Western Conference notebook

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Chicago snapped a season-high three-game losing skid on Saturday with a 6-1 home-ice win over arch-rival Rockford… The Wolves are now 14-9-1-1 for the season and two points back of first-place Iowa in the West Division… Brett Sterling is on a three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) and has averaged a point per game (7-7-14) since being reassigned by parent-club Atlanta on Nov. 7… Joe Motzko (3-3-6) and Jeff Hamilton (0-6-6) are also sporting three-game scoring runs for the Wolves, while Colin Stuart has a goal in two of his last three outings (2-0-2).
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Four points separate third-place Grand Rapids from first-place Manitoba as the Griffins head north this weekend to take on the Moose in a pair of games… The Griffins took five of eight meetings with Manitoba last season (5-3-0-0)… Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Hamilton snapped the Griffins’ six-game overall points streak (4-0-1-1) and eight-game home points streak (5-0-1-2), and it marked Grand Rapids’ first regulation loss this season to a North Division rival (now 5-1-2-1)… Daniel Larsson made a season-high 38 saves in Friday’s 3-2 overtime loss to Toronto, making him 5-1-1 (1.77, .935) with two shutouts in his last eight games.
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Hamilton is just 1-3-1-0 in five tilts since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 22-25… Captain Kyle Chipchura is currently riding a five-game scoring streak (3-5-8) and is now tied for second on the active roster with 20 points overall (9-11-20)… Chipchura is a team-high plus-14 in 23 games, while Ryan Russell is a plus-13 in 24 outings and Shawn Belle plus-13 in 25 games… Defenseman Dan Jancevski picked up his first goal of the season in last Thursday’s 5-4 loss to Milwaukee… Hamilton has Friday and Saturday off this weekend before traveling to Toronto on Sunday.
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Houston is 2-1-0-2 thus far on a seven-game homestand, which concludes this week with games against Quad City on Thursday and Hershey on Saturday, which will mark the Aeros’ first-ever meeting with the AHL-leading Bears… The Aeros’ 2-1 shootout loss to Rochester on Tuesday dropped them to 0-3 in shootouts this season, with all three games on home ice… Second-year pro Maxim Noreau has netted a goal in two straight games (2-1-3) and three of his last four (3-1-4)… Corey Locke is on a three-game scoring streak (3-3-6) and has a point in five of his last six (5-5-10); Locke leads the Aeros with 26 points for the campaign (8-18-26).
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Iowa brings a four-game winning streak and eight-game points streak (6-0-1-1) into Thursday’s game in Rockford… The hot streak has propelled the Chops into first place in the West Division at 15-7-1-1 for 32 points… Drew Miller netted the game-winning goal in both of Iowa’s one-goal victories at Lake Erie last weekend, and the third-year pro is pacing the Chops with 12 goals on the season (12-9-21)… Andrew Ebbett is riding a six-game scoring streak (2-8-10) and leads Iowa’s offense with 26 points overall (9-17-26)… Iowa is 8-3-0-1 on the roads this season entering Thursday’s contest.
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After Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Peoria, five of Lake Erie’s eight victories this season have come by a one-goal margin… Jesse Boulerice had a goal and an assist in the victory for his first multiple-point game of the season… Second-year forward Codey Burki has scored a goal in two of his four AHL games thus far on the season, matching his total from 40 games with the Monsters in 2007-08… Goaltender Jason Bacashihua picked up his first win on Wednesday since Oct. 22, snapping a personal seven-game slide… The Monsters visit Toronto on Friday before closing the weekend with home matches against Rochester and Peoria.
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Manitoba had been 17-2-0-0 in its previous 19 games before dropping consecutive one-goal games to last-place San Antonio last weekend… The Moose host Grand Rapids in a pair of tilts this weekend to kick off a six-game homestand at the MTS Centre… Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the Rampage marked Manitoba’s first regular-season shutout loss since Feb. 23, 2008, to Grand Rapids by an identical 1-0 score… Mark Cullen (10-10-20) and Jason Krog (4-16-20) are tied for the Moose team scoring lead with 20 points apiece… Rookie Mario Bliznak is a team-high plus-13 while chipping in 11 points (4-7-11) in 20 games this season.
