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West Notes: Bulldogs, Amerks roll on

Also see… East Notes: Reversal for ‘Pack, Bears heat up

 
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Abbotsford heads home having split a six-game road trip at 3-3-0-0, winning the last three contests after dropping the first three… Rookie forward Mikael Backlund went scoreless in his first four games this season but has a point in seven of 10 outings since (5-2-7); Backlund netted the game-tying goal on Friday at Hamilton and registered the game-winner in Sunday’s 2-1 triumph at Lake Erie… Kris Chucko snapped an eight-game goal-scoring drought with a tally on Oct. 28 at Milwaukee… The Heat return home this weekend to battle Rockford on Friday and Saturday.
 
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Chicago collected its first road victory of the season (1-4-0-0) on Wednesday with a 4-3 triumph at Milwaukee… The Wolves are now 4-1-0-1 since Don Lever took over as head coach… Forwards Tim Stapleton (4-1-5) and Riley Holzapfel (0-4-4) both have a point in four of their last five games, as does defenseman Chris Chelios (1-6-7)… Chicago had been 0-for-its-last-22 on the power play before Chelios scored on the man advantage in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Rockford… The Wolves’ penalty kill has denied 29 of its opponents’ last 30 power play chances… Chicago visits Grand Rapids on Friday for its lone game of the weekend.
 
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After going 0-2-0 (6.56, .795) in two road appearances to begin the season, 2009 AHL All-Star goaltender Daniel Larsson is 3-0 (1.33, .962) with one shutout since the Griffins returned to Van Andel Arena… Overall, Grand Rapids has won five straight games at home since beginning the year 1-4-0-0 on the road… Kris Newbury has a point in three straight games (1-4-5) and four of his last five (2-5-7), while Evan McGrath has found the scoresheet in five of his last six contests (2-3-5)… Michael Nylander concluded a two-game conditioning stint with six points (1-5-6) in five games… The Griffins host Chicago on Friday before visiting Lake Erie on Sunday afternoon.
 
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Hamilton has set a franchise record with its 11-game points streak (7-0-1-3) to begin the season… Remarkably, the Bulldogs have not trailed at an intermission in any of the 11 games… Goaltender Curtis Sanford (5-1-2, 1.32, .950) has surrendered more than two goals just once in eight appearances, and he still earned the win in that one instance – a 4-3 overtime decision at Peoria on Oct. 16… Newcomer Tom Pyatt, who is tied for the team scoring lead with nine points (6-3-9), has yet to be held scoreless in consecutive games this season… The Bulldogs take on Binghamton twice this weekend, with both games at the home rink of the reams’ respective NHL affiliates, Montreal and Ottawa.
 
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Houston has totaled only two goals in dropping its last three contests, all on the road… Goaltender Wade Dubielewicz allowed just two goals in all three games but took the tough-luck loss on each occasion… Brandon Rogers netted his first goal of the season in Sunday’s 3-1 loss at Texas, and Robbie Earl scored the Aeros’ lone marker in a 3-1 defeat at Grand Rapids on Friday… Earl (4-2-6) became the first Houston skater to reach the four-goal plateau this year, and he is tied with Jean-Michel Daoust (2-4-6) for the team lead in points… The Aeros return home to battle Manitoba on Thursday and San Antonio on Saturday this week.
 
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Lake Erie scored on three of four shootout tries to take a 5-4 win over Peoria on Sunday, giving the Monsters a league-best 75.0 percent shootout conversion rate this season… Darren Haydar is without a point in back-to-back outings since his six-game scoring streak (4-4-8) came to an end… Matthew Ford put up three points (2-1-3) in three games last weekend after joining the Monsters… Rookie David Marshall had been scoreless in his first eight AHL games this season before combining for three points (2-1-3) on Saturday vs. Peoria and Sunday vs. Abbotsford… Lake Erie hosts Toronto on Friday and Grand Rapids on Sunday.
 
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Manitoba has played a league-high 16 games thus far, including 10 at home… The successful attempt by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Dustin Jeffrey on Friday marked the first time Manitoba had allowed a penalty shot goal at home since Apr. 4, 2004 vs. St. John’s… Since Cory Schneider was recalled to the NHL on Oct. 28, goaltender Daren Machesney has started four straight games and posted a 1.72 goals-against average… Machesney has just one win to show for it, as the Moose offense has totaled only four goals in the four contests… Manitoba heads to the Lone Star State this week to visit Houston (Thursday) and the Texas Stars (Saturday and Sunday).
 
