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Western Conference notebook

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Jesse Schultz registered a goal just 70 seconds into his Wolves debut on Saturday against Houston and also added two assists in the 4-2 win… Chicago will open its home schedule this Saturday against division rival Milwaukee… Including Saturday’s home-opener, the Wolves will play just four of their first 13 games this season at Allstate Arena… Chicago, which was 19-17-1-3 at home last season, has posted a winning mark on home ice in each of its first six AHL seasons.
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With Saturday’s come-from-behind 3-2 win at Lake Erie to kick off the season, the Griffins elevated their record to 4-0-1 in their last five season openers… Saturday marked the 300th AHL game of center Mark Cullen’s career, spanning six seasons in the league, and he celebrated with two points (1-1-2) in the winning effort.
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Maxim Lapierre, who tallied six goals and 12 points during Hamilton’s run to the Calder Cup last spring, started the new season with a three-point showing (2-1-3) and the game-winning goal in overtime in the Bulldogs’ 3-2 win at Rochester on Sunday… The Bulldogs will celebrate their championship when they kick off the home portion of their schedule at Coops Coliseum on Friday, also against Rochester… The teams split 10 meetings last season, each going 5-5-0-0.
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Defenseman Erik Reitz led the Aeros with a goal and an assist (1-1-2) in the team’s season-opening 4-2 loss to Chicago at the Toyota Center… Cal Clutterbuck notched Houston’s other goal in the game, his coming on the power play… The Aeros head to Iowa for a match-up with the Stars on Friday before returning to host Peoria on Saturday… Houston will be looking to improve on a combined 6-11-1-2 record last season against the Stars and Rivermen.
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The Stars’ 7-1 loss on Saturday at San Antonio to open the season dropped their record 1-2 all-time in season-openers… Right wing Junior Lessard, who led Iowa with 27 goals and 52 points in 2006-07, notched the visitors’ only goal on the evening… Chris Lee and Toby Petersen received credit for assists on the goal… The Stars open their home schedule this weekend by hosting Houston and Rockford at Wells Fargo Arena, where they were just 16-21-2-1 last season.
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Matt Hussey, who spent the 2006-07 campaign with Grand Rapids, scored the first goal in Monsters history on Saturday, the goal coming against his former team in an eventual 3-2 loss… Lake Erie plays its first ever road game on Friday when it travels north of the border to take on Toronto, whom they will then welcome to Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday… In between, the Monsters will host defending Calder Cup champion Hamilton on Saturday.
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The Moose were the only AHL team not to open their season during the first week of play, as they kick things off with games tonight and Saturday, both against Grand Rapids at the MTS Center… The two teams last met in the 2007 North Division Semifinals, when Manitoba erased a 3-2 series deficit by capturing games six and seven at home to eliminate Grand Rapids from the playoffs.
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The Admirals’ opened their season on a sour note by allowing a goal just 21 seconds into their first game on the way to a 4-2 loss at Peoria on Saturday… Milwaukee travels to face-off with Chicago this Saturday at Allstate Arena, where the Admirals went a perfect 5-0 last season, the first time any visiting team had won five games in the Wolves’ building in one season… Milwaukee suffered revenge in last spring’s playoffs, though, as the Wolves swept them out in the West Semifinals, four games to none.
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Peoria opened its third AHL season with a pair of 4-2 victories last weekend against Milwaukee and at Quad City… Martin Kariya paced the Rivermen on the weekend, notching three goals and a +3 rating in the two games, while Charles Linglet registered three assists… The Rivermen’s penalty-killers were successful in the first two games, killing off all 11 of their opponents’ power play chances.
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Dustin Boyd, a 27-goal scorer last year in Omaha who also scored a pair in 13 games for the parent Calgary Flames, notched Quad City’s first goal in franchise history on Saturday in a 5-1 win over Rockford… That game featured a combined 100 penalty minutes and 28 total power plays, including 17 for the visiting IceHogs, but the teams scored only one man-advantage goal apiece… Dan Ryder tallied three points (1-2-3) over the weekend in his first two professional games.
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The Americans were one of a trio of teams to play three games in the season’s first weekend, and the Amerks secured three of a possible six points with a win, loss, and overtime loss… Anthony Stewart (2-1-3) and Dan Collins (1-2-3) each tallied three points on the weekend for Rochester… This weekend, the Americans travel to Hamilton on Friday before hosting Providence on Saturday… The Bruins are one of two teams from the Atlantic Division that Rochester will see this season, with Manchester being the other.
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Last Saturday’s 5-1 loss at Quad City in the inaugural game for both teams marked the first of nine straight road games for the IceHogs to open the season, as renovations are completed on the Rockford MetroCentre… Rockford is one of two early road warriors in the league, as Providence is the visitor in its first 10 contests due to similar arena considerations… David Bolland recorded the first goal in franchise history for the IceHogs in the losing effort Saturday.
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Bill Thomas led the Rampage with a pair of goals in their 7-1 pounding of Iowa to open the season at the AT&T Center on Saturday… Thomas played 24 games in 2006-07 for the parent Phoenix Coyotes and recorded 14 points (8-6-14)… In addition to Thomas, five other Rampage players registered multiple points on opening night, which marked the first of four consecutive home games for San Antonio to kick off their sixth AHL campaign.
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The Crunch dropped a pair of road contests to open their season last weekend, falling to Rochester by a 6-4 score on Friday and to Wilkes-Barre by a 3-2 count on Saturday… Derek MacKenzie (2-0-2) and rookie Derick Brassard lead the Syracuse offense with two points each after the first week’s games… After visiting Binghamton on Friday, the Crunch will hold their home opener on Saturday against Hartford… The Crunch is just 1-5-2 all-time against the Wolf Pack, whom they did not play last season.
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Four different Marlies lit the lamp in the team’s 4-1 win over Rochester on Saturday, which lifted Toronto’s all-time record to 3-0-0-0 in season openers… The Marlies have now outscored their opponents by a 15-3 margin in the three opening-night triumphs… Goaltender Scott Clemmensen picked up the victory in his first start in a Toronto uniform, making 25 saves and earning first star honors for his efforts… Toronto plays six of its first seven games at home, with the only road contest being a trip to Lake Erie on Sunday.