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Knights open season with three of four points

Omaha, NE - If the first weekend of the regular season is any indication, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights can expect a healthy contribution from their first year players. The Knights lost to Peoria in overtime and beat Milwaukee to earn three of a possible four points in the West Division standings. Along the way, five players scored their first professional goals; four of those players were rookies. The Knights play the final two games of their season-opening four-game road trip when they visit the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday night and the Chicago Wolves on Sunday afternoon. The Knights begin the week in second place in the division with a record of 1-0-1-0. Tickets are now on sale for the Knights' home opening weekend and all home games at the Omaha Civic Auditorium box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets can be purchased by phone at (402) 422-1212. The Knights begin the home half of their schedule on Friday, October 20th when they host the Syracuse Crunch at 7:00 p.m.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
Friday, October 6: Peoria Rivermen 4, Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 3 OT
Dave Moss scored the Knights' first goal of the season at 9:08 of the first period. Jon DiSalvatore replied for Peoria just 1:07 later, but Moss answered back on the powerplay later in the period to put the Knights up 2-1 after one. The game remained tied until the third when Peoria scored goals 62 seconds apart to take the 3-2 lead. Defenseman Brad Ference answered back for the Knights to send the game to overtime. DiSalvatore would tally again during a powerplay in the last ten seconds of the OT for the winner. Brent Krahn made 22 saves in the loss.

Saturday, October 7: Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 7, Milwaukee Admirals 1
The Knights raced out to a 3-0 first period lead and were never threatened. It was a period of firsts as Andrei Taratukhin (shorthanded), Dustin Boyd (powerplay) and Brett Palin all scored their first professional goals. Ryan Donally scored his first as a pro in his first pro game early in the second, and defenseman Richie Regehr scored on the powerplay to make it 5-0 after two. David Van der Gulik got his first pro goal early in the third and Dave Moss followed with his team-leading third of the year at 12:14. Alexander Radulov ruined Curtis McElhinney's shutout bid with a powerplay goal at 13:21. Still, McElhinney had 26 saves to help the Knights earn their first win.

CCM VECTOR/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINATION:
The Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights nominated right wing Dave Moss as the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 8, 2006. In two games last week, Moss had three goals and two assists for the Knights in a win and an overtime loss.

On Friday, Moss had the first two goals of the season for the Knights in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Peoria Rivermen. The next night he had a goal and two assists in a 7-1 win at Milwaukee. The native of Livonia, MI leads the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights in goals (3) and is tied for the lead in points (5) after the opening weekend.

THE WEEK AHEAD:
DAY/DATE EVENT TIME* BROADCAST
Monday, October 9 Practice @ OCA 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 10 Practice @ OCA 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 11 Practice @ OCA 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday, October 12 Practice @ OCA 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Friday, October 13 Travel Day
Saturday, October 14 Morning Skate @ VAA 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Game @ Grand Rapids# 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 15 Game @ Chicago# 5:00 p.m.

OCA - Omaha Civic Auditorium VAA - Van Andel Arena * - Times subject to change
# - BROADCAST--All games broadcast on 1420 AM, KOTK. A free live audio broadcast of game is available at omahaaksarbenknights.com (Choose "Listen Live" link). B2 Networks also offers a live, pay-per-view webcast, available at omahaaksarbenknights.com for $6 per game by clicking on B2 Networks link.

AK-SAR-BEN KNIGHTS BASICS
RECORD: 1-0-1-0 POWERPLAY: 3/16, 18.8% VS. DIV.: 1-0-1-0
HOME: 0-0-0-0 PENALTY KILL: 14/16, 87.5%
ROAD: 1-0-1-0 LAST TEN: 1-0-1-0 STREAK: 1-0-0-0

OPPONENTS THIS WEEK:
Sat., October 14 @ Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings/Edmonton Oilers), 6:00 p.m. CT
First of four meetings; first of two meetings in Grand Rapids, MI
They were the best team in the AHL during the 2005-06 regular season, and the Grand Rapids Griffins supply the opposition for the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights to open the weekend. Last year, the Griffins finished first overall in the AHL with a record of 55-20-1-4, good for 115 points. The Knights were 0-3-0-1 against the Detroit Red Wings' top prospects in 2005-06. Like the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, Grand Rapids is off to a 1-0-1-0 start after a 5-4 overtime loss to San Antonio and a 3-1 win at Houston last weekend. Brendan Brooks and Krystopher Kolanos lead the Griffins in scoring through the first weekend. Both players have three points, Brooks on a team-high two goals and one assist. The Griffins visit Toronto on Friday before hosting their home opener against the Knights.

