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Western powers collide in Milwaukee

LOOKING BACK:
Although they sit in second place, Milwaukee and Grand Rapids own the best points percentage in their respective divisions heading into Wednesday’s match-up at the Bradley Center (7:00 CT)… Jiri Hudler, third in the AHL scoring race, has feasted on the Admirals this season, picking up seven points (3g, 4a) in two meetings with Milwaukee… Detroit recalled goaltender Joey MacDonald on Monday while returning Valtteri Filppula and Jimmy Howard to Grand Rapids… Libor Pivko has picked up 11 points in his last six games for the Admirals (2g, 9a)… Milwaukee rookie Pekka Rinne has won 11 of his last 14 decisions in net… The Griffins lead the AHL with 114 goals scored; the Ads are tied for second with 66 goals allowed.

A pair of teams on the rise meet in Binghamton as the Senators host Norfolk on Wednesday (7:05 ET)… The Admirals are 4-0-0-1 in their last five games, including a come-from-behind 6-5 shootout win over Binghamton last Friday, and they have not lost to a team other than league-leading Wilkes-Barre since Nov. 25… Martin St. Pierre has notched a point in six straight games for Norfolk (3g, 4a), and has five assists in two games against Binghamton this season… The Sens earned five of a possible six standings points last weekend, using third-period comebacks to beat Providence and Rochester… Binghamton’s Denis Hamel has 11 points in his last six games (5g, 6a).

Manchester meets Providence on Wednesday (7:05 ET) in an Atlantic Division tilt… The Monarchs snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 3-0 victory in Lowell on Saturday, the second consecutive shutout by Adam HauserBrad Smyth is on a six-game scoring streak (4g, 3a) for Manchester, which sits two points out of first place in the Atlantic… Jeff Tambellini, the Rbk Hockey/AHL Rookie of the Month for November, has one goal and two assists in five games since returning from Los Angeles… Providence has won three of its last four overall and five of its last seven at home… Rookie Tyler Redenbach has four points (3g, 1a) in two games against the Monarchs… Tim Thomas has made seven consecutive starts in net for the Bruins (4-3-0, 1.85, .938).

Omaha makes its first visit to the Alamo City and the San Antonio Rampage on Thursday (7:00 CT)… The teams have already split four meetings this season; most recently San Antonio swept a two-game series on Dec. 10 and 11… The Rampage, back home after going 4-2-0-0 on their six-game road trip, have lost nine of their last 10 at the SBC Center… Randall Gelech has four goals in his last five games after going scoreless in his first 23 for San Antonio… Brent Krahn, who played 14 games in a Rampage jersey in 2003-04, is winless in his last six decisions (0-3-3) for Omaha, but rookie Curtis McElhinney has remained strong, ranking third in the AHL with a 2.09 goals-against average… The Ak-Sar-Ben Knights have won four of their last five on the road.

Mon 12/19
No games scheduled

Tue 12/20
No games scheduled

(all times Eastern)
Wed 12/21
Norfolk at Binghamton, 7:05… Wilkes-Barre at Bridgeport, 7:05… Chicago at Cleveland, 7:05… Manchester at Providence, 7:05… Lowell at Toronto, 7:30… Grand Rapids at Milwaukee, 8:00

Thu 12/22
Hershey at Grand Rapids, 7:00… Hamilton at Cleveland, 7:05… Syracuse at Rochester, 7:05… Omaha at San Antonio, 8:00

Fri 12/23
Cleveland at Grand Rapids, 7:00… Lowell at Binghamton, 7:05… Manchester at Portland, 7:05… Springfield at Providence, 7:05… Philadelphia at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05… Rochester at Hamilton, 7:30… Albany at Syracuse, 7:30… Hartford at Bridgeport, 7:35… Milwaukee at Iowa, 8:05… Hershey at Chicago, 8:30… Omaha at Houston, 8:35

ALUMNI WATCH:
On Tuesday, two-time AHL All-Star and 2004 Calder Cup champion Andrew Hutchinson scored his first goal of the season to help Carolina past Tampa Bay, 6-4… 2001 AHL All-Star Jonathan Cheechoo recorded a hat trick as San Jose beat Anaheim, 4-2… On Monday, Ryan Miller outdueled 2005 AHL All-Star teammate Antero Niittymaki as Buffalo beat Philadelphia in a shootout, 2-1… Rob Collins and Eric Godard scored their first career NHL goals in the N.Y. Islanders’ 9-6 loss to Toronto.

BY THE NUMBERS:
110.0 — Special-teams index of the Hershey Bears, tops in the AHL… Special-teams index is calculated by adding a team’s power-play efficiency (in this case, 21.9 percent) to its penalty-killing efficiency (89.1).

AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:
B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts of nearly every AHL game… Visit theahl.com for details.