Omaha, NE – With a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs now secured, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights look ahead to securing home ice advantage during the final two weeks of the regular season.
The Knights will play four games in five days this week and along the way, they’ll make up games in hand they hold over both the Chicago Wolves and the Milwaukee Admirals. The Knights beat Iowa 3-1 in the middle of losses to San Antonio and Manitoba last week. Omaha is now 43-24-4-1, good for 91 points.
They are two points behind first-place Chicago and two points ahead of third-place Milwaukee. They have three games in hand on both teams. The Knights will make up two of those games on Chicago and all three on Milwaukee this week.
LAST WEEK''S RESULTS:
Tuesday, March 27: San Antonio Rampage 4, Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 3
In the second of two games in San Antonio, the Knights fell behind 3-0 just 9:31 into the game on goals by San Antonio’s Alex Leavitt and Yanick Lehoux (2 goals). The Knights bounced back with three of their own in the first 9:30 of the second period. Tomi Maki scored a shorthanded breakaway goal then set up Brandon Prust for a goal that made it 3-2. Warren Peters then fired home another shorthanded goal to tie the game at three after two periods. Lehoux completed his hat trick halfway through the third period to put the Rampage in front to stay. Curtis McElhinney started the game but was removed after the third goal. Brent Krahn stopped 14 of 15 in relief but took the loss.
Friday, March 30: Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 3, Iowa Stars 1
The Knights earned the lead 12 minutes into the game when Chris Neiszner scored his second goal of the season. Carsen Germyn made it 2-0 when he fired home a pass from Tim Ramholt at 18:45. Warren Peters stretched the lead at 13:10 of the second period when he scored a powerplay goal to make it 3-0. Paul Szczechura ruined Brent Krahn’s shutout bid when he scored from Chris Conner at 6:59 of the third. Krahn would finish with 32 saves to pick up his 14th win of the year.
Saturday, March 31: Manitoba Moose 3, Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 2
The Knights forged ahead just 3:13 into the game when Dustin Boyd scored his team leading 15th powerplay goal of the season. The Moose answered back with a powerplay tally from Lee Goren to make it 1-1. Then just 1:41 later, Jesse Schultz scored on the rebound of his own shot to put the Moose up 2-1 after one. Following a scoreless second period, Manitoba would go up 3-1 when Jason Jaffray fed Jannick Hansen just 20 seconds into the stanza. Kris Chucko closed the gap back to one when he picked up a powerplay goal at 3:45. The Knights would get no closer and lost their third game of the season to the Moose. Brent Krahn made 29 saves in the loss.
AK-SAR-BEN KNIGHTS BASICS
POWERPLAY: 63/409, 15.4%
VS. DIV.: 33-17-4-1
PENALTY KILL: 352/406, 86.7%
LAST TEN: 6-3-1-0
OPPONENTS THIS WEEK:
Tuesday, April 3 @ Iowa Stars (Dallas Stars/Edmonton Oilers)
Twelfth of twelve meetings; sixth of six meetings in Des Moines, IA
The Knights and Stars finish their season series on Tuesday. Following their 3-1 win on Friday, the Knights are now 7-4-0-0 against the Stars this season and 4-1-0-0 in Des Moines. All time, the Knights are 12-7-1-1 against Iowa. The Stars begin the week in fourth place in the West Division with a record of 39-31-3-1, good for 82 points. They now lead fifth place Peoria by six points for the fourth playoff spot in the division. Peoria has one game in hand. The Stars are 15-19-2-1 at home this season. Junior Lessard and Vojtech Polak are tied for the team lead in scoring with 44 points. Lessard leads the team with 23 goals while Polak is tied with defenseman Mark Ardelan for the team lead with 27 assists. Goaltender Dan Ellis leads the Stars with 27 wins in 50 games played. He’s got a 2.89 goals-against average and a .891 save percentage. The Stars do not play before hosting the Knights.
Wednesday, April 4 vs. Manitoba Moose (Vancouver Canucks)
Fourth of four meetings; second of two meetings in Omaha
The Knights conclude their series with the Moose on Wednesday. They are still looking for their first win against Manitoba this season after dropping last week’s game at home. The Knights are 3-4-0-0 against the Moose all time including a mark of 1-2-0-0 at home. Manitoba is currently the top team in the North Division and the entire Western Conference with a record of 42-21-7-5, good for 96 points. The Moose are 18-12-4-3 on the road this season. Jason Jaffray leads the team in scoring with 34 goals and 43 assists for 77 points. Brad Moran is second in scoring with 66 points including a team-leading 44 assists. Drew MacIntyre leads the Moose goaltending corps with a record of 22-11-2, a 2.22 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. The Moose do not suit up until playing the Knights.
Friday, April 6 vs. San Antonio Rampage (Phoenix Coyotes)
Ninth of ten meetings; fourth of five meetings in Omaha
The Knights host the Rampage for the fourth time this season on Friday. It’s San Antonio’s first visit to Omaha since February 3rd. This season, the Knights are 5-2-1-0 against the Rampage including a record of 2-1-0-0 at home. All time, the Knights hold the advantage at 11-5-1-1. San Antonio begins the week in sixth place in the West Division with a record of 31-38-2-4, good for 68 points. The Rampage are 12-21-1-2 on the road this year. The team has been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Yanick Lehoux leads the Rampage in scoring with 30 goals and 40 assists for 70 points. He is tied with Donald MacLean for the team lead in goals. MacLean is second in scoring with 58 points. Josh Tordjman and David LeNeveu share the goaltending duties. Tordjman is 15-15-2 with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. San Antonio does not play before visiting the Knights.
Saturday, April 7 vs. Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild)
Tenth of ten meetings; fifth of five in Omaha
The Knights conclude their season series with the Aeros in the final game of the week. So far, the Knights are 8-0-0-1 against Houston this season including a record of 4-0-0-0 at home. Four of the previous nine games have been decided in a shootout. All time, the Knights are 11-3-1-4 with a 7-0-0-2 mark at home. The Aeros are in seventh place in the West Division with a record of 25-38-3-6, good for 59 points. They are 11-21-2-2 on the road this year. The Aeros have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Matt Foy leads the Aeros in scoring with 27 goals and 23 assists for 50 points. His goal total is a team best. Defenseman Curtis Murphy is second in scoring with 38 points including a team-leading 30 assists. Among current goaltenders, Dieter Kochan leads the team with six wins, but he is questionable for the weekend with an injury. The goaltending duties will fall on Miroslav Kopriva and Tony Quesada in his absence. The Aeros host Peoria on Tuesday and visit Peoria on Friday before coming to Omaha.
With the Knights’ 3-1 win at Iowa on Friday, goaltender Brent Krahn improved to 7-1-0-0 lifetime at Wells Fargo Arena. In that time, he has posted a 1.27 goals-against average, a .954 save percentage and two shutouts.
Seven of the Knights’ eleven shorthanded goals have been scored on the road this season including two at San Antonio last Tuesday.
The Knights are 33-17-4-1 against the West Division this season including a record of 20-4-3-1 on the road.
For player stats during the 2005-06 season, please visit the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knight's roster page by clicking here.