Sun., October 15 @ Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers), 5:00 p.m.
First of ten meetings; first of five meetings in Chicago, IL
The Knights renew acquaintances with the Wolves on Sunday afternoon. Last season, the Knights and Wolves each finished the season with 84 points, but the Wolves assumed fifth place in the West Division because of one more win. After skating in the Calder Cup Finals in 2005, the Wolves spent a rare spring out of the playoffs, finishing with a record of 36-32-4-8. Still, the Wolves figure to be right back in the thick of the playoff race this year after picking up talented forwards Darren Haydar, Jason Krog and Steve Martins. Haydar had two goals and Krog had a hat trick in the Wolves' 5-0 win over Peoria last Saturday. Michael Garnett had 28 saves in the win. Chicago plays a home-and-home series with Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday before hosting the Knights.

KNIGHTS NOTES:
The six-goal margin of victory on Saturday in Milwaukee was the largest in Ak-Sar-Ben Knights' history.

The seven goals scored by the Knights in Milwaukee matches a franchise record for most goals scored in a game.

The Knights played four games against Grand Rapids last year and in spite of facing a team that scored a league-high 323 goals, three of the four games were decided by one goal. The other was a two-goal loss.

The Knights won four of their first five games against the Wolves in 2005-06 but lost four of the last five to finish with a record of 5-5-0-0 head-to-head. They were 2-3-0-0 in Chicago.


TRANSACTIONS:
10/3/06 ADD Eric Godard (RW), assigned on loan from Calgary (NHL)
10/3/06 ADD Brad Ference (D), assigned on loan from Calgary (NHL)
10/4/06 DELETE Aki Seitsonen (C), loaned to Las Vegas (ECHL)
10/4/06 DELETE Adam Cracknell (LW), loaned to Las Vegas (ECHL)
10/4/06 DELETE Chris Neiszner (C), loaned to Las Vegas (ECHL)

IN THE COMMUNITY:
Chamber of Commerce Rush Hour Connections, Wednesday, October 11: The Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, will host the Chamber's Rush Hour Connections beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Knights have scheduled practice to begin at 3:45 p.m., and Chamber members are invited to watch practice and meet players afterward.


Alegent Fitness Program, Thursday, October 12: Knights' players and play-by-play voice Dave Ahlers will present the Alegent Fitness Program, a full school assembly, to students at the Blessed Sacrament School in Omaha at 2:30 p.m.

The Ak-Sar-Ben Knights' Speakers Bureau provides speakers to local businesses, civic and church groups and other interested organizations holding weekly or monthly meetings and special events. There is no charge for this program. For more information on the Speakers Bureau or to schedule an appearance for your group's next meeting, call Dave Ahlers at (402) 344-GOAL or contact him by e-mail at [email protected]

CALGARY FLAMES UPDATE:
The Calgary Flames, the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights' National Hockey League affiliate, split a pair of games with the Edmonton Oilers to begin the 2006-07 season. The first skirmish in the battle of Alberta went the Oilers way. They won 3-1 on October 5th in Edmonton. The Flames responded with a 2-1 win at the Pengrowth Saddledome two nights later. Stephane Yelle and Marcus Nilson had the Flames' goals. Former Ak-Sar-Ben Knight defenseman Mark Giordano finished the night with one shot and a plus 1 rating. The Flames host the San Jose Sharks on Monday and then begin a four-game road trip with stops in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Boston. The road trip begins Thursday, October 12th.

For more information on the Flames, visit calgaryflames.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Harrison fills in for Woz

Rookie defenceman Andy Wozniewski sat out last night's game against Florida, his shoulder in a sling after taking a hit badly Saturday night against Montreal. Jay Harrison started in his place.