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Milwaukee won consecutive games for the first time this season by sweeping a home-and-home from Rockford last weekend… Rookie goaltender Chet Pickard, a first-round draft pick by Nashville in 2006, picked up the first win of his professional career on Saturday with 24 saves in a 2-1 win over the IceHogs… The Admirals have allowed the first goal in nine of their first 11 games this season and have been outscored 12-6 in the opening period… Milwaukee’s lone game of the weekend is a home date with Peoria on Friday, and the Admirals do not play again until Nov. 12 vs. Abbotsford.
 
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Peoria is 0-2-0-2 on the road this season compared to a 4-2-1-0 mark at Carver Arena… The Rivermen outshot Lake Erie by a combined margin of 82-47 in two games last weekend but lost both contests… Defenseman Jonas Junland is on a five-game scoring streak (2-5-7) and ranks third among AHL defensemen with 13 points (6-7-13) in 11 games overall… Lars Eller is tied for second in the AHL rookie scoring race with 11 points (3-8-11) in 11 games, and he’s found the scoresheet in six of his last seven contests (2-6-8)… Peoria hosts San Antonio on Thursday before traveling to Milwaukee for a Friday night tilt.
 
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Rochester enters the weekend on an eight-game winning streak, which includes five straight victories at home… The Americans have outscored opponents 29-13 over the course of their eight-game winning streak… Rochester sits tied for second in the AHL with four shorthanded goals thus far… Chris Taylor is riding a five-game scoring streak (1-6-7) and earned his team-leading ninth assist in Friday’s 4-2 win at Binghamton… Taylor (2-9-11) and Michal Repik (6-5-11) are currently tied for the team lead in scoring, with Mike York (3-7-10) close behind… The Amerks open a three-game homestand with match-ups against Syracuse on Friday and Toronto on Saturday.
 
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Rockford had totaled five goals in its previous four games – all losses – before scoring five times in a 5-3 win over San Antonio on Wednesday… Mark Cullen registered his second three-point effort (1-2-3) of the season in that victory… After playing Milwaukee three times in the past two weeks, the IceHogs will not see the Admirals again until Dec. 26… Goaltender Corey Crawford earned an assist on Friday vs. Milwaukee, his first helper since Oct. 24, 2008 vs. Norfolk… Bryan Bickell is on a three-game scoring streak (2-1-3) and has a point in four of his last five outings (3-2-5)… The IceHogs head to Abbotsford this weekend for the first two of four games this month against the Heat.
 
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San Antonio is 0-4-1-0 since beginning the season at 6-1-1-0… The Rampage have been shut out in three of the five games, with goaltender Al Montoya taking the tough-luck loss in net on all three occasions… San Antonio is 5-0-1-0 this season when it scores the game’s first goal and 1-5-1-0 when it doesn’t… Kyle Turris and Chad Kolarik each snapped four-game goal-scoring droughts with tallies in the Rampage’s 5-3 loss at Rockford on Wednesday… The Rampage conclude a three-game road swing with games in Peoria on Thursday and Houston on Saturday.
 
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Texas has won a season-high three straight games and has a point in its last five contests (4-0-0-1)… The Stars rank second in the league averaging 1.75 goals per game and have surrendered more than three goals just once, a 4-0 loss to Lake Erie on Oct. 20… Texas has not allowed more than one regulation marker in any of its last four outings… Aaron Gagnon is currently riding a five-game scoring streak (1-4-5), and Mathieu Beaudoin has a point in three of his last four contests (1-2-3) after totaling just one assist in his first eight outings this season… The Stars host Manitoba for a pair of games this weekend.
 
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Mike Zigomanis has registered an assist in his first five games with the Marlies (0-10-10), giving him the longest active assist streak in the AHL… Zigomanis has vaulted to a share of the team lead in scoring along with Jiri Tlusty (6-4-10) and rookie Christian Hanson (4-6-10)… Hanson registered his first two-goal game of the season in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which also featured a four-point performance (2-2-4) by fellow rookie Viktor Stalberg… Goaltender Joey MacDonald is 2-0-0 (0.96, .962) in two appearances for the Marlies thus far… Toronto kicks off a six-game road swing at Lake Erie on Friday and Rochester on Saturday.