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West Notes: Wolves making a move

Also see… East Notes

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Abbotsford has totaled two goals in its last two games, coming away with a 1-0 win at Rochester on Tuesday and a 2-1 overtime loss in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday… The Heat have scored two or fewer goals in four of their last five games but show a 3-1-1-0 mark in that span… Matt Keith continues to lead the club with 11 goals (11-5-16) in 32 games, and his 16 points are tied for the team lead with rookie Greg Nemisz (8-8-16)… Rookie defenseman T.J. Brodie has an assist in four straight outings (0-4-4) to move into third on the team with 14 points overall (1-13-14)… The Heat wrap up their four-game road trip with visits to Wilkes-Barre and Adirondack this weekend.
 
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Chicago began the season 6-11-1-0 but is 9-3-1-0 in 13 games since to pull within three points of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot… Wolves rookie Ryan Garbutt has tallied a goal in three of his last four games, including the game-winner in each of Chicago’s past two contests… Nigel Dawes is on a three-game goal-scoring streak (4-0-4), and his 11 markers for the season (11-6-17) are part of a four-way tie for the club lead in that category… Chicago boasts the AHL’s top-ranked power play overall (23.9 percent) and on home ice (32.1 percent)… The Wolves visit Rockford on Friday and host Milwaukee on Saturday.
 
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With home-ice victories over Texas and Houston, Grand Rapids is on its first two-game winning streak since beating Chicago and Lake Erie on Nov. 6 and 7… Former first-round draft pick Brendan Smith ranks third among AHL rookie defensemen with 18 points (7-11-18) through 30 contests, and his seven goals are tied for first among first-year rearguards… With a season-best three point effort (1-2-3) on Wednesday vs. Houston, Jamie Johnson is now on a season-high five-game scoring streak (3-4-7)… The Griffins play a home-and-home set with Peoria this weekend.
 
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Hamilton is just 3-5-0-0 in its last eight games, and the Bulldogs are now in a first-place tie in the North Division with Abbotsford, although the Heat have played four more games… Rookie Alexander Avtsin notched the Bulldogs’ lone goal in Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Houston, snapping a personal seven-game goal drought… David Desharnais went without a point on Tuesday, and Hamilton’s leading scorer (7-25-32) has gone scoreless in back-to-back games just once all year, on Nov. 14 and 16… The Bulldogs begin a four-game southern road trip on Friday in Oklahoma City before visiting Texas and San Antonio to close the weekend, and heading to Houston on Tuesday.
 
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Houston had scored the first goal in 19 of its previous 22 games before surrendering it in both Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Hamilton and Wednesday’s 5-2 loss at Grand Rapids… Tuesday marked Houston’s first victory of the year when allowing the opening tally, and the Aeros are 15-4-0-2 when scoring it… The Aeros have outscored opponents 31-17 in the first period but been outscored 67-467-49 in the second and third frames combined… Brandon Buck’s goal on Tuesday was his first AHL marker since scoring for Norfolk back on Apr. 11, 2009 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Robbie Earl’s seven-game scoring streak (5-5-10) ended on Wednesday… Houston visits Manitoba for a pair of tilts this weekend.
 
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Lake Erie halted a four-game winless skid (0-2-0-2) on Sunday with a 5-2 triumph over Houston… Ben Walter had a trio of assists in that victory for his third three-point performance of the season and second in the last six games… Ryan Stoa recorded his third two-goal effort in a nine-game span on Sunday, and rookie Luke Walker now has a goal in back-to-back contests for the first time this season… The Monsters are just 1-6 in games that extend beyond regulation time, including a 1-4 mark in the shootout… Lake Erie plays three straight non-divisional road games this weekend, visiting Milwaukee, Rockford, and Peoria.
 
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Manitoba’s 3-1 triumph at Texas on Tuesday was its first regulation victory since capturing a 3-1 decision at Abbotsford on Nov. 27… The Moose had gone 1-4-0-2 in the interim, with the lone win in that span coming via the shootout over Oklahoma City on Dec. 3… Manitoba has appeared in eight shootouts overall (3-4), second-most in the AHL behind Abbotsford’s eight… Victor Oreskovich has a point in three straight games (2-1-3) after going his previous 11 outings without finding the scoresheet… Rookie Bill Sweatt’s three-game scoring run (1-4-5) ended on Tuesday… The Moose welcome Houston to the MTS Centre for a pair of games this weekend.
 
