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Albany River Rats Notebook

The Albany River Rats have won three of their last four games and are 10-4-1-0 in their last 15. News, notes and storylines heading into this week's action:

*The River Rats are 18-14-2-0 (.559) for 38 points after 34 games, a 16-point improvement over last season (10-22-0-2). They begin the week in fourth place in the East Division, 13 points in back of third-place Norfolk but with two games in hand and eight head-to-head meetings with the Admirals over the final 46 games of the regular season. Albany enters the week with an eight-point advantage over fifth-place Bridgeport.

*The River Rats recorded their 18th victory December 31 with a 7-3 win at Bridgeport in their 34th game - the fastest the club has reached 18 wins since 1998-99 (29th game). The River Rats did not record their 18th win last season until their 50th game.

*At 18-14-2-0, the River Rats are four games above .500 for the first time since the 1998-99 season. The last time the River Rats were as many as four games above .500 gas prices were 1.03 per gallon, Saving Private Ryan was the top grossing movie, the Titanic rose and Paul Simon's Broadway play Capeman sank faster than the legendary ship.

*Goaltender Tyler Weiman has a current six-game winning streak dating to November 25. He has gone 10-1-0 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .928 save percentage since November 3, stopping 346 of 371 shots faced. The third-year pro has recorded eight of the club's 10 road wins.

*Left wing Ryan Bayda registered a career-high, four points (three goals, one assist) December 31 at Bridgeport. It was the second career hat trick for Bayda (October 13, 2003 vs. Worcester) and his first multiple-goal effort since January 29, 2006 at Hamilton, a span of 50 games.

*Right wing Shane Willis accrued a franchise record-tying five points (two goals, three assists) December 31 at Bridgeport. He has 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his last eight games. Willis leads the River Rats in goals (13) and is tied with Pat Dwyer for the club lead in first goals (four).

*Center Ben Guite earned points in 12 of 13 games in December, recording a team-leading 17 points (five goals, 12 assists). He tied for eighth in assists and 11th in points in the AHL during the month.

*Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has scored seven goals in his last 10 games after going the first 24 games of the season without scoring. His seven goals are a new career high, surpassing the six he scored last season while playing for Lowell (AHL). The third-year pro has compiled the second best plus/minus rating in the AHL (+15) since November 3.

*Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey, recalled December 28 by Colorado, made his NHL debut January 1 in the Avalanche's 5-3 win at Nashville. The 20-year-old first-year pro played 22 shifts totaling 11:13 of ice time (9:04 even strength, 2:09 power play), recording a blocked shot and a plus-1 rating.

ALBANY RIVER RATS UPCOMING GAMES

Albany River Rats vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islanders)

When: Friday, January 5 at Times Union Center, 7 p.m.

Radio/Internet: ESPN Radio 104.5 FM (WTMM) & B2 Networks.

Promotions: Total Tan Night. One lucky person will win FREE tanning for an entire year!

Season Series: River Rats lead 2-0-0-0; 0-0-0-0 at Times Union Center.

Last Meeting: Albany won 7-3 December 31 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

Noteworthy: The Sound Tigers enter the week in fifth place in the East Division with 30 points (13-16-1-3), eight behind fourth-place Albany...Bridgeport has lost four straight games and seven of its last eight, scoring a mere 15 goals while allowing 35 over that stretch...LW Jeff Tambellini, a first-round pick by Los Angeles in 2003, leads the Sound Tigers in goals (17), points (32), power play goals (five) and plus/minus (+6)...C Frans Nielsen has a current nine-game point (4-8-12) dating to December 16. He ranks second on the club in goals (10) and is tied for third in points (23)...D Jamie Fraser, who recently joined the team from South Carolina (ECHL), is the nephew of NHL referee Kerry Fraser...G Michael Mole (1-5-0, 3.78 GAA and .885 SPCT) has started each of the Sound Tigers last four games and six of their last seven.

Albany River Rats vs. Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings)

When: Saturday, January 6 at Times Union Center, 7 p.m.

Radio/Internet: ESPN Radio 104.5 FM (WTMM) & B2 Networks.

Promotions: Showstopper Saturday! Post-game autograph session with the entire team!

Season Series: River Rats lead 1-0-0-0; 0-0-0-0 at Times Union Center Last Meeting: Albany won 3-2 November 11 at Van Andel Arena.

Notes: The Griffins make their first-ever visit to the Capital Region as they complete a two-game season series with the River Rats...Grand Rapids enters the week in fourth place in the North Division with 36 points (15-15-4-2), seven points in back of third-place Manitoba and just three points in front of fifth-place Toronto, and is coming off back-to-back shutout wins over Hamilton and Rochester after posting just one win over a seven-game stretch December 15-29 (1-4-2-0)...The Griffins have allowed only one goal in their last 183:49 of regulation time, and two goals in the last 186.49 overall...C Kip Miller has recorded points (5-6-11) in seven of his last nine games and leads Grand Rapids in goals (15), points (39) and power play goals (eight)...D Jonathan Ericsson, a ninth-round pick by Detroit in 2002, is having a solid rookie season with 17 points (3-14-17) and a team-leading plus-10 rating in 33 games...G Jimmy Howard (12-12-1, 2.89 GAA, .912 SPCT) has seen the bulk of the action between the pipes, appearing in 28 of the club's 36 games.
 

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Three Wolves Players To Assist Reading Program

Chicago Wolves center JARED ROSS and defensemen JIMMY SHARROW and NATHAN OYSTRICK will make appearances on Wed., Jan. 10 as part of the 11th year of the team's "Read to Succeed" program, sponsored by Fisher Nuts and College Illinois!. The program has reached nearly 400,000 children in 10 seasons.

The three players will make five appearances, scheduled for:

Wed., Jan. 10:

Jared Ross Downer's Grove Library 1050 Curtiss St. 4:30 p.m.

Jared Ross LaGrange Library 405 Shawmut 7:00 p.m.

Jimmy Sharrow Bartlett Library 800 S. Bartlett Rd. 4:30 p.m.

Jimmy Sharrow Bloomingdale Library 101 Fairfield Way 7:00 p.m.

Nathan Oystrick Woodridge Library 3 Plaza Dr. 7:00 p.m.

ROSS, SHARROW and OYSTRICK will discuss the role reading plays in their lives as professional athletes and reinforce the importance of recreational reading, as well as highlight the resources that libraries have to offer. The players will also dress a child in hockey equipment, raffle Wolves prizes and sign autographs.

The "Read to Succeed" program encourages children to spend more time at the library and to read for fun. Every participant in the program sets an individual reading goal and has the opportunity to win prizes including Wolves notebooks, "Read to Succeed" hats and tickets to games for achieving their reading goals.

Each year, the Wolves reach more than 30,000 children through "Read to Succeed" and the DuPage, North Suburban and Metropolitan Library Systems. Members of the team will make nearly 40 library visits throughout the Chicago area this season.
 

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Atlanta Sends Haydar Back To Wolves

The Atlanta Thrashers have reassigned right wing DARREN HAYDAR, the American Hockey League's leading scorer, to the Chicago Wolves.

The 27-year-old forward was recalled by the Thrashers yesterday, but did not appear in the squad's 3-2 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators later that afternoon. He did not miss any games with the Wolves while on recall.

HAYDAR currently holds the sixth-longest scoring streak in professional hockey history after registering at least one point in each of Chicago's first 36 contests this season. He extended the streak, which is both an AHL and Wolves franchise record, by notching an assist with just nine seconds remaining in Chicago's 5-3 loss against Rochester on Dec. 30.

The Toronto native leads the AHL with 53 assists and 75 points, the most by a player in Wolves history through 36 outings, and ranks fifth with 22 goals. He has more assists than any player in the league has points, excluding linemate BRETT STERLING. His +24 plus/minus rating is also the best in the league.

Earlier this season, HAYDAR established a franchise record when he registered an assist in 14 straight tilts from Nov. 4 to Dec. 8. He has collected multiple points in 21 of his 36 games this year which includes eight three-point efforts and five four-point performances.

HAYDAR will attempt to run his historic point streak to 37 contests when the Wolves battle the Houston Aeros at the Allstate Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
 

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Griffins Game Rescheduled Due to NFL Playoff Contest

RAPIDS, Mich. - The American Hockey League on Tuesday announced that the Grand Rapids Griffins' road game against the Philadelphia Phantoms, originally scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 7 at 5:05 p.m., has been moved to Monday, Jan. 8 at 7:05 p.m.

The change was necessitated due to Sunday's 4:30 p.m. NFL playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field, which is adjacent to the Phantoms' home arena, the Wachovia Spectrum.

Monday's contest in Philadelphia will conclude a three-game East Coast swing for the Griffins, who will visit the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday at 7:05 p.m. and the Albany River Rats on Saturday at 7 p.m.
 

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Bulldogs to shoot for the Stars

The Hamilton Bulldogs (American Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens) will begin the new-year with three home games this week. On Wednesday, January 3rd and again on Friday, January 5th, the Iowa Stars (AHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars) will skate into Steeltown for back-to-back games against the ¡®Dogs. Hamilton¡¯s Bulldogs will then host the North Division-leading Rochester Americans (AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers) on Saturday, January 6th at Copps Coliseum.