"The frustrating thing is he worked so hard and tested so well," head coach Paul Maurice said of Wozniewski. "He did exactly what he needed to do. The positive in that is he should rehab faster. He should be healthier quicker than somebody who wasn't as fit as he was."

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Archer gives thanks

When Hamilton Bulldogs defenceman Andrew Archer makes it back into the lineup some time later this fall it will be in small part to a man he doesn't know and never met.

Archer had knee surgery back in May because of a torn ACL (ligament) in his left knee.

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Griffins have extra competition for home opener

There's something different about playing hockey in Michigan this year, and it has nothing to do with goals or assists.

It's called baseball fever.

"We've got a lot of baseball fans on the team and you can't help but watch the Tigers," Grand Rapids Griffins captain Matt Ellis said Monday. "It's nice to see the whole state so excited. It's hard to miss with so much on the line."

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Peoria is going to lose its voice

The only radio voice an entire generation of Peoria Rivermen fans has ever known is set to reach the end of his stellar broadcast career.

Rivermen play-by-play man Norm Ulrich will retire at the end of the 2006-07 season.

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Falcons win season opener at Hartford

THIS WEEK'S GAME PREVIEWS

--FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 & SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2006 AT NORFOLK ADMIRALS--

The Springfield Falcons and Norfolk Admirals meet for the 17th time in franchise history when they square off for back-to-back games this weekend in Norfolk. The Falcons are 5-11-0-0 all-time against the Admirals and the Birds dropped both games in Norfolk last season. The Admirals opened their 2006-07 season also on Friday night losing in overtime to the Philadelphia Phantoms 5-4. The Phantoms rallied from a three-goal deficit in the contest. Norfolk's Carl Corazzini scored twice, while Craig MacDonald registered three assists. Brandon Bochenski scored Norfolk's first goal of the season. The Falcons and Admirals will meet twice more after this weekend as the Admirals come to the MassMutual Center on December 16 and February 21.

LAST WEEK'S GAME RECAPS

---SPRINGFIELD at HARTFORD, OCTOBER 7 - W 3-2---

The Springfield Falcons beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-2 Saturday night at the Hartford Civic Center. Falcons goaltender Sean Burke stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced earning the game's second star.

The Falcons started fast and furious when rookie Matt Smaby scored his first pro goal 45-seconds into the first period giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead over the Wolf Pack. At 3:17 of the opening period, captain Norm Milley gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead with his first marker of the year.

In the second period, Falcons defenseman Andy Delmore added a power play goal at 13:57 assisted by Marek Kvapil and Doug O'Brien extending Springfield's lead to 3-0.

The Falcons were 1/7 on the power play, while the Pack was 1/10 on the man advantage.

PLAYER NOTES:

Springfield Falcons rookie defenseman Matt Smaby scored his first pro goal on his first pro shot 45-seconds into the first period Saturday night in Hartford. Smaby spent the previous three seasons with the University of North Dakota. Falcons captain Norm Milley scored his first goal of the season and added one assist in earning the game's first star Saturday night in the Falcons' 3-2 opening night win in Hartford. Milley was named captain on October 6.

Veteran Defenseman Andy Delmore scored the game-winning goal on Saturday night in the Falcons' 3-2 win at Hartford. Delmore was the 2005-06 Eddie Shore Award Winner as the AHL's Outstanding Defenseman.

Veteran goaltender Sean Burke stopped 28 of 30 shots Saturday night earning the game's second star in collecting his first AHL win in his first AHL game.

Rookies Justin Keller and Blair Jones earned their first pro points each collecting an assist Saturday night in their first professional games each. Rookie defenseman Andy Rogers also made his pro debut Saturday night.

INJURY REPORT

Falcons forward Darren Reid and goaltender Jonathan Boutin missed games due to injury.

TRANSACTIONS

10-7-06 - Springfield Falcons signed center Jared Aulin to a PTO contract.

ON THE FARM - JOHNSTOWN CHIEFS

The Johnstown Chiefs opened their training camp on Saturday, October 7. The Chiefs open their preseason schedule on Friday October 13 against the Wheeling Nailers.

