AHL Today: February 28th, 2014

Photo from Iowa Wild Twitter. All rights reserved.

Yesterday’s Results

Game 810: Rochester Americans defeat Iowa Wild, 4-2


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011914

-Rochester picked up two goals from Johan Larsson, and two assists each from Phil Varone and Rasmus Ristolainen. A 21-save effort from Nathan Lieuwen lifts him to a 15-7-2 record. Rochester improves to a five-game winning streak, 4-0-0-1.
-Zach Phillips and Tyler Graovac scored for the Wild, but they were unable to tie things up with the extra attacker in the final minute. Johan Gustafsson made 31 saves in the loss, falling to 8-13-2 record. Iowa drops to .500 and a three-game losing streak.

Game 818: Portland Pirates defeat Worcester Sharks, 6-4


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011922

-Portland breaks their four-game losing streak with the win, picking up two goals and an assist from Tobias Reider and two goals from Brendan Shinnimin. Mark Visentin made 35 saves to pick up the win, improving to 13-16-4.
-Worcester’s loss gives them seven in a row, 2-8-0-0 in their last ten. James Livingston added a goal and an assist, while Tyler Doherty and Yanni Gourde added two assists each. Troy Grosenick turned away 16 shots in the loss, falling to 11-10-0.

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The Standings

Pos Team Points Pts % Pos Change
1 * – Manchester Monarchs 80 0.690
2 * – Springfield Falcons 71 0.645
3 * – Binghamton Senators 70 0.660
4 St. John’s IceCaps 68 0.618
5 Albany Devils 66 0.611
6 Norfolk Admirals 66 0.611
7 WBS Penguins 65 0.591
8 Providence Bruins 65 0.591
9 Hershey Bears 64 0.593
10 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 55 0.509
11 Worcester Sharks 50 0.472
12 Syracuse Crunch 49 0.471
13 Portland Pirates 49 0.454 ↑2
14 Hartford Wolf Pack 48 0.453 ↓1
15 Adirondack Phantoms 47 0.452 ↓1

 

Pos Team Points Pts % Pos Change
1 * – Texas Stars 74 0.649
2 * – Grand Rapids Griffins 71 0.645
3 * – Toronto Marlies 68 0.642
4 Abbotsford Heat 71 0.645
5 Chicago Wolves 68 0.630
6 Rockford IceHogs 65 0.570
7 Rochester Americans 63 0.594
8 Milwaukee Admirals 58 0.547
9 San Antonio Rampage 56 0.509
10 Iowa Wild 54 0.500
11 Oklahoma City Barons 53 0.491
12 Charlotte Checkers 51 0.481
13 Hamilton Bulldogs 51 0.481
14 Lake Erie Monsters 51 0.481
15 Utica Comets 51 0.472

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Today’s Games

Game 811: Grand Rapids Griffins at Abbotsford Heat
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011915

Game 812: Rochester Americans at Chicago Wolves
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011916

Game 813: Lake Erie Monsters at Hamilton Bulldogs
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011917

Game 814: Hershey Bears at Hartford Wolf Pack
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011918

Game 815: Iowa Wild at Milwaukee Admirals
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011919

Game 816: Manchester Monarchs at Norfolk Admirals
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011920

Game 817: Rockford IceHogs at Oklahoma City Barons
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011921

Game 819: Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Providence Bruins
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011923

Game 820: Binghamton Senators at St. John’s IceCaps
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011924

Game 821: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Syracuse Crunch
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011925

Game 822: Adirondack Phantoms at Utica Comets
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011926

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Yesterday’s Transactions

Nagy signed from CHL Quad City to a PTO

Hamilton signs Jordon Southorn from ECHL Fort Wayne to a PTO

Budish and Darling head to ECHL Cincinnati

O’Brien and Cramarossa to ECHL Utah from Norfolk

Milan recalled to Syracuse from CHL Brampton

AHL Today: February 27th, 2014

Photo taken by Utica Comets Twitter. All rights reserved.

Yesterday’s Results

Game 805: Lake Erie Monsters defeat Texas Stars, 3-2 (SO)


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011909

-Lake Erie earns a little bit of revenge, splitting the two-game set against Texas. Their win creates a four-way tie for 12-15 in the Western Conference. Michael Schumacher scored the first goal and the clincher in the shootout, while Stefan Elliott scored the last in regulation to send the game to extra time. Calvin Pickard made 34 saves and stopped all four shooters for the win to improve to 13-14-3.
-Curtis McKenzie scores number 20 and Chris Mueller scores number 24, while Colton Sceviour gets to 61 points with two assists. Cristopher Nilstorp made 31 saves while stopping three of five shooters, but falls to 20-12-4.

Game 806: Grand Rapids Griffins defeat Milwaukee Admirals, 5-1


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011910

-Teemu Pulkkinen scored twice and added an assist as the Griffins jumped out to a 5-0 lead over Milwaukee. Calle Jarnkrok added a goal and two assists to also have three points. Petr Mrazek turned aside 20 shots to improve to 14-5-1.
-Marek Mazanec made 23 saves in the loss, while Kevin Henderson scored the Admiral’s only goal. They fall to a five-game winless streak, 0-4-0-1. Mazanec drops to a 9-7-3 record.

Game 807: Norfolk Admirals defeat Charlotte Checkers, 3-2


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011911

-Norfolk scored three straight goals and were able to hold onto the two-goal lead. Alex Grant had two assists in the game, while Viktor Fasth made 22 saves, 11 of them in the third period to seal the win. Fasth improves to 1-2-0.
-Charlotte sits in the four way tie for last in the Western Conference after taking the loss. Philippe Cornet and Brett Sutter had the goals for the Checkers, but Justin Peters’ 21 saves weren’t enough. He falls to 1-1-1.

Game 808: Toronto Marlies defeat Binghamton Senators, 4-2


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011912

-Toronto scored shorthanded with 14 seconds left in the first, and on the power play 46 seconds into the second to gain enough ground against Binghamton, who made a late charge. Spencer Abbott had two assists, and Jerry D’Amigo added a goal and an assist. Drew MacIntyre made 34 saves to improve to 24-13-2 as Toronto wins their fourth straight.
-Mark Stone scored to bring the Senators to within one late, but they couldn’t score an equalizer. Matt Puempel joins Stone with a goal and an assist, as Andrew Hammond made 26 saves to fall to 17-12-3 this season.

