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Ducks Call Up 'Black Aces'

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
With their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Chops, having completed their season last Saturday night, the Ducks have recalled a group of so-called "Black Aces" to join the team in their Western Conference Quarterfinals series with San Jose.

Seven players were recalled from the Chops today: Centers Petri Kontiola and Petteri Wirtanen, left wings Josh Green and Matt Beleskey, defensemen Brian Salcido and Brett Festerling and goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur.

Kontiola, 24 (10/4/84), appeared in 81 contests with Rockford and Iowa this season, collecting a team-leading 19-43=62 points with 30 penalty minutes (PIM). He was acquired by Anaheim with James Wisniewski from Chicago in exchange for Samuel Pahlsson, Logan Stephenson and a conditional fourth-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on Mar. 4. The Seinajoki, Finland native made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2007-08, scoring 0-5=5 points with six PIM and a +5 rating in 12 contests. He was originally selected by Chicago in the seventh round (196th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Wirtanen, 22 (5/28/86), finished fourth on Iowa in scoring, collecting 15-26=41 points in 78 games. He ranked third on the club in appearances and tied for second in short-handed goals (2). The Hyvinkaa, Finland native was selected by Anaheim in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Green, 31 (11/16/77), appeared in 39 games with the Chops, collecting 10-14=24 points with 52 PIM. A native of Camrose, Alberta, Green was signed as a free agent by Anaheim on July 22, 2008. Selected by Los Angeles in the second round (30th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, Green has appeared in 322 NHL contests, scoring 35-39=74 points with 193 PIM.

Beleskey, 20 (6/7/88), played in two games with Anaheim this season, making his NHL debut on Jan. 9 vs. Tampa Bay. A native of Windsor, Ontario, Beleskey also collected 11-24=35 points in 58 games with the Chops in his first professional season. He was drafted by Anaheim in the fourth round (112th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Salcido, 23 (4/14/85), made his NHL debut with Anaheim this season, scoring 1-0=1 point with a +2 rating in two games. In 76 games with Iowa, the Hermosa Beach, CA native earned 10-33=43 points with 108 PIM, leading all team defensemen in scoring. Selected by Anaheim in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Salcido also finished the season third on the Chops in overall scoring and second in assists.

Festerling, 23 (3/3/86), made his NHL debut with the Ducks in 2008-09, appearing in 40 games with 0-5=5 points and a +5 rating.  A native of Quesnel, British Columbia, Festerling collected 0-7=7 points with 31 PIM in 34 games with the Chops this season. He was signed as a free agent by Anaheim on Sept. 14, 2005.

Levasseur, 22 (1/15/87), appeared in 41 games with Iowa in his second professional season, posting a 13-18-4 record with a 3.11 GAA. The Victoriaville, Quebec native has appeared in 51 career AHL games with a 17-23-5 record and 2.98 GAA. Levasseur was selected by Anaheim in the seventh round (197th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.


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