AHL Eastern Conference Notebook
Posted: Sunday February 1, 2004 2:06AM; Updated: Sunday February 1, 2004 2:06AM
ALBANY RIVER RATS (Devils) -- The River Rats have gone 3-2-0-2 over their last seven games but remained in last place in the East Division with 36 standings points (13-19-5-5) through January 27. ... G Ari Ahonen stopped 29 shots to post a 3-0 shutout over the Binghamton Senators January 23. It was the first shutout of the season for the River Rats and first for Ahonen since November 2, 2002 against the Rochester Americans. Ahonen made 28 saves against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers January 24 but was dealt a 1-0 defeat. Over his last three games, Ahonen has turned aside 79 of 81 shots. In his previous two outings, he had stopped only 40 of 49. ... RW Chris Hartsburg scored with 3:29 left in regulation to lift Albany to a 2-1 win over the Sound Tigers January 22. The goal broke a 22-game scoring drought for Hartsburg, who last tallied October 11 against the Springfield Falcons. ... LW Joe Hulbig was leading the River Rats with six goals, 12 points and a plus-4 rating in January. ... D Victor Uchevator has not scored a goal in his first 153 professional games, marking the longest active scoreless drought in the AHL.
BINGHAMTON SENATORS (Senators) -- The Senators have gone 4-6-1-0 through their first 11 games of January, settling at the .500 mark (19-19-4-2) through January 27. ...Andy Hedlund scored a power-play goal 2:16 into overtime to beat the Albany River Rats, 4-3, January 16. It was the first career overtime goal and second career game-winner for Hedlund. He had gone 17 straight games without a goal of any kind since notching the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch November 29. ... LW Denis Hamel recorded two goals and an assist in a 6-3 win over the Norfolk Admirals January 17. It was the fifth two-goal effort of the season for Hamel, who was leading the club with 19 goals and 38 points through January 27. ... RW Josh Langfeld, who had produced four goals and an assist in 12 games with the Ottawa Senators, was returned to the AHL January 27. The 26-year-old Langfeld had posted 26 points and a plus-11 rating with Binghamton this season prior to making the jump to the NHL.
BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS (Islanders) -- After sustaining their longest winless streak since going 0-3-2 over their first five games of the season, the Sound Tigers fell out of the top spot in the division with 58 standings points - one behind the Philadelphia Phantoms through January 27. In going 0-4-0-1 January 11-23, Bridgeport managed only seven goals. ... G Wade Dubielewicz recorded his fifth shutout of the season to end the winless drought January 24. Dubielewicz, who has been named the starting goaltender for PlanetUSA in the league's all-star game February 9, stopped all 23 shots and LW Blaine Down's goal just 30 seconds beyond the opening faceoff was the difference in a 1-0 win over the Albany River Rats. Through January 27, Dubielewicz was leading the league with a 1.26 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. All four of Down's goals this season have come against division opponents. ... The Sound Tigers owned the league's best penalty-killing unit, stopping 91.42 percent of opponents' power-play chances through January 27.
HERSHEY BEARS (Avalanche/Lightning) -- The Bears have lost four of their last six games and were in third place in the division through January 27. ... G Peter Budaj stopped 40 shots in a 2-0 shutout over the Springfield Falcons January 21. Budaj recorded double-digit save totals in each period to post his second shutout of the season. Through January 27, Budaj was 14-11-6 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage. ... In the win over the Falcons, RW Brule picked up an assist on RW Shane Willis' goal with 45 seconds left in the first period. It was the 500th career AHL point of Brule's career. ... Beginning with two goals against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers January 17, Willis scored a goal in four consecutive games. He has produced five goals and two assists in seven games since being sent down by the Tampa Bay Lightning mid-month. ... C Eric Perrin was third in the league with 30 assists and 47 points in 49 games through January 27.
NORFOLK ADMIRALS (Blackhawks) -- The Admirals have won only once over their last seven games (1-3-1-2) and were sixth in the division with 43 standings points (17-24-4-5) through 50 games January 27. ... Norfolk has not won a road game since January 3 (0-3-1-1) and has gone only 8-16-3-3 away from the Scope. ... D Duncan Keith recorded his first professional two-goal game in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Lowell Lock Monsters January 16. The loss marked the first time in franchise history the club was beaten in overtime in back-to-back games. The Hershey Bears had claimed a 2-1 overtime victory on January 14. ... Keith and rookie Anton Babchuk were tied for the team lead in goals among defensemen. The 19-year-old Babchuck was selected to play for PlanetUSA in the AHL All-Star Game on February 9. ... C Mikhail Yakubov and LW Igor Radulov were each leading the club with four goals in January through 12 games. Radulov was also leading Norfolk with a plus-5 rating since the beginning of the new year.