Hamilton posted a 2-3-0-0 record in five games last week. The Bulldogs began the week with a 3-2 triumph over the Americans at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York on Boxing Day (Tuesday, December 26th). The Bulldogs then returned to Hamilton and topped the Manitoba Moose 3-2 in a shootout on Wednesday night (December 27th). With the win, the ¡®Dogs moved past the Amerks into first place in the North Division for the first time this season. On Friday night, Hamilton played host to Toronto in front of a season-high crowd of 7,674 at Copps Coliseum. The Marlies snapped the Bulldogs¡¯ season-long four-game winning and eight-game point streaks with a 3-2 victory. Immediately following Friday night¡¯s game, the ¡®Dogs traveled a little more than five hours to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they were blanked 2-0 by the Griffins on Saturday night. The shutout loss was the ¡®Dogs first since December 17th, 2005. Right after Saturday night¡¯s contest, Hamilton¡¯s Bulldogs traveled a little less than five hours to Peoria, Illinois, where they fell by a final score of 3-2 to the Rivermen on New Year¡¯s Eve (Sunday, December 31st). The contest was the ¡®Dogs third in three night¡¯s and fifth in six night¡¯s. The Hamilton¡¯s current three-game losing streak is their second-longest losing streak this season. The Bulldogs lost four straight tilts from October 13th through October 21st, 2006.

With 44 points in 36 games this season, the Hamilton Bulldogs currently sit in second place in the North Division standings, three points behind the first-place Rochester Americans (47 points in 33 games), and one point ahead of the third-place Manitoba Moose (43 points in 39 games).

WEEK IN REVIEW

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26th - HAMILTON BULLDOGS 3 @ ROCHESTER AMERICANS 2

Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial - Rochester, New York

Hamilton Goals: Ajay Baines (6), Duncan Milroy (13), Corey Locke (9)

Rochester Goals: Michael Funk (2), Stefan Meyer (6)

Goaltending: Hamilton - Yann Danis (W - 31 shots, 29 saves) / Rochester - Craig Anderson (L - 23 shots, 20 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 1-5 / Rochester 1-6

Attendance: 8,378

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27th - MANITOBA MOOSE 2 @ HAMILTON BULLDOGS 3 (SO)

Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton Goals: Duncan Milroy (14), Jonathan Ferland (9)

Manitoba Goals: Nathan Smith (8), Alexandre Bolduc (1)

Goaltending: Hamilton - Jaroslav Halak (W - 30 shots, 28 saves) / Manitoba - Wade Flaherty (L - 29 shots, 27 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 1-6 / Manitoba 1-4

Attendance: 4,367

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29th - TORONTO MARLIES 3 @ HAMILTON BULLDOGS 2

Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton Goals: Andrei Kostitsyn (11), Andre Benoit (3)

Toronto Goals: Luke Fulghum (1), Jeff Corey (7), Brett Englehardt (12) Goaltending: Hamilton - Jaroslav Halak (L - 31 shots, 28 saves) / Toronto - Todd Ford (W - 22 shots, 20 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 1-5 / Toronto 0-5

Attendance: 7,674

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 30th - HAMILTON BULLDOGS 0 @ GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 2

Van Andel Arena - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Hamilton Goals: None

Grand Rapids Goals: Kip Miller (14), Matt Ellis (11)

Goaltending: Hamilton - Yann Danis (L - 31 shots, 29 saves) / Stefan Liv (W - 24 shots, 24 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 0-7 / Grand Rapids 1-6

Attendance: 6,011

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31st - HAMILTON BULLDOGS 2 @ PEORIA RIVERMEN 3

Carver Arena - Peoria, Illinois

Hamilton Goals: Duncan Milroy (15), Corey Locke (10)

Peoria Goals: Trent Whitfield (16), Jon DiSalvatore (9), Peter Sejna (11)

Goaltending: Hamilton - Jaroslav Halak (L - 35 shots, 32 saves) / Peoria - Chris Beckford-Tseu (W - 32 shots, 32 saves)

Power Play: Hamilton 2-7 / Peoria 3-6

Attendance: 3,604

HAMILTON BULLDOGS NOTES

- With their 3-2 shootout victory over the Manitoba Moose on December 27th, the Hamilton Bulldogs moved past the Rochester Americans into first place in the North Division. The ¡®Dogs were 15 points in arrears of the Amerks on November 17th. The last time the Hamilton Bulldogs sat atop the North Division standings was on April 10th, 2004, when they captured the Sam Pollock Trophy as 2004-2005 North Division regular season champions.

- The ¡®Dogs season-long four-game winning and eight-game point streaks were snapped on November 29th, when they lost 3-2 to the Toronto Marlies.

- RW Duncan Milroy is set to become the Hamilton Bulldogs all-time games played leader on Wednesday night (January 3rd) versus the Iowa Stars. Having played 237 games as a ¡®Dog since he joined the team at the start of the 2003-2004 season, Milroy is currently tied with Jason Chimera for the franchise lead in games played. Chimera played 237 games during four seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs from 1997-2002.

- RW Zack Stortini leads the Hamilton Bulldogs and is second in the American Hockey League in penalty minutes with 137 (Boris Valabik, Chicago Wolves - 142), and in major penalties with 11 (Louis Robitaille, Hershey Bears - 12).

- G Jaroslav Halak leads the AHL in shutouts (5), goals against average (1.68) and save percentage (.944).

- G Yann Danis is tied for the league-lead in shootout wins with three.

- D Mathieu Roy is second among AHL defensemen, and fifth in the league overall with a +16 plus / minus rating.

- The Hamilton Bulldogs boast two of the top point-producing defensemen in the American Hockey League. D Mathieu Biron (5 goals, 17 assists, 22 points) is fourth in scoring among AHL defensemen, while D Mathieu Roy (6 goals, 12 assists, 18 points) is tied for 13th.

PLAYER TRANSACTIONS

- None

Upcoming GameS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3rd, 2007, 7:30 p.m. / FRIDAY, JANUARY 5th, 2007, 7:30 p.m. - IOWA STARS @ HAMILTON BULLDOGS

Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario

¨ª Iowa this season: 35 GP, 19-16-0-0, 38 points, T-4th West Division

¨ª Hamilton¡¯s Record vs. Iowa this season: 2 GP - 1-1-0-0

¨ª Hamilton¡¯s all-time record vs. Iowa: 4 GP - 1-2-0-0-1

¨ª Iowa¡¯s team leaders: Goals - Joel Lundqvist (15), Assists - Joel Lundqvist (18), Points - Joel Lundqvist (33), Plus / Minus - Nicklas Grossman (+12), Penalty Minutes - Krys Barch (101)

¨ª Ontario-born players: Krys Barch (Hamilton), John Lammers (Newcastle), Francis Wathier (St-Isidore), Marty Wilford (Cobourg)

¨ª Ex-Bulldogs: Dan Ellis (2004-2005)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 6th, 2007, 7:00 p.m. - ROCHESTER AMERICANS @ HAMILTON BULLDOGS

Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario

¨ª Rochester this season: 33 GP, 23-9-1-0, 47 points, 1st North Division

¨ª Hamilton¡¯s record vs. Rochester this season: 3-1-0-0

¨ª Hamilton¡¯s all-time record vs. Rochester: 100 GP - 42-50-7-0-1

¨ª Rochester¡¯s team leaders: Goals - Clarke MacArthur (14), Assists - Clarke MacArthur (27), Points - Clarke MacArthur (41), Plus / Minus - Brandon Smith (+13), Penalty Minutes - Martin Lojek (51)

¨ª Local players: Mike Card (Kitchener), Adam Dennis (Toronto), Greg Jacina (Guelph), Mark Mancari (London), Daniel Paille (Welland), Jeremy Swanson (Red Rock)

¨ª Ex-Bulldogs: None

TUNE IN TO Every Game on the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network

Fans can listen to every ¡®Dogs game this season on the flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network, 820 CHAM ¡°The Legend.¡± Fans can also listen to or watch every home and away game online at Hamilton Bulldogs. To watch or listen online, click on the ¡®B2 Networks¡¯ or ¡®820 CHAM¡¯ icon on the ¡®Dogs website. Ellery Award-winning broadcaster Derek Wills calls the play-by-play of all 80 regular season games, while Al Craig provides the colour commentary for all home games and select road games.

¡°B2 Power Play¡± packages are now available for purchase. They provide fans with a chance to watch every game of their favourite team, free access to the AHL Game of the Week and exclusive weekly highlights. And in addition to broadband viewing on personal computers, B2 Power Play will also be available on the new B2toGO network, allowing fans to watch American Hockey League games on cell phones and other wireless devices. A full season package costs $160 billed monthly at $20 per month or fans can pay for the season in full for $150. B2toGO, a service delivering live games and highlights to cell phones and hand-held Pads, are now available for purchase for a full season price of $56 over 8 instalments or $50 if paid in full. Fans who purchase "B2 Power Play" will be eligible to add "B2toGo" for only an additional $25.

GET YOUR TICKETS!

Hamilton Bulldogs tickets are on sale now! Individual game tickets are available at Copps Coliseum Box Office (in-person sales only), all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.ca or at select Sports Obsession locations. For information on season or group tickets visit Hamilton Bulldogs, or call (905) 529-8500 or 1-866-DOGS-TIX.

HAMILTON BULLDOGS SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007, 7:30 p.m. - Iowa Stars at Hamilton Bulldogs (Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario)

Friday, January 5th, 2007, 7:30 p.m. - Iowa Stars at Hamilton Bulldogs (Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario)

Saturday, January 6th, 2007, 7:00 p.m. - Rochester Americans at Hamilton Bulldogs (Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario)
 

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Wolf Pack Goaltender Al Montoya Named AHL Player of the Week

Hartford, January 2, 2007: The American Hockey League announced today that Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Al Montoya has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending December 31, 2006. In three road games last week, Montoya went 3-0-0 with two shutouts to help the Wolf Pack keep pace in the tight Atlantic Division.

Coming out of the Christmas break, Montoya stopped all 20 shots he faced in a 2-0 win at Worcester on Dec. 26 for his first shutout of the year. After another 20-save performance in a 3-2 win at Bridgeport on Friday, Montoya earned another shutout by making 28 stops in a 2-0 win at Portland on Sunday. Montoya stopped 68 of 70 shots on the week, good for a 0.67 goals-against average and a .971 save percentage.

