Eastern Conference notebook

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The 2007-08 season marks the River Rats’ 15th as a member of the AHL… Goaltender Michael Leighton stopped 34 of 35 shots in Albany’s season-opening 3-1 win at Binghamton on Saturday… Center Keith Aucoin’s assist in the game was his 100th point as a River Rat, the 22nd player in franchise history to reach the century mark… Aucoin recorded his first 99 points in an Albany uniform last season (27-72-99).
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The Senators’ home opener vs. Albany on Saturday was played in a persistent fog due to unseasonably warm October temperatures in New York’s southern tier… Rookie center Ilya Zubov netted Binghamton’s only goal in the 3-1 loss… The Senators host Syracuse on Friday, against whom they were 5-2-0-1 last season.
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The Sound Tigers won the season series opener over Hartford for the second straight year on Saturday, but last year they went on to lose the final nine meetings… Two of Bridgeport’s three goals in Saturday’s 3-2 win were scored by players making their Sound Tiger debuts – Tim Jackman (1-1-2 in the game) and Ben Walter (1-0-1).
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The Wolf Pack’s sellout crowd of 9,769 for Saturday’s season opener against Bridgeport marked their largest turnout for a home opener since drawing 10,394 for their 2001-02 home debut on Oct. 13, 2001, also against Bridgeport… Hartford has now gone 0-2 in its last two season openers, both at home, after going 7-0-1 in its previous eight lid-lifters.
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Third-year pro Chris Bourque, who scored 25 goals last season, notched a pair and added an assist in Hershey’s season-opening 5-4 loss at Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 3… The loss marked the second time in the past three years that the Bears dropped their season opener to the Penguins, as they also kicked off the 2005-06 season with a 2-1 defeat in Wilkes-Barre on Oct. 8, 2005.
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Ivan Khomutov scored the Devils’ first goal of 2007-08 in their 4-1 loss at Portland to begin the season on Saturday… Barry Tallackson, who tallied 34 points (10-24-34) last season, received credit for the lone assist on the goal… Lowell opens the home portion of its schedule on Saturday by hosting Bridgeport.
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The Monarchs’ 2-1 loss to Providence on Saturday snapped a three-game winning streak in home openers, marking their first loss in a home debut since losing a 3-2 decision to the Worcester IceCats on Oct. 10, 2003… Gabe Gauthier leads the Monarchs after opening weekend with two points (1-1-2) in the team’s two games… Manchester hosts Hartford on Friday in a match-up of the top two teams in last year’s Atlantic Division.
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Kyle Wanvig and Chris Lawrence each netted a shorthanded goal in Norfolk’s season-opening 4-3 loss at Philadelphia on Friday, tying a franchise record for most shorthanded goals in a game… Lawrence’s tally was his first professional goal… The Admirals play three road games in three days beginning Friday, traveling to Bridgeport, Albany, and Springfield… The team’s first home game is Friday, Oct. 19 against Binghamton.
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For the third straight season, the Phantoms finished the opening week with a record of 2-0… Goaltender Brian Boucher is one of just two AHL netminders to have won a pair of games thus far… Philadelphia’s opening-night roster featured 15 players who were not a member of the squad to begin the 2006-07 campaign… The Phantoms host Albany on Friday, against whom they finished just 1-3 last season.
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Forward Andrew Ebbett leads the Pirates thus far with three points (1-2-3) and a +2 rating through the team’s first two games… Rookie goaltender J.P. Levasseur earned his first AHL victory on Saturday in the Pirates’ 4-1 win over Lowell… The Pirates play three road divisional games in three days this weekend, visiting Springfield, Worcester, and Lowell.
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Matt Hendricks tallied a pair of goals in the Bruins’ season-opening victory at Manchester on Saturday… Dating back to 2005-06, Providence has won 34 straight games when leading after two periods, a streak that was extended on Saturday… The Bruins visit Rochester on Saturday in the first meeting between the teams since the 2001-02 campaign, when Providence went 2-0 against the Americans.
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The Falcons won their season opener for the third straight year on Friday with a 3-2 victory at Portland… In that contest, Viacheslav Trukhno scored his first goal in his first professional game, and it turned out to be the game-winning tally… Zack Stortini, who played 29 NHL games for Edmonton last season, registered three points (2-1-3) on opening weekend for the Falcons.
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Tyler Kennedy earned Rbk/AHL Player of the Week Honors with 5 points (3-2-5) and a pair of game-winning goals in the season’s first week… Chris Minard’s three goals on opening night against Hershey made him the 13th different Penguin player to record a hat trick and the second to do so on opening night, along with Erik Christensen on Oct. 5, 2005… The Penguins play a home-and-home with Philadelphia this weekend to conclude an early stretch of three straight games against the Phantoms.
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The Sharks moved to 2-0 in franchise history in season openers with their 4-2 win at Springfield on Saturday… Graham Mink, who finished with 63 points last season (31-32-63), notched a goal and an assist in the victory… Mike Iggulden, a 30-goal scorer in 2006-07, contributed a pair of assists… Worcester opens its home slate on Saturday against Portland, against whom it was 4-4-0-2 a season ago.