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East Notes: ‘Tigers, Bears roll into break

Also see… West Notes: Greentree on fire, Lukowich lights lamp

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After Saturday’s 4-3 win at Worcester, Adirondack shows an impressive 7-2-0-0 record against Atlantic Division foes this season, but the Phantoms are just 5-9-0-2 against their own East Division… Defenseman Sean Curry recorded his 100th career AHL point on Saturday with his first goal of the season; Curry shows 31 goals and 69 assists in 482 AHL tilts with Lowell, Providence, and Philadelphia/Adirondack… Goaltender John Grahame made his AHL season debut in Friday’s 4-0 loss to Hamilton… Jon Matsumoto and Patrick Maroon are the only Phantoms to play in all 28 games thus far.
 
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Albany is 9-1-1-0 in its last 11 games since falling under .500 at 9-10-0-2 on Nov. 21… At 18-11-1-2 (39 points) overall, the River Rats enter the Christmas break with a seven-point lead for second place in the East Division, and are five points back of Hershey for the top spot… Albany and Syracuse combined for a River Rats season-high 78 shots on Saturday, split evenly at 39 apiece… Zach Boychuk has a goal in three of his last four games (3-1-4), and his three game-winning goals are tied for third among AHL rookies this season… The River Rats play a home-and-home set with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this weekend.
 
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Binghamton, which earned a two-game split with Norfolk last weekend, is 2-2-0-0 in four road games against the Admirals and will not visit Virginia again during the regular season; the Sens still have four home games to play against Norfolk, with the first scheduled for New Year’s Eve… Binghamton received forward Josh Hennessy and goaltender Mike Brodeur back from parent-club Ottawa on Tuesday… Hennessy had a point in seven of his last eight games (8-5-13) for the B-Sens prior to his Dec. 15 recall… The Senators, who have outscored Adirondack 12-0 in two meetings this season, host the Phantoms on Saturday before visiting Rochester on Saturday.
 
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Bridgeport has not dropped consecutive games since its season-high five-game losing skid from Nov. 1-8… The Sound Tigers show an 11-4-1-2 mark in 18 games since that slump… Goaltender Scott Munroe, the reigning Reebok/AHL player of the week, suffered a 5-1 loss at Lowell on Dec. 4 but has surrendered just four goals in five appearances since (3-1-0, 1.09, .964)… Tyler Haskins is riding a three-game scoring streak (2-1-3) for Bridgeport… Victor Bartley notched his first career AHL goal in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Springfield… The Sound Tigers, who have played more games (35) than anyone in the Eastern Conference, have only one more tilt in calendar year 2009, a home date with Hartford on Saturday.
 
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Hartford wrapped up a five-game homestand at 2-2-0-1 after posting a 6-1 win over Toronto and dropping a 4-1 decision to Hamilton last weekend… The six goals vs. the Marlies marked the Wolf Packs’ largest offensive output since a 7-0 win over Providence on Oct. 31… Hartford had not played a Western Conference club this year prior to squaring off against the Marlies and Bulldogs… Goaltender Steve Valiquette surrendered just one goal in back-to-back wins (Dec. 12 and last Friday) after allowing 10 goals in dropping his first two AHL appearances of the season… Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau’s eight-game scoring streak (6-9-15) ended on Saturday… The Wolf Pack visit Bridgeport and Springfield this weekend.
 
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Hershey enters the Christmas break with the AHL’s best points percentage (.710) and a five-point lead atop the East Division at 21-8-0-2 (44 points)… The Bears are riding a four-game winning streak and are 13-3-0-2 in their last 18 contests… Hershey, which had the AHL’s worst penalty-killing unit last season (78.6 percent), currently ranks first in that category (92.0 percent)… Keith Aucoin has a point in four straight games (5-3-8) and eight of his last nine tilts (6-9-15)… Jay Beagle is also riding a four-game scoring run (3-3-6), and Oskar Osala shows a point in three straight (3-3-6)… The Bears host division rivals Syracuse and Norfolk this weekend.
 
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Lowell has won four of its last five games (4-1-0-0) since suffering a 2-5-0-0 skid from Nov. 25 to Dec. 11… The Devils tied a franchise record by scoring five power play goals in their 6-1 win over Springfield on Dec. 15; Lowell first accomplished the feat in a 7-3 win at Manchester on Feb. 26, 2008… Cory Murphy’s four assists on Dec. 15 also tied a team record, which was also originally set in that 7-3 win at Manchester by Olivier Magnan… Lowell is 23-for-24 on the penalty kill in its last eight road games… Ben Walter has a point in four of his last five contests (2-4-6)… The Devils host Providence on Saturday and visit Worcester on Sunday.
 