In recognition of his achievement, Montoya will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Wolf Pack home game.

A 21-year-old native of Glenview, Ill., Montoya is on a personal four-game winning streak to improve his record to 6-9-0 on the season. In 18 appearances, he ranks seventh in the league with a 2.48 goals-against average and also sports a .910 save percentage. As a rookie in 2005-06, Montoya went 23-9-1 with a 2.61 GAA and .907 save percentage for Hartford and also played in the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic. He was the sixth overall pick by the New York Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany right wing Shane Willis, Chicago center Cory Larose, Grand Rapids center Kip Miller, Hershey center Joey Tenute, Houston right wing Mattias Weinhandl, Lowell left wing Chris Minard, Manchester goaltender Jason LaBarbera, Milwaukee left wing Ramzi Abid, Omaha center Andrei Taratukhin, Peoria center Trent Whitfield, Providence left wing T.J. Trevelyan, San Antonio center Pascal Rheaume, Springfield goaltender Karri Ramo, Syracuse center Joe Motzko, Toronto right wing Brett Engelhardt, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Noah Welch and Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss.

The Wolf Pack return to action tomorrow night, hosting the Providence Bruins at home (7:00 PM faceoff). The Manchester Monarchs return to the Civic Center Friday night (7:00) on Guida's Family Value Night, and that evening also features the "Go for Green" promotion, in which the Wolf Pack and Rockville Bank give away $1,000. On Saturday night the Pack visit Springfield to take on the Falcons (7:05) in the fourth installment of the DATTCO I-91 Challenge, and they are back at home on Sunday to battle Worcester in a 4:00 game.

Individual tickets for Wolf Pack games are on sale now at the Hartford Civic Center Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets may also be charged by phone at (860) 525-4500, (203) 744-8100, (203) 624-0033 or (413) 733-2500 or online at Official Ticketmaster site. Tickets for Concerts, Sports, Arts, Theater, Family, Events, more. Season tickets, five, 10 and 20 game packages and group tickets are also available. Contact 860-548-2000 for more details.

The AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack hockey club is part of Madison Square Garden LP. Cablevision Systems Corporation owns a controlling interest in MSG LP, which also includes the New York Rangers (NHL); New York Knicks (NBA); the New York Liberty (WNBA); MSG Entertainment, which includes concerts and events at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, and the Beacon Theatre; MSG Media, which is comprised of MSG and FSN New York; and the Madison Square Garden arena complex, located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area.
 

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Ward back with Aeros

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has reassigned RW Joel Ward to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL). Ward is expected to be available when the Aeros visit the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Ward, 26 (12/2/80), skated in six games with Minnesota and collected six shots, averaged 7:57 in ice and had a plus/minus rating of 0 after being recalled from Houston Dec. 13. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward made his NHL debut at Vancouver on Dec. 16 and recorded his first NHL point with an assist in his hometown of Toronto on Dec. 26.

Ward has posted seven points (3-4=7) and 18 penalty minutes in 23 games for the Aeros this season. In his rookie campaign of 2005-06, Ward totaled 22 points (8-14=22) and 34 penalty minutes in 66 games.
 

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JJ is movin' on up

JJ is movin' on up
01/02/07 - American Hockey League (AHL) Iowa Stars

Iowa Stars
DES MOINES, IA - Iowa Stars Director of Hockey Operations Scott White announced that the Iowa Stars have signed Center Jamie Johnson to a Professional Tryout Contract (PTO) Tuesday afternoon.

Born on January 23rd, 1982 Johnson joins the Stars after playing 26 games with the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL this season. In those 26 games, he has notched 12 goals and 23 assists: 26(12/23/35). The 5-11, 185-pound forward appeared in 68 games for the Iowa Stars last season, posting nine goals and 28 assists: 68(9/28/37).

Registering more than a point per game, he appeared in 72 games during the 2004-05 season with the Lynx. The Port Franks, Ontario native scored 22 goals while adding 58 assists in his sophomore professional campaign: 72(22/58/80)26. He began his professional career in 2003-04 with the Louisiana IceGators of the East Coast Hockey League, now the ECHL.

IOWA STARS INFO: The Stars hit the road for games in Hamilton, Ontario on Wednesday and Friday and in Toronto on Saturday. Iowa returns to Wells Fargo Arena on Friday, January 12th for a 7:00 PM face-off with the Houston Aeros. Friday's game is KCWI Date Night. One lucky couple will win round trip airfare to Las Vegas courtesy of Allegiant Air and couples can purchase two tickets, two hot dogs and two cokes for just $23! The following evening, the Toronto Marlies make their only trip to Des Moines. The first 1,500 fans through the turnstiles will receive a FREE Iowa Stars stocking cap! Doors open for all home games one hour before face-off. Bring a group or hold your child's birthday at a Stars game! All ticketing information can be obtained by calling 515-23-STARS or by visiting IowaStarsHockey.com.
 

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Lowell kicks off 2007 on the road

Last Week:

Wed 12/27 Manchester Monarchs 3 vs. Devils 1

Fri 12/29 NORFOLK ADMIRALS 4 vs. Devils 3

Sat 12/30 Devils 3 vs. PHILADELPHIA PHANTOMS 1

This Week:

Fri 1/5 Devils @ PHILADELPHIA PHANTOMS, 7:05 p.m.

Sat 1/6 Devils @ NORFOLK ADMIRALS, 7:15 p.m.

Rewind:

Wednesday, Monarchs 3 vs. DEVILS 1

The Devils opened up the scoring with a first period goal by Aaron Voros and led 1-0 after the opening frame. But visiting Manchester reeled off three straight tallies, including a pair in the final frame, for the win. Jason LaBarbera picked up the win, stopping 28 shots for the Monarchs.

Friday, ADMIRALS 4 vs. Devils 3

A breakaway by Carl Corazzini in the final minute of play yielded the game winning goal and spoiled a would-be comeback by the Devils in Norfolk. Patrick Davis and Andy Greene combined to erase a 3-1 deficit and tie the score in the third period. Corazzini's tally was his second of the game and his fourth in the two head-to-head meetings with Lowell.

Saturday, Devils 3 vs. PHANTOMS 1

Chris Minard scored twice and Tuomas Pihlman added a shorthanded goal to help the Devils post a 3-1 win in Philadelphia to close out 2006. After being outshot 14-6 in the opening period, Lowell outshot the Phantoms 23-14 over the remaining 40 minutes. Frank Doyle stopped 27 shots for the victory and added an assist on the Devils third period insurance tally.

In the standings

The Devils stand at 17-15-2-1 on the season, and their 37 points ranks fourth in the Atlantic Division. The Monarchs sit in first place with 45 points, and the Portland Pirates and Springfield Falcons are in a tie for second, just two points ahead of the Devils.

Coming Up

Lowell remains on the road for action this weekend, traveling back to Philadelphia on Friday (7:05 p.m.) and Norfolk on Saturday (7:15 p.m.). The Devils return home to host the Phantoms on Friday, January 12th (7:05 p.m.) and Sunday, January 14th (2:05 p.m.) Sunday's game is Red Sox Day, as fans will have the chance to meet Wally the Green Monster and win Sox prizes throughout the afternoon. All Sunday home games also feature a post-game skate, free for everyone in attendance, courtesy of Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union. Fans are being asked to donate New or partially used Hockey Equipment to the DEAFinately Hockey Program (Hockey for the Deaf). For every piece of equipment donated, fans will receive a Lowell Devils Mini Pennant.

The Devils also will host the Worcester Sharks in a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day afternoon matinee on Monday, January 15th at 2:05 p.m. There will be a team autograph session open to everyone in attendance after the game. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Devils office at (978) 458-PUCK or log on to The Official Website of the Lowell Devils. All Devils games, home and away, can be heard live on WCAP 980 AM, or online through B2 Networks at The Official Website of the Lowell Devils, with the Voice of the Devils, Ryan Johnston.

Holiday Hat Tricks still available

It's never too late to fulfill the needs of the hockey fan in your life with the gift of Lowell Devils hockey. The Devils are offering the Holiday Hat Trick - get a ticket to three games during the second half of the season and a Devils hat - for just $49.

Around the Horns

LW Ryan Murphy had the Devils first penalty shot attempt in team history on Wednesday night. He was stopped by G Jason LaBarbera.

C/LW Chris Minard has 5g-3a-8pts in his last six games, with two multi-goal outings.

LW Tuomas Pihlman scored the Devils second shorthanded goal of the season on Saturday.

D Andy Greene has 3g-3a-6pts in his last eight games. The rookie blueliner had 0g-7a-7pts in his first 27 games.

Frank Doyle recorded an assist on Saturday night, giving both Devils goalies a point on the season.

Doyle has climbed to eighth in the league in goals against average (GAA) at 2.49.

Leaders for Lowell:

Goals Minard (14)

Assists Papineau (17)

Points Papineau (29)

PIM Clarkson (78)

Plus/Minus Papineau (+7)

Wins Doyle (11)

G.A.A. Doyle (2.49)

Save % Doyle (.917)
 

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Monarchs Report

LAST WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS

At Lowell (12/27): The Manchester Monarchs took control of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 3-1 victory over the Lowell Devils at the Tsongas Arena on Wednesday night. Right wing Mike Hoffman, defenseman T.J. Kemp and left wing Jeff Giuliano tallied for the Monarchs. Right wing Aaron Voros scored the lone Devils goal. Monarchs netminder Jason LaBarbera stopped 28 shots for the win and Devils goaltender Frank Doyle made 35 saves. Manchester went 0-for-6 on the power play. Lowell was 1-for-7 with the man advantage.

