LAST WEEK IN REVIEW:
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THIS WEEK IN PREVIEW:
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FLORIDA PANTHERS (NHL)
The Florida Panthers had a sluggish end to an otherwise positive week. After bouncing back from a 3-0 1st period deficit to the New Jersey Devils (winning 4-3) Monday night, Florida played one of their best games of the season Wednesday. They defeated the New York Rangers 2-1 playing a complete game against one of the top goalies in the league.
A home-and-home sweep by Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning made for a rotten ending to the Panthers Thanksgiving feast. Stamkos scored the game winner in overtime Friday night, as Tampa Bay skated from the BankAtlantic Center with a 2-1 victory. Stamkos also scored in their 5-1 rout of Panthers in Tampa Saturday night.
Florida embarks on one of its oddest road trips this week. After playing in Carolina tonight, they will fly through the night to Los Angles for a Thursday tilt with the Kings, before playing Saturday night at the San Jose Sharks. Just when the team will be adjusted to pacific time, they will return home to face the now Bruce Boudreau-less Washington Capitals Monday.
Tonight’s game will be centered around change. The Panthers called up center Mark Cullen from San Antonio of the AHL, and Scott Clemmensen will back Jose Theodore up in goal tonight. Jacob Markstrom and Michal Repik were sent to San Antonio in exchange. Also, Mikael Samuelsson is on the road trip and could play on the west coast. The Panthers also sit in first place in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are last in the division and 14th in the conference.
On the coaching side, Kevin Dineen returns to the organization he called home for many years. Dinnen played parts of 12 seasons (708 of his 1188 games) with the Whalers and Hurricanes, and even scored the final goal in Whalers history before their move to Greensboro, and eventually Raleigh.
The Hurricanes’ coach, Kirk Muller, played parts of three seasons with the Panthers, scoring 10 goals over 162 regular seasons, and being a part of their last playoff game victory in the 1996-97 postseason.
SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE (AHL)
The Rampage opened up the week on a sour note, falling to the Rockford IceHogs 6-3 Wednesday. Former Panther Rostislav Olesz scored for Rockford in the victory and former prospect, Alexander Selak, stopped 20 of 23 shots in the victory. On the Rampage side, Evan Barlow, David Marshall, and Greg Rallo scored consecutively to tie the game at 3. Rockford bookened the game with three early goals and a trio of thrid period goals.
San Antonio then traveled to Abbotsford to take on the Heat in a two-game set. Friday night was a rout, as the Rampage shut out the Heat 5-0. Dov Grumet-Morris stopped all 21 shots he saw, and earned the shutout in his first appearance with the Rampage. Nolan Yonkman, Bracken Kearns, Brian Sutherby, Bill Thomas, and Barlow all scored in the victory.
After an off day Saturday, the Rampage got their second victory in Abbotsford Sunday, 2-1. Grumet-Morris allowed just one goal on 31 shots. Colby Robak, Thomas, and Marshall all scored for the Rampage in the win.
It’s an easy week for the Rampage, as they play a home-and-home with the Oklahoma City Barons. They will be in Oklahoma City Friday, and the home game is Saturday at 8:00 PM Eastern. Inside Hockey will have all the coverage Saturday night LIVE from San Antonio.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY KILLER BEES (CHL):
The Killer Bees split a weekend series with the Arizona SunDogs last weekend. In game won, they were on the losing end 6-4. Game 2 is where the story was. A 2-0 Saturday win seems innocent enough. Seven fighting majors and three game misconducts were the story. Kyle Radke, Tomas Klempa, and Terry Ruskowski were all tossed in the second period, as a total of 85 penalty minutes were handed out.
The Bees return home for a rematch with the SunDogs Friday and Saturday. Sparks are sure to fly this weekend.
CINCINNATI CYCLONES (ECHL):
The Cyclones went 1-1 on the weekend, as in game 1 Wednesday, they topped the Kalamazoo Wings 5-3. Anthony Luciani had an assist in the victory, but no other Panthers prospects scored. Game 2 on Friday went to the Toledo Walleye. After two unanswered goals, Toledo stormed back for three of their own and the win. Mathieu Aubin scored for the Cyclones first, and Jonathan Hazen followed with his first professional goal 7:47 into the third period.
The Cyclones play two home games against the Greenville Road Warriors this week. They will play Tuesday, and again Saturday.
JUNIORS, COLLEGE, AND EUROPE:
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