It was a good opening night in the AHL yesterday evening as 10 teams opened up the 2013-2014 season in fine form. Of the five games on the schedule, all 5 hosting teams were defeated on home ice as they were outscored collectively by a score of 22 – 9.
We’ll take a quick recap of the 5-games on schedule yesterday evening.
Providence Bruins 4 – St. John’s IceCaps 3 OT
The St. John’s IceCaps and Providence Bruins kicked off the season by being the first game played on the schedule. A broken stick at the blueline lead to a Bruins breakaway, and eventually a game winner by forward Nick Johnson. With just under two minutes to play, St. John’s trailed 3-1, but goals from J.C. Lipon and Eric O’Dell sent the game to extra time. Niklas Svedberg made 40 saves for the victory while Eddie Pasquale made 26 stops in a losing cause.
Grand Rapids Griffins 8 – Rochester Americans 1
The Grand Rapids Griffins displayed why they are defending Calder Cup Champions Friday night. The Griffins scored 8-goals in front of Rochester Americans fans in a match that appeared to be more of a pre-season warm up game for the Americans rather than a home opener as the Griffins pounded the Amerks. Defencemen Ryan Sproul had two goals for the Griffins and Adam Almquist and Gustav Nyquist both added 3-points in the win. Tom McCollum made 18 saves for the victory while Matt Hackett picked up the loss, allowing 6 goals on 30 shots before Nathan Lieuwen allowed 2 on 7 shots in an embarrassing lost.
Abbotsford Heat 5 – Lake Erie Monsters 2
Despite getting on the board first, the Lake Erie Monsters had no response to the Abbotsford Heat offence as they suffered a lost in front of hometown fans in the season opener. Abbotsford forward Ben Hanowski fired home two goals in the victory. Sami Aittokallio made 20 saves in a losing cause for the Monsters while Reto Berra made 31 in the victory for Abbotsford.
Charlotte Checkers 3 – Oklahoma City Barons 2
Despite letting an early two goal lead slip away, the Charlotte Checkers dug deep and pulled out a 3-2 victory. After being up 2-0 in the first, the Checkers allowed the Oklahoma City Barons tie the game up before Brody Sutter tallied the winner late in the third for the win. Justin Peters made 32 saves in the win while Richard Bachman made 29 in a losing cause.
Chicago Wolves 2 – San Antonio Rampage 1
Despite being the roster of the Peoria Rivermen last season, the new look Chicago Wolves roster appeared confident in a 2-1 victory over the San Antonio Rampage. A Dmitrij Jaskin goal just 45-seconds into the second period was enough as the Wolves held on for victory despite a goal by Rampage defencemen Colby Robak late in the third. Jake Allen made 41 stops for the Wolves in the win while Dov Grumet-Morris made 21.