WEEK IN REVIEW

OCTOBER 7 Springfield-3 at Hartford -2 (Goal scorers - Milley, Smaby, Delmore)

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

OCTOBER 13 Springfield AT Norfolk 7:15 PM The Scope Arena

OCTOBER 14 Springfield AT Norfolk 7:15 PM The Scope Arena

*Radio Broadcasts on The Zone 640 AM

*Watch Live on the B-2 Network
 

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Devils season underway

Rewind:

Saturday, River Rats 5 vs. DEVILS 3

Dan McGillis notched 1g-2a to lead the Lowell attack, but Ben Guite's second tally of the night snapped a third period tie and thrust the Rats ahead to the victory. Patrick Davis and Nicklas Bergfors also scored for the home team, who went 2-for-6 with the man advantage.

In the standings

Only two of the seven teams in the Atlantic Division played in more than one game during the opening week for the AHL, with the Portland Pirates and Worcester Sharks taking the early points lead, both picking up one win and a shootout loss. The Manchester Monarchs and Springfield Falcons both picked up their first wins of the season over the weekend, and Lowell sits tied for fifth along with the Providence Bruins and Hartford Wolf Pack at 0-1-0-0.

Coming Up

The Devils host a pair of division rivals this weekend at Tsongas Arena. On Saturday, October 14th, the Hartford Wolf Pack come to town for a 7:05 p.m. match. Hartford is the AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers.

On Sunday, October 15th, the Devils host the Worcester Sharks at 4:05 p.m. Worcester is the new home of the San Jose Sharks affiliate. There will be a post-game public skating session, free to all in attendance, after each Sunday home game at the Tsongas Arena, sponsored by Jean D'Arc Credit Union. Complimentary skate rental is also available, or fans may bring their own.

Around the Horns

Dan McGillis scored the first goal in Lowell Devils history "" a power play marker at 6:19 of the first period on Saturday night. Petr Vrana and Tomas Harant both assisted. The puck from that goal will be sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

McGillis also put up the first multi-point game in team history, adding a pair of assists to the scoresheet.

With his assist on McGillis' first goal, Harant recorded the first points of his North American career. The Slovakian native, who was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2000, has also played professionally in Slovakia, Russia and the Czech Republic prior to coming to this side of the pond for 2006-07. Harant took the first penalty in team history, with a hooking call at 7:00 of the first.

Rookie LW Patrick Davis scored the first goal of his professional career in the third period on Saturday. Davis, a fourth-round pick of New Jersey in 2005, split last season between Kitchener and Windsor in the Ontario Hockey League (major junior), while making his pro debut with three games in the AHL with Albany (0g-0a-0pts, 2 PIM).

Last Week:

Sat 10/7 Albany River Rats 5 vs. DEVILS 3

This Week:

Sat 10/14 Hartford Wolf Pack @ DEVILS, 7:05 p.m.

Sun 10/15 Worcester Sharks @ DEVILS, 4:05 p.m.
 

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Devils Summary

River Rats 5, Devils 3

Albany 1 1 3 -- 5

Lowell 1 1 1 -- 3

First Period--1. Lowell, McGillis, 1 (Vrana, Harant), 6:19 (pp). 2. Albany, Willis, 1 (Love, Isbister), 17:49. Penalties--DaSilva, Alb, (holding) 5:27; Harant, Low, (hooking) 7:00; McLeod, Alb, (holding) 9:26; Papineau, Low, (tripping) 14:29; Harant, Low, (holding) 19:00; Kelman, Alb (goaltender interference) 19:53.

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Different Sharks team that passed on Friesen

Hard to believe that Jeff Friesen, onetime face of the Sharks franchise, is skating now for his fifth NHL outfit.

Reuniting with Darryl Sutter, Friesen joined the Calgary Flames as a free agent over the summer. Calgary, where Sutter is the general manager, was Friesen's preference, but he would have welcomed an inquiry from the Sharks.

``I was surprised San Jose never called,'' Friesen said Monday. ``I thought they would be a team that would've. But there's a new kind of group there, a lot different than when I was there.''

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