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Knights return to road for four games

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Omaha, NE – No strangers to the road after a two-week trip, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights hit the pavement again for four more critical games against West Division opponents this week. The Knights will visit Peoria on Wednesday, Milwaukee on Friday and Chicago on Saturday and Sunday.

All four teams are either immediately ahead, tied with or behind the Knights in the standings. The Knights are tied with Milwaukee for second place in the West Division with each team having earned 66 points.

The Knights have a record of 31-19-3-1 and own four games in hand on the Admirals. The Knights are six points ahead of fourth place Peoria. The Rivermen have two games in hand. The Knights are eleven points behind the Chicago Wolves with four games in hand.

LAST WEEK''S RESULTS:

Wednesday, February 14: Manitoba Moose 4, Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 1

The Moose started quickly getting a goal from Jason Jaffray 43 seconds into the game and one from Lee Goren seven seconds later. Jaffray scored again on a powerplay to put the Moose up 3-0 after one. Colby Genoway made it 4-0 in the second period before Dustin Boyd scored in front of his home town crowd to make it 4-1. Curtis McElhinney took the loss in goal with 22 saves.

Friday, February 16: Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 2, Iowa Stars 1 OT

The Stars struck first when Chris Conner scored during a delayed penalty at 7:22 of the first period against Brent Krahn. It was Krahn’s first start since December 30th. The Knights kept him well insulated thereafter and tied the game early in the third period when Dustin Boyd scored on a five-on-three powerplay. The Knights and Stars each had five-on-threes later in the period but could not score in regulation. The Knights started overtime with another powerplay when defenseman Mario Scalzo high-sticked Boyd at the 20 minute mark. Just 1:26 into the overtime, Chris Lee fed Carsen Germyn for a one-timer that beat Dan Ellis to end it. It was the Knights’ first overtime win in four games this season. Krahn earned his tenth win with 25 saves.

Saturday, February 17: Peoria Rivermen 3, Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 2

After a scoreless first period, the Rivermen opened a 2-0 lead on a powerplay goal from Konstantin Zakharov and an even-strength tally from Mike Glumac. The Knights got one back before the period expired when Dustin Boyd knocked in a powerplay goal in the final two minutes. Carsen Germyn then tied the game when he rifled a shot past goalie Chris Beckford-Tseu just 2:48 into the third period. The deciding goal came halfway through the period. Trent Whitfield finished off a two-on-one by converting a pass from Jon DiSalvatore. It was his fourth game-winning goal in six games against the Knights this season. DiSalvatore has scored the other two. Curtis McElhinney finished the game with 25 saves.

AK-SAR-BEN KNIGHTS BASICS

RECORD: 31-19-3-1
POWERPLAY: 42/307, 13.7%
VS. DIV.: 23-14-3-1
HOME: 15-11-0-0
PENALTY KILL: 275/321, 85.7%
ROAD: 16-8-3-1
LAST TEN: 3-6-0-1
STREAK: 0-1-0-0

OPPONENTS THIS WEEK:

Wednesday, February 21 @ Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues)
Seventh of ten meetings; fourth of five meetings in Peoria, IL


For the second time in less than a week, the Knights will square off with the Rivermen. Dating back to last season, the Knights have lost 13 straight games to Peoria. They are 0-4-2-0 against them this season and they’ve posted a record of 0-1-2-0 in Peoria. The Rivermen are in fourth place in the West Division with a record of 28-20-2-2, good for 60 points. They are 17-11-1-0 at home this season. Trent Whitfield leads Peoria in scoring with 20 goals and 32 assists for 52 points. Rookie goaltender Marek Schwarz leads the team with 15 wins while Chris Beckford-Tseu has a team-best 2.31 goals-against average. Beckford-Tseu is 5-0-0 against the Knights this season; he has earned eight total wins. The Rivermen do not play before welcoming the Knights.

Friday, February 23 @ Milwaukee Admirals (Nashville Predators/Edmonton Oilers)
Eighth of ten meetings; fourth of five meetings in Milwaukee, WI


The Knights return to Milwaukee for the first time in a month and a half. They haven’t faced the Admirals in Wisconsin since a 4-3 win on January 4th. The Knights have gone 6-1-0-0 against the Ads this season although this has been a close series. Five of the previous seven games have been decided by one goal. The two teams are tied for second place in the West Division. The Admirals are 28-20-4-6 including a record of 13-10-3-1 at home. The Knights have four games in hand on Milwaukee. Rich Peverley leads the Admirals in scoring with 26 goals and 34 assists for 60 points. The goal and assist totals also pace the team. Goaltender Karl Goehring has appeared in a team high 39 games and has 19 wins and a 2.81 goals-against average this season. Pekka Rinne has played in only eleven games because of injury but is 5-3-2 with a 2.71 goals-against average. The Admirals do not play before hosting the Knights.

Saturday & Sunday, February 24 & 25 @ Chicago Wolves (Atlanta Thrashers)
Seventh and eighth of ten meetings; third and fourth of five meetings in Chicago, IL


The Knights finish the week with a two-game set against the Wolves. The Knights are 1-5-0-0 against the Wolves this season and have lost the last five games. In those losses, the Wolves have outscored the Knights 28-6. Omaha hasn’t been to Chicago since a 9-1 loss on December 15th. It was the worst loss in team history. Chicago leads the West Division and the entire Western Conference with a record of 35-16-2-5, good for 77 points. For all of their success, the Wolves are an unremarkable 11-10-1-3 on home ice. Chicago has the top two scorers in the AHL in Darren Haydar and rookie Brett Sterling. Haydar has 31 goals and 59 assists for 90 points. The assist total also leads the league. Sterling has a league high 43 goals and 75 points overall. Fred Brathwaite and Michael Garnett have shared the Wolves’ goaltending duties. Brathwaite has 18 wins and team bests in goals-against average (2.54) and save percentage (.911). Chicago visits San Antonio on Friday before hosting the Knights’.

KNIGHTS NOTES:

Defenceman Chris Lee scored his first American Hockey League goal on Monday, February 12th in the Knights’ 4-2 loss at Manitoba. It came in his sixth AHL game.

The Knights won their first overtime game of the season with a 2-1 victory at Iowa. They had lost their first three overtime games.

With the win in Iowa, the Knights are now 22-2-0-1 when allowing two goals or less.

TRANSACTIONS:

2/14/07 ADD Chris Neiszner (C), recalled from loan to Las Vegas (ECHL)
2/17/07 ADD Brett Skinner (D), received on loan from Anaheim (NHL)
2/18/07 DELETE Mike McKenna (G), released from PTO

For player stats during the 2005-06 season, please visit the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knight's roster page by clicking here.

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