Weekly Catch Up & Links 1/27

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Editor's Note: Usually this is posted on Mondays, but I was on the road in Utica at the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic.

The American Hockey League (AHL) is still on their All-Star break, with league play resuming on Thursday night.

On Sunday night, the Eastern Conference All-Stars took the Skills Competition 15-11. Manchester's Colin Miller stole the show, nabbing both the Fastest Skater and Hardest Shot Competitions. Miller's blast of 105.5 mph broke the league's record set last year by Farjestad BK's Magnus Nygren (now with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs).

On Monday, the Western Conference All-Stars responded by taking home the All-Star game 14-12 in what was a AHL record high for total team goals in an All-Star game. There were a total of four hat tricks in the game, three by West's Brendan Leipsic (Mikwaukee), Mark McNeill (Rockford) and Charles Hudon (Hamilton) and one by East's Shane Prince (Binghamton). Hudon and Utica Comets goaltender Jacob Markstrom (16 saves - 18 shots) took home co-MVP honors.

It was a great weekend in Utica and I was very fortunate to be credentialed by the league and get to talk to several of hockey's top prospects. I'll have plenty of player features of guys from all across the AHL on Hockey's Future in the coming weeks, so be sure to stay tuned for that.

This story is the 999th here at Highland Park Hockey - a website I created in March 2011 while finishing my journalism degree at Penn State. I have a little something written up for my 1000th post that I'll publish tomorrow.

After the jump, the state of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lehigh Valley Phantoms as well as some weekly extra reading links.

Roster Carousel has Penguins in Second Place in East Division

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
23-17-1-3, 50 points - 2nd Place East Division
7th Place - Eastern Conference
Last Ten Games: 4-5-0-1

Up Next: Friday (1/30) @ Springfield, 7:00 p.m. EST
               Saturday (1/31) vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m. EST


Yesterday, Pittsburgh called up forwards Andrew Ebbett, Scott Wilson and Bryan Rust and defenseman Scott Harrington from the AHL Penguins. Today, Wilson and Rust were re-assigned back to the AHL.

All-Stars Tom Kostopoulos and Derrick Pouliot both tallied an assist in yesterday's All-Star game.

The Pens recalled defenseman Alex Boak from Wheeling.

Injured list - Adam Payerl and Anton Zlobin

Phantoms Searching For Consistency Heading Down The Stretch

Lehigh Valley Phantoms
20-16-4-1, 45 points - 3rd Place East Division
11th Place - Eastern Conference
Last Ten Games: 6-4-0-0

Up Next: Thursday (1/29) vs. Albany at 7:05 p.m. EST
                Friday (1/30) vs. Hershey at 7:05 p.m. EST
                Saturday (1/31) @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 7:05 p.m. EST


With Steve Mason back, the Flyers might be sending goaltender Rob Zepp back to the Phantoms this week.

Forwards Ryan White and Petr Straka have been called up to the Philadelphia Flyers, with White replacing the suspended Rinaldo and Straka making his NHL debut in place of Raffl.

Injured list: Mark Alt, Shayne Gostisbehere, Blair Jones & Darroll Powe

Weekly Links

Eric Majkski of Pensburgh and his weekly "Talking To Myself" feature.

Joe Yerdon had this piece on AHL Eastern Conference All-Star Tom Kostopoulos.

If you missed it, last week's Phantoms story for The Home News on their missed opportunity last week. Stay tuned for this week's feature on All-Star defenseman Brandon Manning and his eventful last seven days.

Here's some of my recent AHL-related work for Hockey's Future. There will be plenty more on the way as I talked to at least a dozen AHL All-Stars in Utica this past weekend.

Namestnikov/Vasilevskiy Leading Surging Syracuse
Trio Of Norfolk Admirals Forwards Making Strides Toward NHL
BSens Ryan Dzingel Leading The Way Amongst Ottawa Rookies In AHL


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