Game 809: San Antonio Rampage defeat Utica Comets, 3-0


https://twitter.com/CometsInGame/status/438861788558282752
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011913

-San Antonio breaks the two-game losing streak as Joey Crabb scores a hat trick to give the Rampage the win. Vincent Trocheck assisted on all three goals as well. Jacob Markstrom stopped 22 saves to earn the shutout, his seventh in his career.
-Utica drops to a two-game slide with the loss. Joacim Eriksson made 27 saves in the loss, falling to 16-16-2 on the season.

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The Standings

Pos Team Points Pts % Pos Change
1 * – Manchester Monarchs 80 0.690
2 * – Springfield Falcons 71 0.645
3 * – Binghamton Senators 70 0.660
4 St. John’s IceCaps 68 0.618
5 Albany Devils 66 0.611
6 Norfolk Admirals 66 0.611 ↑2
7 WBS Penguins 65 0.591 ↓1
8 Providence Bruins 65 0.591 ↓1
9 Hershey Bears 64 0.593
10 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 55 0.509
11 Worcester Sharks 50 0.481
12 Syracuse Crunch 49 0.471
13 Hartford Wolf Pack 48 0.453
14 Adirondack Phantoms 47 0.452
15 Portland Pirates 47 0.443

 

Pos Team Points Pts % Pos Change
1 * – Texas Stars 74 0.649
2 * – Grand Rapids Griffins 71 0.645
3 * – Toronto Marlies 68 0.642
4 Abbotsford Heat 71 0.645
5 Chicago Wolves 68 0.630
6 Rockford IceHogs 65 0.570
7 Rochester Americans 61 0.587
8 Milwaukee Admirals 58 0.547
9 San Antonio Rampage 56 0.509 ↑1
10 Iowa Wild 54 0.509 ↓1
11 Oklahoma City Barons 53 0.491
12 Charlotte Checkers 51 0.481
13 Hamilton Bulldogs 51 0.481
14 Lake Erie Monsters 51 0.481 ↑1
15 Utica Comets 51 0.472 ↓1

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Today’s Games

Game 810: Rochester Americans at Iowa Wild
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011914

-Rochester’s on a four-game point streak, trying to catch Toronto in the division standings.
-Iowa is on a two-game losing streak, trying to catch Milwaukee in the conference standings.

Game 818: Worcester Sharks at Portland Pirates
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011922

-Both teams look to be out of the playoffs, and both teams have losing streaks. Portland on a four-game slide, Worcester on a six-game slide.
-Portland tries to exit the basement, while Worcester tries to hold onto any slim chance of playoff hopes.

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Yesterday’s Transactions

Bridgeport picks up Martin from ECHL Stockton, Mercier from ECHL Idaho

Up-and-down trip for Ryan Sproul

Goalie swap in Hamilton

Washington recalls two from Hershey

Iowa…. Yeah.

And Rockford…

Syracuse with goalie moves as well

Trading Anton Lander Might Be Worth Mentioning (But Not Really)

The captain of the Oklahoma City Barons, Anton Lander, has had a pretty fantastic minor league season. You could say that he’s sort of Magnus Paajarvi-ing his way through the season. He’s gone from 50+ games with the Edmonton Oilers his rookie season, eleven his sophomore season, and twelve this season (with more potentially on the way). What that means is this – the previous coaching/GM regime liked him out of the gate, then didn’t quite so much. Insert MacTavish/Eakins in to the mix, and they see the long and short of Lander in a different way, and are willing to dip his toe into the NHL occasionally to see how he fares. That has worked well.

But let’s talk about how he plays as a minor leaguer, and the value he has with the Edmonton Oilers.

With 98 AHL games under his belt, he is in the midst of his best pro season in North America. 39 points in 37 games is the best per game average for any player currently on the Oklahoma City Barons. That’s also a lifetime high for the 22 year old from Sundsvall, Sweden. Let’s not forget, subsequently, that this is a guy that has played 79 NHL games and notched 14 points. Although he played 56 games his rookie season, he seems to be challenged by the diminished role in the majors, and empowered by the opportunity to lead the farm team.

From a farm perspective, he’s a great player. He’s putting up Linus Omark-like point totals this season, and that’s huge for the legit centerman with many many skills. He’s good at even strength, better in the face-off circle, smart on the penalty kill, and capable on the power play. He does it all, and does it very well. Even when the team was below .500 he was the engine driving the machine. As a minor leaguer, he is fantastic.

Back to the trade block we go.

Can Anton Lander be considered a player worth trading? What would he bring in return? Will the Oilers even consider doing this or are they willing to invest in the young center? Reasonable answers coming.

Let’s be honest. He isn’t going to bring a huge return on his own, but bundled with another player (NHLer most likely) it might sweeten the deal just a bit. He’s still young, RFA at the end of the season, and so many upsides. I think he’s a valuable player lost somewhere between the AHL and NHL, and thus always worth bringing up in trade discussions. The Oilers forced Omark to toil in the minors seemingly unmoved by how dominate of a player he was at the AHL level. The same could be said for Teemu Hartikianen and Toni Rajala. All three players returned absolutely nothing to the Oilers. That’s just sad. If they are willing to give Lander a contract extension (heck, Chris VandeVelde got one) they will only do so if they find him valuable in the next season at the NHL level. Otherwise, they’ll sell him high to a suitor.

Then again, think about the limp noodle status of current prospect centers. Go ahead, look, I’ll wait. Arcobello is clearly an NHLer, and above Lander in the depth chart. If they are signing a AHL/NHL compatible centerman it will be him. Beyond that you got…Will Acton? Andrew Miller? Travis Ewanyk? Minor league contracted C.J. Stretch? Or not-yet-pro Marc-Olivier Roy, Bogdan Yakimov, or Kyle Platzer? Um, maybe trading Lander isn’t even a possibility at this point.

By comparison, look at Drew Shore, a center prospect within the Florida Panthers organization drafted in the same year as Lander. Here are their AHL/NHL stats overall side by side.

[one_half]

Anton Lander

98 AHL Games
64 Points
79 NHL Games
14 Points [/one_half] [one_half_last]

Drew Shore

86 AHL Games
54 Points
60 NHL Games
18 Points[/one_half_last]

Interesting to see that Shore has scored slightly more in the NHL despite playing nearly twenty fewer games. The AHL point paces are nearly identical. He too is in the trade conversation in Florida for the same reason that Lander is in Edmonton. Both are prospects, capable at two levels, more dominate in the minors, but still capable. Yet both have potential value to their current team while potentially being of value to other squads whom might place them in the bottom NHL half sooner (like, maybe this season). Interesting to see the two compared.

However, if you are going to get a return on your investment, and you need a +1 to your potential trade of an NHLer, Lander certainly seems like a sweeter “get” for a team than most. So there’s that.