PHILADELPHIA PHANTOMS (Flyers) -- The Phantoms have won four in a row and nine of their last 10 to move into first place in the East Division with 59 standings points through January 27. ... In their last nine wins, eight different Phantoms have scored a game-winning goal, including LW Nick Deschenes, who has recorded two. ... G Antero Niittymaki has allowed just one goal in his last three starts, producing a pair of shutouts. The 23-year-old made 19 saves in a 4-0 blanking of the Hershey Bears January 16, stopped 32-of-33 during a 4-1 victory over the Norfolk Admirals January 18 and recorded his fourth shutout with 16 saves in a 2-0 triumph over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers five nights later. Before being recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers January 24, the Finland native was ranked seventh in the league with a 2.05 GAA. Niittymaki and veteran G Neil Little have collected a combined six shutouts this season, a Phantoms' franchise record. ... Rookies D Randy Jones and D Freddy Meyer have combined for five goals and two assists in the last six games. Jones notched a goal and an assist in the win over Norfolk January 18 and also tallied in the third period of a come-from-behind, 3-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons January 25. Meyer scored a goal in back-to-back games January 24-25, including his first career game-winner in a 2-0 win over Hershey January 24. ... With the victory over Hershey January 24, Philadelphia improved to 8-0 against the Bears this season.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON (Penguins) -- The Penguins have managed just two wins in their last five games (2-2-1-0), but remained in fourth in the East Division with 47 standings points through January 27. ... C Kris Beech has notched four goals and two assists in his last five games and was leading the team with 33 points (14 goals, 19 assists) through January 27. Beech, who was also leading the squad with a plus-16 rating, scored a goal in three consecutive games January 14-18, including the game-winner in a 4-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Phantoms January 17. ... D Patrick Boileau, who had seven points (three goals, four assists) in 16 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, produced five assists in his first five games since returning to Wilkes-Barre. The veteran defender earned a helper on two goals in the 4-3 win over Philadelphia and has collected 13 assists in 18 games through January 27. ... G Sebastien Caron posted a 1-0-1 record in his first two starts since being reassigned from Pittsburgh, allowing three goals on 56 shots. The 23-year-old stopped 26 shots in a 4-2 victory over the Hershey Bears January 23 and made 27 saves in a 1-1 tie vs. the Norfolk Admirals two nights later. Caron has posted a 1.44 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage through January 27.
HARTFORD WOLF PACK (Rangers) -- Goalies Jason LaBarbera and Phil Osaer helped the Wolf Pack hold opponents to two goals or less in 12 straight games through January 27, allowing the club to stay atop the Atlantic Division with 58 standings points. The second-rated defense in the league (1.81 goals allowed per game) had given up just 1.17 goals per outing during a 7-2-3-0 run since January 3. ... After getting his second call-up to the Rangers this year, LaBarbera had a rocky outing vs. the Ottawa Senators January 24. The third-round pick in 1998, LaBarbera stopped three of six shots in one period vs. the Senators in his second NHL appearance. He was returned to Hartford January 27. ... C Bobby Andrews had 11 of his 19 points this year over a span of 11 games, concluding with a one goal, three-assist performance vs. the Manchester Monarchs January 25. During the run, Andrews posted a plus-12 rating and scored six goals on 23 shots (26 percent). ... Following a 5-0 rout of the Utah Grizzlies January 19, the Wolf Pack hit a scoring drought. The team scored just twice over the next three games and had a total of two goals over a 208:37-span during one stretch. ... After RW Paul Healey netted a third-period goal to help Hartford gain a 2-2 tie with the Portland Pirates January 23, the squad had a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2-0) on the road, the third-longest streak in the league this year.
LOWELL LOCK MONSTERS (Flames/Hurricanes) -- The Lock Monsters had won six straight games, including four by one goal, through January 27 to move above .500 and back in contention in the Atlantic Division with 46 standings points. Lowell averaged 3.7 goals during the run and stood at 10-6-0-3 in one-goal games. ... C Mike Zigomanis scored 2:07 into overtime to lift the Lock Monsters over the Portland Pirates, 3-2, January 25. The game-winner, his first of the year, extended his goal streak to four games, his points streak to eight (five goals, seven assists) and helped him secure league Player of the Week honors for the period ending January 25. Additionally, the Ontario native established the league's longest points streak on the road at eight games (three goals, seven assists). ... After making his third appearance in the NHL, LW Martin Sonnenberg was sent back to Lowell January 14 and had one goal and seven assists in six games upon returning. The Alberta native, who turned 26 January 23, had a four-game points streak (one goal, six assists) through January 27 and provided the game-winner in a 3-2 triumph over Portland January 24. ... Through January 27, the Lock Monsters represented the only team in the AHL to have a winning streak and losing streak of at least six games. ... Following a 10-game run without a goal, C Brett Lysak scored five times in seven games January 9-24, including back-to-back, game-winning goals January 16-17.
