1. Rochester: The Frozen Frontier
The Rochester Americans will host the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday night in the sixth outdoor game in AHL history, kicking off a 10-day outdoor hockey festival at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y.
Friday night’s game will air live locally on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel in western New York and on SportsTime Ohio in the Cleveland area. STO is also available nationally to subscribers of DirecTV (channel 662), Dish Network (channel 431/5431) and AT&T U-Verse (channel 735/1735).
In Canada, the broadcast will air live across the country on Sportsnet in all four of the network’s broadcast regions.
Live video streaming of the game will also be available to subscribers of AHL Live (ahllive.com), and the game will re-air on NHL Network in the U.S. on Saturday at noon ET.
The Frozen Frontier — the first of two outdoor games scheduled in the AHL this season — pits two of the league’s senior cities against each other. The Amerks have been members of the American Hockey League since 1956, winning six Calder Cup championships; Cleveland, home of the Monsters since 2007, was a charter member of the American Hockey League when the league formed in 1936, and the Cleveland Barons were nine-time champions between 1939 and 1964.
Both the Amerks and Monsters will be wearing specially-designed jerseys for Friday’s game, inspired by their rich American Hockey League histories.
2. Strome repeats
Ryan Strome became just the third player in the last 20 years to repeat as CCM/AHL Player of the Week, taking home the honor for a second straight time after notching eight points and a plus-6 rating in three games last week.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers rookie had a hand in eight of his team’s 10 goals on the week and shot to the top of the AHL scoring page with 24 assists and 33 points. During his two-week run as Player of the Week, Strome totaled 5-9-14 and a plus-10 rating in six games, and he has put up 5-12-17 during his current nine-game scoring streak.
Blake Geoffrion of the Milwaukee Admirals was named Player of the Week for the periods ending Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, 2011, and goaltender Jim Carey of the Portland Pirates captured the award for the weeks ending Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, 1994.
Like Strome, both Geoffrion and Carey were rookies when they accomplished the feat.
3. Shark bites
After losing seven of their first 10 games this season, the Worcester Sharks have been one of the AHL’s hottest teams over the last month, earning points in nine of their next 10 (7-1-1-1).
Seven of the 10 games in that stretch have gone past regulation, with Worcester winning five times in a shootout, but the Sharks finally enjoyed some breathing room last Friday night vs. Portland.
In that one, Worcester scored five times in 10:56 of game time spanning the first and second periods, and rolled to an 8-2 win over the Pirates. Matt Nieto tied a franchise record with five points (two goals, three assists) and Freddie Hamilton recorded two goals and an assist, and both were recalled by the parent San Jose Sharks the next day.
The game marked the first — and still only — time this season that the Sharks have scored more than three goals in a game. It was also their highest offensive output since a 9-2 win in Hartford on Apr. 7, 2010, and marked the most goals by a Worcester club at the DCU Centre since the IceCats’ 9-3 win over Portland on Nov. 24, 2004.
4. Kinkaid saves Devils
The Binghamton Senators were credited with 14 shots on goal during the five-minute overtime period against Albany on Saturday night, but Keith Kinkaid denied them all, then stopped four of five shootout attempts to give the Devils a 3-2 victory.
The Sens had managed 25 shots in 60 minutes of regulation before dominating OT and outshooting the Devils by a 14-0 margin.
Kinkaid, who finished with 37 saves on the night and was named the game’s first star, won for the eighth time in his previous 10 decisions.
5. Crowded crease
When he appeared in relief last Friday at Milwaukee, Ty Rimmer became the seventh goaltender to appear in a game for Oklahoma City this season.
In addition to current netminders Rimmer and Laurent Brossoit, others to tend the twine for the Barons in 2013-14 have been Richard Bachman, Jason LaBarbera, Ilya Bryzgalov, Olivier Roy and Tyler Bunz.
The rookie Rimmer picked up his first career AHL win on Saturday, stopping 39 of 41 Chicago shots in a 5-2 victory over the Wolves.
Before this season, the Barons had utilized a total of eight goaltenders during their first three AHL campaigns: Roy, Bunz, Martin Gerber, Bryan Pitton, Jeff Deslauriers, Yann Danis, David LeNeveu and Niko Hovinen.
The AHL record for goaltenders used in a season is 12, set by the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in 2000-01. That 12-pack of netminders included future Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and was coached by current Detroit Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock.
6. Fair share of Bears
With Jamie Johnson finding the net for the first time on Saturday night, the Hershey Bears have now had a league-high 23 different players score a goal this season.
The Bears’ well-rounded offense has also seen 30 players record a point, but none has more than 13 points on the year.
Hershey’s roster this season has included seven players who have also seen action with the parent Washington Capitals: Nate Schmidt, Michael Latta, Connor Carrick, Patrick Wey, Dmitry Orlov, Tyson Strachan and Philipp Grubauer, who earned his first career NHL win by beating the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
7. Shake, Rattie and roll
Chicago Wolves rookie Ty Rattie scored two game-tying goals — one with 6:40 left in regulation and one with 17.6 seconds remaining — and then scored what would prove to be the decisive shootout tally as Chicago rallied past Oklahoma City on Sunday, 5-4.
Rattie, a second-round draft choice by St. Louis in 2011, has six points in his last five games for the Wolves. He finished third in the Western Hockey League in scoring in both 2011-12 (121 points) and 2012-13 (110), and his eight goals this season are tops on Chicago.
8. Referees, linesmen honored
A number of American Hockey League on-ice officials have been selected by the IIHF for various upcoming international tournaments:
2014 World Junior Championship Division I Group B (Dec. 9-15 in Dumfries, Scotland)
2013 Spengler Cup (Dec. 26-31 in Davos, Switzerland)
2014 World Junior Championships (Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden)
2014 World Junior Championship Division III (Jan. 12-18 in Izmir, Turkey)
2014 Olympics (Feb. 12-23 in Sochi, Russia)
2014 U-18 World Championship Division I Group A (Apr. 13-19 in Nice, France)
2014 U-18 World Championship (Apr. 17-27 in Lappeenranta and Imatra, Finland)
2014 World Championships Division I Group A (Apr. 20-26 in Goyang, South Korea)
9. Notes in the margin
Texas’s Colton Sceviour, recalled by Dallas on Monday, leads the AHL in goals (18) and shots (116) and ranks second in points (30)…
The Stars’ power play is clicking at 36.0 percent on home ice this season (18-for-50), and 28.8 percent overall (30-for-104). Sceviour, Chris Mueller and Curtis McKenzie have scored six power-play goals apiece for Texas…
Springfield has won all five meetings with Hartford so far this season…
Who’s on first? Depends who you ask. Abbotsford leads the AHL with 19 wins and 40 points, while Grand Rapids has the league’s top points percentage at .783 (17-4-1-1), having played four fewer games than the Heat. In the Eastern Conference, Manchester is tops with 37 points, but Springfield’s 16-4-1-1 record is best with four games in hand on the Monarchs…
Rockford has not lost a one-goal decision in regulation this season, going 7-0-2-0 in games decided by a single score…
Rochester has not won a one-goal game in 2013-14, going 0-2-2-2. The Americans are 9-3 in games decided by either two or three goals, and 1-5 in blowouts of four goals or more…
And there’s little chance of blowing out Grand Rapids this season; the Griffins are 11-1 in games decided by more than one goal.
10. Alumni watch
Congratulations to AHL call-ups Martin Jones, Reid Boucher, Jerry D’Amigo, Martin Marincin and Patrick Wey, who all made their National Hockey League debuts in the last week. The 2013-14 total now stands at 61.