In short, keep Lander another season at least. Place him properly in the NHL or simply use him for call-ups. Despite his seen-him-AHL-good tendencies, and his increasing value in an open market, he ultimately will be better staying put.

AHL Today: February 26th, 2014

Photo from Portland Pirates Twitter, taken by Ron Morin.

Yesterday’s Results

Game 801: Rockford IceHogs defeat Iowa Wild, 4-1


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011905

-. Jeremy Morin scored twice in the contest for the IceHogs, and is also on a ten-game point streak with 17 points in the month of February so far. Jason Labarbera gets the win as he improves to 7-0-0 during the streak, 11-6-2 overall.
-Iowa takes their second straight loss, giving up another game in hand to teams close behind in the standings. Jonathan Blum scored the lone goal for the Wild, his seventh of the season. John Curry stopped 33 shots in the loss as he falls to 7-5-2 on the season.

Game 802: Texas Stars defeat Lake Erie Monsters, 2-1


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011906

-Texas takes sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with the win, their third in a row. Both goals came on the power play as Mike Hedden scored his 20th of the season, and Curtis McKenzie netted his 19th. Cristopher Nilstorp improves to 20-12-3 with the win.
-Lake Erie drops to 4-5-0-1 in their last ten as they sit at the bottom of the standings in the Western Conference. Garrett Meurs scored the only goal for Lake Erie, his third of the month and sixth of the season. Calvin Pickard made 21 saves as he falls to 12-14-3.

Game 803: Hartford Wolf Pack defeat Portland Pirates, 4-3


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011907

-David LeNeveu started the game in net for Hartford, but was pulled after giving up three goals in the first period. Dov Grumet-Morris stepped in and turned away 16 shots to earn the win and improve to 9-11-5 this season.
-Three goals in a 9:11 span of the first period wasn’t enough as the Pirates gave up the 3-0 lead in the next forty minutes. 24 saves for Louis Domingue in the loss as he falls to 1-6-0 in the month of February, 7-9-2 on the season.

Game 804: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeat Hershey Bears, 6-5


Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011908

-Spencer Machacek scored the final two goals for the Penguins and the eventual game-winner as WBS scored four times in the third period to break their six-game winless streak. Eric Hartzell was pulled after giving up the fourth goal to Hershey, and Jeff Deslauriers finished things off to earn the win and improving to 18-14-3 on the season.
-Hershey takes their third straight loss and falls to 9th in the Eastern Conference by way of points percentage. The Bears scored the last goal of the game, but couldn’t convert on a power play they earned four seconds after. Dane Byers earned his ninth and tenth goals of the season as David Leggio takes the loss. Leggio falls to 15-14-2 on the season.

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The Standings

Pos Team Points Pts % Pos Change
1 * – Manchester Monarchs 80 0.690
2 * – Springfield Falcons 71 0.645
3 * – Binghamton Senators 70 0.660
4 St. John’s IceCaps 68 0.618
5 Albany Devils 66 0.611
6 WBS Penguins 65 0.591 ↑3
7 Providence Bruins 65 0.591 ↓1
8 Norfolk Admirals 64 0.604
9 Hershey Bears 64 0.593 ↓1
10 Bridgeport Sound Tigers 55 0.509
11 Worcester Sharks 50 0.481
12 Syracuse Crunch 49 0.471
13 Hartford Wolf Pack 48 0.453 ↑2
14 Adirondack Phantoms 47 0.452 ↓1
15 Portland Pirates 47 0.443 ↓1

 

Pos Team Points Pts % Pos Change
1 * – Texas Stars 73 0.652
2 * – Grand Rapids Griffins 69 0.639
3 * – Toronto Marlies 66 0.635
4 Abbotsford Heat 71 0.645
5 Chicago Wolves 68 0.630
6 Rockford IceHogs 65 0.570
7 Rochester Americans 61 0.587
8 Milwaukee Admirals 58 0.547
9 Iowa Wild 54 0.509
10 San Antonio Rampage 54 0.500
11 Oklahoma City Barons 53 0.491
12 Charlotte Checkers 51 0.490
13 Hamilton Bulldogs 51 0.481
14 Utica Comets 51 0.481
15 Lake Erie Monsters 49 0.471

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Today’s Games

Game 805: Texas Stars at Lake Erie Monsters
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011909

-Rematch from yesterday morning as Lake Erie looks for revenge.

Game 806: Grand Rapids Griffins at Milwaukee Admirals
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011910

-Big divisional matchup as Grand Rapids looks to create separation between themselves and Chicago, while Milwaukee looks to widen the gap between 8th and 9th in the conference.
-Grand Rapids is on a two-game winning streak.
-Milwaukee is on a four-game winless streak (0-3-0-1).

Game 807: Charlotte Checkers at Norfolk Admirals
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011911

-East vs. West matchup as Charlotte tries to work their way back into the playoff picture. Meanwhile, Norfolk has a chance to move up a few spots in the Eastern conference.

Game 808: Binghamton Senators at Toronto Marlies
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011912

-Battle between division leaders and both teams sit in 3rd in their respective conferences.
-Binghamton is 6-3-1-0 in their last ten, five points ahead of WBS in the East Division.
-Toronto is on a three-game winning streak, five points ahead of Rochester in the North Division.

Game 809: San Antonio Rampage at Utica Comets
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011913

-San Antonio looks to bounce back from their two-game losing streak, while Utica tries to keep pace with Charlotte and their hopes of making it back into the playoff picture.

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Yesterday’s Transactions

AHL Today: February 25th, 2014

Photo from Rockford IceHogs Twitter, wishing Phil Danault a happy 21st birthday yesterday.

Four games are set to take place today, with two early games in the Western Conference and two others in the evening involving Eastern Conference teams.

Game 801: Rockford IceHogs at Iowa Wild
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011905

-Rockford looks to continue their nine-game point streak, winning eight of those nine games. The IceHogs sit five points back of second-place Chicago, six points back of Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids.
-Iowa’s sitting on the bubble in 9th place, four points back of Milwaukee, and are looking to avoid back-to-back losses.

Game 802: Texas Stars at Lake Erie Monsters
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011906

-Texas sits tied with Abbotsford for first in the West Division and Western Conference. They’ll be looking to create some separation as both teams have played 55 games to this point.
-Lake Erie has gone 5-4-0-1 in their last ten after suffering through an eight-game losing streak. They’re currently on a three-game point streak.

