The Morning Skate


CHICAGO 4, Houston 1
LOWELL 4, Albany 3
MANCHESTER 4, Hartford 1
NORFOLK 4, W-B/Scranton 2
Iowa 3, OMAHA 0
PORTLAND 4, Worcester 1

1. Jordan Parise made 39 saves and Lowell scored three times in the third period to take a 4-3 decision from Albany.
2. Mark Hartigan recorded a goal and two assists to lead Portland past Worcester, 4-1.
3. Junior Lessard scored twice in Iowa’s 3-0 win over Omaha.

Lowell at Albany, 7:00
Hartford at Worcester, 7:00
Philadelphia at Providence, 7:05
Binghamton at Norfolk, 7:15
W-B/Scranton at Bridgeport, 7:30
Hershey at Manchester, 7:35
Syracuse at Rochester, 7:35
Portland at Springfield, 7:35
Hamilton at Milwaukee, 8:00
Grand Rapids at Omaha, 8:00
Peoria at San Antonio, 8:00
Iowa at Manitoba, 8:30

Hershey at Manchester, 7:35
Bruce Boudreau brings his defending champion Hershey Bears into Manchester on Friday night for a heavyweight Eastern Conference battle… Boudreau coached the Monarchs for four seasons from 2001-05, then won the Calder Cup in his first year with the Bears… Both teams come in with 85 points, second-most in the AHL… Chris Bourque is carrying a six-game scoring streak for Hershey (3g, 4a), while Joey Tenute has points in five straight (2g, 5a)… Two-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky has picked up two goals and four assists in three games since joining the Monarchs… Marty Murray, a Calder Cup champion with Saint John in 2001, also has six points in his last three games for Manchester… Hershey is 5-1-3-1 against the Atlantic Division this season; Manchester is 4-2-4-0 vs. the East.

Philadelphia at Providence, 7:05
Just like in-state neighbors Hershey and Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia is also playing three road games this weekend; the Phantoms begin in Providence on Friday… The Bruins have won four straight by a combined score of 19-5, and are 19-5-0-1 overall since Jan. 7… Philly is 6-2-0-1 in its last nine, closing to within five points of fourth place in the East Division… The Phantoms’
Mark Cullen has two goals and three assists in three games back after missing five weeks with a broken hand… David Krejci, who skated for the parent Boston Bruins on Thursday, has points in 17 of his last 18 games for the P-Bruins (14g, 15a)… Providence is the only team in the AHL with a perfect record when leading after two periods (26-0-0-0).

Peoria at San Antonio, 8:00

Peoria continues a seven-game road trip in San Antonio on Friday night… The Rivermen are playing 22 games (15 on the road) over the final 38 days of the regular season, and enter the weekend tied with Iowa for fourth place in the West Division, 10 points ahead of the Rampage… The game marks the first meeting between twin brothers Peter and Chris Ferraro since 2001… Peter has one goal and two assists in two games since joining Peoria last week; Chris has five points and a plus-6 rating in his last three games for San Antonio… Alex Leavitt, the reigning CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week, has seven points in three games in a Rampage sweater… Trent Whitfield has 17 points (6g, 11a) in 13 games since the All-Star break for the Rivermen, who are 8-2-1-2 in that time.


YOU’RE NEVER TOO YOUNG – Jonathan Huntington | Edmonton Sun
Call it baptism by fire for
Bryan Young. Still trying to get accustomed to life in the AHL, the 20-year-old defenseman is about to face the high-powered Anaheim Ducks tonight in his first ever AHL game. “It is definitely going to be weird being on the same ice as some of those guys,” said Young of facing Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer and the rest of the Ducks. “I’m probably more excited right now but I am sure as it gets closer to the game … the nerves will probably kick in some more.” The ridiculous injury situation has forced the Edmonton Oilers to call up Young from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

A fifth-round draft choice by the Oilers in 2004, Bryan Young has played 30 AHL games between Wilkes-Barre and Milwaukee this season.

