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West Notes: Moose, Admirals first to reach playoffs

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Chicago has suffered an overtime and shootout loss in its last two games after winning its previous five contests that extended beyond regulation… The Wolves conclude a stretch of playing eight of nine at home with weekend games against division rivals Quad City and Milwaukee… The Wolves have scored nine power play goals in their last five games (9-for-34) after being held to just one in their previous four outings (1-for-19)… Rookie Spencer Machacek has a point in five straight games (4-4-8) and six of his last seven (4-6-10)… Fellow rookie Riley Holzapfel also shows a point in six of his last seven tilts (3-3-6).
 
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Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Toronto was the first penalty-free game in Griffins history and the AHL’s first such game of the season… Grand Rapids has hit the 40-win mark for the first time since the 2005-06 season and enters the weekend six points back of Manitoba for first place in the North Division… The Griffins are currently on a franchise-record eight-game road swing leading up to their final regular-season home game on Apr. 10… Jimmy Howard earned his 88th career win as a Griffin on Sunday at Lake Erie, tying Joey MacDonald’s franchise record… Justin Abdelkader and Francis Pare each have 22 goals, the most by a Griffins rookie in their AHL era.
 
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Hamilton goaltender Marc Denis stopped 41 of 42 shots in Tuesday’s 6-1 win over San Antonio, the third time this season he has topped the 40-save plateau in a game… Mike Glumac had registered a point in 17 straight road games before he was held scoreless in Friday’s 2-1 overtime loss at Quad City… Since that tilt, Glumac has tallied a point in three straight overall (2-1-3)… Rookie Max Pacioretty put up three points (1-2-3) on Tuesday in his first game for the Bulldogs since Dec. 30… The Bulldogs play their next six games against Manitoba and Grand Rapids – the two teams above them in the North Division – before wrapping up at Toronto on Apr. 11.
 
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Houston has won four straight games and 14 of its last 18 (14-4-0-0) to open a three-point lead on Peoria for second place in the West Division, and the Aeros still hold two games in hand on the Rivermen… Houston’s 70 games played are the fewest in the entire Western Conference… Corey Locke is riding a 10-game scoring streak (4-8-12), the longest current run in the AHL… Locke has attained his third straight 20-goal campaign, and his 71 points (24-47-71) are one shy of the career-high 72 he put up with Hamilton last season… Benoit Pouliot registered his first two-goal game of the season for Houston in Wednesday’s 4-1 win at Milwaukee.
 
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Iowa has jumped back into the playoff chase in the West by winning three of its last four games (3-1-0-0), its best stretch since a three-game winning streak from Jan. 31 to Feb. 7… All three Chops wins during this stretch have been by one goal… Iowa has posted an 11-5-2-3 mark this season when tied after two periods despite getting outscored 79-63 in the third period and going 0-8 in shootouts… Rookie Matt Beleskey (2-4-6) and newcomer Petri Kontiola (1-3-4) are each riding four-game scoring streaks, and Petteri Wirtanen is on a six-game run (3-5-8)… Eric Boguniecki shows three goals in his last two games.
 
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Lake Erie will play five of its remaining eight scheduled games against West Division foes, with the other three against North Division rivals… Per Ledin shows two goals and three points in his last two games for the Monsters… Goaltender Tyler Weiman earned his league-leading seventh shutout of the season – but first since Jan. 30 – with 25 saves in a 2-0 win at Milwaukee on Friday… Lake Erie shows nine shutouts as a team, second-most in the AHL behind Hamilton’s 11… The Monsters host San Antonio on Thursday before visiting New York state for games in Rochester and Syracuse on the weekend.
 
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Manitoba clinched its seventh playoff berth in eight AHL seasons on Saturday… Wednesday’s 5-3 win over Syracuse was the Moose’s 47th of the season (47-20-0-6), their most since joining the AHL in 2001-02… This marks the third straight campaign in which Manitoba has increased its win total over the prior year… Cory Schneider (26-7-1) has tied Manitoba’s team record for wins by a goaltender in a season, matching the 26 games captured by Wade Flaherty in 2005-06… Jason Krog is on a six-game scoring streak (4-8-12) and has a point in nine of his last 10 tilts (6-11-17).
 
