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AHL Update

Broadhurst brothers share same NHL goal

Friday, 03.28.2014 / 1:38 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

Nearly two decades ago, Alex Broadhurst and his older brother, Terry, were just beginning to discover a shared love for the game of hockey.

"We had an unfinished basement, so it was all cement," Alex said. "We'd just put on our roller blades and go 1-on-1 for hours."

Fast forward to the present day, where the duo has moved to a much bigger stage. They're teammates on the Rockford IceHogs, the American Hockey League affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sommer sets AHL record for games coached

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 8:05 PM / AHL Update

Roy Sommer established an American Hockey League record for most regular-season games coached when he led the Worcester Sharks against the Portland Pirates on Wednesday.

The game was Sommer's 1,257th as an AHL coach, surpassing the mark held by Hockey Hall of Fame member Frank Mathers.

Sommer, 56, was named coach of the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate on May 28, 1998, and has spent his entire 16-year coaching career in the Sharks organization with the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06) and Worcester Sharks (2006-present). His 571 regular-season victories rank fourth all-time among AHL coaches.

Jets prospect Kichton ready to kick-start career

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 10:56 AM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

Brenden Kichton knows a thing or two about being a leader.

The 21-year-old spent the past five seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League, serving as team captain and winning the Bill Hunter Trophy as the league's top defenseman with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) in 71 games during his final season.

This year, he's taken up the role of learner, as he continues to develop in his first professional season with the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.

Brody Sutter proving he's more than just family name

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 11:00 AM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

For Brody Sutter of the American Hockey League's Charlotte Checkers, an affinity for the game is all in the family.

Currently in his second year with the Carolina Hurricanes' top affiliate, Brody is part of the second generation of one of the most renowned families in NHL history. His father, Duane, and uncles Brent, Brian, Rich, Ron and Darryl collectively played in almost 5,000 NHL games between 1976 and 2001 and have remained active in the League in various coaching, scouting and managerial capacities.

Brody was born in Calgary but raised in southern Florida, where his father, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the New York Islanders and current scout for the Edmonton Oilers, was a member of the Florida Panthers' coaching staff.

Panthers' Trocheck ready for next level

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 12:20 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

It's been a whirlwind week for 20-year-old Vincent Trocheck. The rookie forward with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League received his first call-up to the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, just after the NHL Trade Deadline passed. He's expected to make his NHL debut for the Panthers on Friday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

"It's been crazy," Trocheck said. "It's obviously what I've been working for my whole life. Getting the call was surreal and I couldn't be more excited to be here."

Trocheck began his path to professional hockey long before arriving in the Sunshine State. A Pittsburgh native, he was born in 1993, right after the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.

"Growing up in Pittsburgh was a great influence," Trocheck said. "The Penguins were doing really well whenever I was young so that kind of got me into hockey and it all started there."

Etem's road to NHL brings him back home

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 12:37 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

It was during his childhood in his shorefront hometown of Long Beach, Calif., that Emerson Etem of the American Hockey League's Norfolk Admirals got his unconventional start in the game of hockey.

"I started playing roller hockey when I was three," said Etem, now 21 and in his second season of professional hockey. "There was a YMCA right down the street with a roller rink. My brother tried it out so I just wanted to follow in his footsteps -- it looked fun and I ended up loving it.

"When I was six years old, I moved to ice hockey and it just kind of took off [from there]."

Etem moved to Minnesota at the age of 14 to play for Shattuck-St. Mary's School, where he won a national championship in 2008. He competed for the U.S. National Team Developmental Program from 2008-09 and spent three seasons as a prolific major junior scorer with Medicine Hat in the Western Hockey League.

Time in Pittsburgh boosting Gibbons' stock

Friday, 02.21.2014 / 3:40 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

Many athletes work their entire lives to achieve their professional goals. But their ultimate rise is often meteoric.

The recent on-ice success of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Brian Gibbons in the American Hockey League has catapulted him all the way to the National Hockey League. That run that took off during his team's stint in the Calder Cup Playoffs last spring.

"Toward the end of last year in the playoffs, I started figuring out the pro game more and feeling more comfortable with the way I was playing," said Gibbons, who is in his third season in the Pittsburgh Penguins' organization. "I had a good offseason and worked hard, and then just had a hot start and it carried over."

Pirri, Strome each net two to lead AHL all-stars

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 10:13 PM / AHL Update

Brandon Pirri and Ryan Strome each scored two goals to lead a team of American Hockey League All-Stars to a 7-2 win against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League on Wednesday at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. The game took place at a sold out Mile One Centre (6,287) and was the first international game in AHL All-Star history.

Pirri, Mike Hoffman (Binghamton Senators) and Joe Whitney (Albany Devils) combined for eight points for the AHL All-Stars.

"We're all offensive-minded players so when you throw us guys together we can usually [play well] together quickly," Hoffman said. "It's nice to play in an All-Star game."

Pirri, a second-round pick (No. 59) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2009 draft who last season led the AHL in scoring with 75 points, added an assist and was named the game's most valuable player. He has five goals and 10 assists in eight games with the Rockford Icehogs and six goals in 28 games with the Blackhawks this season.

AHL All-Stars edge Färjestad BK in skills competition

Tuesday, 02.11.2014 / 9:00 PM / AHL Update

Hometown captain Jason Jaffray played the role of hero as the American Hockey League All-Star team earned a thrilling 18-17 victory against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Elite League in the 2014 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at Mile One Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland Tuesday evening.

Jaffray, the AHL's All-Star captain who also wears the "C" for the St. John's IceCaps, scored at the end of the fourth round of the AHL Live Breakaway Relay event to tie the score, then converted in the third sudden-death shootout round to give the AHL the win. The victory against their Swedish guests marked the first part of the two-day 2014 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Assante Wealth Management.

AHL all-stars ready to shine in St. John's

Friday, 02.07.2014 / 11:05 AM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to

As sports fans around the globe prepare to watch the world's most-skilled athletes showcase their talents at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the American Hockey League's best are set to put an international twist on their showcase event for the first time.

The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Assante Wealth Management will be held Feb. 11-12 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, with this year's team of AHL all-stars competing against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League in a Skills Competition on Tuesday and the AHL All-Star Game on Wednesday.

Led by Jeff Blashill, head coach of the 2013 Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins, and Rob Zettler of the runner-up Syracuse Crunch, the 2014 AHL All-Star roster highlights 22 of the league's elite players.

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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