Game 803: Hartford Wolf Pack at Portland Pirates
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011907

-Battle between 14th and 15th in the Eastern Conference.
-Hartford would love to get out of the basement, and a win will do just that. They’re 5-4-0-1 in their last ten after defeating division-leader Springfield their last time out.
-Portland looks to break a three-game losing streak and to avoid falling to 15th in the Eastern Conference.

Game 804: Hershey Bears at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011908

-4th through 9th in the Eastern Conference is separated by just five points, and both teams are right in the thick of it.
-Hershey is on a two-game slide, falling twice to Syracuse in a home-and-home series. They defeated WBS in their last matchup, 3-1.
-The Penguins are winless in their last six, going 0-3-2-1 in that span. Going 2-5-2-1 in their last ten, they need to right the ship to keep up in the playoff race.

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John Albert is named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week
5 goals (three shorthanded), 1 assist, +4, 11 shots.

AHL Announces Suspensions
Rockford’s Theo Peckham suspended for two games, Texas’ Cameron Gaunce suspended for one game.

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AHL Transactions


*Hannu Toivonen released from his PTO by Milwaukee


https://twitter.com/TheFalconsAHL/status/438072584287305730

Sochi 2014: Goodbye Sochi

About a week ago I was rummaging through my collection of baseball caps that both excites and horrifies me with the size that it has become. When I was about five years old I attended Sesame Street Live, and had my life changed by Ernie’s heartwarming rendition of “Rubber Ducky”. So much so that my parents bought me a six panel, yellow and white cap that barely fit my then blondish scraggly mop. I’ve treasured that hat for what it meant – wonderful moments with my family – but it also began a life-cycle of hat collecting that hasn’t slowed much in recent years.

Through the hundreds upon hundreds of hats in my collection, this particular week I dug bravely into the dark brown trunk that contains fabric memories of my younger days. At the very bottom of the pile, through the Chuck-E-Cheese, Goofy, and used tire themed caps emerged a solid red, corduroy number with a long leather strap, and not much wear and tear. Stitched together with red thick thread that made the cap tighter than it actually should have been, it was an 80’s beauty. In a sea of red were three words, written in helvitca font, and in heavy black thread. It simply read USA BOBSLED TEAM.

The hat, given to me by my uncle, came from the Lake Placid, New York Winter Olympics in the year of my birth (1980 for those curious). My uncle, whom was a native of the Lake Placid area, had several stowed away in his closet from the year of the Olympics as well as years upon years of visits to the US bobsled training facility. Nowadays, the Olympic Complex in Lake Placid gives tourists a halfway experience on the boblsed run with a brakeman and a driver. I’ve never done it, but it sounds fabulous.

From that hat to Sochi, Russia in 2014 I’ve experienced a solid 33 years worth of Olympics. My earliest memory of the Olympics is about as vivid in my mind as the day it took place. 1988, Calgary Winter Olympic games, that wonderful Jamaican bobsled team. Long before Disney spun the moment into a cartoon like existence on the big screen, the genuine site of a warm weather team playing in snowy Calgary was mystifying. My love of bobsled, the winter Olympics, and the games in general suddenly had a stranglehold on my senses. I’ve loved it ever since.

Then there was the summer games in South Korea followed by the two-headed-sensation of the Albertville/Lilehammer events with the Harding and Kerrigan saga. Sandwiched in between were the Barcelona, Spain games and “Magic”, “Michael”, and “Larry” were the headliners. The dazzling NBA infused US Team was Harlem Globetrotter-like in every possible way. David Robinson blocking shots like a monster, Magic dishing to Michael, it was like a dream come true. Hence, the “Dream Team” was born.

All points in between then have been magical. As an American I’m instructed, almost spoon-fed, the Olympics in a way that is very much focused on the success of the Stars and Bars. From the intentional sob story coverage to the let’s-watch-this-country-host-the-games-through-our-Westernized-completest eyes. It’s the US all the way, whether you like it or not.

Over the years I’ve digested enough of these international spectacles to know the difference between great story and great US story. A guy who is severely injured in a bus accident, resurrects his life both physically and emotionally, only to come in last place in the long jump – he’s a hero regardless of his nation of origin. The older I get, the less fluffy I want NBC/ABC to be, and the more I want true access to the athletes themselves. In the last two years, two Olympic games, I’ve done just that.

The emergence of technology, and the “always on” mentality of sports has revolutionized the way I am entertained. The London games two years ago allowed me to see events I’d never seen before. Or perhaps I saw them, just not in their entirety. For a guy that has long loved the Olympics, and mostly viewed them through the US-colored glasses I had to wear while watching a TV, I’ve found new life and new promise in international competitions. This is a great thing.

After two weeks of Winter Olympics in Sochi, I’m exhausted. In the states you could watch from 11:00pm on Tuesday night until 11:00am on Wednesday morning. Break for about 6-8 hours, then dive in to the primetime coverage at 7:00pm, only to start the cycle again in four hours. It is a pace that I (for obvious real life reasons like work, family, etc) couldn’t keep up with, but did my best to indulge in every square inch of viewing that I could. In the end, it was worth it. French, Canadian, Ukrainian, Russian, German, Swiss, and on and on – my love of the world, as seen through seemingly endless hours of sports has continued my passionate pursuit of the Olympics.

The Russian games in 2014 were met with much accusation in terms of what they meant. In the end, we all learned quite a bit about celebrating the differences that make us so vastly interesting. Through the distraction of sports, we might have forgotten about the struggles for equality in various corners of the world. In some instances, we forgot about it entirely. The Olympic games always have an impact, and sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad. For all the reasons one could have hated the Sochi Olympics, I think we found reasons to love them even more. Perhaps many of us even had our eyes opened to the harsh realities that the world presents. In short, we forget what life in the other 90% of the world is like. It’s very different.

So I bid adieu to the Winter games of Sochi, I fondly look forward to Rio in 2016 as well as Pyeongchang in 2018. I don’t want to sound grandiose about how sports unites the world, but sometimes it does. As we celebrate diversity in life, country, and personage, let that not only be for the two weeks of Olympic competition every two years. Let it be a lifestyle.

Goodbye Sochi.

Around The AHL In 80 Seconds: February 23rd, 2014

(Or longer, if you can’t read that fast.) Photo courtesy of Ryan Bretag (@ryanbretag) as his five-year-old son Finn attends his first Chicago Wolves game.

