Western Conference notebook

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Wolves head coach Don Granato has been selected to serve as coach of the PlanetUSA team at the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications in Worcester, Mass… Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves against Rockford in his return to Chicago on Sunday after being reassigned by parent-club Atlanta on Dec. 19… Jeff Hamilton is currently riding a five-game scoring streak (3-4-7) and has a point in eight of his last nine contests (3-10-13)… Defenseman Jamie Rivers has a point in seven of his last eight outings (1-7-8).
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Grand Rapids has matched a season high with four straight wins and has posted two consecutive shutouts… Jimmy Howard made 28 saves in a 2-0 win over Milwaukee on Saturday, followed by Daniel Larsson’s 38-save performance in a 6-0 victory at Rochester on Sunday… Defenseman Jakub Kindl is on a four-game scoring streak (1-5-6) and has a point in seven of his last eight contests (1-8-9)… Reigning Reebok/AHL player of the week Francis Pare is also on a four-game scoring run (3-4-7), as is Jason Jozsa (0-5-5), while Evan McGrath has a point in five straight tilts (1-4-5).
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Hamilton has won the first three games of its five-game road swing, which tilts remaining in Rochester and Syracuse after the Christmas holiday… Rookie Max Pacioretty is on a three-game assist streak (0-4-4), while Yannick Weber (0-3-3) and Mike Glumac (2-2-4) are also on three-game scoring runs… Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins earned his second career AHL shutout on Friday, making 35 saves in a 2-0 win at Manchester… Desjardins has stopped 106 of 109 shots over his last three games.
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Houston is currently on a nine-game points streak (5-0-0-4), which has vaulted the Aeros into sole possession of fourth place in the tightly packed West Division with 36 points (15-10-1-5)… The Aeros are 10-0-1-2 against divisional opponents this season and 12-0-1-2 in their last 15 regular-season West Division battles dating back to the end of the 2007-08 campaign… Marco Rosa has netted a goal in three straight games (3-2-5) and has a point in five of his last six contests (3-5-8)… Brandon Rogers is riding a three-game scoring streak (1-3-4).
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Iowa dropped two straight games in regulation last weekend for the first time since Nov. 18-21, totaling only one goal in losses to Peoria and Milwaukee… The Chops are just 1-4-0-1 in their last six games overall… Drew Miller is leading the active roster with 14 goals and 25 points in 30 games this season… Iowa is 11-0-0-1 this season when scoring the game’s first goal… Iowa plays a home-and-home with Rockford this weekend followed by trips to Milwaukee and Grand Rapids as a six-game road swing gets underway.
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Lake Erie is currently on a season-high five-game points streak (2-0-0-3)… The Monsters’ five shootout losses on the season are tied with Houston for the most in the AHL… Lake Erie’s 4-0 win at Syracuse on Saturday snapped a stretch of 16 consecutive games that were decided by either one or two goals… Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey is on a four-game scoring streak (2-4-6), while Philippe Dupuis shows a point in three of his last four contests (0-4-4)… Tyler Weiman’s 2.25 goals-against average in 15 games (8-5-2) ranks fourth in the league.
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Manitoba’s four-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Quad City… Alexandre Bolduc had the lone Moose goal in that tilt, snapping a seven-game scoring drought… Mark Derlago’s five-game scoring streak (2-4-6) came to an end in the loss… The Moose have had 12 straight games decided by either one or two goals since a 4-1 win over San Antonio on Nov. 21… Friday’s 3-1 win over Quad City was Manitoba’s 20th victory of the season, marking the earliest in a season the Moose had ever achieved that milestone.
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Milwaukee had been 4-0-0-0 against Grand Rapids this season prior to dropping a pair of games to the Griffins last weekend, which ended the Admirals’ overall six-game winning streak… Milwaukee recovered to close the weekend with a 4-1 win over Iowa on Sunday… Jed Ortmeyer tallied a pair of goals for the Admirals in that victory… Ryan Jones shows four points (2-2-4) over his last three games… Following the Christmas break, Milwaukee starts a stretch that has it playing seven games in nine nights.
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Peoria split a home-and-home with Iowa last weekend before taking a 4-3 shootout win over Houston on Sunday… Rookie goaltender Ben Bishop stopped all 15 saves he faced in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Iowa for his first professional shutout… Josh Soares and Steve Regier each has a goal in his last two games (2-0-2), and Regier shows a point in six of his last seven outings (2-4-6)… Steve Wagner is riding a three-game scoring streak (2-1-3)… The Rivermen visit Grand Rapids on Friday before hosting San Antonio and Houston to close out the weekend.
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Quad City is 1-2-1-0 on its five-game road swing with a Friday tilt in Milwaukee remaining… The Flames will then return home to host Houston on Saturday… Kyle Greentree has posted 13 points (7-6-13) over his last 11 games… Saturday’s 2-1 win in Manitoba marked the first time in franchise history that the Flames had beaten the Moose in regulation time… Matt Keetley made his 1,000th save as a member of the Flames in Friday’s 3-1 loss in Winnipeg.
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Rochester’s season-high three-game winning streak came to an end in Sunday’s 6-0 loss to Grand Rapids… Mike Brodeur surrendered four goals on 17 shots in the loss, the most goals he has allowed since joining the Amerks earlier this month… Kenndal McArdle enters the new week with a point in three of his last four contests (1-2-3)… McArdle (5-9-14) is in a four-way tie for the team scoring lead with Janis Sprukts (6-8-14), Michal Repik (6-8-14), and defenseman Jason Garrison (2-12-14).
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Rockford is winless in three straight games (0-2-0-1) and is just 2-4-0-1 in its last seven outings… Petri Kontiola registered his team-leading eighth multiple-point game with a goal and an assist in Friday’s 4-3 shootout loss to Houston… Sunday’s 4-1 loss at Chicago was the IceHogs’ second straight regulation defeat, something that last happened when they dropped five in a row from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8… Jack Skille has registered a point in three of his last four outings (1-3-4), as has Tim Brent (1-3-4).
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Josh Tordjman moved into first place on the Rampage’s all-time wins list when he picked up his 45th victory on Friday, a 5-3 decision over Chicago… Alexander Nikulin, who had only one goal in 21 games since joining the Rampage, scored twice in that game for San Antonio, while David Spina posted a season-high four points (1-3-4)… Rookie Brett MacLean has registered a point in four of his last five contests (2-2-4), as has Joel Perrault (2-3-5)… The Rampage play three road games in four nights after Christmas, visiting Houston, Peoria, and Milwaukee.
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Syracuse is winless in nine straight games (0-8-0-1) since capturing a 5-1 victory over Toronto on Nov. 28… The Crunch have allowed the first goal in six straight games, and the power play is has converted just four of its last 76 opportunities (5.3%)… With his start on Saturday against Lake Erie, goaltender Dan LaCosta moved into sole possession of eighth place on the Crunch’s all-time games played list for netminders (56)… Defenseman Nick Holden tallied his first professional point with an assist on Friday at Binghamton.
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Toronto went 1-1-0-1 on its three-game road swing through the Atlantic Division, scoring exactly three goals in all three contests… Jiri Tlusty has posted an assist in four straight games (0-7-7) for the Marlies, and Bates Battaglia has registered a point in three of his last four games (3-2-5)… Alex Foster shows a goal in each of his last two games (2-0-2)… After Christmas, the Marlies visit Lake Erie on Friday before welcoming division-leading Manitoba to Ricoh Coliseum for a two-game set on Saturday and Sunday.