AHL Today: Glens Falls close to finding out future, Utica win streak halted

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • CHICAGO at ROCHESTER: Rochester puts its four-game winning streak on the line when they take on the Wolves. Over their last four games, the Amerks have outscored their opponents 16-8. The tandem of Nathan Lieuwen and Matt Hackett have been formidable for Rochester. The teams haven’t faced each other this season, but they’re meeting each other as they both start to roll. Chicago is on a two game streak of its own. Should be a great game. Of note, the Amerks will be without top point-getter Phil “Don’t Call Me Joe” Varone who is up with the Buffalo Sabres.
  • SAN ANTONIO at TEXAS: The Stars host the Rampage at home, where they’re 21-3-0-3 against San Antonio in the last five years. Texas has picked up a point in each of the seven contests between the two teams so far this season, and a single point will draw them into a tie for first place in the West. Texas will still be without goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp, so expect Josh Robinson to get the call. The last time the two teams met was Dec. 28, when the Stars walked away with a 5-2 victory.

Last Night:

  • LAKE ERIE 3, UTICA 2 (SO): Benn Ferriero continued his hot streak, picking up a goal and an assist, but it wasn’t enough as the Comets dropped the game to the Monsters in a shootout. Calvin Pickard picked up the win for the Monsters, making thirty saves and stopping every shot in skills competition. Joey Hishon’s shootout tally proved to be the winner.
  • CHARLOTTE at NORFOLK (ppd.): Due to weather, the Admirals and Checkers had their tilt postponed to March 4.
    (Moves, news, and notes after the jump.) Continue reading

AHL Today: A look at the PPL Center, Utica goes for five

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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To Watch:

  • LAKE ERIE at UTICA: As Lake Erie heads into Utica, this isn’t just a battle of some basement dwellers, it’s a battle of teams heading in very different directions. Winless in their last eight games, Lake Erie has dropped seven games in regulation as the Comets have snapped their most recent skid, rattling off four straight wins. Joacim Erikkson, fresh off being named Player of the Week, will likely get the call for the Comets. Lake Erie will get goaltender Sami Aittokallio back from his recall with the Colorado Avalanche. Only nine points out of a playoff spot, it’s a bit too early to really write off the Comets, but they’re going to need to extend this win streak and have many more like it to get back in the race.
  • CHARLOTTE at NORFOLK: The Admirals have points in six straight heading into their game with the visiting Checkers. Charlotte has won the last three meetings between the two clubs, but needed overtime and shootout to do so. On a four game winning streak themselves, the Checkers are going to be without leading scorer Aaron Palsuhaj, who just earned himself a call to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The Ads’ best bet is to keep the Checkers off the powerplay, as the team is moving along at nearly a 25% clip.

Moves:

Sami Aittokallio (G) From: Colorado Avalanche To: Lake Erie Monsters
Aaron Palushaj (F)
 From: Charlotte Checkers To: Carolina Hurricanes
Petr Mrázek (G) From: Detroit Red Wings To: Grand Rapids Griffins
Cody Beach (F) From: Kalamazoo Wings To: Chicago Wolves
Colton Sissons (F) From: Milwaukee Admirals To: Nashville Predators
Danny Hobbs (F) From: Elmira Jackals To: Binghamton Senators
Thomas Heemskerk (G) From: Worcester Sharks To: Quad City Mallards
Jordan Szwarz (F) From: Phoenix Coyotes To: Portland Pirates
Connor Murphy (D) From: Portland Pirates To: Phoenix Coyotes
Olivier Roy (G) From: Alaska Aces To: Abbotsford Heat
Drew MacKenzie (D) From: Alaska Aces To: Abbotsford Heat
Zach McKelvie (D) From: Abbotsford Heat To: Alaska Aces
Jordan Kremyr (F) From: Abbotsford Heat To: Alaska Aces
Jordan Schroeder (F) From: Utica Comets To: Vancouver Canucks
Nicholas Rioux (D) From: Iowa Wild To: Quad City Mallards
Brandon Pirri (F) From: Rockford IceHogs To: Chicago Blackhawks
Anders Nilsson (G) From: New York Islanders To: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Matt Donovan (D) From: New York Islanders To: Bridgeport Sound Tigers