Vs. Worcester (12/29): The Manchester Monarchs drowned the Worcester Sharks 5-3 at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night. Right wing John Zeiler scored twice for the Monarchs and right wing Ryan Murphy, defenseman Bryan Schmidt and right wing Tim Jackman added goals for the win. Right wing Graham Mink collected two of his own for Worcester and right wing Ashton Rome collected his third tally of the season for the Sharks. Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera earned the win with 33 saves. Sharks netminder Dimitri Patzold took the loss stopping 27 shots. Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.

At Hartford (12/30): Goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji earned his first AHL win of the season in his first start and left wing Noah Clarke made history in the Manchester Monarchs 5-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack at the Hartford Civic Center on Saturday night. Hartford's left wing Nigel Dawes and defenseman Marvin Degon put the Wolf Pack on the board early but the Monarchs answered back with five goals. Manchester's goal scorers were right wings Lauri Tukonen, Mike Hoffman and Tim Jackman, left wing Noah Clarke and defenseman Eric Werner. Fukufuji earned the win with 21 saves. Wolf Pack goaltender Stephen Valiquette took the loss stopping 12 shots. Manchester went 2-for-5 on the power play. Hartford was 2-for-6 with the man advantage.

Vs. (12/31): Left wing Noah Clarke, right wing Tim Jackman and defenseman Eric Werner tallied goals and goaltender Jason LaBarbera earned his fourth shutout of the season in the Manchester Monarchs 3-0 blanking of the Springfield Falcons at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday night. LaBarbera stopped all 26 shots he faced. Falcons goaltender Jonathan Boutin took the loss with 24 saves. Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Springfield was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

MONARCHS NEWS & NOTES

The Monarchs (19-10-6-1) are in first place in the Atlantic Division with 45 points.

Manchester has a home record of 11-4-4-0 and a road record of 8-6-2-1.

The Monarchs power play is ranked sixth in the AHL after 36 games with a 20.7-percent man advantage scoring percentage. Manchester has scored 40 goals on 193 opportunities so far this season with the man advantage.

Manchester's penalty kill is ranked 23rd in the league after letting in 41 goals on 197 situations when the team has been down a man for a 79.2 percentage.

At home, the Monarchs are undefeated in their last six games at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Manchester is also undefeated in regulation in their last 12 games at home with a record of 9-0-3-0.

The Monarchs are on a four-game win streak after beating the Lowell Devils 3-1 on Wednesday, December 27; topping the Worcester Sharks 5-3 on Friday, December 29, skating to a 5-2 victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, December 30 and blanking the Springfield Falcons 3-0 on Sunday, December 31.

Left wing Noah Clarke leads the Monarchs in scoring with 28 points (12-16=28).

Clarke's 12 goals also lead the team.

Clarke scored his 11th goal of the season on Saturday versus the Wolf Pack to surpass center Michael Cammalleri (71) on the all-time goals scored list for the Monarchs with his 72 goal. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound native of LaVerne, California, has 73 goals in 235 Monarchs games from 2002-2006. Clarke's goal on Saturday ended a 15 game goal-scoring drought.

Clarke's two points (a goal and an assist) on Saturday in the Monarchs 5-2 win over Hartford moved him into first place on the Monarchs all-time scoring list with 169 points (72-97=169) as a Monarchs player. Clarke passed Cammalleri who had 168 points (71-97=168) in 133 games from 2002-05.

Clarke leads the Monarchs all-time in goals (73), points (170) and power play goals (24) and he is tied with Cammalleri for second place in assists with 97 each.

Center Patrick O'Sullivan (11-12=23) is in second place in scoring for the Monarchs with 23 points.

O'Sullivan is also in second place for Manchester with 11 goals.

Left wing Matt Moulson (8-14=22) is ranked third on the Monarchs roster with 22 points.

Defenseman T.J. Kemp leads Manchester's blueliners with 20 points (3-17=20) and is tied for fourth on the Monarchs squad in scoring with right wing John Zeiler (10-10=20).

Kemp is tied for fifth place among AHL defensemen with 20 points.

Rookie Kemp is also tied for the Monarchs team lead in assists with defenseman Peter Harrold (2-17=19), they both have 17.

Harrold is second on Manchester's squad among defensemen and is ranked sixth overall with 19 points.

Defensemen Brendan Buckley and Eric Werner scored their first goals of the season in the Monarchs 3-2 win over the Lowell Devils on Wednesday, December 20. Defenseman Doug Nolan is the lone Monarchs player without a goal this season.

Goaltender Jason LaBarbera is first in the league among minutes played with 1,814 minutes in 31 games.

Friday's game against the Worcester Sharks was LaBarbera's 19th consecutive game in a Monarchs uniform which tied him with netminder Travis Scott for the most consecutive appearances by a Monarchs goaltender. Scott appeared in 19 straight games from February 19, 2003 to March 22, 2003 with a record of 6-10-3 (three ties). LaBarbera's record in his 19 consecutive games from November 18 to December 29 was 11-5-3-0. The streak ended for LaBarbera when netminder Yutaka Fukufuji started between the pipes for the Monarchs on Saturday, December 30, a 5-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.

LaBarbera is ranked first in the AHL in the saves category with 909 on the season.

LaBarbera is ranked second in the league with a save-percentage of .928 and he is fifth among goaltenders with a goals-against-average of 2.35.

LaBarbera has played in 216 AHL games with the Monarchs and Wolf Pack. He has a record of 109-67-20, a goals-against-average of 2.17 and a save-percentage of .926 in 11,995 minutes of work between the pipes and 5,403 saves in the AHL.

LaBarbera collected his fourth shutout of the season on Sunday, December 31 versus the Falcons stopping all 26 shots he faced. His 25 AHL career shutouts with the Monarchs and Wolf Pack lead all active goaltenders and ranks seventh all time in the AHL.

Fukufuji made his first start in net for the Monarchs on Saturday, December 30 and came out with his first win of the season with a 5-2 victory over the Wolf Pack. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound native of Tokyo, Japan, has only appeared in one other game with the Monarchs this season when he replaced LaBarbera for the third period in the 6-4 loss to the Worcester Sharks on Friday, December 22.

Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust, on recall with the Los Angeles Kings, has played in seven NHL games this season collecting a record of 2-2-1, a 3.08 goals-against-average and a .900 save-percentage with the Kings.

TRANSACTIONS

The Monarchs did not have any player movement this week.

INJURIES

12-30-06 Right wing Ryan Murphy is week-to-week with a shoulder injury.
 

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Moose finish busiest month ever with a bang

The Moose earned six of a possible eight points in week 13, earning at least a point in all four contests versus their North Division rivals along the way. The Moose started their post Christmas schedule with another match-up versus the Hamilton Bulldogs. For the second game in a row between these clubs they needed a shootout to decide a winner, as the Moose fell 3-2 to the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum. The following night the Moose travelled to Toronto to take on the Marlies and earned their 16th win of the season. The team then returned home to host the Syracuse Crunch in the final two games of 2006. The Moose lost the first game on Saturday Dec. 30/06 in overtime, and then rebounded in front of the largest crowd of the season at the MTS Centre on New Year's Eve with a 4-3 victory.

Wednesday night the Moose played their third straight game versus the Hamilton Bulldogs this time at Copps Coliseum where the Moose have not had a lot of success in their history. Manitoba jumped out to an early 2-0 first period lead, but then saw the Bulldogs come-back with two goals of their own to tie it in the sescond period. Neither team could score after that and for the second straight game the Moose and Bulldogs would need a shootout to decide a winner. The Bulldogs would come out on top again as they won 3-2. The game was the fourth straight time that the Moose needed more than 60:00 of hockey to decide a winner dating back to San Antonio on Dec. 17/06, the longest such streak in team history.

Thursday night the Moose travelled to Toronto to take on the Marlies, a team the Moose have had a great deal of success against in the past. Toronto was up 3-1 midway through the second, before the Moose battled back to score four unanswered goals to earn a 5-3 victory. Manitoba improved their overall record versus the Marlies to 8-0-1-1 with the win.

The team then returned home to host the Syracuse Crunch in back-to-back contests at the MTS Centre, their final two games of the 2006 calendar year. Saturday's game saw the Moose make an incredible come-back with less than 2:00 to go in the game, only to lose in the overime frame to the Crunch. With the Moose on a powerplay and trailing by two goals, Scott Arniel pulled Wade Flaherty with over 2:30 left to give the Moose a 6-on-4 advantage. The move paid off as Lee Goren scored his tenth goal of the season to cut the Crunch lead to one goal. Then with Flats still on the bench, Goren scored his second goal in :23 to tie the game for the home team and send it to overtime. Unfortunately Mark Hartigan spoiled the Moose come-back effort by roofing his second goal of the game at the 1:50 mark of OT. The Moose did manage to get a point which meant that they had earned points in six straight contests.

In the rematch on New Year's Eve the Moose were looking to finish the year on a winning note. The teams went into the second period tied at one goal apiece, when the teams went a goal-scoring flurry with two goals each in the span of 3:24. The Moose finished the second period with one more goal than the Crunch and held on for a scoreless third period to earn the 4-3 victory. The win gave the Moose their highest December point total in their history with 20 points. The Moose finished the 2006 calendar year third in the North Division standings with an overall record of 17-13-5-4, one point out of second and just four points behind first place Rochester.

The Moose are in the midst of their longest home-stand of the season of eight games. This week the Moose will host the first place Rochester Americans in back-to-back contests Thursday January 4th and Friday January 5th. With victories in both games the Moose could potentially move into a tie with the Americans in the standings.

