Highland Park Hockey's Morning Skate: Friday's Recaps & Saturday's Schedule

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Jason Akeson and the Adirondack Phantoms look to snap a three game skid this afternoon against Albany.  Photo Credit: @ItsJacki

Writers Note: In an attempt to better incorporate a broad scope of the American Hockey League (AHL) in my coverage to increase awareness of notable league-wide happenings moving forward, take a look at a new feature I plan on using on a regular basis in the very near future. Let me know your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of the article.

Friday Night Round Up 

Norfolk - 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 1

Last night in Norfolk, the Penguins couldn't solve Admirals goaltender John Gibson for a third straight time this season despite having three back-to-back power play chances to start the final period trailing 2-1. Special teams proved to be the difference as Norfolk went 2-for-3 with the man advantage, while killing off all five Penguins power plays.

Things got interesting 6:09 into the 2nd period as Jeff Deslauriers was covering a loose puck atop his crease for a whistle and face-off. After the whistle had blown Admirals forward Zack Stortini took an extra whack at Deslauriers equipment, jarring the puck loose and sending the Penguins netminder in a bit of rage. Deslauriers came up swinging on Stortini, starting a scuffle in front of the WBS net.

After things seemingly cooled down during a TV timeout, Deslauriers and Admirals goaltender John Gibson exchanged words at center ice which led to contact being made and a center-ice slug fest. Only Deslauriers was assessed a major for fighting and ejected from the game. Gibson received four minutes, a double-minor for roughing and remained in the game. The rest of the penalties in the ensuing melee ended up giving the Admirals a three minute power play after two minutes of four-on-four play.

The win brings Norfolk to 6-1-0-2 in their last nine games, one point within the 2nd place Penguins, who the Admirals rematch tonight at 7:15 p.m. EST and four points behind East Division leading Binghamton.

A look at the rest of the action in the East Division with updated standings, as well as a look ahead to today's match ups across the Eastern Conference after the jump.

Binghamton - 5, Albany - 2

In Binghamton, the BSens picked up a big home win over a good Albany Devils team. After the Devils struck first 1:09 into the game, the BSens rattled off five straight goals including one on the power play and one while shorthanded to increase their division lead to three points.

BSens forward Matt Puempel tallied his 15th goal of the season and added an assist in the 5-2 win. Puempel has scored a goal in each of his last three games and has five goals in his last seven games. His 15 goals are one short of league lead for rookies - three tied with 16.

The BSens, winners of three in a row, host the Rochester Americans tonight at 7:05 p.m. EST, while the Albany Devils return home and look to bounce back with a 2 p.m. EST afternoon tilt against the Adirondack Phantoms. The Phantoms are coming off three straight losses heading into this weekend's games. 

Hershey - 4, Syracuse - 1

The Hershey Bears were victorious in New York over the Syracuse Crunch and now find themselves winners in five of their last six games. Phillip Grubauer, in his first AHL game in exactly two months since being recently re-assigned from the Washington Capitals (NHL), stopped 29 of 30 shots in the win.

Casey Wellman and Matt Watkins each tallied two goals for the Bears, while former Bears forward Jon DiSalvatore scored the lone goal for the Crunch, who have lost two in a row since beating Hershey 3-2 last Friday.

The two teams rematch at Giant Center in Hershey tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST in a battle of two teams in the bottom of the East Division standings. With both teams in the midst of a three-in-three this weekend, it's equally important for both teams to pick up points to keep pace in the conference.

East Divsion Standings
1. Binghamton: 26-12-0-3 = 55 points
2. Penguins: 24-13-1-3 = 52 points
3. Norfolk: 22-13-1-6 = 51 points
4. Hershey: 20-14-3-3 = 46 points
5. Syracuse: 17-16-2-4 = 40 points

Saturday's Schedule - Eastern Conference

Adirondack @ Albany at 2:00 p.m. EST
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton @ Norfolk at 7:15 p.m. EST

St. John's @ Hartford at 7:00 p.m. EST
Portland @ Manchester at 7:00 p.m. EST
Bridgeport @ Springfield at 7:00 p.m. EST
Providence @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. EST
Rochester @ Binghamton at 7:05 p.m. EST


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