News & Notes:

  • Really nice work by 100DegreeHockey’s Stephen Meserve on the Texas Stars league leading powerplay. [100DegreeHockey]
  • The AHL Power Rankings for Week 17 have gone live on Chirps From Center Ice. Jason has been doing a great job with these, so go take a look. [ChirpsFromCenterIce]
  • After nearly a month on the road, the Rochester Americans are back on home ice. [WHEC]
  • The Milwaukee Admirals are hosting a, get this, Jamaican Vortex Night. Three fans will get a trip to Jamaica, and there will be a Bob Marley tribute band. You think you’d see this in the NHL? C’mon. [Milwaukee Admirals]
  • The brand new PPL Center is on its way to completion. (s/t @breakground, @Ike_Richman)
    Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.44.26 AM
    (Click to enlarge)

Jordan Hendry signs in DEL

According to a Straubing Tigers release, the team has inked defenceman Jordan Hendry to a one-year deal that will see the 29-year-old spend next season in Germany.

Hendry, who spent last season with the Anaheim Ducks organization, played 62 games in the AHL last year with the Norfolk Admirals. While with the Ads, Hendry had two goals and nine assists in 62 games. While it may seem like ancient history at this point, Hendry was a member of the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup team, and played fifteen games in the playoffs during that run.

Unable to get back to the NHL for any extended period of time since then — Hendry has only played 39 NHL games since 2009-10 –Hendry spent a year in Lugano of the NLA in 2011-12 before coming back to North America for a shot with the Ducks.

The Nokomis, Sask., native did suit up for two games with the Ducks this season, but was not re-signed by the team. In 277 AHL games, Hendry has put up 13 goals, 39 assists, and added 273 PIM.

(Cover photo courtesy Bridget Samuels)

Pelley signs one-year deal with the Devils

The New Jersey Devils have brought back defenceman Rod Pelley on a one-year, two-way contract.

Pelley, who was an NHL regular with both the Devils and Anaheim Ducks between 2009-2012, signed the deal yesterday and will end up back with the team that gave the 28-year-old a shot when his college playing days were done.

At 5’11” and 201 lbs., Pelley isn’t an intimidating force on the blue line, but he’s mobile and can benefit the Devils at both the NHL and AHL level.

In 60 games with the Ducks farm club in Norfolk, Pelley put up three goals and seven assists for the Admirals. A veteran of 256 games in the NHL, Pelley will have a difficult time cracking a deep Devils defence, but will likely play on the Albany Devils top pairing. In his NHL career, Pelley has amassed 29 points (9-20), to go along with another 80 points (37-43) in 211 games in the AHL.

A former CCHA Champion while with Ohio State, Pelley’s deal will carry an NHL cap hit of $550,000 in the bigs, and see him paid $150,000 in the minors.

 

Report: Yonkman, Stortini sign with Ducks

According to RDS, Nolan Yonkman and Zack Stortini have signed two-year deals with the Anaheim Ducks.

Yonkman, a 12-year AHL veteran, has spent the last three seasons in the Florida Panthers organization, captaining the San Antonio Rampage for the last two campaigns. At 6’6″, 251 lbs., Yonkman’s a towering force on the blue line and isn’t afraid to drop the gloves.

The 32-year-old vet has played over 600 games in the AHL, but he shouldn’t be expected to show up too often on the score sheet. Through his career, Yonkman has only scored 16 goals and added 63 assists. Seventy-nine points in 601 career regular season games doesn’t make Yonkman an offensive force, but it’s his understanding of the game and the efficient use of his size that will make him an attribute for the Norfolk Admirals.

Stortini, 27, comes to Anaheim from a season spent in the Canadiens organization last year. While with the Bulldogs, Stortini suited up for 73 games, amassing 241 PIM. With all that time spent in the box, it’s no wonder Stortini contributed only two goals and four assists — his hands aren’t necessarily used for scoring.

With Montreal’s signing of Nick Tarnasky, Stortini became expendable, and will help fill a hole on the Admirals roster. While he may be playing third or fourth line minutes in Norfolk, Stortini will still bring a veteran voice to the locker room and help guide Anaheim’s youngsters.

RDS reported that both deals are two-way contracts.