Another busy, yet successful weekend wrapped up in the AHL, and while it is still too early to be standings watching, the tables have turned early on, with one of the perennial cellar dwellers (Bridgeport) at the top of the Eastern Conference. On the flip side, one of the league’s elite teams over the past two seasons (Binghamton) sits in last place in the East, although they still have more points than four Western Conference teams.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: All 30 teams partook in action Friday, with the road teams edging home teams, winning 8 of the 15 games. Some notable games are listed below:
- Charles Hudon scored 1:13 into the game and 1:45 into OT as Hamilton edged St. John’s 2-1
- Tomas Kaberle’s AHL debut didn’t help the Hartford Wolf Pack, as they were held to just 1 goal at home. Meanwhile, Colin McDonald scored twice and added two assists in The Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ 6-1 rout of the Wolf Pack.
- Scott Clemmensen stopped all 31 shots he faced, en route to Albany’s 4-0 win over Portland.
- After Brandon Manning’s game tying goal in the 3rd, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton answered twice in the waning minutes to edge Lehigh Valley 2-1.
- Ben Hanowski scored the first Adirondack Flames hat trick as the Flames took care of the Lake Erie Monsters 4-2
HOCKEY FILLED SATURDAY: If 15 games Friday wasn’t enough, 13 on Saturday was sure to not disappoint. Here are the highlights from an active Saturday:
- It went all the way to a shootout, but with a 3-2 victory over Lake Erie, Adirondack completed an improbable sweep, not only over the Monsters, but of the 5-game road trip, earning all 10 possible points. The Flames were just 1-3-1 in their first five contests, but have been an impressive 7-3 in their past 10.
- In other back-to-back news, Bridgeport completed a home-and-home sweep of Hartford in convincing fashion, scoring three third-period goals to win 5-2.
- Mike Dalhuisen scored his first AHL goal, but the defenseman also scored the ONLY goal for the powerhouse Texas Stars as they fell in a tightly contested game to the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-1.
- Portland returned the favor to Albany, scoring twice (once on Clemmensen and once on an empty net) as the Pirates shut out the Devils 2-0.
- Springfield only needed a goal from Sean Collins, as Anton Forsberg shut out Worcester 1-0.
- the Iowa Wild got their first loss under John Torchetta, falling to the Oklahoma City Barons 5-1 in Des Moines.
FOOTBALL HOCKEY SUNDAY: While the gridiron is the place to be on Sunday, 12 teams found themselves inside the glass, and made it a memorable Sunday around the league:
- Bridgeport could not complete the weekend sweep, falling to Springfield 5-3. The real story was a line brawl at 19:45 in the third period, resulting in 11 game misconducts (including two double misconducts!). All told, 182 minutes of penalty time were handed out in the final minute of play, including the line brawl, anothe separate fight, and two roughing penalties.
- It was much calmer at the First Ontario Center, as T.J. Hensick scored 2:28 into Overtime to give Hamilton a 5-4 win over Rochester.
- Tomas Kaberle had two assists in his second and seemingly final game with Hartford. However, Brian O’Neil’s goal 5:57 into the extra session gave Manchester a 4-3 win.
SHORE ME THE MONEY: Nick Shore was named the CCM/AHL Player of the week ending November 16. In the Manchester Monarchs’ four wins, Shore had three goals and four assists and a +7 rating.
WHAT’S AHEAD: This week is relatively quiet, but here is what to look for as we head through the AHL’s midweek schedule:
- The San Antonio school children will be out in full force Tuesday, as the Rampage take on their rival Oklahoma City Barons at 10:35 am CT
- Also on Tuesday, the Toronto Marlies will visit St. John’s for their annual return to the old site of Maple Leafs AHL games. Game time for game one of the two game set is 7:30 pm NT.
- It’s always fun when two geographical rivals play, so all eyes will be on the PPL Center Wednesday at 7:05 pm ET as Hershey travels to Lehigh Valley.