2012 — Hershey vs. Adirondack (Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA)
2. *21,673 — Feb. 19, 2011 — Providence at Connecticut (Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT)
3. *21,508 — Feb. 20, 2010 — Binghamton at Syracuse (New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, NY)
4. 20,672 — Jan. 18, 1997 — Kentucky at Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC)
5. *20,565 — Jan. 21, 2012 — Toronto at Hamilton (Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton, ON)
6. 19,730 — Feb. 10, 2001 — Syracuse at Philadelphia (First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA)
7. 19,532 — Feb. 28, 1999 — Kentucky at Philadelphia (First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA)
8. 19,070 — Dec. 28, 2012 — Lake Erie vs. Rochester (First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY)
9. 18,907 — Nov. 20, 1998 — Hartford at Philadelphia (First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA)
10. 18,800 — Dec. 26, 2012 — Hamilton at Toronto (Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON)
11. 18,626 — Jan. 22, 2010 — Texas at Lake Erie (Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH)
12. 18,582 — Nov. 9, 2012 — Syracuse vs. Hamilton (Bell Centre, Montreal, QC)
13. 18,506 — Dec. 6, 2012 — Hershey vs. Norfolk (Verizon Center, Washington, DC)
14. 18,394 — Oct. 9, 1998 — Hershey at Kentucky (Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY)
15. 18,202 — Jan. 13, 2001 — Portland at Philadelphia (First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA)
16. 18,076 — Mar. 18, 2000 — Rochester at Philadelphia (First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA)
17. 18,056 — Jan. 21, 2011 — W-B/Scranton vs. Adirondack (Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA)
18. 17,898 — Dec. 28, 2004 — Edmonton vs. Rochester (HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY)
19. 17,812 — Oct. 3, 1997 — Cincinnati at Kentucky (Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY)
20. 17,653 — Apr. 14, 2006 — Chicago at Milwaukee (Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI)

With Binghamton (19-7-1-2, .707) and Toronto (19-9-1-2, .661) owning the best records in their respective conferences after play on Dec. 31, the Senators’ Luke Richardson and the Marlies’ Dallas Eakins have earned the first of two coaching berths on each side for the 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic in Providence later this month.

Richardson, 43, is in his first season as a head coach after serving as an assistant with the parent Ottawa Senators for the previous four years. A 20-year NHL veteran, Richardson played 1,417 games with Toronto, Edmonton, Philadelphia, Columbus, Tampa Bay and Ottawa before his retirement in 2008.

Eakins, 45, will be making his second consecutive trip to the AHL All-Star Classic. He has compiled a record of 133-113-21 in his four seasons with the Marlies and led the team to the Western Conference championship and a berth in the Calder Cup Finals last year. Eakins suited up in 609 AHL games during his playing career, winning a Calder Cup with Chicago in 2002.

Richardson and Eakins, who were junior teammates with the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes, will both be joined by one additional coach from his conference, to be selected by the American Hockey League.

The 2013 Dunkin’ Donuts AHL All-Star Classic will take place January 27-28 in Providence, R.I.

Match-ups to look forward to in the week ahead:

Portland vs. Providence, Wednesday (7 ET at Portland) and Friday (7 ET at Providence) – With Providence four points behind first-place Portland in the Atlantic Division, the Bruins and Pirates face off twice this week. The Bruins won each of the first two meetings between the clubs this season and are 9-3-0-1 in their last 13 games overall; the Pirates have won five straight at home and eight of their last nine overall.

Syracuse at Norfolk, Friday (7:30 ET) and Saturday (7:15 ET) – Tampa Bay’s top affiliate visits Norfolk for the first time since celebrating their 2012 Calder Cup championship last June as Syracuse invades Scope Arena for a pair of weekend games. The Lightning and Anaheim swapped affiliates in the offseason, with the Bolts heading to Syracuse and the Ducks stocking the Admirals. The teams met for the first time on Dec. 28, with the Crunch grabbing a 4-2 win over visiting Norfolk.

Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, Friday (7 ET) – Oklahoma City begins a three-game weekend swing through the Midwest with a visit to Grand Rapids on Friday night. The Barons are 1-4-0-2 in their last seven road games following a New Year’s Day loss in Houston, but have just one regulation loss in six previous visits to Van Andel Arena (3-1-0-2). The Griffins are wrapping up a seven-game homestand; they have won five of the first six.

Bridgeport at Springfield, Friday (7 ET) – After closing out 2012 on a 7-1-1-1 roll, Bridgeport heads to Springfield with a chance to catch the first-place Falcons in the Northeast Division. Springfield’s Cam Atkinson (16-19-35) has moved up to third in the AHL scoring race after putting up 8-10-18 in 12 games during December; Sound Tigers captain Colin McDonald recorded better than a point per game in December also (14gp, 3-12-15).

Rockford at Toronto, Saturday (3 ET) – Both teams have a meeting with Hamilton before they square off against each other on Saturday afternoon, but Toronto enters the week with points in eight straight games (6-0-1-1) and the best record in the Western Conference (19-9-1-2), while Rockford has won three of four and sits two points out of first place in the Midwest Division.

Here is this week’s broadcast schedule for national and regional TV and radio (full TV schedule including local games is here: bit.ly/Q7sLcg). All games are also streamed at AHL Live (ahllive.com).

Saturday – Rockford at Toronto, 3 ET (all regions)

TVA Sports
Friday – Rockford at Hamilton, 7:30 ET
Saturday – Lake Erie at Hamilton, 7 ET

SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (Sirius 207, XM 92)
Wednesday – Hamilton at Toronto, 7 ET
Thursday – Charlotte at Lake Erie, 7 ET
Friday – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7 ET
Friday – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10 ET
Saturday – Lake Erie at Hamilton, 7 ET
Saturday – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10 ET
Sunday – W-B/Scranton at Connecticut, 3 ET
Sunday – Houston at Texas, 6 ET

There have been 21 hat tricks and 68 shutouts recorded in the American Hockey League through Jan. 1:

Last week’s hat tricks (3)
Taylor Hall, OKC Dec. 27 at Texas
Gabriel Dumont, HAM Dec. 28 vs. St. John’s
Jordan Eberle, OKC Dec. 31 vs. Texas

Last week’s shutouts (4)
Braden Holtby, HER Dec. 26 vs. WBS
Kevin Poulin, BRI Dec. 27 at Connecticut
Calvin Pickard, LE Dec. 29 vs. Hamilton
David Leggio, RCH Dec. 31 vs. Hamilton

Rochester came back from four separate deficits (1-0, 2-1, 5-3 and 6-5) and defeated Lake Erie last Wednesday, 7-6, on Marcus Foligno’s overtime goal; the Americans have allowed at least five goals in a game eight times this season, but are 5-2-1-0 in those games… St. John’s erased a 3-0 deficit and tied Hamilton on Friday before eventually falling to the Bulldogs, 6-3; a night later, the IceCaps spotted Syracuse a 4-0 lead before coming back to win in overtime, 5-4… Charlotte took 26 shots in the third period of Sunday’s 5-2 loss at San Antonio, tying an AHL season high; Jacob Markstrom finished with a career-best 49 saves in the win for the Rampage… After totaling 10-5-15 in his last 14 games, Rockford forward Martin St. Pierre enters this weekend with 499 points for his AHL career, one shy of becoming the 83rd member of the AHL’s 500-point club… Reilly Smith, the CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month for December, has broken out with 10-7-17 in his last 17 games after starting the season with 0-3-3 in his first 15 outings for Texas… Albany forward Bobby Butler had 11-5-16 in 12 games during December after entering the month with 3-2-5 in 16 games for the year… Binghamton’s Jakob Silfverberg scored a goal in six consecutive games from Dec. 14-28… Chris Bourque, who scored two goals in his first 25 games for Providence this season, has scored five times in his last four contests… Houston’s 4-2 win over Oklahoma City on New Year’s Day moved the Aeros to 6-1-0-0 against the Barons this season; Matt Hackett is 5-0-0 in 2012-13 and 11-3-0 in 14 regular-season decisions all-time against OKC… Springfield ended a six-game home winless skid (0-4-1-1) with a 4-1 win over Norfolk on Sunday… Charlotte will host Norfolk at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday afternoon.