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Western Conference notebook

See also: Eastern Conference notebooks

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Chicago dropped a pair of road games against North Division foes last weekend on the heels of a three-game winning streak… Eleven of the Wolves’ last 12 games have been decided by either one- or two-goal margins… Jeff Hamilton had netted a goal in three straight games (4-3-7) before he was held off the scoresheet altogether in Chicago’s 3-1 loss at Toronto on Saturday… Defenseman Brett Skinner has a point in all five games (1-5-6) since joining the Wolves from the N.Y. Islanders organization on Jan. 13.
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Grand Rapids’ 65 points (28-9-6-3) are tied for its most after 46 games in its AHL era, matching the 2005-06 squad, which had a record of 31-12-1-2… The Griffins are 15-2-3-0 in their last 20 games, their best run since suffering two regulation loses in a span of 23 games (19-2-1-1) from Dec. 18, 2005 to Feb. 11, 2006… Grand Rapids has earned a point in 12 of its last 13 home games (10-1-2-0), and 20 of its last 22 (15-2-3-2) at Van Andel Arena… Daniel Larsson (5) and Jimmy Howard (3) have combined for an AHL-high eight shutouts this season, all within the last 36 games.
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AHL All-Star defenseman Yannick Weber entered the All-Star break on a five-game scoring streak (2-5-7) and scored his 10th goal of the season on Saturday at Binghamton… Weber leads all Bulldogs blueliners with 10 goals and 25 points in 38 games thus far in his rookie campaign… Mathieu Aubin has netted a goal in four of his last five contests (4-0-4), while Ben Maxwell has a point in nine of his last 10 games (5-8-13) and Yanick Lehoux in five of his last six (3-3-6)… Hamilton hits the road this weekend for games in Toronto and Cleveland.
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Houston had won four straight games prior to Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Peoria, which was its longest run since capturing four in a row to begin the season… Nolan Schaefer was the winning goaltender in all four contests… Rookie Matt Beaudoin has registered a point in six of eight games (3-3-6) since joining the Aeros… Corey Locke, who tallied the first four-goal effort in AHL All-Star Game history on Monday in Worcester, resumes his regular-season schedule riding a five-game scoring streak (3-3-6)… Houston hosts Quad City and Binghamton before visiting Chicago on Saturday.
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Iowa was outscored 9-3 in dropping its last two games prior to the All-Star break… T.J. Trevelyan has registered three goals over his last three games (3-0-3)… Defenseman Brennan Evans shows an assist in each of his last three contests (0-3-3)… The Chops’ top two scorers – Andrew Ebbett (10-19-20) and Drew Miller (17-11-28) – are both currently on NHL recall to parent-club Anaheim… The Chops visit Chicago on Thursday before opening a home-and-home with Peoria at Wells Fargo Arena on Friday.
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Lake Erie is 2-2-0-0 thus far on its five-game road swing, which concludes on Friday in Syracuse… The Monsters then host Hamilton on Saturday before embarking on a two-game trip to Manitoba on Monday and Tuesday… Philippe Dupuis has registered a point in four straight AHL games (2-3-5) and five of his last six (3-4-7)… Chris Durno shows three assists and 12 shots on goal over his last two games… Durno leads the Monsters with 10 goals and 26 points in 41 games this season.
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Manitoba entered the All-Star break on a six-game winning streak and is 10-1-0-0 in its last 11 games to move within one point of Hershey for the overall AHL lead in points with 66 (32-13-0-2)… Jason Krog has a three-game scoring streak (3-2-5), a point in four of his last five (6-3-9), and leads the Moose with 48 points (16-32-48) and a plus-17 rating in 41 games this season… Michael Grabner’s five-game scoring run (4-2-6) was snapped in Manitoba’s 3-2 win at Syracuse on Saturday… The Moose host Rockford for a pair of games on Thursday and Friday before welcoming Lake Erie twice early next week.