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Milwaukee has totaled just five goals in its last four games (1-3-0-0) and hasn’t topped the three-goal plateau since a 5-4 shootout loss at Chicago on Mar. 14… The Admirals’ losses at Rockford on Monday and vs. Houston on Wednesday gave the team its first two-game regulation losing skid since Dec. 19-20, both of which came at Grand Rapids… Prior to that, the Ads hadn’t lost two straight in regulation since Oct. 13-17, the second and third games of the season… Kelsey Wilson has recorded 10 points (4-6-10) in his last 12 games after posting 21 points (11-10-21) in his first 59 games… The West Division-leading Admirals clinched their seventh straight playoff berth on Friday.
 
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Each of Peoria’s last five games has been decided by one goal (2-1-1-1)… The Rivermen show a 19-9-2-2 mark in one-goal games overall this season… Peoria began the season 11-3-1-0 at home, then went 1-9-0-1 in their next 12 at Carver Arena, and have now turned it back around by posting a 7-1-0-0 mark in their last eight home games, including six straight wins… The Rivermen open a four-game homestand this weekend against Milwaukee and Houston, the two teams above them in the West Division standings… Cam Paddock has scored a goal in three of his last four games (3-0-3), and Yan Stastny shows three goals and four points in his last two contests.
 
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Quad City is tied for the league lead with six overtime wins this season (6-6) but is just 3-6 in shootouts… Kyle Greentree registered his fifth multiple-goal game of the season on Wednesday vs. Chicago and ranks second in the AHL with 35 goals in 70 games overall (35-32-67)… Carsen Germyn is riding a six-game scoring streak (3-3-6) and has a point in 10 of his last 11 games (6-6-12)… Kris Chucko shows five points (2-3-5) in his last four outings… Four of Quad City’s remaining nine games are against Iowa, beginning with a home-and-home set this weekend… The Flames visit Chicago on Saturday in between the two clashes with the Chops.
 
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Rookie defenseman Jason Garrison had potted five goals in 69 games for the season before scoring twice in Rochester’s 4-3 shootout win over Albany on Wednesday… The Americans have now recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since Feb. 20-21… Janis Sprukts, who recently missed nine games to injury, saw his six-game scoring streak (0-8-8) come to an end on Wednesday… Rochester will induct former defenseman Larry Hillman, who captained the franchise to its first Calder Cup championship in 1965, into the club’s Hall of Fame on Friday as the Amerks host Lake Erie.
 
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Rockford broke out of an 0-for-30 power play drought on Saturday when Tyler Mosienko scored at 18:06 of the third period vs. Manitoba… Antti Niemi’s start on Saturday ended a nine-game streak in which Corey Crawford started in goal for the IceHogs… In two shootouts this season against Manitoba goaltender Curtis Sanford, the IceHogs have converted six of eight opportunities and won both… Tim Brent leads Rockford with seven shootout goals for the season, second-most in the AHL… Rockford heads to Texas for games in Houston and San Antonio this weekend before returning to host Houston on Sunday.
 
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San Antonio’s 6-1 loss at Hamilton on Tuesday marked the most goals it had allowed in a game since a 7-3 setback at Quad City on Feb. 14… Goaltender Al Montoya parlayed three wins in his last four games for the Rampage into an NHL recall to Phoenix on Monday… David Spina ended his season-high six-game points drought with two assists in Sunday’s 3-2 overtime win at Toronto… The Rampage are 18-5-2-2 this season when Spina registers at least one point… Joel Perrault is on a three-game scoring streak (3-2-5); the Rampage are 19-4-0-1 when Perrault finds the scoresheet.
 
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Syracuse goaltender Kevin Lalande’s six-game winning streak ended on Wednesday in a 5-3 loss at Manitoba… Alexandre Picard (six games) and Derek MacKenzie (four games) both saw their scoring streaks end in Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Rochester… With his three goals on Friday vs. Rochester and four markers on Saturday vs. Albany, Picard became the first AHL player to record consecutive hat tricks since Norfolk’s Brandon Bochenski on Dec. 30, 2006 and Jan. 3, 2007… Picard totaled 14 goals in an 11-game span from Feb. 27 to Saturday… Syracuse will visit fourth-place Toronto on Sunday after hosting San Antonio and Lake Erie on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
 
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Toronto has dropped four straight games (0-2-1-1) – all by one goal – and is just one point up on Syracuse for a playoff spot in the North… Leading scorer Tim Stapleton has registered a point in all four losses (1-4-5) and shows a point in nine of his last 10 games overall (4-7-11)… Andre Deveaux snapped a five-game drought with a pair of goals in Wednesday’s 4-3 loss at Hershey… Jiri Tlusty is without a point in consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 23-24, the last two tilts before the All-Star break… The Marlies visit Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week before hosting Syracuse on Sunday.