A busy Sunday in the AHL with ten games taking place, and we have a new number one in the Western Conference. Here’s Sunday’s results:

Game 791: Albany Devils defeat Utica Comets, 2-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011895

-Albany completed a perfect three-games-in-three-nights weekend, capping it off with the win over Utica. A busy second period resulted in all of the goals, with Mike Sislo and Reid Boucher picking up both for Albany. Scott Wedgewood turned aside 15 shots in the win, improving to 9-11-3 this season.
-Utica was also finishing off a three-in-three weekend, having won the two previous games of the weekend and their last four overall. Jeremy Welsh had the lone goal for the Comets, his second of the season, which came in the second period. Joe Cannata stopped 26 shots in the loss, falling to 6-11-1.
-Standings positions after game:
Albany (66 points), stays static at 2nd place in Northeast Division, improves two spots to 5th in Eastern Conference.
Utica (51 points), falls one spot to 4th place in North Division, falls one spot to 14th in Western Conference.

Game 792: Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeat Providence Bruins, 2-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011896

-Joel Broda gets his second goal in three games for the Sound Tigers and Anders Lee gets his team-leading 22nd goal of the season. Kenny Reiter made 40 saves in the win, improving his record to 10-9-2 and extending the Sound Tigers winning streak to six games.
-Providence’s lone goal came 2:34 into the game from Justin Florek, his 14th of the season. The loss snaps the Bruins’ seven game unbeaten streak, their first regulation loss since February 1st. Malcolm Subban made 15 saves in the loss, falling to 9-7-3 as he suffers his first regulation loss in 2014 (last one came December 28th).
-Standings positions after game:
Bridgeport (55 points), stays static at 3rd place in Northeast Division, 10th in Eastern Conference.
Providence (65 points), stays static at 3rd place in Atlantic Division, falls one spot to 6th in Eastern Conference.

Game 795: Hamilton Bulldogs defeat San Antonio Rampage, 3-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011899

-Hamilton gets a win among their slump, improving to 3-6-0-1 in their last ten games. Martin St. Pierre netted a pair of goals while Mike Blunden scored to put the Bulldogs up by two. Dustin Tokarski made 32 saves in the win to improve to 17-13-2, 2-3 in the month of February.
-The Rampage lose back-to-back games since the beginning of 2014 and deals a big blow to a team that previously had a 12-game point streak. Quinton Howden had the lone goal for San Antonio as Jacob Markstrom turned away 28 shots in the loss to fall to 11-11-3 this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Hamilton (51 points), improves two spots to 3rd place in North Division, improves two spots to 13th in Western Conference.
San Antonio (54 points), stays static at 3rd place in West Division, 10th in Western Conference.

Game 796: Manchester Monarchs defeat Worcester Sharks, 4-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011900

-Nick Shore scored his second of the game and the go-ahead goal with 1:07 remaining in regulation time to give the Monarchs their seventh game in a row earning a standing point. Colin Fraser scored his second goal in as many nights, while Mathias Neiderberger earned his first career AHL win, improving to 1-0-1 on the season.
-Brodie Reid tied the game at 2-2 early in the third period, but it wasn’t enough as Manchester made the late charge. Troy Grosenick made 15 saves in the loss, falling to 11-9-0 on the season as the Sharks dropped their sixth game in a row in regulation time.
-Standings positions after game:
Manchester (80 points), remains static at 1st place in Atlantic Division, 1st in Eastern Conference.
Worcester (50 points), remains static at 4th place in Atlantic Division, 11th in Eastern Conference.

Game 798: Norfolk Admirals defeat Springfield Falcons, 3-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011902

-Norfolk snapped a two-game losing streak with help from Zack Stortini and Chris Wagner in the first period. Springfield tied it, but Richard Rackell scored the game-winner in the third to secure the win. Brad Thiessen made 28 saves for the win, improving to 3-2-2 on the season.
-Springfield suffered their second loss in as many nights, as Darryl Boyce and Sean Collins hit the scoresheet for the Falcons. Jeremy Smith made 22 saves on the night as he fell to 17-11-3 this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Norfolk (64 points), improves one spot to 3rd in East Division, improves one spot to 8th in Eastern Conference.
Springfield (71 points), remains static at 1st place in Northeast Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference.

Game 793: Chicago Wolves defeat Abbotsford Heat, 2-0
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011897

-It took two power play goals to get on the board, but that was all the Wolves needed from Evan Oberg and Ty Rattie. Jake Allen earned his third shutout of the year as he improved to 23-12-2 on the season.
-The Heat put 21 shots on net, but none of them could get past Jake Allen. Aaron Dell turned away 19 shots and falls to 0-1-0 in his second appearance of the season as the Heat drop their second straight game.
-Standings positions after game:
Chicago (68 points), remains static at 2nd place in Midwest Division, 5th in Western Conference.
Abbotsford (71 points), falls one spot to 2nd place in West Division, falls three spots to 4th in Western Conference.

Game 797: St. John’s IceCaps defeat Portland Pirates, 6-5
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011901

-The IceCaps rode a five-goal third period to sprint ahead of the Pirates with five different goal-scorers. John Albert had two of the six IceCaps goals in the win, as Tyler Beskorowany made 31 saves to earn his first win of the season in his first appearance of the season.
-Portland led 3-1 after two periods, but couldn’t hold on despite a two-goal spurt in the final minute of regulation. Tobias Rieder had a two-goal game, the first and last goals of the game. Mark Visentin was in net to start for the Pirates, turning away 30 shots, but was pulled mid-way through the third. Louis Domingue came on in relief, and being in net for the game-winning goal by STJ, earns the loss.
-Standings positions after game:
St. John’s (68 points), remains static at 2nd place in Atlantic Division, 4th in Eastern Conference.
Portland (47 points), remains static at 5th place in Atlantic Division, 14th in Eastern Conference.

Game 800: Toronto Marlies defeat Oklahoma City Barons, 4-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011904

-A two-goal night from Greg McKegg pushed the Marlies past the Barons, adding to four straight goals by Toronto en route to the win. Toronto improves to a three-game winning streak as Garret Sparks turned away 38 shots to improve to 6-5-0 on the season.
-Anton Lander scored the lone goal for the Barons on the power play in the second period. Richard Bachman started his 10th straight game for Oklahoma City, his third in as many nights, and made 27 saves to fall to 15-14-3. Oklahoma City sits with a two-game losing streak.
-Standings positions after game:
Toronto (66 points), remains static at 1st place in North Division, 3rd in Western Conference.
Oklahoma City (53 points), remains static at 4th place in West Division, 11th in Western Conference.

