As the AHL heads into Christmas break, several teams brought themselves holiday joy with their performances. It was an especially big week for goalies, as three of them had solid performances in shutout wins.
But others’ weeks will result in coal in their stocking. Still, a few teams managed to at least make a case that they should be on the “nice” list for December 25.
Read on to see where your favorite team stands as they ring in the holidays.
1. Toronto Marlies (16-9-1-1)
The Marlies won twice and had one loss this week and have been victorious in four of their last five. In Saturday’s 5-2 victory over the Charlotte Checkers, Ashton Carter and Gregg McKegg each had three points.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday, December 26 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs, Friday, December 27 at Hamilton
2. Milwaukee Admirals (14-7-5-1)
The Admirals, also 2-0-1 this week, were powered by a 4-0 win against the San Antonio Rampage on Friday. Goaltender Scott Darling made 34 saves for his second shutout of the season.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Grand Rapids Griffins, Friday vs. Charlotte Checkers, Sunday, December 29 at Iowa Wild
3. Manchester Monarchs (21-5-1-4)
Manchester heads into the holiday on a five-game winning streak that has propelled it to the top of the Eastern Conference. Brian O’Neill led the Monarchs with four points in Friday’s 6-2 win over the Portland Pirates.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Portland, Saturday, December 28 vs. St. John’s IceCaps, Sunday vs. Hartford Wolf Pack
4. Texas Stars (18-9-2-2)
The Stars’ week was highlighted by a 7-2 thumping of the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday. Mike Hadden had three points as Texas was on its way to four wins in five games.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday at San Antonio, Saturday vs. San Antonio
5. Binghamton Senators (16-9-0-3)
The Sens are back in contention for the East Division lead after snapping a seven-game losing skid on Friday against the Syracuse Crunch. Chris Wideman had three assists in the 5-2 road victory. The momentum continued on Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win over a hot Albany Devils team.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Hershey Bears, Friday at Utica Comets
6. Chicago Wolves (15-12-0-2)
The Wolves had a perfect week which included a notable victory over the Griffins on Saturday. Goalie Jake Allen is tied for fifth in the league with a 2.24 GAA and has a record of 12-7-2.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday and Saturday at Lake Erie Monsters, Sunday vs. Charlotte
7. Grand Rapids Griffins (21-6-1-1)
Both of the Griffins’ victories this week came in overtime, but they lost to a Chicago team that has largely been mediocre this season. They have fallen to the Wolves twice in the last two weeks, but also had a four-game winning streak in between. Jeff Hoggan ranks fourth in the AHL with six power-play goals, helping a unit ranked eighth with a 20.2 percent success rate.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Milwaukee, Friday vs. Rockford IceHogs
8. Springfield Falcons (20-4-1-2)
The Falcons’ two wins this weekend came by way of the shootout, and they converted twice in just three attempts on Saturday against the Wolf Pack. Jonathan Marchessault is tied for second in the AHL with three game-winning goals on the season.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Adirondack Phantoms, Saturday vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Sunday vs. Providence Bruins
9. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (17-8-1-2)
WBS split its weekend games despite using a makeshift roster. Nick Drazenovic scored on a penalty shot in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Worcester Sharks, the second time the Penguins have converted on the rare opportunity this season.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday vs. Norfolk Admirals, Saturday at Hershey
10. Abbotsford Heat (21-9-1-1)
The Heat fell in this week’s rankings after winning just one of their three contests. They dropped two games to the Comets before beating the Bulldogs in a shootout on Sunday. Ben Street is tied for second in the league with 16 goals on the year.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday and Saturday vs. Oklahoma City
11. Hershey Bears (12-10-2-3)
Hershey climbed out of the rankings cellar by winning two games against Syracuse and Worcester. Nicolas Dechamps had five points in three games and earned AHL Player of the Week honors. Meanwhile, Ryan Potulny was recently brought back to the team where he played in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Binghamton, Friday vs. Syracuse, Saturday vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
12. St. John’s IceCaps (15-11-1-2)
The IceCaps are in the middle of a long layoff and remain at No. 12. With forward Eric O’Dell on recall to the Winnipeg Jets, they are now led by defenseman Brenden Kichton, who has 22 points in 29 games.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday at Worcester, Saturday at Manchester
13. Rochester Americans (13-11-3-3)
The Amerks had two losses against the Monsters, but still picked up points by making it to overtime and the shootout. Leading scorer Phil Varone (27 points) and his teammates are now headed overseas to participate in the Spengler Cup. Rochester will not be back in AHL action until early 2014.