The Ferraro brothers came into the world as twins, and have gone through most of their lives as teammates. Tonight, though, will be something unusual for them. Opponents. Peoria Rivermen right wing
Peter Ferraro will play against San Antonio and mark a reunion with his twin, Chris, who is one minute older and will play for the Rampage. “We’ve been together most of our career,” said Peter Ferraro, 34. “Peoria was one of the teams we were looking at last summer, hoping the Blues would sign us. We’ll pursue that again when the season ends. It would be awesome to stay here.”

Peter and Chris Ferraro have each played in three AHL All-Star Games. Peter was MVP of the 1999 Calder Cup Playoffs, while Chris won an IHL Turner Cup championship with the Chicago Wolves in 2000.

CULLEN’S CALL-UP IS A BIG HEADACHE – Lindsay Kramer | Syracuse Post-Standard
When center
Joe Cullen envisioned himself sticking around in the AHL, this wasn’t what he had in mind. Cullen is trapped between limbo and a downtown hotel room in Syracuse. He has his promotion but also has nothing at all. Cullen, 26, was called up by the Crunch from Dayton of the ECHL last week. In his first game with Syracuse, against Albany on March 2, he suffered a concussion. He can’t play but, since he is hurt, he also can’t be sent down to Dayton right now. "I knew when I got called up here it was a chance. At the beginning, it was an ideal situation," Cullen said. "When they said I had a concussion, it was just heart-breaking. I don’t know what’s going to happen after this."

Joe Cullen, who has made previous AHL stops in Binghamton, San Antonio, Edmonton and Toronto, is the younger brother of Philadelphia Phantoms forward Mark Cullen.

ROME’S CAREER NOT BUILT IN A DAY – Jonathan Bombulie | Citizens’ Voice
When the Penguins picked up
Reagan Rome at the trade deadline, they thought they were getting a dependable defenseman who would add some depth for the stretch run. They may not have known they were picking up one of the poor man’s Sutter brothers. Like the six Sutter brothers, who went from the small town of Viking, Alberta, to the NHL, four Rome brothers have gone on from the small town of Nesbitt, Manitoba, to play professional hockey. “There were a few broken items in the house and a few broken bones. A lot of scraps between the four of us,” Rome said. “But it’s all in good fun. Nobody ever got hurt that bad.”

Portland’s Aaron Rome became the first of the brothers to make the NHL when he made his debut for the Anaheim Ducks earlier this season.

The role of enforcer may or may not be on the road to extinction in the NHL, but the Blackhawks are going to have one around for the next little while after the recall of
David Koci from Norfolk. The imposing 6-foot-6, 238-pound Koci practiced with the team Thursday and said afterward he understood perfectly what he was brought up to do — protect the Hawks’ smaller skilled forwards such as Martin Havlat. Koci said a few of his new teammates already told him about Tuesday’s game against Los Angeles, when Kings forward Raitis Ivanans took liberties with some of the smaller Hawks. “If he’s out there pushing guys around, he’s going to have to watch out for me,” Koci said. “I will be ready to drop the gloves. I know my role, and I’m willing to do it.”

David Koci played parts of five seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before joining their East Division rivals, the Norfolk Admirals, in 2006-07.

Maxime Boisclair‘s numbers are down in this his first season of pro hockey but he’s working hard, learning fast and hasn’t given up on his dream of playing in the NHL. "It might take a little more time than usual but that is my hope, as soon as possible," he says of his big-league aspirations. If he were to make it, it would be an improbable success story given that he was rescued from a Haitian orphanage at the age of three. Scoring goals is his forte. He got 70 in 70 games with the QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Sagueneens last season. He did it after twice being passed over in the NHL entry draft.

Maxime Boisclair has one goal in 17 AHL games with the Springfield Falcons this season, a power-play goal vs. Hartford on January 6.

2007 AHL All-Star
Andy Greene scored his first career NHL goal for New Jersey in a 4-3 shootout win over Pittsburgh.

2006 Baz Bastien Award winner and AHL All-Star Dany Sabourin stopped 26 shots for Vancouver in a 4-2 win at Phoenix.
On Wednesday, Geoff Platt had two points, including his first career NHL goal, to lead Columbus past Los Angeles, 3-2.

— Consecutive road penalty kills without allowing a goal for the Iowa Stars, spanning their last 13 road games since Dec. 29… Iowa, 11-1-1-0 in those games, takes an eight-game road winning streak to Winnipeg this weekend.

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