MANCHESTER MONARCHS (Kings) -- The Monarchs' three-game winning streak January 17-24 - their first since early November - helped the club hold firm in third place in the Atlantic Division with 51 standings points. ... G Mathieu Chouinard notched back-to-back shutouts January 17 & 24, turning away 56 shots. The 23-year-old helped Manchester earn a 6-0 victory with 22 saves vs. the Portland Pirates January 17. In a 2-0 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack January 24, Chouinard made 16 of his 34 saves in the third period. The 34 stops represented a team season-high for a club that ranked fourth in fewest shots allowed per game (26.72). ... C Mike Cammalleri scored the initial goal in the rout of the Pirates, ending a 148:21 scoreless drought for the Monarchs. A former star at the University of Michigan, Cammalleri added a second straight game-winner January 23 when he scored with just six seconds remaining in overtime, boosting Manchester to a 4-3 victory over the Providence Bruins. ... Through January 27, the Monarchs were one of just two teams (Bridgeport Sound Tigers) to remain unbeaten when leading after one period (12-0-0-3). The squad had outscored opponents, 89-68, over the final two periods of regulation, including a 46-30 margin in the third.
PORTLAND PIRATES (Capitals) -- A five-game winless streak through January 27 dropped the Pirates below .500 and into sixth place in the Atlantic Division. The second-lowest scoring team in the league (1.91 goals per game) netted just seven goals during the slide and averaged only 1.4 per outing since January 3. ... With 19 saves, G Maxime Ouellet blanked the Manchester Monarchs, 2-0, January 16 to become Portland's all-time leader in shutouts with 11. With four this season, Ouellet surpassed Martin Brochu, who was in net for the Pirates 1995-2000. ... After registering one goal and five assists in 40 games for the Capitals, RW Boyd Gordon, the 17th overall pick in the 2002 draft, was shipped to Portland and provided three assists in his first eight games as an AHL player. ... Through January 27, the Pirates remained the only team without a shorthanded goal this year. ... Following a 10-game spell where he managed just two assists, D Mike Pudlick had three of the team's seven goals over its last four outings. The run left him two goals shy of matching his career high of nine set in 2001-02 with the Monarchs. ... Ouellet yielded a game-tying, third-period goal vs. the Hartford Wolf Pack January 23 as the two teams tied, 2-2.
PROVIDENCE BRUINS (Bruins) -- A 4-2 loss to the Worcester IceCats January 25 snapped an eight-game points streak (5-0-2-1) that pushed the Bruins into second place in the Atlantic Division. The only loss of the run came in a 4-3 overtime decision vs. the Manchester Monarchs January 23. ... C Andre Savage broke out of a three-game scoreless drought in the loss to the Monarchs with a goal and an assist. He provided four points the next night in a 6-2 win over the IceCats. The 28-year-old had a goal and two helpers by the 10:55 mark of the first period and added a third assist midway through the middle stanza on the second goal by D Zdenek Kutlak. The two-goal effort was the first in 213 games for Kutlak. ... RW Brendan Walsh scored early in the third period and G Tim Thomas stopped 30 shots as Providence topped the Hartford Wolf Pack, 1-0, January 21. Thomas had four straight wins through January 27 while posting a goals-against average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .969. ... Before G Hannu Toivonen gave up the overtime winner vs. Manchester, he, Thomas and Peter Hamerlik combined to blank their opponents for a total of 61:52 of overtime hockey. ... Walsh owned a four-game goal streak on the road (five goals) through January 27, matching seven others for the longest run in the league this year.
SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (Coyotes) -- A 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phantoms January 25 dropped the Falcons to 1-4-0-0 on a five-game road trip and kept the club with 25 standing points, tied for fewest in the AHL. Springfield mustered just seven goals on the swing. ... The lone win of the trip came when RW Frank Banham notched a third-period tally to lift the Falcons past the Norfolk Admirals, 2-1, January 24. In the win, G Jean-Marc Pelletier made 19 of his 34 saves in the first period and broke a personal four-game skid. Banham recorded his second game-winner in as many goals. ... When LW Frantisek Lukes scored 2:34 after the puck was dropped vs. the Phantoms, it marked the earliest the Falcons have scored in a game this season. ... With a pair of goals in his third game for Springfield January 23, D Todd Reirden became the first Falcon defenseman this season to score twice in one game. ... The Falcons have been saddled with the worst special teams in the league, scoring just 10 percent of the time (21 goals in 209 chances) with a man advantage while allowing seven shorthanded scores in those same situations. ... A 5-1 loss to the Lowell Lock Monsters January 18 dropped Springfield to 0-5-0-0 vs. its division rival.
WORCESTER ICECATS (Blues) -- C Brendan Brooks scored with less than four minutes left to snap a 2-2 tie as the IceCats skated to a 4-2 victory over the Providence Bruins January 25, breaking a two-game slide and holding onto fourth place in the Atlantic Division. The goal by Brooks was his first AHL marker after 19 scoreless games at the level. ... C Jay McClement tallied once in a loss to the Lowell Lock Monsters January 23 before providing his first career two-goal effort the next night in a 6-2 loss to the Providence Bruins. ... C Blake Evans netted the game-winning goal vs. the Albany River Rats January 18 with just 14 seconds remaining in overtime. The 2-1 win improved the club to 3-1-8 in overtime affairs. ... RW Jame Pollock was called up to the Blues January 14 and made his NHL debut vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets the next day, appearing on 18 shifts and serving one penalty. ... Through January 27, the IceCats were the only team in the league with both a winning record on the road (10-6-5-1) and a losing mark at home (9-10-3-0).
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