Upcoming Schedule: Off until Friday, January 3 (at Utica)
14. Albany Devils (17-8-2-1)
The Devils lost to the Senators on Saturday to bring their six-game winning streak to an end, and then suffered a second straight loss against the Sound Tigers on Sunday. Harri Pesonen had both Albany goals in Saturday’s game.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday vs. Adirondack, Saturday vs. Portland, Sunday at Bridgeport
15. Lake Erie Monsters (14-11-0-3)
Mark Olver had the game-winning goal on Friday to help Lake Erie beat Rochester 1-0 in the shootout. The Monsters also took the rematch by a score of 3-2 in overtime on Saturday.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday and Saturday vs. Chicago
16. Norfolk Admirals (14-11-1-4)
The Admirals lost two close games by 5-4 scores on Thursday and Friday. However, they salvaged the weekend with a 3-1 win against Adirondack on Saturday. Goalie Igor Bobkov made 28 saves on 29 shots in victory.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Saturday at Syracuse
17. Worcester Sharks (12-11-1-1)
The Sharks picked up big wins over the Penguins and Bears, but Hershey prevented their chances of a perfect weekend in Sunday’s 4-0 loss. Freddie Hamilton had three points in Saturday’s 3-2 win.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Providence, Friday vs. St. John’s, Saturday at Hartford
18. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (12-14-1-3)
Anders Nilsson made 33 saves as the Sound Tigers shut out the reeling Wolf Pack 3-0 on Friday. After a 2-1 defeat against the Monarchs on Saturday, Bridgeport closed the week with a 4-3 win over Albany. Goalie Kenny Reiter faced just 15 shots as the Sound Tigers defense kept the Devils at bay.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Hartford, Saturday at Springfield, Sunday vs. Albany
19. Utica Comets (10-15-1-1)
The Comets got an impressive 3-0 win over the Heat on Friday and were led by Joacim Eriksson, who made 21 saves in goal. They are now on a three-game winning streak looking ahead to the post-holiday schedule.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday vs. Binghamton, Saturday vs. Hamilton
20. Iowa Wild (12-13-2-0)
The Wild earned two wins this week, with Darcy Kuemper making 44 saves in a 3-0 victory against Hamilton on Friday. Then, on Saturday, John Curry backstopped the Wild to a 3-2 win over the Rampage. He stopped 39 shots and made some personal history in the process:
Goalie John Curry @IAWild was first in AHL in a long time. "I honestly think it's been at least 3 years. I can't rember the last time."
— Tom Witosky (@toskyAHLWild) December 22, 2013
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday vs. Rockford, Sunday vs. Milwaukee
21. Providence Bruins (14-9-1-5)
The Bruins are on a three-game losing streak, but two of those losses were in the shootout. Their top three scorers (Matt Fraser, Ryan Spooner and Nick Johnson) are all on recall to Boston, so Providence will look to Carter Camper, who has 19 points in 28 games.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Worcester, Saturday at Adirondack, Sunday at Springfield
22. Rockford IceHogs (15-13-3-0)
Like the Bruins, the IceHogs head into the Christmas break having lost their last three games. Two rookies, Mark McNeill and Alex Broadhurst, are among the team’s top five scorers with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Iowa, Friday vs. Grand Rapids
23. Hamilton Bulldogs (12-14-0-4)
The Bulldogs have lost five games in a row and managed just one point in three games this past week. They will try to get back on track behind goalie Dustin Tokarski, who made 39 saves in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Heat.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Toronto, Friday vs. Toronto, Saturday at Utica
24. Oklahoma City Barons (11-15-0-5)
Richard Bachman had 39 saves as the Barons beat a top Stars team 2-0 on Friday. However, they followed up with a dismal performance in a 7-2 loss on Saturday. Oklahoma City was then dealt a blow when leading scorer Linus Omark (29 points in 29 games) was traded to the Buffalo Sabres over the weekend.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday and Saturday at Abbotsford
25. Charlotte Checkers (12-16-0-1)
The Checkers lost both of their games against the Marlies this weekend to end their four-game winning streak. Despite their struggles, the power play is ranked third in the AHL at 23.9 percent, and Zach Boychuk leads the unit with 10 goals on the man advantage.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday at Milwaukee, Sunday at Chicago
26. Adirondack Phantoms (13-12-0-2)
Jason Akeson and Brandon Manning each had three points in Friday’s 5-4 win over Norfolk. Despite falling 3-1 in the rematch on Saturday, the Phantoms have still won three of their last five contests.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Springfield, Friday at Albany, Saturday vs. Providence
27. Portland Pirates (11-10-1-4)
Although the Pirates have wins in three of their last five, they won just once this week, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Andy Miele had two points, while Mark Visentin stopped 45 of the 47 pucks he faced.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Manchester, Saturday at Albany
28. San Antonio Rampage (11-17-0-3)
The Rampage are on a four-game losing streak and have scored two goals apiece in three of their last four games. They will try to get back on track behind rookie Vincent Trocheck, who has 22 points on the season. Winger Bobby Butler, who brings solid NHL experience to San Antonio, is second with 19 points.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday vs. Texas, Saturday at Texas
29. Syracuse Crunch (12-12-1-3)
Last year’s Eastern Conference champions have lost their last three games after a 1-2 performance last week. Despite the Crunch’s recent struggles, Evan Rankin had a hat trick in Wednesday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Bears.
Upcoming Schedule: Friday at Hershey, Saturday vs. Norfolk
30. Hartford Wolf Pack (9-15-0-4)
The bottom has completely fallen out for the Wolf Pack, who have lost their last nine games. They are now the only team in the AHL in the single digits in the win column. Rookie Danny Kristo is still the team’s leading scorer with 20 points.
Upcoming Schedule: Thursday at Bridgeport, Saturday vs. Worcester, Sunday at Manchester
Alison is currently covering the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL for The Hockey Writers after writing about the NHL’s New Jersey Devils from 2011-2012. She is currently employed for the fast growing sports website Bleacher Report as a quality editor and hopes to one day have a media relations career with a professional hockey team. Follow her on Twitter @AlisonM_110.