Weekend watch list: Feb. 23-25

Patrick Williams, TheAHL.com Features Writer

Make it 18 and counting for the Milwaukee Admirals.

Yesterday’s 4-0 decision at Chicago gave the Admirals their 18th consecutive win, the second-longest such streak in AHL history. The 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals’ 28-game winning streak is the longest in pro hockey history.

Milwaukee goes for its 19th win in a row – as well as its 15th consecutive home win – when they host the Wolves on Saturday night. Yesterday’s win moved Milwaukee’s record in the season series with Chicago to 8-1-0-0. Milwaukee has not lost since a 4-3 setback at Rockford on New Year’s Eve.

Goaltender Yaroslav Askarov turned in his fifth shutout of the season, second-most in the AHL, with 27 saves – including one that was featured on ESPN as one of SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. It was the Admirals’ seventh shutout during the streak, and Askarov has gone 13-0-0 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .940 save percentage. Veteran counterpart Troy Grosenick is 5-0-0 with a 0.98 GAA, .959 save percentage, and two shutouts amid this run as well.

Askarov has a 14-game winning streak and is chasing the league record for a goaltender of 19 wins set by Providence’s John Grahame in 1998-99.

Rookie forward Zach L’Heureux picked up two goals and an assist in the win. Forward Cody Hodgson, who retired from hockey after the 2015-16 season due to health reasons, scored his first goal at any level in nearly eight years, since Feb. 24, 2016.

The Providence Bruins will mix some 1990’s nostalgia with a present-day battle between two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams this weekend.

The Bruins welcome the Cleveland Monsters to Amica Mutual Pavilion tonight and Sunday as they hold a 25th anniversary celebration for their 1999 Calder Cup championship team. The 1998-99 P-Bruins, who improved by 37 wins and 70 points from the previous season, finished 56-16-4-4 and went on to win the Calder Cup Finals against Rochester under rookie head coach Peter Laviolette. This season’s Providence club is having its own success, entering the weekend second in the Atlantic Division.

Cleveland comes to town following a 4-3 shootout win in Hartford last night, improving to 4-0-0-1 in their last five games. The Monsters are five points ahead of Syracuse for the lead in the North Division.

Providence enters the weekend without three of its leading scorers in Justin Brazeau, Anthony Richard and Jesper Boqvist, all on recall – and skating together as a line with the parent Boston Bruins. The 26-year-old Brazeau signed his first NHL contract earlier this week and scored a goal in his NHL debut against Dallas on Monday.

The Manitoba Moose host the Calgary Wranglers in the AHLTV Free Game of the Week on Saturday (7 ET/6 CT), the organization’s annual Follow Your Dreams game.

The Moose and the parent Winnipeg Jets partner with the Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre for a celebration of Indigneous culture. This weekend’s events will include the Moose wearing special jerseys; in addition, several local artists will be present to share Indigenous art with fans, and the Sergeant Tommy Prince School choir will perform the national anthem.

Pauingassi First Nation, Northlands Denesuline First Nation (Lac Brochet), Bunibonibee Cree Nation (Oxford House), Shamattawa First Nation, Minegoziibe Anishinabe First Nation (Pine Creek), and the Métis Community of Duck Bay will be represented. They will also have the opportunity to attend Sunday’s game between the Jets and the Arizona Coyotes at Canada Life Centre.

The Moose and Wranglers begin a two-game series tonight, as Manitoba tries to end a 10-game home losing streak. Last weekend in Calgary, the Wranglers won the opener, 4-2, before the Moose gained a split with a shootout victory in the rematch.


An AHLTV account is required to watch the AHLTV Free Games of the Week, but no subscription is needed. Visit AHLTV.com for details.