WEEKLY RELEASE #1
The Rochester Americans, who failed to qualify for the playoffs last year for the first time since 1989, were impressive in opening their season with wins over
Also on Friday night, the San Antonio Rampage opened their fifth season with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins, last year’s regular-season champions in the AHL. The parent Phoenix Coyotes have given the Rampage a makeover in 2006-07, adding veteran leaders like 2006 league MVP Donald MacLean and Second Team AHL All-Star defenseman Bryan Helmer to a cast of bright prospects that includes Matt Jones, Matthew Spiller, rookie Enver Lisin and goaltender David LeNeveu.
The Philadelphia Phantoms and Hamilton Bulldogs, bystanders when the postseason came around six months ago, posted wins in their 2006-07 openers on Friday. And the Worcester Sharks debuted with a 4-3 shootout win at the reigning Atlantic Division champion Portland Pirates;
On Saturday night, the Springfield Falcons held on for a 3-2 win at Hartford, the Chicago Wolves handed Peoria a 5-0 setback, the Albany River Rats struck for a 5-3 decision at Lowell, the Binghamton Senators opened their campaign with a 4-1 victory over Syracuse and the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights thumped the defending Western Conference champions in Milwaukee, 7-1, in the Admirals’ opener.
The week ahead begins on Thursday night when the Iowa Stars (2-0-0-0) open the home portion of their second season entertaining the Houston Aeros. Other home openers on tap for this weekend will be taking place in
FACE LIFT FOR THEAHL.COM … The beginning of the 2006-07 season also brought a new look for the official Web site of the American Hockey League, theahl.com. Partnering with Infinity Pro Sports, the AHL has made over its internet home with a bold new look, easier navigation and improved content. The re-design went live on Oct. 4, coinciding with the launch of the AHL’s 71st season.
WELCOME TO THE PROS …
ROSTER REVIEW … The 27 AHL team rosters submitted to the league office on opening day included 687 players, from Abid (
Tlusty was one of 10 teenagers on opening-night rosters in the AHL; five other players turned 20 during training camp. All told, 292 American Hockey League players (42.5 percent) were 22 years old and under as of Oct. 4, and 450 (65.5 percent) were under the age of 25.
- Stefan Ruzicka picked up a natural hat trick in
- Carl Corazzini had two shorthanded goals in that game for the Admirals
- Brad Moran scored a goal in each of
- Alexander Radulov, last year’s Canadian major junior player of the year, scored a goal in his pro debut for
- Hershey began its Calder Cup defense by defeating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, 7-4; the last time the Bears scored seven goals on opening night was at
- Friday’s 6-0 win over
Albany Rochester Worcester
- Sean Burke, who played five seasons with the NHL’s Hartford Whalers from 1992-97, made his AHL debut for
- Coincidentally, Wolf Pack head coach Jim Schoenfeld was also Burke’s first NHL head coach with
- Saturday’s loss marked
Former University New Hampshire Chicago Peoria Grand Rapids San Antonio
- The Houston Aeros honored hockey great Gordie Howe by retiring his number 9 prior to their game Sunday against Iowa; Howe led Houston to a pair of Avco Cup championships (WHA) during his four seasons with the club.