Western Conference notebook

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Chicago claimed its second West Division title in team history with a 5-4 win at Manitoba on Tuesday… The Wolves also won the West Crown in 2004-05 on its way to an appearance in the Calder Cup Finals… Jason Krog picked up his 100th point of the season on Sunday against Grand Rapids, becoming just the fourth player in Wolves franchise history to reach the century mark in a season… Krog currently leads the AHL with career highs in goals (36), assists (65), and points (101)… Ondrej Pavelec’s 31-save victory over Grand Rapids on Sunday made him the first Wolves rookie goaltender in team history to reach 30 victories in a season (30-14-3).
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Darren Helm’s recent eight-game scoring streak (7-5-12) was the second-longest ever by a Griffins rookie, bettered only by current Detroit Red Wings forward Juri Hudler’s 12-game run in the 2003-04 campaign… 2008 AHL All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard’s 51 games played are the most by a Grand Rapids netminder since the Griffins joined the AHL in 2001… The Griffins are 16-10-1-2 at Van Andel Arena since getting out to an 0-7-0-1 start at their home rink… Grand Rapids looks to snap a four-game winless skid (0-3-0-1) when it hosts Houston on Friday.
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Hamilton snapped its franchise-record 12-game winless skid (0-10-1-1) with a 5-3 victory at Philadelphia on Sunday… The Bulldogs conclude their six-game road swing on Friday at Lake Erie before returning to Copps Coliseum to host the Monsters on Saturday… Scoring just 11 seconds into Hamilton’s Mar. 28 tilt in Wilkes-Barre, Matt D’Agostini set a Bulldogs franchise record for quickest goal from the start of a game… The previous record was set by Gavin Morgan, now of Rockford, who scored 12 ticks into a game at Syracuse on Oct. 30, 2004… Duncan Milroy moved into third-place on Hamilton’s all-time scoring list last week (75-103-178).
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Barry Brust’s 25-save shutout of Lake Erie in a 2-0 win on Wednesday was Houston’s 10th shutout of the season, setting a new franchise record… Brust has four of the whitewashes, Nolan Schaefer five, and Anton Khudobin one… The 2-0 win also marked the first time in Houston’s last 11 victories that it won by more than one goal… The Aeros still have five more tilts on their eight-game road trip before returning to the Toyota Center to conclude the season with a pair of contests against Milwaukee.
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Rookie James Neal is currently sporting a three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) for the Stars, and he registered his first career multiple-goal game in Iowa’s 4-3 shootout loss to Quad City on Tuesday… Defenseman Dan Jancevski has found the scoresheet in four of his last five outings (1-3-4), and Marty Sertich has a point in three of his last four games (1-3-4)…. The Stars close out their 2007-08 home schedule this week by welcoming Peoria on Friday and San Antonio on Tuesday.
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Brad Richardson registered his first hat trick of the season on Mar. 29 in a losing effort at Syracuse… Lake Erie has similar home and road records this season, having gone 12-18-4-3 at Quicken Loans Arena and 13-19-2-4 in opponents’ buildings… Each of the Monsters’ next four games are against either Hamilton or Syracuse before they conclude the season with a trip to Rochester on Apr. 13.
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Manitoba, which defeated Syracuse in a first-round playoff series in 2006, is guaranteed to square off with the Crunch again in this year’s opening round… The Moose’s AHL season-high 10-game winning streak ended with a 5-4 shootout loss in Rochester on Mar. 28… Jannik Hansen, who was recalled by parent-club Vancouver on Thursday, has registered a point in nine of his last 10 games for the Moose (6-9-15)… Leading scorer Brad Moran has a point in 10 of his last 11 outings (5-14-19)… Manitoba hosts North Division champion Toronto for a pair of games this weekend.
