I’m a day late with the AHL update this week, but better late than never I suppose. I also caught another AHL game this past Friday, but seeing as I live tweeted during most of that one I won’t bother with a recap of it at all, though I may touch on the game briefly during the course of the update notes. Anyway, on to what happened last week!
- Jacob Markstrom of the San Antonio Rampage took home Player of the Week honors after leading the team to a perfect week, winning all 4 games and allowing only 7 goals on 137 shots for 1.75 GAA and 94.9 Save %. All 4 wins came against tough opponents as well, as the Rampage defeated the Heat twice in Abbotsford and then beat the offense juggernaut Barons twice at home.
- The Springfield Falcons stretched their win streak to 3 with back-to-back wins over the IceCaps in St. John’s. I was in attendance for the first game and Cam Atkinson was an absolute force all night. The IceCaps simply couldn’t contain him as he picked up 2 goals and 2 assists. Curtis McElhinney was solid in goal as well and made quite a few huge saves late in the game, but the following night he was even better, stopping 46 of 48 shots (79 of 84 total during the 2 games).
- Speaking of the IceCaps, they now sit last in the Atlantic Division, having lost 4 in a row. On the bright side, at least they can take comfort in the fact that the division sucks and they’re still only 4 points out of first. Maybe improving the league’s 22nd best power play would be enough to get them back in the winner’s circle.
- Sticking with the Atlantic Division, the Providence Bruins have surged since taking a beating from the IceCaps in a game I attended 2 weeks ago. They’ve now won 3 in a row and 5 of their last 6 (with 1 shootout loss), accomplishing this through sound team defense and strong goaltending, allowing only 2 goals in each of the last 6 games.
- Forgot to mention this last week, but Tyler Johnson of the Syracuse Crunch now leads the league in goals with 15. He didn’t add any to this total last week, but did record 2 assists in a win over Hamilton on Friday. The Crunch dropped its next 2 games, but remain in first in the East Division.
- The Oklahoma City Barons appear to be struggling slightly since losing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to injury and now likely the World Junior Championship. Look for them to lean more heavily on Jordan Eberle and Tayor Hall in his absence, while Mark Arcobello will center the duo in the meantime.
- The Abbotsford Heat continue to lead the league in goaltending, as now Barry Brust and Danny Taylor sit 1-2 in GAA league wide. Brust also leads the league in Save % with 95.1% while Taylor is in fourth with 93.3%. Despite losing 2 of 3 last week, the Heat hold on to first overall in the AHL.