MOOSE NOTES

December record: With the 4-3 victory over the Syracuse Crunch on New Year's Eve the Moose matched their best point total ever in the month of December with 20. The Moose played 17 games in 26 days during the month of December, the most games ever played in any month by the team in their history. The Moose finished the month with a record of 8-5-2-2, and currently sit third in the North Division standings with an overall record of 17-13-5-4 in 39 games played. The previous record for the most games played in a month was 16, which was done three times in Jan/03, Jan/05 and Nov/05. Since joining the AHL, the best December record the Moose have posted was back in 2001-02 when the team went 8-7-0-1 for 17 of a possible 36 points. The worst December in Moose franchise history was in 1997-98 when the team only managed 11 of a possible 22 points, with a 4-4-0-3 record. Last season the Moose went 7-4-0-0, collecting 14 of a possible 22 points. The best December for the team, dating back to the IHL, was set in 1999-2000 when the Moose earned 20 points in the standings with a 9-4-0-2 record.

Jaffray setting new standards: Moose forward Jason Jaffray is off to the best start of his professional hockey career this season, as he has scored 20 goals and 20 assists in just 38 games. Jaffray is on pace to score 40 goals this season something only two other Moose players have managed to do in team history, Scott Thomas (45) in 1998-99 and Greg Pankewicz (42) in 1997-98. Jaffray is improving on his best season in the AHL last year when he scored 12 goals and 35 assists for 47 points in 73 games played. He is the current team-leader in goals-scored (20), powerplay goals (8), and game-winning goals (5).

New Year's Eve record: The New Year's Eve contest has been an annual event for Winnipeg hockey fans for several seasons. With the 4-3 win over the Syracuse Crunch on Sunday, the Moose improved their record to 7-5-0-0 on the last night of the year dating back to their IHL days. Last season, the Moose hosted the Toronto Marlies, earning a 1-0 shutout over their North Division rivals thanks to 16 saves by Wade Flaherty. The Moose have played one road game on New Year's Eve in their history when they dropped a 6-2 decision to the Blades in Kansas City on Dec. 31.

UPCOMING OPPONENTS

The Moose will host the Rochester Americans for the second time this season at the MTS Centre. Earlier this season the Americans defeated the Moose in back-to-back contests by identical 3-2 scores on December 5th and 6th. This season the Moose are 0-3-1-0 in four games played versus Rochester, and hold an overall record of 10-11-2-1 in 24 regular season games versus the Americans.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE

#37 Lee Goren - Right Wing

Lee Goren appeared in all four games for the Moose this week, collecting four goals and three assists for seven points including two late goals versus the Syracuse Crunch on Dec. 30/06 to send the game into overtime for the Moose...The two-goal game was the first multi-goal effort of the season for the Winnipeg native...Goren now sits third in team scoring with 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points in 31 games played...Goren is currently on a three-game-goal-scoring streak, during which he has scored four goals and added three assists with a +6 rating in that stretch...
 

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Sunday Events Rescheduled Due to Eagles Game

Global Spectrum, operators of the Wachovia Complex for facility owners Comcast-Spectacor, today rescheduled two events currently scheduled for Sunday, January 7, 2007, to accommodate the National Football League playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on the same day.

The Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes performance scheduled for Sunday, January 7 at 5 p.m. is rescheduled to 10 a.m. that same day. Patrons holding tickets for the rescheduled 5 p.m. performance have two options:

* They may attend the 10 a.m. performance utilizing the same tickets and sitting in the same seats.

* They may exchange their tickets for any other performance of Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes while it performs at Wachovia Center from Thursday, January 4 through Sunday, January 7.

The scheduled 1 p.m. performance of Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes will continue as planned, although patrons holding tickets to this performance also have the option of exchanging their tickets for any other performance of Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes while it performs at Wachovia Center on the following dates and times:

Thursday, January 4 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Friday, January 5 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 6 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 7 p.m.

Sunday, January 7 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The Philadelphia Phantoms vs. the Grand Rapids Griffins, which was scheduled for the Wachovia Spectrum on Sunday, January 7 at 5:05 p.m., will now be played at the Wachovia Spectrum on Monday, January 8 at 7:05 p.m. Patrons holding tickets for the game may use their tickets on the rescheduled date or they may exchange them for another game during the remainder of the 2007 season, excluding playoffs.

"With the expected attendance at the football game and the heavy traffic congestion associated with the game, we felt it was in the best interest of our customers to make special arrangements and reschedule the previously scheduled events," said Global Spectrum's Tim Murphy, General Manager of Wachovia Complex. "While we know many people have purchased tickets to these events, we have made it possible for them to exchange their tickets for another performance of Disney on Ice during the week or another Phantoms game during the season."

Patrons wishing to exchange their tickets may do so at the Wachovia Complex Box Office prior to the newly selected date of the desired performance or game. Additional tickets are still available for Disney On Ice presents Princess Wishes and Philadelphia Phantoms hockey by calling ComcastTIX at 1-800-298-4200 or visiting ComcastTIX.com.
 

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Portland Pirates Weekly Report

Saturday, January 6th - Pirates vs. Sharks 7:05 p.m.

The UnumProvident Challenge continues on Saturday when the Pirates face off against the Worcester Sharks. The UnumProvident Challenge between the Portland Pirates and the Worcester Sharks will take place over the 10 game AHL 2006-2007 regular season series. The team that wins the series will be awarded the UnumProvident Cup. On Saturday, the Sharks earned a 3-1 series lead with their 3-2 shootout win over the Pirates. As part of the challenge funds will be raised for charity in each community. For more on the UnumProvident Challenge, click here!

Saturday will also be Positive 89.3 Night with the Portland Pirates Foundation, featuring Matthew West in a pre-game concert. Special discount tickets are available for the game at Positive 89.3 WMSJ. The Pre-game concert will begin at 4:00 PM. Doors open at 3:00 p.m. Tickets purchased for the hockey game also serve as a ticket to the concert.

Saturday's contest against the Sharks will be televised live on Time Warner Cable in Cumberland and York Counties on Time Warner Cable Channel 22 and in former Adelphia service areas wherever TW9 is available. The broadcast begins at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 7th - Pirates vs. Monarchs 4:05 p.m.

The UMaine Alumni Association, working with the Pirates and the University Credit Union (UCU), has put together a Salute to Eric Weinrich. The first 2,500 people at the game will receive a commemorative hockey puck featuring Eric's likeness courtesy of UCU. While at the game, fans will be eligible to win a "Black Bear" wood stove courtesy of Jotul Wood Stoves and two UMaine hockey jerseys autographed Eric Weinrich.

AAA Family Five Packs, available for all Sunday home games, provide you with 5 Main Deck Tickets, 5 Hot Dogs or Pizza Slices, 5 Sodas, and 1 "Daily Scroll" Coupon all for the discounted price of $50. For more information, call the Pirates at (207) 828-4665.

Throwback Jersey Auction!

The first group of these special jerseys is now available for purchase through an online auction. The minimum bid for each jersey is $250 (USD) and the minimum bid increment is $25. The current highest bids will be posted daily on Portland Pirates - Home. All bids must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 5th. At the close of the auction, an email will be sent to the winning bidder for each jersey. Don't miss your chance at a piece of Pirates History, click here to place your bid!

Look for the next group of jerseys online beginning Saturday, January 6th.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS

Want to have breakfast with the boys? Visit Eggspectation at 125 Western Ave. in South Portland and enter to win Breakfast with the Boys. Two lucky fans, each with three guests, will enjoy much more than eggs when they have free breakfast with two Pirates players at Eggspectation at 7am Tuesday, February 27th. Following breakfast, the winners will take a trip to a Pirates team practice where you can watch practice, take pictures and get a VIP tour of the Pirates locker room.

Free Kids Tickets at Wendy's

The Portland Pirates and Wendy's are proud to announce that they have partnered once again to offer FREE kids tickets at greater Portland area Wendy's. Pirates fans can visit local Wendy's restaurants and pick up a coupon for a FREE kids ticket to any 2006-07 Pirates home game. In addition, any time the Pirates win a home game, fans can bring their ticket stubs to local Wendy's restaurants - either that night or the following day - to receive a FREE small chili.

Special Offer at Costa Vida

Bring your Portland Pirates ticket stub to Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill and score a free appetizer or dessert with purchase of an entrée.

THE WEEK AHEAD...

Wall Headed Back to Portland

The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has reassigned goaltender Michael Wall to the Portland Pirates, Anaheim's primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Wall is expected to arrive in time for the Pirates game on Friday night in Springfield.

Youth Hockey Appearance presented by Country Kitchen

On Wednesday, January 3rd, Pirates players Bjorn Melin, Clay Wilson and Petteri Wirtanen will participate in Pirates Youth Hockey Appearances presented by Country Kitchen. The one hour sessions will take place in Portland and Auburn. The clinics are part of the Pirates Youth Hockey appearances this season presented by Country Kitchen. To find out more information about these Youth Hockey appearances presented by Country Kitchen, call the Pirates at (207) 828-4665.

WCSH 6 Coach's Corner

Head Coach Kevin Dineen recently sat down with Lee Goldberg for a brand new edition of coach's corner now produced and presented by WCSH 6 which can be seen at Portland Pirates - Home.

Eye on the Pirates

Every Thursday during the 6 o'clock news on WCSH 6, sports anchor Lee Goldberg focuses on the Pirates top stories and headlines and previews the upcoming weekend.

Pirates players on WJBQ and WBLM

This Thursday at 8:10 a.m. on WJBQ 97.9 FM Pirates forward Zenon Konopka will be in studio to talk about the Pirates upcoming home games with Meredith, Jeff and Lori. At 8:30 a.m. the players will also be on WBLM 102.9 FM with "The Captain" and Celeste.
 

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P-Bruins Receive Toivonen, Boston Recalls Sauve

Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, member of the American Hockey League, announced today that they have added goaltender Hannu Toivonen from the Boston Bruins, while fellow netminder Philippe Sauve returns to Boston. Providence now has 26 players on its roster, including 14 forwards, eight defensemen and four goaltenders.