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Milwaukee comes out of the All-Star break with the most comfortable lead of any AHL division leader, holding a 12-point cushion on Rockford and Houston in the West… The Admirals have alternated wins and regulation losses in their last six games since the end of their 12-game points streak… Goaltender Drew MacIntyre leads the AHL with 21 wins (21-9-1) and has earned eight consecutive starts for coach Lane Lambert… The Admirals host Chicago on Friday and travel to Quad City on Saturday.
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Since a 4-3 overtime win over Grand Rapids on Dec. 26 pushed the Rivermen seven games over .500 at 19-12-1-0, Peoria has posted a mark of 4-8-0-1… The Rivermen are an even 2-2-0-0 on a four-game road swing that concludes on Friday in Iowa… Peoria then hosts the Chops on Saturday in the back end of their home-and-home… Steve Regier shows three points (2-1-3) in his last two games and has a point in four of his last five outings (3-2-5)… Peoria is 16-5-1-1 this season when it scores the game’s first goal.
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Quad City suffered a pair of shootout losses last weekend and is now 0-5 in shootouts for the season, tied with Lake Erie for the worst such mark in the league… Overall, the Flames show just one win in their last seven outings (1-3-1-2), a 5-2 triumph at division-leading Milwaukee on Jan. 18… Matt Keetley recorded his second shutout of the season and third as a Flame in Saturday’s 1-0 shootout loss at Grand Rapids… The shutout against in that game marked Quad City’s second in its last three outings and third in its last seven… Quad City visits Houston and San Antonio before hosting Milwaukee on Saturday.
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Rochester entered the All-Star break on a three-game winless skid (0-2-0-1), its longest slump since an identical three-game slide (0-2-0-1) from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, which immediately preceded the arrival of All-Star goaltender Mike Brodeur… The Americans have been shut out in two of the three losses during the current skid… David Brine tallied a penalty shot goal for Rochester in Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Manitoba, beating Moose goaltender Curtis Sanford… The Amerks visit Grand Rapids for a pair of games this weekend.
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Rockford entered the All-Star break tied for second place in the West Division with 50 points but just 2-6-0-0 in its last eight games… The IceHogs’ 2-1 overtime win over Grand Rapids on Jan. 19 marked its first overtime decision of the season; its previous nine ventures past regulation had all resulted in a shootout… Dan Bertram has netted a goal in back-to-back games after totaling just one in his first 32 contests of the season… The IceHogs begin a season-high seven-game road swing with a pair of tilts in Manitoba before moving on to Toronto on Saturday.
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San Antonio is 4-1-0-0 in its last five games and shows an 18-7-0-0 mark since suffering a winless November… The Rampage have rebounded to within eight points of a playoff spot in the West Division… San Antonio has averaged 2.72 goals per game in its 25-game turnaround since averaging 1.91 per game in starting out the season at 2-20-0-1… The Rampage rank first in road power play percentage (24.8 percent) but 24th at home (13.2%)… After hosting Binghamton – the teams’ first-ever meeting – and Quad City, San Antonio kicks off a 13-game road trip on Saturday in Worcester.
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Syracuse went 1-8-1-1 in December but is 7-3-2-0 thus far in January, including a four-game points streak (3-0-1-0) coming out of the All-Star break… Goaltender Dan LaCosta was between the pipes for all four games, posting a 1.75 goals-against average and .941 save percentage over that span… Lone Crunch AHL All-Star representative Derek MacKenzie is currently riding a team and individual season-high eight-game scoring run (3-5-8)… Mike York had his five-game scoring run (0-5-5) snapped in Friday’s 3-1 win over Toronto… The Crunch host Lake Erie and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this weekend.
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Toronto snapped a five-game winless skid (0-2-1-2) with a 3-1 triumph over Chicago on Saturday in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals… That game marked the opener of a season-high 11-game homestand for the Marlies, which continues this weekend when Hamilton and Rockford visit Ricoh Coliseum… Mark Bell set a team season high with a five-game goal-scoring run from Jan. 14-23, a streak snapped in Saturday’s win over the Wolves… Toronto’s power play has clicked for 25 goals in its past 31 games and ranks 10th overall at 18.5 percent.