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Milwaukee is on its third winning streak of at least three games so far this season… The Admirals look to match a season high with their fourth straight win when they host Rockford on Friday… Mike Santorelli has a point in an AHL season-high 10 straight games (7-12-19), including multiple-point performances in six of the 10 games during the streak… Ryan Jones was recalled by parent-club Nashville on Thursday after registering a point in seven of eight games with the Admirals (6-3-9)… Andreas Thuresson (1-3-4) and Nick Spaling (3-1-4) each have multiple points in two straight games.
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Rookie goaltender Ben Bishop went on the first three-game winning streak of his pro career last week, posting a 1.94 GAA and .945 save percentage over that span… The streak came to an end in Peoria’s 3-2 loss at Lake Erie on Wednesday… That defeat also marked the end of Josh Soares’ five-game goal-scoring streak (5-2-7) and Nikolay Lemtyugov’s three-game points streak (1-3-4)… A veteran of 413 games, Jeff Cowan scored his second goal of the season for Peoria on Wednesday… The Rivermen continue their North Division swing in Hamilton on Thursday and Rochester on Friday before a rematch with the Monsters on Sunday.
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Four of Quad City’s last seven games have extended beyond regulation, and the Flames show a record of 0-0-2-2 in those four contests… Quad City has earned at least one standings point in 10 of its last 14 outings (6-4-2-2)… Kyle Greentree has netted a goal in five straight games (6-2-8), tying a franchise record, and also has a point in seven straight (6-5-11)… Jamie Lundmark has found the scoresheet in five straight games (3-6-9) and eight of his last nine (4-9-13)… The Flames, who travel to Houston on Thursday and San Antonio on Saturday, are 8-1-0-1 all-time in games played in Texas.
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Rochester earned a split of its two-game trip to Texas and returns home to host Peoria on Friday… The Amerks then travel to Cleveland on Saturday and welcome arch-rival Syracuse to the Blue Cross Arena on Sunday… Americans goaltender Mike Brodeur has recorded a 1.31 GAA and .953 save percentage over his first three appearances with the club (2-1-0), and he posted a 28-save shutout in his season debut on Sunday against Albany… Stefan Meyer has netted a goal in two of his last three games (2-1-3), and Janis Sprukts shows a point in four of his last five tilts (4-2-6).
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Rockford’s 6-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday was its most lopsided regular-season defeat since a 7-1 loss to the Wolves on Apr. 12, 2008, the second-to-last game of the 2007-08 campaign… Personal streaks by Pascal Pelletier (four games, goals), Tim Brent (four games, assists), Petri Kontiola (eight games, points), and Mike Radja (four games, points) all came to an end last weekend… Defenseman Danny Groulx is currently riding a three-game scoring streak (1-2-3)… After Rockford’s 3-2 win in Quad City on Friday, the IceHogs are 6-2-0-2 in one-goal games this season.
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San Antonio’s current four-game winning streak is its longest since also winning four straight late last season (Mar. 27 to Apr. 4)… Three of the four victories have been by one goal, and two of the four have come via the shutout… Josh Tordjman has been in net for all four games and shows a 1.25 GAA and .943 save percentage over that span… Simon Ferguson scored his first goal of the season for the game-winner in the Rampage’s 3-2 win over Rochester on Tuesday… Three rookies – Chad Kolarik, Brett MacLean, and David Schlemko – also have game-winners to their credit during the team’s current streak.
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Syracuse is currently on a three-game regulation losing skid for the first time since Oct. 20-26, 2007, and has been outscored 13-6 during their current skid… The Crunch have also dropped five in a row on the road since 4-3 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Nov. 16… Nikita Filatov, Craig MacDonald, and Alexandre Picard all saw their three-game scoring streaks end in last Thursday’s 3-0 loss at San Antonio… Filatov had two points on Sunday in Houston and now shows five points (2-3-5) over his last five games… The Crunch host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Toronto this weekend before traveling to Rochester on Sunday.
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Toronto’s 6-5 overtime win at Hamilton on Sunday improved the Marlies to 4-0-0-2 this season in games that extend beyond regulation… Darryl Boyce registered a season-high three points (2-1-3) in the win over the Bulldogs, and Jiri Tlusty extended his goal-scoring streak to four games (4-1-5)… Ben Ondrus has a goal in his last two outings (2-0-2), and defenseman Phil Oreskovic shows three points (0-3-3) in his last four games after posting just one point in his first 17 contests of the year… Toronto boasts the AHL’s top-ranked power play on the road at 28.3 percent through 11 games.