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Western Conference notebook

 

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Chicago named defenseman Jamie Rivers team captain on Wednesday; Steve Martins and Joey Crabb will serve as alternate captains… Jeff Hamilton has netted a goal in two straight games and shows five points (2-3-5) in that span… Defenseman Brett Skinner has registered back-to-back two-assist outings and has seven helpers in his last five contests… Rookie Spencer Machacek is on a three-game scoring run (1-2-3)… The Wolves, losers of their last two, play three road games in three days this weekend, visiting Milwaukee, Peoria, and Houston.
 
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After Grand Rapids’ 4-3 setback at Milwaukee on Tuesday, the Griffins have dropped three straight games in regulation for the first time all season… Darren Haydar has netted a goal in three straight games (3-1-4), while Evan McGrath (2-0-2) and rookie Justin Abdelkader (2-2-4) each have two game goal-scoring runs… Cory Emmerton has registered an assist in four straight outings (0-5-5)… The Griffins allowed eight combined power play goals to Lake Erie and Toronto last weekend, matching the number of power play goals they had surrendered in their previous 26 games combined.
 
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Hamilton has won three straight games after Wednesday’s 4-2 triumph in Hershey… The Bulldogs make their first-ever visit to Norfolk on Friday and will be looking to attain a four-game winning streak for the first time since Oct. 29 to Nov. 2… Rookie Brock Trotter has a point in all three victories (1-3-4), and goaltender Marc Denis has been between the pipes for each game (1.32, .958)… With his 11th goal of the campaign on Friday vs. Binghamton, AHL All-Star Yannick Weber became the first defenseman in franchise history to score more than 10 goals in a season.
 
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The Aeros ended last weekend on Sunday with a 6-3 win at Chicago, avenging a 3-0 loss to the Wolves just eight days earlier… Houston suffered its league-leading eighth shootout loss of the season on Saturday at Quad City, a 3-2 final; the Aeros are 3-8 in shootouts this season… Nolan Schaefer has started five straight games in net for Houston, and 11 of the last 12 games; Schaefer is 6-4-1 (2.21, .910) in the 11 games… Kurtis Foster, who won the 2002 Calder Cup as a rookie with Chicago, began a conditioning stint with Houston on Sunday; Foster is recovering from a broken leg suffered last season with parent-club Minnesota.
 
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Iowa’s three-game winning streak and five-game points streak (3-0-0-2) ended on Tuesday in a 4-1 loss to Rochester… Eric Boguniecki tallied the Chops’ lone goal on the night, his 10th of the season… Petteri Wirtanen assisted on that marker and now has a point in four straight games (4-2-6) and five of his last six (4-3-7)… The Chops continue their six-game homestand this weekend with a pair of tilts against Houston before wrapping it up on Monday against Lake Erie… Iowa squares off with Houston a total of five times this month, including two in Texas on Feb. 19 and 21.
 
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Lake Erie kicked off its nine-game road swing with a 4-1 win at Grand Rapids on Saturday but has since totaled one goal in dropping decisions to Hamilton and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The Monsters scored three power play goals in win over Grand Rapids despite entering with the league’s 29th-ranked power play and going up against its top-ranked penalty kill… Goaltender Tyler Weiman has been between the pipes for 16 of Lake Erie’s 21 victories this season (16-12-2)… The Monsters venture into New England this weekend for games in Hartford and Manchester.
 
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Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Hartford pushed the Moose (36-14-0-4, 76 points) into first place overall in the AHL for the first time this season… Manitoba is 2-0-0-1 thus far on its New England swing, with return visits to Manchester, Hartford, and Providence still on tap, and is an AHL-best 18-4-0-2 on the road this season… Overall, the Moose have only lost two games in regulation since Jan. 6 (14-2-0-2)… Guillaume Desbiens has netted a goal in three straight games (3-1-4) and shows a point in five of his last six outings (3-4-7)… Jason Jaffray has posted multiple points in the last two games (1-3-4).
 
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Milwaukee, which is 6-1-0-0 in its last seven games, has not lost consecutive tilts in regulation since back-to-back losses at Grand Rapids on Dec. 19-20… The Admirals have by far the largest cushion of any AHL division leader with a 12-point edge on second-place Rockford… Ryan Maki had netted just six goals in 91 career AHL games before scoring twice in Tuesday’s 4-3 triumph over Grand Rapids… Cal O’Reilly also scored and shows four goals and six points in his last two contests… Milwaukee continues a five-game homestand with contests against Chicago and Quad City this weekend.
 