Toivonen, 22, is 2-4-0 with a 3.05 goal-against-average in six games for the P-Bruins this season, most recently appearing in net for Providence December 10 in a 3-2 shootout win over the Worcester Sharks at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. In 10 games with Boston, the fourth-year goalie was 2-5-0 (one no decision) with a 4.31 GAA. His last time between the pipes, he allowed five goals in a 5-0 Boston loss to the Nashville Predators Saturday night. Taken 29th overall by Boston in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Toivonen last played for Providence during the 2004-05 NHL lockout season, compiling a 29-18-3 record and 2.05 GAA in 54 games, two wins shy of the P-Bruins' all-time single-season record. That year, the native of Hattula, Finland, also appeared in 17 post-season contests while leading Providence to the Calder Cup Finals. The prior season, 2003-04, Toivonen went 15-16-4 with a 2.30 GAA. In his first full season in the NHL a year ago, he was 9-5-4 with a 2.63 GAA in 20 games.

Sauve, 26, is in his seventh professional season. This year, the netminder, acquired in a trade from the Phoenix Coyotes' organization on November 14 for center Tyler Redenbach, is 8-13-1 with a 3.59 GAA in 23 AHL contests. With Providence, Sauve is 4-8-1 with a 3.44 GAA after ten games with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, going 4-5 with a 3.80 GAA. After being called up to Boston on November 24, Sauve appeared in one game, playing 29 minutes in no-decision relief of Tim Thomas that evening against the Carolina Hurricanes. He stopped 13 shots while allowing two goals. Last year, Sauve began the season with the Calgary Flames before being traded to the Coyotes with Steve Reinprecht for Brian Boucher and Mike Leclerc. In 13 games he went 3-7. Prior to the 2005-06 season, Sauve was traded from the Colorado Avalanche to the Coyotes for a conditional draft pick. Sauve made his NHL debut on October 18, 2003 with the Avalanche in a 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. That season, the Buffalo, New York native played in 17 games for the Avalanche going 7-7-3 with a 3.04 GAA. In 2002-03, Sauve spent his third season with the AHL's Hershey Bears setting career highs in minutes played, games played (60) and wins (26), while being named Hershey's Team MVP for the third consecutive season. In 2001-02, his 2.13 GAA was the second lowest in franchise history and he led the AHL in games played, ranked second for wins, minutes played, shutouts and goals against average. Sauve was originally drafted by the Avalanche in the second round (38th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

The P-Bruins conclude their eight-game road trip Wednesday, January 3 against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the Hartford Civic Center at 7:00 p.m. The P-Bruins return home to The Dunk Friday, January 5 to take on the Worcester Sharks at 7:05 p.m. For tickets call the team ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log onto the team website at Providence Bruins - Free Give-A-Way Fridays.
 

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Cunneyworth approaches Crozier's 260 regular season wins

(Rochester, NY)... The Rochester Americans (23-9-1-0, 47 pts.) escaped their four-game holiday stretch with a split and a three-point lead over the Hamilton Bulldogs (21-13-1-1, 44 pts.) in the North Division. They will now finish up their current five-game road trip this week with three games in three nights.

Amerks Head Coach Randy Cunneyworth, with 257 career regular season wins behind the Amerks bench, is quickly approaching Joe Crozier's 260 wins. Crozier is second on the team's all-time wins list and won three Calder Cups (1964-65, 1965-66, 1967-68) during his coaching tenure from 1963-68. John Van Boxmeer leads all Amerks head coaches with 333 wins and 690 games coached.

Cunneyworth is currently in his seventh season with the Amerks and has already reached two coaching milestones this season. On November 26th, the Amerks skipper won his 250th regular season game and just one game later, on December 1st, he celebrated his 500th regular season game as the Amerks head coach.

The Amerks will play a two-game series against the Manitoba Moose on Thursday, January 4th and Friday, January 5th at MTS Centre. The 8:30 p.m. EST contests will be broadcast live on Hot Talk WHTK, whtk.com and B2 Networks. The games will also be broadcast live on TWSN.

The Amerks are 4-0-0 this season and 14-10-0 all-time against the Moose. Craig Anderson backstopped all four of the Amerks' wins and has posted a 2.50 GAA against Manitoba this season. Clarke MacArthur has led the Amerks, earning three goals and three assists against the Moose. He also leads the Amerks with 14 goals and 27 assists in 31 games, good enough for seventh in the American Hockey League. Moose forward Brad Moran has led Manitoba with two goals and four assists in four games against the Amerks this season.

The Amerks will finish up their road trip with one game against the Hamilton Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum on Saturday, January 6th. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Hot Talk 1280 WHTK, whtk.com and B2 Networks.

The Bulldogs have beaten the Amerks in three of their first four meetings this season, but the Amerks own the all-time series with a record of 51-41-8 against their North Division rivals. Drew Stafford has led the Amerks in their 2006-07 campaign against the Bulldogs with three goals, two assists and a plus-three rating in three games. Hamilton forward Andrei Kostitsyn has picked apart the Amerks' defense posting three goals and seven assists in four games against Rochester.

The Amerks split their four games between Christmas and New Years. On December 26th, Rochester dropped a 3-2 decision to the Hamilton Bulldogs at The Blue Cross Arena. Mike Funk scored in his second consecutive game, while Stefan Meyer netted the Amerks' other goal. Craig Anderson made 20 saves in the losing effort. Ajay Baines, Duncan Milroy and Corey Locke netted Hamilton's three goals, while Yann Danis stopped 25 of 27 Amerk shots to pick up his 10th win of the season.

On December 29th, Amerk goaltender Adam Dennis made 33 saves, many of them spectacular, to lift Rochester to a 5-3 win over the Binghamton Senators at The Blue Cross Arena. The rookie goaltender has worn a plain white helmet all season, but donned a newly painted mask for this game. Marek Zagrapan (1goal), Greg Jacina (1+1), Janis Sprukts (1+1), Stefan Meyer (1+1) and Daniel Paille (1 goal) netted markers for the Amerks. The Amerks had a season-high 10,563 fans show up at The Blue Cross Arena to cheer them to victory. Rochester is currently third in the AHL in attendance, as they are averaging 7,807 fans per home contest. Hershey leads the league with an average of attendance of 8,384.

The Amerks picked up a 5-3 win over the Western Conference leading Chicago Wolves on December 30th at Allstate Arena. The game was the first of a five-game road trip and kicked-off an 11-game stretch in which the Amerks will play 10 games away from The Blue Cross Arena.

The Amerks closed out 2006 with a 3-0 shutout loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena on December 31st. Craig Anderson made 18 saves in net for the Amerks. Kip Miller led the Griffins' offense with one goal and two assists, while Darryl Bootland and Josh Langfeld contributed with a goal apiece. Jimmy Howard stopped all 32 Amerk shots to earn his second shut out of the season.

Amerks Quick Numbers

- Clarke MacArthur's 27 assists are good enough for fifth in the league.

- Janis Sprukts is second among league rookies with 23 assists... His 32 points (9+23) is fourth among league rookies.

- Brandon Smith is third among league defensemen with 23 points (6+17)

- The Amerks were 7-7 in the month of December and are 9-8-1 in their last 18 games.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hartigan One Away From All-Time Goals Mark

HARTIGAN ONE AWAY FROM ALL-TIME GOAL MARK; SIX MORE MAKE WAY ONTO CHART: With his goal on Sunday, December 31 at Manitoba, Crunch left wing Mark Hartigan moved within one goal of tying Lonny Bohonos (104) on the all-time goals list in just 214 games played. Hartigan and Bohonos are the only two Crunch players in history to tally 100 goals in a Crunch uniform. Bohonos accomplished the feat in 199 games. Hartigan is also first with 18 game-winning goals, 44 power play goals, third with 205 points and fifth on the assists list with 102.

Right wing Joe Motzko enters tonight tied with Brad Moran with nine shorthanded goals all-time, fourth with 202 points, 119 assists and 83 goals, fifth with 32 power play goals and 243 games played. Defenseman Derrick Walser is tied with Mathieu Darche for fifth with 10 game-winning goals, eighth with 86 assists, tenth with 129 points all-time and 22 power play goals all-time, while center Ben Simon is tied for eighth with four shorthanded goals. Center Geoff Platt is tied for eighth with Brian Loney with 23 power play goals and is tied for eighth with four shorthanded goals. Center Andrew Murray is tied for sixth (Reggie Savage) with five shorthanded goals. Goaltender Tomas Popperle made his way onto the all-time shutout list, recording his second on Wednesday, December 27 vs. Toronto, tying him for sixth.

POPPERLE RECORDS SECOND SHUTOUT AND FACES 57 SHOTS LAST WEEK: Despite allowing four goals in the Crunch's 4-3 loss to Manitoba on Sunday, December 31, Tomas Popperle fared well in his other two contests during the week. On Wednesday, December 27, Popperle stopped all 41 Toronto shots en route to a 4-0 win and his second shutout of the season. Two nights later on Friday, December 29, Popperle stopped 55 of 57 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shots in the Crunch's 3-2 shootout loss to the Penguins. In 19 games this season, Popperle has a 7-11-1 record, a 3.43 goals against average and an .890 save percentage.

LINSTROM RETURNED: The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the Columbus Blue Jackets have returned left wing Joakim Lindstrom.

Lindstrom, 23, has collected one goal in two games with Columbus this season, tallying his first NHL goal at Minnesota on December 29. He has tallied two goals, six assists and four penalty minutes in 14 games with Syracuse this season. A native of Skelleftea, Sweden, Lindstrom was selected by Columbus in the second round, 41st overall, in the 2002 Entry Draft.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:

TORONTO (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): Syracuse travels to Toronto tonight for the sixth of eight regular season meetings. Toronto leads the series 3-2, despite being shutout by Syracuse 4-0 on December 27 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Right wing Joe Motzko leads all players in head-to-head scoring with six points (4g, 2a). Right wing Brett Engelhardt (3g, 2a) and center Erik Westrum (1g, 4a) lead all Toronto players with five points in head-to-head scoring. Tomas Popperle has appeared in three games for Syracuse, posting a 2-1-0 record, a 2.67 goals against average and .918 save percentage. Jean-Francoise Racine has appeared in net four times for the Marlies, posting a 3-1-0 record, a 2.00 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 4-7-0 against the Marlies.

