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AHL Roundup: Lehner continues to be lights out

by Corey Masisak

Each Monday, will take a look back at the weekend that was in the American Hockey League with an emphasis on the young stars and top prospects that are continuing their development. Here are some of the highlights from the past few days in the AHL:



Andy Miele, Portland

Miele had four assists to help the Pirates fend off Springfield in overtime. The Falcons led 4-1 at one point, but Miele had the primary assist on three straight goals to level the score and again on Oliver Ekman-Larsson's winner in the extra session. Miele, the 2011 Hobey Baker Award winner, signed as an undrafted free agent with Phoenix in April of last year. He is now second on the Pirates with 16 points in 18 games.


Brian Flynn, Rochester

Flynn had three goals and an assist for the Americans in a win against Albany. He scored the first two goals of the game and finished the hat trick with an empty-netter. An undrafted free agent who signed with Buffalo in March after four years at the University of Maine, Flynn has eight goals and 15 points in 15 games. T.J. Brennan (Buffalo, second round in 2007) had two shorthanded goals for the Americans, and leads the team with nine tallies and 17 points.


Tomas Tatar, Grand Rapids

Tatar scored twice, including the game-winner with 2:13 left in the third period, to help the Griffins defeat Chicago. It was just the start of a huge weekend for Tatar, who had two more goals on Saturday and one Sunday as well. A second-round pick in 2009 by Detroit, Tatar doubled his goal output for the season -- he now leads Grand Rapids with 10 tallies and is second on the team with 18 points in 16 games.

NOTES: Chris Kreider (N.Y. Rangers, first round in 2009) had two goals in a wild victory for Connecticut against Bridgeport. Johan Sundstrom (N.Y. Islanders, second round in 2011) and David Ullstrom (fourth round in 2008) had three points each for the Sound Tigers, who led 5-3 before yielding the final four goals. … Defenseman Erik Gustafsson (Philadelphia, undrafted free agent in 2010) assisted on both goals in a 2-1 win for Adirondack against Norfolk. … Colorado prospect Michael Sgarbossa (undrafted free agent in 2010) had two assists for Lake Erie in a loss to Rockford. … Robin Lehner (Ottawa, second round in 2009) stopped 30 of 31 shots in a 2-1 win for Binghamton at Syracuse. … Michael Latta (Nashville, third round in 2009) had a goal and an assist in Milwaukee's loss to Peoria. … Matt Hackett (Minnesota, third round in 2009) and Jacob Markstrom (Florida, second round in 2008) each saw 26 shots, but Hackett stopped one more in a 2-1 victory for Houston against San Antonio. … Thomas Hickey (Los Angeles, first round in 2007) had a pair of assists in Manchester's loss to Worcester.



Robin Lehner, Binghamton

Lehner had his second stellar performance in as many nights, turning aside 35 of 36 shots in a win against Bridgeport. He is now 5-0-1 in the month of November, and the shootout loss came after a 65-minute shutout. Lehner has allowed just six goals in his past five starts, and now sports a 1.63 goals-against average and .950 save percentage this season -- he's third in the AHL in both categories.


Jordan Eberle, Oklahoma City

Eberle and the Barons went to Charlotte for two games this weekend and lit up the Checkers. Eberle had two goals Saturday and two more on Sunday to give him a team-leading 11 tallies and is second on the team (and in the league) with 26 points. Another of Edmonton's young stars, Taylor Hall, had three assists in both contests and has 15 points in 10 games.


Alex Stalock, Worcester

Stalock stopped 37 of 38 shots for the Sharks in a 5-1 win against Portland. A fourth-round pick by San Jose in 2005, Stalock played 30 minutes in a game at the NHL level in 2010-11 but missed much of last season because of a leg injury. He is 8-4-0 for Worcester with a 2.50 GAA and .913 save percentage this season -- that includes six goals allowed Sunday against Syracuse.

NOTES: Austin Watson (Nashville, first round in 2010) had two goals and scored in the shootout as Milwaukee won at Chicago. … Tyler Johnson (Tampa Bay, undrafted free agent in 2011) and Richard Panik (second round in 2009) each had a goal and an assist as Norfolk knocked off Albany. … Ryan Spooner (Boston, second round in 2010) scored a goal and had the lone tally in the shootout as Providence defeated St. John's. … Marek Hrivik (N.Y. Rangers, undrafted free agent in March) had three assists for Connecticut in a win against Norfolk. … Tyler Toffoli (Los Angeles, second round in 2010) had a goal, an assist and scored in the shootout as Manchester won at Springfield. … Simon Despres (Pittsburgh, first round in 2009) had a goal and an assist as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defeated Toronto. … Sgarbossa had two goals for Lake Erie in a shootout loss to Rockford. He leads the Monsters with eight goals and 17 points.



J.T. Brown, Syracuse

Brown had a hat trick and added an assist as the Crunch routed Worcester. An undrafted free agent from the University of Minnesota-Duluth who signed with Tampa Bay near the end of last season, Brown played five games for the Lightning at the end of the 2011-12 campaign after scoring 40 goals in two seasons for the Bulldogs. Brown had only one goal and six points in his first 12 games for Syracuse before this breakout outing. Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay's first-round pick in 2010, had three assists for the Crunch, and Tyler Johnson moved into the league lead in goals with his 12th and 13th of the season.


Justin Schultz, Oklahoma City

The Barons have plenty of talent up front, but Schultz might be the MVP of the league in the first two months of the season. Signed by Edmonton in July after being the most sought-after college free agent in ages, Schultz has backed up the hype and maybe even exceeded expectations to this point. He had a goal and two assists in the win Sunday against Charlotte, and the defenseman from the University of Wisconsin leads the AHL with 28 points in 18 games. The two wins in Charlotte pulled Oklahoma City within two points of the Checkers for the South Division lead.


Tom Kuhnhackl, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Kuhnhackl had just one point in his first eight AHL games and has spent time with Wheeling in the ECHL this season, but he had two goals and an assist in a 5-4 shootout win for the Penguins over Albany in Atlantic City, N.J. Kuhnhackl was a fourth-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2010. After a monster 2010-11 campaign (50 goals in 81 games including the playoffs for Windsor), he had only 13 goals and 36 points in 50 games last season split between Windsor and Niagara. He also missed 20 games after being suspended for an elbow to the head of Carolina prospect Ryan Murphy.

NOTES: Sami Aittokallio (Colorado, fourth round in 2010) stopped 41 of 42 shots as Lake Erie won at Hamilton. … Drew Shore (Florida, second round in 2009) had two goals and an assist for San Antonio in a loss to Texas. … David Rundblad (Phoenix, trade from Ottawa in 2011) had an overtime goal and an assist to help Portland defeat Manchester. It was Rundblad's second goal of the season and second in as many days. … Ryan Bourque (N.Y. Rangers, third round in 2009) had a goal and an assist as Connecticut won at Springfield. It was the third win in as many days for the Whale. … Spencer Machacek (Winnipeg, third round in 2007) had three assists as St. John's routed Providence. … Braden Holtby (Washington, fourth round in 2008) stopped 40 of 42 shots to help Hershey defeat Toronto. … Jason Zucker (Minnesota, second round in 2010) tied an AHL record by scoring five seconds into overtime as Houston defeated Abbotsford. Zucker leads the Aeros with nine goals and is second with 15 points.

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