Game 794: Grand Rapids Griffins defeat Milwaukee Admirals, 1-0
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011898

-Four out of five shooters scored in the shootout for the Griffins as the improve to a two-game win streak. Petr Mrazek improved to 13-5-1 and earned his second shutout of the season.
-Scott Darling earned his fourth shutout of the season, but couldn’t come out on top in the shootout, falling to 8-4-1. Three-of-five shooters scored for the Admirals as they fall to a four-game winless streak.
-Standings positions after game:
Grand Rapids (69 points), remains static at 1st place in Midwest Division, 2nd in Western Conference.
Milwaukee (58 points), remains static at 4th place in Midwest Division, 8th in Western Conference.

Game 799: Syracuse Crunch defeat Hershey Bears, 5-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011903

-Richard Panik had a four-point night for the Crunch, and two other players added multi-point nights as well as the Crunch defeated the Bears for the second time in as many nights. Cedrick Desjardins turned away 24 shots in the game to improve to 6-14-2 this season, giving Syracuse a three-game point streak.
-Hershey tied it early in the second period, but it was all Syracuse after that. Goals by Jeff Taffe and Nicolas Deschamps weren’t nearly enough as the Bears dropped their second in a row and fourth in their last ten. Philipp Grubauer takes the loss, falling to 11-7-1.
-Standings positions after game:
Syracuse (49 points), remains static at 5th place in East Division, 12th in Eastern Conference.
Hershey (64 points), remains static at 2nd place in East Division, falls one spot to 7th in Eastern Conference.

Oklahoma City Loses Second Straight Game, Marlies Dominate Despite “The Biz”

It’s rare that the Oklahoma City Barons travel to play the Toronto Marlies. When they do it feels special, and it usually happens at a point in the season when wins are needed. Rolling out of bed following a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Grand Rapids Griffins, our beloved Oklahoma City Barons traveled to Toronto to hopefully survive a stout three-in-three.

Richard Bachman would get another start in net, a rarity in a three-in-three on the road, and he would be excellent to start. Likewise, back-up Marlies’ tender, Garret Sparks would be surprisingly good in the first twenty minutes. Back and forth the teams would go, and although the shots would be ten a piece after twenty minutes, the chances were strong for both clubs. The Marlies, in particular, challenged Bachman in close, and he was stellar. Sparks was good too, but had some assistance from a goalpost clank, and a few long-distance shots from Barons defenders. One slashing penalty from Toronto allowed the Barons to unfurl a power play about as dynamic as a wet blanket, and the mud-skating would continue for much of the period. As Bachman continued to save the bacon of his defensemen, the period would end. A scoreless game after twenty minutes of play.

The Marlies came out swinging to start the second period, and Bachman again kept his team in the game. The game hadn’t been entirely physical up until this point, and that certainly favors the Barons just a bit more. A high stick in the first three minutes by the Marlies allowed Anton Lander to score on the power play for the Barons. Hunt and Arcobello would notch assists, and the Barons would take a 1-0 lead. After a penalty to Anton Lander expired, defenseman Stuart Percy cradled the puck on the right wing, and centered it to Greg McKegg to give the Marlies the game tying goal. Moments later, Jamie Devane would whistle a shot past an out-of-position Bachman, and the Marlies would suddenly be up 2-1. Even though the Barons would unleash seventeen shots in the second period, they’d mostly be turned aside by Sparks. To the third period we go, with our eyes closed.

In the final period the Marlies pounced on the sluggish Barons scoring another two goals. McKegg notched another as well as Brandon Kozun to evaporate the Oklahoma City scoring threats. The Marlies protected the lead, Bachman was good when he needed to be, but in the end it was just too much for the Barons to swallow in back-t0-back-to-back games, and they would suffer their second defeat in two days, 4-1 to the Toronto Marlies.

OKC Barons starting lineup:

Fyten-Lander-Pitlick
Horak-Arcobello-Pinizzotto
Ford-Acton-Stretch
Kessy-Ewanyk-MacIntyre

Gernat-Fedun
Davidson-Hunt
Klefbom-Musil

Bachman

Around The AHL In 80 Seconds: February 22nd, 2014

(Or longer, if you can’t read that fast.) Photo from Texas Stars Twitter, all rights reserved.

All 30 AHL teams took to the ice on Saturday for just the second time this season. With the All-Star break concluded and teams beginning to hit the 20-games-to-go mark, the transition to playoff-push-mode is beginning to take effect. Here’s Saturday’s results:

Game 788: Toronto Marlies defeat San Antonio Rampage, 2-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011892
-Drew MacIntyre turned aside 22 shots to earn his 23rd win of the season, helping the Marlies improve to 30-17-2-2. A rebound goal by Tyler Biggs just ten seconds in, and a goal by Jerry D’Amigo a little over ten minutes later were all the Marlies needed to put away the Rampage. The now-two-game winning streak by the Marlies help keep separation from Rochester, who is on a four-game point streak as well.
-Michael Houser was pulled after the goal by D’Amigo at 10:24, earning the loss while turning aside seven shots. Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves in relief. The lone goal came from Bobby Butler, his sixteenth of the season, in the latter half of the third period. The loss puts an end to the Rampage’s 12-game point streak, and gives them their first regulation loss during their annual Rodeo Road Trip as they fall to 6-1-0-1.
-Standings positions after game:
Toronto (64 points), stays static at 1st place in North Division, 3rd place in Western Conference.
San Antonio (54 points), stays static at 3rd place in West Division, 10th place in Western Conference.

Game 777: Albany Devils defeat Norfolk Admirals, 4-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011881

-Stefan Matteau gave the Devils an early lead at the 4:38 mark of the first period, but Norfolk tied it up late in the period to make it a 1-1 game at the first break. 15 saves by Keith Kinkaid over the next forty minutes, and a pair of goals from Mike Sislo and Reid Boucher set up the empty netter by Kelly Zajac for the win. Albany currently sits on a two-game winning streak.
-Norm Ezekiel had the only goal for the NorAds in the first period, his second goal of the season. Viktor Fasth is in his second conditioning stint of the season with Norfolk, dropping to a 0-2-0 record this season and 1-4-0 all-time in the AHL. Norfolk hits their second-straight loss and drop to 5-4-0-1 in their last ten.
-Standings positions after game:
Albany (64 points), stays static at 2nd place in Northeast Division, improves one spot to 7th in Eastern Conference.
Norfolk (62 points), falls one spot to 4th in East Division, falls two spots to 9th in Eastern Conference.