SAN ANTONIO (PHOENIX COYOTES): Syracuse travels to San Antonio on Thursday, January 4 for the first of two regular season meetings. Center Yanick Lehoux leads the Rampage with 35 points (15g, 20a). Goaltenders Josh Tordjman (6-6-1 record, 2.50 goals against average and .924 save percentage) and David LeNeveu (2-9-0 record, 4.15 goals against average and .879 save percentage) have split time in net for San Antonio. Lifetime, the Crunch are 2-2-0 against the Rampage.

HOUSTON (MINNESOTA WILD): Syracuse visits Houston on Saturday, January 6 for the first of two regular season meetings. Right wing Matt Foy leads all Houston players with 27 points (15g, 12a). Goaltender Josh Harding has appeared in 30 games for Houston, posting a 13-13-3 record, a 2.49 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 1-3-0 against the Aeros.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS:

January

Coleman's 'Dinner and a Game' Program: The Syracuse Crunch announced the details of the Coleman's 'Dinner and a Game' program.

During the month of January any party that orders two (2) dinner entrees will receive a Crunch ticket voucher valid for two (2) tickets to a future Crunch home game of the customer's choice.

January 8

Labatt's Celebrity Bartending Series Continues at Change of Pace: The Syracuse Crunch, along with Labatt's, announced that the Labatt's Celebrity Bartending series will continue on Monday, January 8 at Change of Pace.

Crunch players Ryan Caldwell, Mark Hartigan and Joe Motzko will serve as celebrity bartenders at Change of Pace from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, January 8. Change of Pace is located on 1802 Grant Blvd. in Syracuse. For directions call (315) 472-4409.

All tips generated by the players that night will be donated to the Onondaga Youth Hockey Association.

January 10

Celebrity Bartending Series Continues at Crossroads Tavern on January 10: The Syracuse Crunch, along with Labatt's, announced today that the Labatt's Celebrity Bartending series will continue on Wednesday, January 10 at Crossroads Tavern.

Crunch players Andy Canzanello, Geoff Platt and Ben Simon will serve as celebrity bartenders at Crossroads Tavern from 5 - 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 10. Crossroads Tavern is located on 7th North Street in Liverpool.

All tips generated by the players that night will be donated to the Francis House. Established in January 1991, Francis House has become the home for hundreds of people with terminal illnesses, whose families could no longer care for them.

January 11

Janne Hauhtonen and Andrew Murray To Sign Autographs at Coleman's: The Syracuse Crunch announced that Crunch players Janne Hauhtonen and Andrew Murray will be at Coleman's located on Tipperary Hill on Thursday, January 11 from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. to sign autographs.

Crunch Announce Details of Tully's Good Times Air Hockey Tournament: The Syracuse Crunch announced the details of the Tully's Air Hockey Tournament to be held on Thursday, January 11 at the Tully's Good Times located in Liverpool at 6:00 p.m.

Fans will have the opportunity to compete against Crunch players Filip Novak, Alexandre Picard, Geoff Platt and Jekabs Redlihs and other fans in an elimination air hockey tournament. A total of six teams will be selected; four fan teams and two Crunch teams.

Anyone interested in competing can email the Crunch at [email protected] (include your name, address and phone number).

The deadline to register is Tuesday, January 9. The randomly selected fans will be notified by phone or email. The tournament winner will receive dinner for two (2) at Tully's, two (2) tickets to a Crunch game and a piece of Crunch merchandise.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE: The Crunch's weekly schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, January 2 11:15 a.m. skate @ Ricoh Coliseum

7:30 p.m. game @ Toronto

Wednesday, January 3 Travel to San Antonio

Thursday, January 4 11:15 a.m. (12:15 p.m. EST) practice @ AT&T Center

7:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. EST) game @ San Antonio

Friday, January 5 Travel to Houston

Saturday, January 6 11:15 a.m. (12:15 p.m. EST) practice @ Toyota Center

7:35 p.m. (8:35 p.m. EST) game @ Houston

Sunday, January 7 Travel to Syracuse

*All practice times and locations subject to change

CRUNCHABLES: Defenseman Tomas Kloucek tallied his first point, an assist, in a Crunch uniform on Sunday, December 31 @ Manitoba.. Right wing Jeffrey Szwez recorded his first goal of the season on Sunday, December 31 @ Manitoba... Defenseman Andy Canzanello's assist on Sunday, December 31 broke a seven-game point drought... Left wing Mark Hartigan (3g) is on a two-game goal streak... On Friday, December 29, Tomas Popperle faced 57 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton shots, a team season high, en route to a 3-2 shootout loss.

2006-07 RECORD: 10-21-1-2, 23 points (4-10-11 home, 6-11-0-1 road), sixth place, North Division

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Tuesday, January 2, 2007 @ Toronto (14-17-2-3), 33 points, fifth place, North Division

Thursday, January 4 @ San Antonio (12-20-1-1), 26 points, seventh place, West Division

Saturday, January 6 @ Houston (14-17-0-3), 31 points, sixth place, West Division

LAST WEEK'S RESULT

Tuesday, December 26 BINGHAMTON 4 Crunch 2

Wednesday, December 27 CRUNCH 4 Toronto 0

Friday, December 29 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 SO CRUNCH 2

Saturday, December 30 Crunch 5 OT MANITOBA 4

Sunday, December 31 MANITOBA 4 Crunch 3

HOME TEAM IN CAPS
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Columbus Recalls Motzko

Syracuse, NY (January 2, 2007) - The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled right wing Joe Motzko.

Motzko, 26, has appeared in 31 games this season with Syracuse, recording a team-high 34 points (11g, 23a) and 29 penalty minutes. He is currently tied for first (Brad Moran) with nine shorthanded goals all-time, fourth with 202 points, 83 goals and 119 assists, fifth with 32 power play goals 243 games played. A native of Bemidji, Minnesota, Motzko was signed as a free agent by Columbus on May 15, 2003.

The Crunch travel to Toronto tonight for a 7:30 p.m. match-up. Syracuse returns to the War Memorial at Oncenter on Saturday, January 13 to host Rochester. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the Crunch office at (315) 473-4444, stopping by the Oncenter box office located on the State Street side of the War Memorial or by calling TicketMaster at (315) 472-0700.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wolf Pack's Montoya named CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today that Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Al Montoya has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending December 31, 2006. In three road games last week, Montoya went 3-0-0 with two shutouts to help the Wolf Pack keep pace in the tight Atlantic Division.

Coming out of the Christmas break, Montoya stopped all 20 shots he faced in a 2-0 win at Worcester on Dec. 26 for his first shutout of the year. After another 20-save performance in a 3-2 win at Bridgeport on Friday, Montoya earned another shutout by making 28 stops in a 2-0 win at Portland on Sunday. Montoya stopped 68 of 70 shots on the week, good for a 0.67 goals-against average and a .971 save percentage.

In recognition of his achievement, Montoya will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Wolf Pack home game.

A 21-year-old native of Glenview, Ill., Montoya is on a personal four-game winning streak to improve his record to 6-9-0 on the season. In 18 appearances, he ranks seventh in the league with a 2.48 goals-against average and also sports a .910 save percentage. As a rookie in 2005-06, Montoya went 23-9-1 with a 2.61 GAA and .907 save percentage for Hartford and also played in the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic. He was the sixth overall pick by the New York Rangers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany right wing Shane Willis, Chicago center Cory Larose, Grand Rapids center Kip Miller, Hershey center Joey Tenute, Houston right wing Mattias Weinhandl, Lowell left wing Chris Minard, Manchester goaltender Jason LaBarbera, Milwaukee left wing Ramzi Abid, Omaha center Andrei Taratukhin, Peoria center Trent Whitfield, Providence left wing T.J. Trevelyan, San Antonio center Pascal Rheaume, Springfield goaltender Karri Ramo, Syracuse center Joe Motzko, Toronto right wing Brett Engelhardt, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Noah Welch and Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Moose surging into new year

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The Manitoba Moose will become the first team to hit the halfway point of its 2006-07 season when they take to the ice for Game 40 on Thursday night. But the Moose have come out of a hectic stretch of games within striking distance of first place in the AHL's North Division.

Manitoba played 17 games in 31 days during the month of December, with road trips to Pennsylvania, Texas and Ontario sprinkled in among eight games back home in Winnipeg. The Moose went 8-5-2-2 along the way and have earned points in 11 of their last 12 (7-1-2-2), closing to within four points of division-leading Rochester heading into the Amerks' two-game visit to the MTS Centre this week.

The Moose offense has been led by the trio of Brad Moran, Jason Jaffray and Lee Goren, who rang out 2006 with seven points each over Manitoba's last three games.

Moran, who played five seasons with division rival Syracuse before signing with the Vancouver Canucks last offseason, has climbed to sixth in the AHL's scoring race with 43 points in 34 games in 2006-07. Moran led the Moose with 22 points in December, and is now three points up on Jaffray, whose 20 goals are already an AHL career high. Jaffray's 40 points in 38 games played include a four-goal game at Chicago back on Oct. 24. Goren, who is looking for his fifth straight 20-goal AHL campaign, has 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points in 31 games for the Moose this season.

Alex Edler, a 20-year-old rookie, is emerging as one of the top young defensemen in the AHL, with 14 points in 22 games with the Moose. Edler is also one of nine players to play in both Winnipeg and Vancouver this season, skating in 12 NHL games with the Canucks, and joins fellow rookie Patrick Coulombe and second-year pro Nathan McIver as players who have made their NHL debuts on the Canucks blue line in 2006-07.