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Manchester improved to 21-9-1-2 for a league-best 45 points with a 2-0 win over Lowell on Saturday… Last season, the Monarchs did not collect their 21st victory until Feb. 6, when they improved to 21-23-0-5… Goaltender Jonathan Bernier has posted two shutouts in his last three appearances and is tied for second in the AHL with four whitewashes on the season… Bernier also ranks second with 15 wins (15-8-2, 1.92, .943)… Rookie Corey Elkins has a point in three straight (1-2-3) and six of his last seven games (1-7-8)… Manchester has scored the game’s first goal in 24 of its 33 games this season (72.7 percent) and is 19-4-0-1 in those contests… The Monarchs visit Portland on Saturday before hosting Providence on Sunday.
 
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Norfolk’s three-game winning streak ended on Saturday with a 5-4 loss to Binghamton… Brandon Bochenski is riding a team season-high seven-game scoring streak (3-7-10) and remains tied for the league lead with 15 goals (15-16-31) in 32 games this season… Mark Parrish has a point in five straight tilts (4-4-8)… Defenseman Ty Wishart set a career high with three points (1-2-3) in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Binghamton and shows a point in six of his last nine outings (3-7-10)… Rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski earned back-to-back starts on Wednesday and Friday, the first time a Norfolk netminder earned consecutive nods since Tokarski started four straight from Oct. 16-24… The Admirals play a home-and-home set with Hershey this week.
 
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Portland enters the Christmas break 4-1-0-0 in its last five games and 11-2-3-2 since stumbling out to a 5-10-0-0 start… The Pirates scored in the opening minute of back-to-back games last weekend; Felix Schutz lit the lamp 15 seconds into their 2-0 win over Springfield on Friday, and Tyler Ennis struck 25 seconds into their 4-3 win over Bridgeport on Saturday… Schutz’s goal was one second shy of a franchise record, which was established when Mark Murphy scored 14 seconds into a game vs. Quebec on Nov. 24, 2000… Marc-Andre Gragnani’s goal on Saturday was his first since scoring twice in the Pirates’ season-opener on Oct. 3 at Springfield… The Pirates host Manchester on Saturday in their lone game of the weekend.
 
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Providence is just 1-4-0-0 in four outings since posting a season-high five-game winning streak from Nov. 28 to Dec. 11… The Bruins have managed just six goals in their last five games, three of them coming in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime triumph at Springfield… Zach Hamill tallied the game-winner in that tilt, giving him a goal in back-to-back games for the first time all season… Playing his second game of the season, Levi Nelson tallied the Bruins’ lone goal in Sunday’s 2-1 setback to Lowell… Providence is just 7-7-0-0 this season when scoring the game’s first goal… The Bruins open a three-game road swing with visits to Lowell and Manchester this weekend.
 
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Springfield has matched a franchise record with its current 13-game winless skid (0-10-2-1); the Falcons were also winless in 13 straight tilts from Dec. 11, 2005 to Jan. 14, 2006 (0-11-1-1)… The Falcons’ current eight-game winless skid at home (0-5-2-1) is a new franchise record, surpassing a six-game slide from Jan. 7 to Feb. 16, 2001… Goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur started all four games for Springfield last week… Charles Linglet is tied for third in the AHL with 32 points (7-25-32) in 33 games, and his 25 assists are tied for the league lead… The Falcons visit Worcester on Saturday and host Hartford on Sunday.
 
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Syracuse has dropped a season-high four straight games in regulation and has surrendered at least five goals in all four contests, including eight third-period goals in its last three games… The Crunch are now 3-14-1-1 in the month of December over the past two seasons… Bates Battaglia has a point in four of his last five games (3-2-5), and Tomas Kana scored in back-to-back games last weekend… The Crunch will play nine of their next 10 games on the road, the only home tilt during that stretch coming on Jan. 2 vs. Albany… Syracuse travels to Hershey on Saturday before visiting the league’s three Texas teams next week.
 
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton suffered its second three-game regulation losing skid of the season from Dec. 12-16, having also dropped three straight from Nov. 27-29… The Penguins hadn’t suffered two three-game regulation losing streaks in the same season since the 2005-06 campaign… Overall, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is just 4-8-0-1 since Nov. 27… The line of Mark Letestu (0-3-3), Dustin Jeffrey (2-1-3), and Nick Johnson (2-1-3) combined for nine points and a plus-7 rating in Friday’s 5-2 win at Syracuse… Jeffrey’s three-point effort was his third such performance against the Crunch this season… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton plays a home-and-home with Albany this weekend before hosting Adirondack on Monday.
 
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Worcester is 2-2-0-1 since its six-game winning streak ended with a 5-4 shootout loss at Manchester on Dec. 5… The Sharks have scored exactly three goals in each of their last four games, counting a 3-2 shootout win over Portland on Dec. 6… Captain Ryan Vesce is riding a five-game scoring streak (3-6-9) and has a point in eight of his last nine AHL contests (5-8-13)… Rookie Logan Couture has found the scoresheet in 15 of his 18 AHL outings this season (9-16-25) and ranks second in the league’s rookie scoring race… Worcester plays three home games in four days this week, welcoming Springfield, Lowell, and Manchester to the DCU Center.