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Milwaukee has picked up a point in four straight games (3-0-1-0) and 11 of its last 14 contests (10-2-1-0)… The Admirals are in a three-way tie for third place in the West Division along with San Antonio and Houston… Milwaukee plays no one other than the Rampage and Aeros for the remainder of the regular season, three games this weekend and three more on the campaign’s final weekend… Matt Ellison has a six-game scoring streak (5-4-9) and a point in eight of his last nine outings (7-4-11)… After setting an AHL record by going beyond regulation 29 times last season, the Ads have needed extra time in only 13 contests this season (8-5).
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Yan Stastny’s three-point night (2-1-3) against Houston on Mar. 28 was a season high for the Rivermen center… Chris Porter has a point in three of his last four games (3-1-4)… The Rivermen have allowed a power play goal in 10 consecutive road games after surrendering two on five man-down situations in last Saturday’s 6-0 loss at San Antonio… After visiting Iowa on Friday, Peoria closes its schedule by playing four of six games at the Carver Arena, where it is a game over .500 on the season (16-15-2-3).
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Grant Stevenson recorded his 30th goal and 70th point of the season with a first-period tally on Mar. 28 in Iowa, a 4-1 loss… Stevenson is currently tied for eight in the AHL with the 30 goals and ranks seventh with 71 points in 73 games this season… The Flames allowed a first-period goal for the first time in seven games on Mar. 29 against Milwaukee… Quad City went 159:08 straight of hockey without surrendering a first-period goal… Beginning on Friday when they host Rockford, the Flames conclude the regular season by playing seven games in 10 days, all against divisional opponents.
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Winners of three straight games, the Americans will seek to match their season high with a fourth consecutive win when they travel to face division-rival Syracuse on Friday… The Amerks captured four straight wins from Nov. 1-9 and also had a three-game winning streak from Feb. 9-15… Rochester celebrated its 4,000th regular season game in franchise history with a 5-4 shootout win over Manitoba on Mar. 28… It snapped Rochester’s 11-game losing skid to the Moose, as the Amerks last victory over the Moose prior to last weekend came on Dec. 6, 2006, in Winnipeg.
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Rockford’s 3-2 win over Iowa on Sunday improved the IceHogs to 40-24-4-6 on the season, marking the fourth straight campaign that the Chicago Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate has reached the 40-win plateau… Petri Kontiola has a five-game scoring streak (2-6-8) and a point in 10 of 11 games (3-12-15) since returning from a stint with the Blackhawks on Mar. 3… Three-time AHL All-Star Martin St. Pierre has registered a point in four of his last five outings (1-5-6).
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San Antonio has followed up a four-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak, pulling the Rampage within one victory of their first-ever 40-win campaign… Trade deadline pickup Al Montoya has been between the pipes for all three victories, posting a .954 save percentage over that span… 2008 AHL All-Star Joey Tenute’s overtime goal against Milwaukee on Wednesday was his fifth game-winner of the season, one shy of Chris Durno for the team lead in that category… Bill Thomas is currently sporting a four-game scoring streak (3-2-5), including a goal in three of the four contests.
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The Crunch have set a new AHL season high and a franchise record by picking up a standings point in 17 straight contests (14-0-0-3)… Their current nine-game winning streak is one back of Manitoba for longest in the league this season, and Syracuse has lost just once in regulation since Feb. 1 (18-1-0-5)… The Crunch are also 12-0-0-1 in their last 13 home games… Syracuse will return to the Calder Cup Playoffs this spring after a one-year absence… Marc Methot’s overtime winner on Mar. 29 against Lake Erie was his second such goal of the season… Syracuse has scored the game’s first goal in 40 of its last 54 games.
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Toronto clinched its first-ever North Division title with a 2-0 blanking of Grand Rapids on Wednesday… Justin Pogge made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season… The Marlies also extended their winning streak to four games and points streak to 10 contests (9-0-0-1), their longest such run since beginning the season at 11-0-0-2… Bates Battaglia, who scored the game-winner on Wednesday, now has a goal in three straight games… Robbie Earl has registered a point in each of his last three games (1-6-7)…