Drew MacIntyre, who helped knock the Moose out of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs while playing for Grand Rapids, is 7-6-2 on the year for Manitoba, including wins in six of his last eight decisions. MacIntyre shares the Moose's goaltending duties with Wade Flaherty, whose 9-9-2 mark puts him at 280 victories over his professional career.

Rookie head coach Scott Arniel and the Moose slow the pace down in January, playing nine games between now and the All-Star break. Their next four contests are against the two teams they are chasing in the North, as Rochester visits this week and Hamilton comes to town Jan. 11-12.

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THE HAYDAR REPORT ... Chicago forward Darren Haydar extended his AHL-record scoring streak to 36 games in dramatic fashion on Saturday night, assisting on Jared Ross' shorthanded goal with 8.8 seconds left in a 5-3 loss to Rochester.

Haydar was then recalled by the parent Atlanta Thrashers on Monday, but did not play in their New Year's Day matinee in Ottawa. His scoring streak will be considered intact should he return to Chicago this season.

Haydar leads the AHL with 75 points, the same total he had for the entire 2002-03 season when he was named the league's top rookie and finished sixth in the overall scoring race. During the 2006 calendar year (including regular season and playoffs), Haydar tallied 61 goals and 108 assists for 169 points, including at least one point in 90 of his 103 games.

BEARS TOPS IN '06 ... Considering their outstanding run last spring and their league-leading start to 2006-07, it should come as no surprise that the Hershey Bears owned the AHL's best regular-season record during calendar year 2006, earning 109 points in 80 games for a .681 points percentage.

The East Division placed three teams in the top four overall in 2006, with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton checking in at .667 and Norfolk (.661) leading the league with 51 wins and 111 points.

The top record in the Western Conference in 2006 belonged to the Peoria Rivermen, who were 47-24-3-6 (.644) in 80 games last year.

Portland, winners of the Atlantic Division in 2005-06, finished fourth overall in 2006 with a .665 points percentage.

Rounding out the top 10 were Grand Rapids (.633), Milwaukee (.623), Chicago (.619), Hartford (.599) and Manitoba (.578).


GP W L OTL SOL Pts Pct
1 Hershey 80 47 18 6 9 109 .681
2 W-B/Scranton 81 48 21 5 7 108 .667
3 Portland 79 48 22 3 6 105 .665
4 Norfolk 84 51 24 6 3 111 .661
5 Peoria 80 47 24 3 6 103 .644
6 Grand Rapids 79 46 25 4 4 100 .633
7 Milwaukee 81 44 24 7 6 101 .623
8 Chicago 84 48 28 3 5 104 .619
9 Hartford 81 47 31 2 1 97 .599
10 Manitoba 83 39 26 11 7 96 .578

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ADS, BUCS SWAP FIVE ... A five-player deal between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks on Thursday had major implications on their AHL affiliates. Pierre Parenteau and Bruno St. Jacques headed from Portland to Norfolk, while the Pirates acquired the services of Sebastien Caron, Matt Keith and Chris Durno.

Parenteau recorded three assists and St. Jacques was a plus-1 in their Norfolk debuts, a 4-3 win over Lowell on Friday night. Caron was on the short end of Portland's 2-1 loss to Springfield on Friday, then was recalled and dressed for the Ducks' game in Minnesota on Sunday. Keith had a goal and an assist in the Pirates' 3-2 shootout loss to Worcester on Saturday.

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ADS, BUCS SWAP FIVE ... A five-player deal between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks on Thursday had major implications on their AHL affiliates. Pierre Parenteau and Bruno St. Jacques headed from Portland to Norfolk, while the Pirates acquired the services of Sebastien Caron, Matt Keith and Chris Durno.

Parenteau recorded three assists and St. Jacques was a plus-1 in their Norfolk debuts, a 4-3 win over Lowell on Friday night. Caron was on the short end of Portland's 2-1 loss to Springfield on Friday, then was recalled and dressed for the Ducks' game in Minnesota on Sunday. Keith had a goal and an assist in the Pirates' 3-2 shootout loss to Worcester on Saturday.


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ETC. ... Josh Langfeld played six games in six nights last week, skating for Grand Rapids on Tuesday and the parent Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday and Thursday before returning to the Griffins for a three-game weekend... Joey Tenute has scored the game-winning goal in each of Hershey's last four games, and is now tied for the league lead with five game-winners on the season... Omaha's Andrei Taratukhin has six goals in his last four games, after scoring three in his previous 30... Albany defenseman Johnny Boychuk has seven goals in his last 10 games after going scoreless over his first 24... Peoria played two games last week in which every goal was scored on the power play - a 4-3 win in Grand Rapids on Dec. 26 and a 3-2 win over Hamilton on Dec. 31... Tomas Popperle made 55 saves in Syracuse's 3-2 shootout loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday night... Noah Clarke ended a 15-game drought and became Manchester's all-time leader with his 72nd career goal on Saturday at Hartford... The Monarchs' Jason LaBarbera moved into sole possession of seventh place in AHL history with his 25th career shutout on New Year's Eve vs. Springfield... Milwaukee's Rich Peverley and Norfolk's Brandon Bochenski both had 14-game scoring streaks snapped on Friday night... Providence rookie T.J. Trevelyan completed his first month in the AHL with 10 goals in 14 games during December... AHL shooters are 0-for-12 on penalty shots this season... Following a name change on Monday, the Albany River Rats' home arena is now known as the Times Union Center.
 

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AHL Quick Hits

Joakim Lindstrom, Olivier Labelle and Jeff Szwez scored two goals apiece as Syracuse got six power-play tallies in an 8-1 win in Toronto on Tuesday night... Filip Novak had a goal and an assist and Janne Hauhtonen added three assists for the Crunch.

Mon 1/1

No games scheduled

Tue 1/2

Syracuse 8, TORONTO 1

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LOOKING AHEAD:

Hartford has been at the bottom of the Atlantic Division since losing six of its first seven games this season, but the Wolf Pack could find themselves just three points out of second place with a win Wednesday over Providence... The Bruins won both of their previous visits to the Civic Center this year, but are 2-8-0-1 in their last 11 road contests overall as they play the last of eight straight on foreign ice... Rookie T.J. Trevelyan, who made his Providence debut on Nov. 26, has scored 10 goals in his first 15 career AHL games... Hannu Toivonen was assigned to the P-Bruins on Tuesday, while Philippe Sauve was recalled by Boston... Hartford, which has alternated wins and losses over its last 13 games, is looking for its first two-game win streak since early December... Wolf Pack goalie Al Montoya, the reigning CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week, has stopped 98 of 101 shots (4-0-0, 0.75, .970) in his last four games.

A six-game winning streak has given Hershey a bit of a cushion atop the East Division, but on Wednesday the Bears visit a Norfolk team which is 16-1-2-0 at home in 2006-07... The Admirals have lost four of five to Hershey this season, most recently a 7-4 setback on Dec. 30... Brandon Bochenski had a hat trick in that loss for Norfolk, which came one night after his 14-game scoring streak was snapped... The Admirals' Corey Crawford (19-8-1) is on the verge of becoming the AHL's first 20-game winner this season... Joey Tenute is on a five-game scoring streak for the Bears (6g, 4a), and has potted the game-winning goal in four straight contests... With Frederic Cassivi on the injured list, three different goalies - Maxime Daigneault, Daren Machesney and Jeff Pietrasiak - recorded wins for Hershey last week.

Manitoba can close in on first-place Rochester when the Americans come to Winnipeg for a two-game set beginning Thursday night... The Moose enter the week 7-1-2-2 in their last dozen games and four points behind the Amerks in the North Division, although Rochester does have six games in hand... Forwards Brad Moran, Jason Jaffray and Lee Goren have combined for 21 points in Manitoba's last three contests... The Amerks have won all four meetings between the teams this season, including a pair of 3-2 victories at the MTS Centre last month... Clarke MacArthur (nine games) and Janis Sprukts (seven games) had long scoring streaks snapped in Rochester's 3-0 loss to Grand Rapids on New Year's Eve.

(all times Eastern)

Wed 1/3

Providence at Hartford, 7:00... Springfield at Worcester, 7:00... Hershey at Norfolk, 7:15... Iowa at Hamilton, 7:30... Houston at Chicago, 8:00... Omaha at Peoria, 8:00

Thu 1/4

Omaha at Milwaukee, 8:00... Syracuse at San Antonio, 8:00... Peoria at Houston, 8:05... Rochester at Manitoba, 8:30

Fri 1/5

Bridgeport at Albany, 7:00... Manchester at Hartford, 7:00... Toronto at Binghamton, 7:05... Lowell at Philadelphia, 7:05... Worcester at Providence, 7:05... Grand Rapids at W-B/Scranton, 7:05... Hershey at Norfolk, 7:15... Iowa at Hamilton, 7:30... Portland at Springfield, 7:35... Chicago at Omaha, 8:00... Rochester at Manitoba, 8:30

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ALUMNI WATCH:

On Tuesday, Alexandre Burrows netted the game-winning goal in Vancouver's 3-2 victory over Calgary... Ryan Potulny scored the decisive goal in Philadelphia's 3-2 win over the N.Y. Islanders... Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves as Pittsburgh blanked Carolina, 3-0... Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and two assists as Minnesota beat Atlanta, 5-1... On Monday, Kris Newbury scored his first career NHL goal in Toronto's 5-1 win over Boston.

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BY THE NUMBERS:

6,050 -- Average attendance at 55 AHL games during the week between Christmas and New Year's, a 22 percent increase over the league's season average through Dec. 23.

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AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:

B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts of nearly every AHL game... Visit theahl.com for details.
 
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