On Thursday night, Daniel Winnik scored in his professional debut as San Antonio snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 shootout win over West-leading Milwaukee... On Wednesday, Ramzi Abid and Kip Miller scored in the final 1:46 of regulation to give Chicago a 3-1 win over Omaha... Toronto clinched a playoff spot in the North Division with a 5-3 win in Rochester... Cleveland scored six times in the second period to sink Grand Rapids, 6-5.
Three teams, one berth... The battle for fourth place in the West Division comes to a boil this weekend as Iowa, Omaha and Chicago go mano a mano a mano... All three clubs have been playing very well of late, a combined 30-11-0-7 since Mar. 1... The Stars control their fate for now, with four games in the next five days against the Knights (Friday, 7:00 CT) and the Wolves (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday)... An eight-game winning streak puts Chicago three points back of both Iowa and Omaha entering Friday’s game in Peoria (7:30 CT)... Loui Eriksson, the Rbk Hockey/AHL Rookie of the Month for March, continues to roll with 20 points and a plus-18 rating in his last 16 games for the Stars... Ramzi Abid has a point in seven straight games for the Wolves (3g, 6a)... Despite being winless in his last two starts, Brent Krahn is 14-3-2 in his previous 19 decisions for the Knights.
Portland can secure the Atlantic Division crown with a regulation win in Hartford on Friday night (7:00 ET)... The Pirates, who have won three of their first four visits to the Hartford Civic Center this season, can also establish an AHL record for road wins by sweeping their final three games away from home... Dustin Penner, named this week a Second Team AHL All-Star, has 14 points in six games against the Wolf Pack this season, including a four-goal effort on Nov. 9... Jani Hurme, the reigning CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week, is 8-4-0 with a 2.23 GAA since joining the Pirates last month... Brad Smyth has recorded 17 points (5g, 12a) in 10 games back with Hartford.
Bridgeport looks to wrap up the fourth and final playoff berth in the East Division on Friday in Binghamton (7:05 ET), where a Sound Tigers win in regulation would send the visitors to the Calder Cup Playoffs for the fourth time in five years... Denis Hamel extended his scoring streak to eight games with his 52nd goal of the year on Wednesday night... Grant Potulny scored twice on Wednesday, becoming the Sens’ sixth 20-goal man this season... Binghamton had a six-game home winning streak snapped last Saturday... Eight players from Bridgeport’s Clear Day list played for the parent Islanders at Madison Square Garden on Thursday... Rob Collins, just back from Long Island, has a point in eight straight AHL games (3g, 12a).
On Thursday, Jarkko Immonen’s goal in his NHL debut helped the N.Y. Rangers to a 3-1 win over the N.Y. Islanders... Shea Weber scored his first career NHL goal in Nashville’s 3-0 win over St. Louis... On Wednesday, 1997 AHL All-Star Patrik Elias had three goals and two assists as New Jersey beat Pittsburgh, 6-4.
BY THE NUMBERS:
25 -- Overtime games played by Manchester this season, one shy of the AHL record held by Albany (2001-02), Rochester (2001-02) and Portland (2003-04)... The Monarchs are 18-7 in games decided past regulation.