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Milwaukee has a point in three straight games (2-0-1-0) and eight of its last 10 (6-2-1-1) to move into a tie for third place in the West Division, five points back of first-place San Antonio… The Admirals have played 29 games, and 10 of them have required overtime or the shootout to decide (1-2 in overtime; 3-4 in shootout)… When Texas’ Travis Morin scored 17 seconds into overtime on Saturday, it marked the Admirals’ fastest OT loss in franchise history… Mark Santorelli snapped a 14-game goal-scoring drought with a marker on Sunday vs. Oklahoma City… The Admirals host Lake Erie on Friday and travel to Chicago on Saturday.
 
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Oklahoma City’s five-game points streak (3-0-0-2) came to an end on Sunday in a 2-1 loss at Milwaukee… The Barons are now tied with the Admirals for third place in the tight West Division race… Liam Reddox scored the game’s first goal on both Saturday and Sunday last weekend; Reddox opened a game’s scoring a league-high six times on the season… Rookie defenseman Jeff Petry shows six points (3-3-6) in his last five contests and ranks second among rookie rearguards with 20 points (7-13-20) in 29 games for the season… The Barons host division leaders Hamilton and San Antonio this weekend.
 
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Peoria is now on a 10-game points streak (8-0-2-0) but is still four points shy of San Antonio for the West Division lead… The Rivermen have not lost in regulation since a 3-1 setback to the Rampage on Nov. 17… After going scoreless in four straight games from Nov. 20-27, rookie Phil McRae has put up six points (3-3-6) in his last five outings… McRae paces the Rivermen with nine goals on the year and ranks third with 20 points in 26 games overall… Graham Mink (8-12-20) and T.J. Hensick (6-14-20) are tied for the team scoring lead with 20 points apiece… Peoria plays a home-and-home set with Grand Rapids this weekend before hosting Lake Erie on Sunday.
 
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Rochester’s 1-0 loss to Abbotsford on Tuesday marked its third shutout against in the last 11 games, and it ended the Amerks’ four-game points streak (2-0-1-1)… Goaltender Jacob Markstrom took the tough-luck loss despite making 26 saves on 27 shots… Chris Taylor (1-4-5) and Michael Duco (3-1-4) each saw four-game scoring streaks come to an end on Tuesday, and defenseman Clay Wilson’s run was halted at three games (1-3-4)… The Americans had gone to overtime just once in their first 25 games before requiring an extra session three times in as many nights last weekend… The Amerks play a home-and-home series with Toronto this weekend and host Binghamton on Sunday.
 
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Rockford is now winless in three straight games (0-1-1-1), but Wednesday’s 4-2 setback to Chicago marked the IceHogs’ first regulation loss in six December contests to date (2-1-1-2)… Jeff Taffe extended his team season-high scoring streak to six games (3-6-9) with a goal against the Wolves, but Mathis Olimb’s scoring run ended at four games (3-3-6)… Defenseman Shawn Lalonde turned in his first two career three-point efforts in a three-game span last week… Alec Richards faced Rockford’s first penalty shot against of the season on Saturday and denied Oklahoma City’s Alexandre Giroux in overtime… The IceHogs host Chicago and Lake Erie this weekend.
 
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San Antonio completed a five-game road swing at 4-1-0-0 and then earned its 20th victory of the season on Saturday with a 5-4 shootout triumph over Manitoba… The Rampage did not reach 20 wins in 2009-10 until Jan. 30, when a 5-3 win at Lake Erie brought the club’s record to 20-19-3-5… Alexandre Picard shows four points (2-2-4) in two games since returning to the Rampage’s lineup following a nine-game absence… Andrew Ebbett has a point in five of his last six outings (2-7-9), and Brett MacLean is riding a three-game scoring streak (3-2-5)… The Rampage host Texas and Hamilton this weekend, with a Saturday trip to Oklahoma City in between.
 
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Texas has currently lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since a season-high four-game skid from Oct. 30 to Nov. 6… Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Manitoba marked the sixth game this season in which the Stars scored either one or zero goals… Goaltender Trevor Beskorowany earned his first career AHL win on Friday with 44 saves in a 4-3 win at Grand Rapids… Travis Morin’s three-game goal-scoring streak (3-1-4) ended on Tuesday, but the Stars’ leading scorer (12-14-26) did earn an assist… Texas visits San Antonio on Friday and hosts Hamilton on Saturday.
 
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Toronto won five in a row from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4 but has dropped three of four games since (1-3-0-0)… At 15-11-0-3 for the season, the Marlies are still just three points shy of Hamilton and Abbotsford for first place in the North Division… Rookie Marcel Mueller netted a hat trick on Saturday in Toronto’s 7-4 win at Lake Erie… That marked the Marlies’ highest offensive output in a game this season… Defenseman Simon Gysbers has recorded seven points (3-4-7) in his last six contests… The Marlies oppose Rochester in a home-and-home set this weekend.