Saturday's Morning Skate 11/12

Saturday, November 12, 2016
The Utica Comets wore a special military appreciation jersey last night. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

Another busy Friday night in the American Hockey League (AHL) saw all seven Atlantic Division teams in action against the seven teams from the North Division in cross-over matchups in the Eastern Conference.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are back at it tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET at home against the Toronto Marlies. We'll have full coverage of tonight's game on Highland Park Hockey, so stay tuned here and on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock.

After the jump, a look around the Atlantic Division as well as a look ahead to Saturday's games.

Atlantic Division Standings (through 11/11's games)

1. W-B/Scranton Penguins, 11 games played, 8-2-1-0 = 17 points (0.773 PCT)
2. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 10 games played, 6-3-1-0 = 13 points (0.650 PCT)
3. Hershey Bears, 11 game played, 6-3-2-0 = 14 points (0.636 PCT)
4. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 11 games played, 7-4-0-0 = 14 points (0.636 PCT)
5. Springfield Thunderbirds, 11 games played, 6-4-1-0 = 13 points (0.591 PCT)

6. Providence Bruins, 12 games played, 3-7-1-0 = 7 points (0.458 PCT)
7. Hartford Wolf Pack, 11 games played, 3-7-1-0 = 7 points (0.318 PCT)

Around The Atlantic

Lehigh Valley - 4 at Utica - 1

Utica, NY - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (6-3-1) got off to a great start on the three-game weekend, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and never looking back in a lopsided 4-1 win over the Utica Comets (2-8-1) Friday night at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. It marked the team's fourth straight win.

Corban Knight got the Phantoms off to a hot start 2:19 into the contest and his strong play continued in a second period that saw Lehigh Valley add three more goals - including Reece Willcox's shorthanded goal set up by Knight. Colin McDonald scored off a turnover and Nicolas Aube-Kubel scored on a nifty move on a penalty shot goal to pave the way for Lehigh Valley's offensive attack.

Lehigh Valley got into penalty trouble at the beginning of both the second and third periods, but were able to avoid danger behind a strong performance from the penalty killers and rookie goaltender Alex Lyon. Lyon picked up his first win of the season to improve to 1-1-1, stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced.

Lehigh Valley returns home to host Toronto on Saturday, while Utica remains home to host Hartford.

Hershey - 3 at Albany - 6

Albany, NY - The Albany Devils dominated the Hershey Bears Friday night at the Times Union Center, out-shooting the Bears 25-11 and doubling them up on the scoreboard by a final count of 6-3.

Joe Blandisi had a game-high four points (two goals, two assists) to lead the offensive attack for the Devils, while Rod Pelley, Brian Gibbons, Kevin Rooney and Vojtech Mozik all tallied goals in the win.

Travis Boyd (one goal, one assist) and Chris Bourque (two assists) each had two points for Hershey, while Jakub Vrana and Stanislav Galiev also tallied goals.

Hershey heads home to host Bridgeport Saturday, while Albany remains home to host St. John's Saturday evening.

Toronto -  3 at W-B/Scranton - 0

Wilkes-Barre, PA - In a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Marlies reigned supreme - shutting out the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on their home ice Friday night.

The Marlies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on a pair of goals from Kerby Rychel and never looked back. Frederik Gauthier extended lead to 3-0 early in the second and Toronto clamped down defensively, limiting the Penguins to just 19 shots. Antoine Bibeau stopped all 19 for his third shutout of the season already in just his seventh start.

Toronto continues on their Pennsylvania road trip Saturday in Allentown against the Phantoms, while the Penguins remain home Saturday and host Providence.

Providence - 4 at Binghamton - 2

Binghamton, NY - The Providence Bruins used a three-goal second period to take two points from the Binghamton Senators Friday night.

Former BSens defenseman Alex Grant tallied his third goal of the season for the PBruins to seal the deal on the 4-2 win, while Wayne Simpson, Jordan Szwarz and Mark Naclerio also tallied goals for Providence in the win.

Malcolm Subban stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced to preserve the win for Providence.

The Crunch remain home to host Rochester Saturday, while Bridgeport heads to Hershey for a Saturday night match up with the Bears.

Hartford - 2 at Rochester - 5

Rochester, NY - Rochester scored both early and often in a 5-2 win over Hartford Friday night.

The two teams entered the second period tied at 2-2, but it was the home team tallying three unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes of regulation. Justin Kea tallied two goals, while Alex Nylander added a goal and an assist to lead the Americans.

Hartford tallied two goals in the first period and held a 2-1 lead until the final two minutes of the period, but were unable to solve Linus Ullmark (29 saves - 31 shots) the rest of the way.

Rochester heads to Syracuse for a Saturday night rivalry game, while Hartford heads to Utica.

Bridgeport - 3 at Syracuse - 2 (SO)

Syracuse, NY - The Syracuse Crunch rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the final four minutes of regulation to force overtime, but ultimately came up short in their quest for two points on home ice Friday night.

Twin brothers Connor Jones and Kellen Jones gave Bridgeport a 2-0 lead, with their first tally coming in the final minute of the second period. They extended the lead midway through the third period until a late rally saw them playing in overtime and the shootout.

Matt Taormina scored on a power play with 3:51 left in regulation, and Jake Dotchin followed that up with a shorthanded goal a minute later to send the game to overtime tied at 2-2.

In the shootout, Syracuse had a 1-0 lead going into the final shot for Bridgeport but Bracken Kearns forced a fourth round with his shootout goal. In the fourth round, Joel Vermin didn't score and Carter Verhaeghe gave Bridgeport the win with his shootout goal in the bottom half of the fourth.

St. John's - 1 at Springfield - 3

Springfield, MA - The Springfield Thunderbirds took care of business on home ice Friday night, defeating the St. John's IceCaps 3-1.

The Thunderbirds held a 1-0 lead on a first period goal by Sena Acolatse all the way into the third period, where they extended the lead to 2-0 early in the final frame on Stephen MacAulay's first of the season. Logan Shaw added an empty netter before the IceCaps ended Reto Berra's shutout bid with a power play tally with 1:21 left to play.

St. John's continues on their road trip for a Saturday evening match up with Albany, while Springfield hits the road for Binghamton for a 7:05 p.m. ET face-off.

Other AHL Scores

Chicago - 1 at Cleveland - 2
Rockford - 0 at Grand Rapids - 3
Charlotte - 4 at Iowa - 1
San Jose - 3 at Texas - 5
Tucson - 3 at Bakersfield - 0
Manitoba - 2 at San Diego - 3
San Antonio - 4 at Stockton - 1

Saturday's AHL Schedule

St. John's at Albany - 5:00 p.m. ET
Chicago at Cleveland - 7:00 p.m. ET
Bridgeport at Hershey - 7:00 p.m. ET
Grand Rapids at Milwaukee - 7:00 p.m. ET
Rochester at Syracuse - 7:00 p.m. ET
Springfield at Binghamton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Toronto at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
Providence at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Hartford at Utica - 7:30 p.m. ET
Ontario at Iowa - 8:00 p.m. ET
San Jose at Texas - 8:00 p.m. ET
Tucson at Bakersfield - 9:00 p.m. ET
Manitoba at San Diego - 10:00 p.m. ET
San Antonio at Stockton - 10:30 p.m. ET


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