Game 780: Grand Rapids Griffins defeat Oklahoma City Barons, 4-3
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011884

-Mitch Callahan struck on the power play twice and Adam Almquist added three assists to help the Griffins to the win over OKC in the second of a two-game set between the two teams. Calle Jarnkrok also finished the night with two assists. Petr Mrazek improved to 12-5-1 this season, making 36 saves in the win. The win couldn’t have come at a better time, as Chicago is breathing down the necks of the Midwest Division leaders.
-The Barons had their eight-game point streak snapped with the loss to the Griffins. C.J. Stretch scored 18 seconds into the game for the early lead but Grand Rapids matched OKC the entire way. Steve Pinizzotto netted his seventh of the season, while Mark Arcobello added a goal and an assist. Richard Bachman made 33 saves as he fell to 15-13-3 record.
-Standings positions after game:
Grand Rapids (67 points), stays static at 1st place in Midwest Division, 2nd place in Western Conference
Oklahoma City (53 points), stays static at 4th place in West Division, 11th place in Western Conference

Game 781: Syracuse Crunch defeat Hershey Bears, 5-0
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011885

-Allen York earned his second shutout of the season with his fourth team of the season, making 39 stops to secure the win for Syracuse, including a 20-shot barrage in the second period. Luke Witkowski, Richard Panik, and Maxime Langelier-Parent all earned their first goals of the season in the win – their second in their last ten games.
-Hershey’s loss snaps a five-game overall winning streak, while also ending a twelve-game winning streak at the Giant Center. Philipp Grubauer was in net for all five goals by the Crunch, taking the loss to fall to 11-6-1 this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Syracuse (47 points), stays static at 5th place in East Division, improves two spots to 12th place in Eastern Conference.
Hershey (64 points), stays static at 2nd place in East Divsion, falls two spots to 6th place in Eastern Conference.

Game 782: Lake Erie Monsters defeat Iowa Wild, 3-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011886

-An early goal by Andrew Agozzino put the Wild in a spot where they just couldn’t catch up. Michael Schumacher chipped in as well in the first period, but the Wild could only get within one goal each time they made a run. The eventual game-winner was scored by Colin Smith as he completed a multi-point night. Calvin Pickard made 29 saves as he improved to 12-13-3 this season.
-The Wild had a late charge in the third period as they outshot the Monsters 15-7 in the final frame of the game. Brian Connelly brought Iowa to within one at the 5:30 mark of the third, but Lake Erie held on for the win. Kris Foucault opened the scoring for the Wild, while Johan Gustafsson made 29 saves to fall to 8-12-2.
-Standings positions after game:
Lake Erie (49 points), improves one spot to 4th in North Division, improves one spot to 14th place in Western Conference.
Iowa (54 points), stays static at 5th place in Midwest Division, stays static at 9th place in Western Conference.

Game 783: Manchester Monarchs defeat Portland Pirates, 5-4
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011887

-Manchester trailed 4-2 after the second period, but Colin Fraser started a comeback in the third period by scoring his first AHL goal in over six seasons. Jordan Weal and Zach O’Brien completed the completed the comeback as Manchester scored the three goals over a 7:15 span. Martin Jones improved to 16-3-3 on the season as the Monarchs improved to a league-best 78 points.
-Brandon McMillan’s two-goal and three-point night could only do so much for the Pirates, giving up the two-goal lead for the loss. Dane Todd and Lucas Lessio chipped in the other goals for Portland, while Louis Domingue made 32 saves in the loss to falls to 7-7-2 on the season.
-Standings positions after game:
Manchester (78 points), remains static at 1st place in Atlantic Division, 1st place in Eastern Conference.
Portland (47 points), remains static at 5th place in Atlantic Division, falls one spot to 14th in Eastern Conference.

Game 786: Hartford Wolf Pack defeat Springfield Falcons, 4-3
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011890

-Hartford completed a three-goal comeback in a 2:57 span in the third period to force the win over the Northeast Division-leading Falcons. T.J. Hensick started things off, while Marek Hrivic tied it up, and Andrew Yogan scored the game-winner. David LeNeveu made 28 saves in the game to improve to 4-5-0 this season.
-Ryan Craig, J.F. Jacques, and Austin Madaisky had the Falcons up 3-1 after the second frame, but Mike McKenna gave up the three goals on eight shots in the third period as he falls to 15-7 this season. Springfield falls to 5-5-0-0 in their last ten games.
-Standings positions after game:
Hartford (46 points), remains static at 5th place in Northeast Division, 15th place in Eastern Conference.
Springfield (71 points), remains static at 1st place in Northeast Division, 2nd place in Eastern Conference.

Game 790: St. John’s IceCaps defeat Worcester Sharks, 3-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011894

-The IceCaps scored once a period, including a shorthander by John Albert in the first period to help St. John’s to their now-four-game point streak. A big game by Michael Hutchinson backstopped the IceCaps to the win, as he made 49 saves in the contest to improve to a 10-4-0 record on the season.
-Worcester’s lone-goal came in the second period by Freddie Hamilton, but Worcester had trouble finding the net despite making 50 shots. Harri Sateri made 18 saves for the Sharks, falling to 12-19-1 this season as the Sharks sit with a five-game losing streak.
-Standings positions after game:
St. John’s (66 points), stays static at 2nd place in Northeast Division, improves to 4th in Eastern Conference.
Worcester (50 points), stays static at 4th place in Northeast Division, 11th in Eastern Conference.

Game 778: Utica Comets defeat Binghamton Senators, 3-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011882

-Utica put their three-game winning streak on the line against the Senators’ four-game winning streak and came out on top. Nicklas Jensen tied the game at two-apiece just 19 seconds into the third period and Frank Corrado put away the game-winner as Utica improved to 6-3-1-0 in their last ten games. Joacim Eriksson improved to 16-15-2 with the win.
-Binghamton had their four-game streak snapped as they try to keep ahead of the Hershey Bears in the East Division. Mike Hoffman had both goals for the Senators, while Andrew Hammond made 27 saves in the loss to fall to 17-11-3 this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Utica (51 points), improves one spot to 3rd place in North Division, improves one spot to 13th in Western Conference.
Binghamton (70 points), remains static at 1st place in East Division, 3rd in Eastern Conference.

Game 784: Rochester Americans defeat Hamilton Bulldogs, 3-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011888

-Rochester gave up two power play goals, but Mike Zigomanis gave the Americans the go-ahead goal in the third period to secure the win. Rasmus Ristolainen had two assists on the night, while Mike Lieuwen made 27 saves to improve to 14-7-2 this season.
-Both Hamilton goals came on the power play by Gabriel Dumont, his 12th and 13th goals of the season. Robert Mayer made 24 saves in the loss to fall to 5-12-2 this season. The Bulldogs are now sitting at 2-7-1-0 in their last ten games.
-Standings positions after game:
Rochester (61 points), stays static at 2nd place in North Division, 7th in Western Conference.
Hamilton (49 points), falls one spot to 5th place in North Division, falls two spots to 15th in Western Conference.