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Goaltender Manny Legace made 21 saves in his Peoria debut on Wednesday, but the Rivermen dropped a 1-0 decision to Rockford… Legace – the AHL’s goaltender of the year in 1995-96 – was making his first AHL appearance since a one-game stint with Grand Rapids on Dec. 30, 2005… The Rivermen have lost four of their last five games (1-4-0-0) and are three points back of Houston and Chicago for fourth place in the West Division… Justin Fletcher’s five-game scoring streak (2-4-6) came to an end in the loss to the IceHogs… Peoria visits Rockford for a rematch on Friday before hosting Chicago and Rochester to close the weekend.
 
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Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over Houston moved Quad City to 4-1-0-0 against the Aeros this season, its best record against any AHL team… All-time, the Flames are 8-2-0-2 against Houston, including a 5-0-0-2 mark on home ice… Saturday was also the Flames’ first shootout victory of the season after losing their previous five trips to the tiebreaker… Kyle Greentree netted his 25th goal of the season on Saturday, topping the 24 he scored as a rookie with Philadelphia last season… Jamie Lundmark is riding a six-game scoring streak (3-4-7).
 
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Rochester opened its stretch of five road games in six nights with victories at Iowa and Chicago this week… Rookie Michal Repik is on a season-high seven-game scoring run (4-5-9)… Drew Larman tallied a goal in both games this week, marking the first time he’s scored in consecutive contests all season… Karl Stewart also has a goal in two straight, while Shawn Matthias (1-2-3) and rookie Michael Duco (0-3-3) are each riding three-game scoring streaks… The Amerks travel around the state of Illinois this weekend to wrap up the road stretch, visiting Quad City, Rockford, and Peoria.
 
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Rockford finished its season-high seven-game road swing at 5-2-0-0… First-year goaltender Antti Niemi posted a 21-save shutout at Peoria on Wednesday and earned his first NHL recall to Chicago today… Petri Kontiola netted the IceHogs’ sixth shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday at Iowa; Rockford had five shorthanded goals during all of 2007-08… Tim Brent attempted Rockford’s first penalty shot of the season on Feb. 4 in Rochester and was unsuccessful… The IceHogs’ last penalty shot was also against Rochester, on Dec. 14, 2007, when Troy Brouwer scored on Adam Dennis.
 
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San Antonio is 1-2-2-1 thus far on its 13-game road trip after a 4-3 loss in Bridgeport on Wednesday… The East Coast portion of the trip ends on Friday in Providence; after that tilt, the Rampage will play all 23 of their remaining games against Western Conference opponents… San Antonio currently sits seven points out of a playoff spot in the West Division but has played two more games (56) than any other AHL team… David Spina has a point in four straight games (2-3-5) and six of his last seven (2-5-7)… The Rampage have the AHL’s 25th-ranked home power play (13.7 percent) but its top-ranked power play on the road (22.9 percent).
 
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Syracuse has recorded 14 of its 24 wins this season when either tied or trailing after the second period… The Crunch have eight wins when trailing after two frames (8-16-1-1), tied with Bridgeport (8-10-1-0) for the most in the AHL… Syracuse captain Dan Smith skated in his 700th career AHL game on Friday at Lake Erie… Brian McGuirk’s assist on Friday was his first point in 13 games… The Crunch’s penalty killing unit had killed off 29 straight shorthanded situations before Toronto’s Tim Stapleton scored in the third period on Saturday… AHL All-Star Derek MacKenzie has netted a goal in four straight outings (4-0-4).
 
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Toronto has outscored opponents 16-8 in winning its last two games… That includes a 10-5 win over Grand Rapids on Sunday in which the Marlies set a franchise record and AHL season high for goals in a game… Prior to this offensive outburst, the Marlies had totaled 17 goals in their previous seven contests (2-4-1-0)… Tim Stapleton has netted five goals in his last two games (5-0-5) and eight goals over his last five outings (8-3-11), including a point in all five… Jiri Tlusty is also riding a five-game scoring streak (4-6-10), and Andre Deveaux shows five points (3-2-5) in his last two games… Toronto hosts Grand Rapids and Springfield this weekend.