Saturday's Morning Skate: Friday's Recaps & Saturday's Schedule 3/1

Saturday, March 1, 2014
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 Around The East Division

Syracuse - 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 0

Syracuse - The Crunch took the lead early and never looked back, shutting out the Penguins and winning their third straight game in the process behind 30 saves from the rehabbing Anders Lindback. 

The Penguins have lost seven of their last eight games and their goaltending woes continue as Jeff Deslauriers was pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots in 25:23 of work. With the struggling Eric Hartzell re-assigned to Wheeling earlier in the week, Peter Mannino stepped in and stopped 18 of 19 the rest of the way for the Penguins, who just seem to be in a rut as of late.

The Crunch host the Adirondack Phantoms tonight at 7:00 p.m EST, while the Penguins head to Atlantic City for an important meeting with the Albany Devils at Boardwalk Hall at 5:00 p.m. EST.

St. John's - 6, Binghamton - 2

St. John's - The IceCaps took the first of two games against the Senators this weekend, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and winning in blowout fashion. John Albert tallied two goals and an assist, while Kael Mouillerat added two goals as well in the win.

Buddy Robinson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied third period goals for the Senators in the loss, who saw their lead in the Division dip to just two points. Nathan Lawson was torched for six goals on 34 shots.

The two teams rematch tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST from the Mile One Centre in Newfoundland, Canada.

Hartford - 2, Hershey - 1

Hartford - The Wolfpack took advantage of the Bears third period penalties, tying the game on a 5-on-3 power play goal from Ryan Bourque with 8:45 left in regulation to get the game into overtime. Marek Hrivik and T.J. Hensick scored in the shootout and Dov Grumet-Morris stopped 29 of 30 shots through 65:00 minutes of play, and the last four Hershey shooters in the shootout, to preserve the win for the Wolfpack.

After 38:56 of scoreless hockey, the Bears got on the board to break the scoreless tie courtesy Peter LeBlanc's 12th of the season from Matt Watkins and Dane Byers. David Leggio stopped 34 of 35 shots through regulation and overtime, but is tagged for the shootout loss.

Hershey returns home for a Saturday night match with the Charlotte Checkers, while Wolfpack host the Portland Pirates at the XL Center in Hartford. Both games start at 7:00 p.m. EST.

Norfolk - 3, Manchester - 2

Norfolk - The Admirals played well against the Eastern Conference's top team, holding off the Manchester Monarchs late siege in the third period for the 3-2 decision. Viktor Fasth stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the win for Norfolk. After a scoreless first period and a Monarchs goal halfway through the second, the Admirals cranked it up scoring three goals in a span of 4:08 at the tail end of the second period and the first minute of the third period. 

Emerson Etem started the Admirals attack, picking up his 13th goal of the season and assisting on Sami Vatanen's 5-on-3 power play goal with less than a minute left to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Richard Rakell scored on the second half of the power play, tallying his third point of the night (1G-2A), to extend the lead to 3-1.

Manchester battled back and drew within one on Nick Shore's 11th of the season with 2:31 left in regulation, but that's as close as the Monarchs would get. The two teams rematch tonight down in Norfolk, VA at 7:15 p.m. EST.

Saturday's Schedule 

PENGUINS @ Albany at 5:00 p.m. EST*
Binghamton @ St. John's at 6:30 p.m. EST
Worcester @ Bridgeport at 7:00 p.m. EST
Portland @ Hartford at 7:00 p.m. EST
Charlotte @ Hershey at 7:00 p.m. EST
Providence @ Springfield at 7:00 p.m. EST
PHANTOMS @ Syracuse at 7:00 p.m. EST
Manchester @ Norfolk at 7:15 p.m. EST

East Division Standings

1. Binghamton: 55 games played, 33-18-1-3 = 70 points
2. Norfolk: 55 games played, 30-17-1-7 = 68 points
3. Hershey: 55 games played, 29-19-3-4 = 65 points
4. PENGUINS: 56 games played, 29-20-3-4 = 65 points
5. Syracuse: 53 games played, 21-23-4-5 = 51 points

Eastern Conference Standings

*1. Manchester: 59 games played, 80 points
*2. Springfield: 55 games played, 71 points 
*3. Binghamton: 55 games played, 70 points
4. St. John's: 56 games played, 70 points
5. Norfolk: 55 games played, 68 points 
6. Albany: 54 games played, 66 points
7. Hershey: 55 games played, 65 points
8. PENGUINS: 56 games played, 65 points 
9. Providence: 56 games played, 65 points
10. Bridgeport: 56 games played, 57 points 

* = Division Leader


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