Game 789: Providence Bruins defeat Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 4-3 (SO)
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011893

-Providence earns their eighth shootout win of the season, improving their unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-0-1). Justin Florek tied the game up in the latter half of the third period to send the game into OT and then the shootout. Three Bruins hit the net in the skills competition, and Niklas Svedberg added three shootout stops to his 17 saves to improve to 20-11-3 this season.
-The Penguins fall to 2-5-2-1 in their last ten games, falling to a six-game winless streak as well (0-3-2-1). Jeff Deslauriers stopped one of four shooters in the shootout, turning aside 24 shots in 65 minutes of play to fall to 17-14-3. Spencer Machacek added two goals for the Penguins, his fourth and fifth points in a WBS uniform this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Providence (65 points), stays static at 3rd in Atlantic Division, improves one spot to 5th in Eastern Conference.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (63 points), improves one spot to 3rd in East Division, improves one spot to 8th in Eastern Conference.

Game 776: Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeat Adirondack Phantoms, 3-2
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011880

-Bridgeport improves to a five-game winning streak, and are now 8-2-0-0 in their last ten games. A shorthanded goal by Chris Langkow tied the game at two-apiece after Adirondack briefly took the lead in the third period, with Aaron Ness scoring the game-winner for the Sound Tigers. Anders Nilsson made 26 saves in the win to improve to 11-14-2 this season.
-Chris VandeVelde put the Phantoms on top on a power play goal in the third period, but 22 seconds later, Bridgeport tied it up. Adirondack is currently on an eight-game winless streak, going 0-7-0-1 in that span, and are 1-8-0-1 in their last ten. Carsen Chubak made 26 saves to fall to 1-1-0 on the season.
-Standings positions after game:
Bridgeport (53 points), stays static at 3rd place in Northeast Division, 10th in Eastern Conference.
Adirondack (47 points), stays static at 4th place in Northeast Division, falls two spots to 14th in Eastern Conference.

Game 779: Chicago Wolves defeat Abbotsford Heat, 5-3
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011883

-Five different goal-scorers for the Wolves helped the team to the win, with Adam Cracknell earning a goal and two assists on the night. Dmitrij Jaskin chipped in two assists as well for the multi-point night. Matt Climie made 34 saves to improve to 7-9-0 this season.
-The conference leading Heat needed the win to stay firmly ahead of Texas in the standings, but the loss ends up tying them for the top spot in the West Division. Goals by Brett Olson and Corban Knight tried to spark a comeback in the third period, but the Heat fell short in the bid. Olivier Roy made 16 saves in the loss, falling to 6-4-0 this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Chicago (66 points), stays static at 2nd place in Midwest Division, 5th in Western Conference.
Abbotsford (71 points), stays static at 1st place in West Division, 1st in Western Conference.

Game 785: Rockford IceHogs defeat Milwaukee Admirals, 4-1
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011889

-Four straight goals by the IceHogs dug a deep enough hole that the Admirals were unable to escape. Jason Labarbera was strong in net for Rockford, turning aside 36 shots to improve to 10-6-2 on the season and give Rockford their ninth-straight game earning a standing point (8-0-0-1).
-Milwaukee finally hit the board at the 9:13 mark as Vinny Saponari scored a power play goal to break the shutout bid for Rockford. Hannu Toivonen made 16 saves before getting chased after the second period to earn the loss, falling to 1-1-1 in the AHL this season. Milwaukee currently sits with a three-game losing streak.
-Standings positions after game:
Rockford (63 points), stays static at 3rd place in Midwest Division, 6th in Western Conference.
Milwaukee (57 points), stays static at 4th place in Midwest Division, 8th in Western Conference.

Game 787: Texas Stars defeat Charlotte Checkers, 3-2 (SO)
Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011891

-Colton Sceviour opened the scoring with his 31st goal of the season and again in the shootout, as it took extra innings for the Stars to put away the Checkers in the tiebreaker. Cristopher Nilstorp made 34 saves in the game, while turning aside 4-of-7 in the shootout to improve to 19-12-3 this season.
-Philippe Cornet and Mark Flood had the Checkers in the lead, but the Texas goal by Chris Mueller sent the game to OT. Justin Peters also made 34 saves for Charlotte, but couldn’t keep up in the shootout, turning aside 3-of-7 as he fell to 1-0-1 this season.
-Standings positions after game:
Texas (71 points), stays static at 2nd place in West Division, 4th in Western Conference.
Charlotte (51 points), stays static at 5th place in West Division, 12th in Western Conference.

Oklahoma City Loses 4-3 To Grand Rapids

Round two of Oklahoma City vs. Grand Rapids took place on Saturday night, and this go-round didn’t favor the Barons. A 4-3 loss ended the winning streak or at least standing point streak of the Barons whom hadn’t lost a game since January 30th. The game was good, not great for OKC, and in the end Grand Rapids took care of business when they needed to.

The first period began with a bang as David Musil unloaded a shot from a pretty good distance. That shot was deflected into the net, and around starting Griffins goaltender Petr Mrazk who would eventually face nearly forty shots on the night. C.J. Stretch would be credited with the tip-in and in the first eighteen seconds of play, the Barons led 1-0. The Barons would be undone by a slew of penalties in the first period including four straight. Near the eight minute mark the Griffins would gain the equalizer while on the power play. With a tie game, the Barons found that living in the box isn’t a recipe for success. Nonetheless, Steve Pinizzotto would get his seventh goal of the year with a great assist from playmaker extraordinaire Mark Arcobello. Despite the penalties, the Barons would end the period with a 2-1 lead.

Richard Bachman would again be super in this game, a trend that has developed as the defensive core in front of him has improved. Ten minutes in to the second period, following a slash by Mark Arcobello, the Griffins tied the game at two all. Three minutes later Grand Rapids would strike again, and the Barons would be playing on their heels. The now 3-2 lead felt insurmountable, but the Barons would prove resilient.

The third period rolled along, and the times felt desperate for OKC. A pair of interference calls for the visiting team pointed to signs of distress for OKC, but it was Mark Arcobello, being clutch/stellar as usual. His fourth goal as a Baron this season, with assists given to Brad Hunt and Brandon Davidson breathed new life into the baby Oilers. They would carefully defend the puck, but the Griffins pushed very hard on the young defenders. Centerman Cory Emmerton put the puck past Bachman on a semi-broken play to take the lead at 4-3, and break the tie once and for all. The Wings-affiliated Griffins put on a clinic of puck defense, and were able to keep the Barons off the scoreboard.

The Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 4-3.