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Friday, November 03, 2006

Scouting the Omaha Knights

The Chicago Wolves defeated the Houston Aeros Wednesday night 4-2 in Houston, continuing their undefeated status on the road. The game marks the Wolves fifth on road win this season. In addition, Wolves Darren Haydar and Jason Krog have points in every game played by the Wolves this season and top the AHL in scorers with seventeen points each. Both notched assists in the Houston game.

Michael Garnett made 21 saves in the game. Fred Brathwaite has been seen with a cast on and is not expected to play to night when the team takes on the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. Rockford Ice Hogs goalie Frederick Cloutier was released as the ECHL affiliated Gwinnett Gladiators sent the Wolves David Caruso. Cloutier was the first United Hockey League player to be sent up to the AHL.

The Omaha game could mark the first road loss for the Wolves. Omaha is hot, having won seven games in a row, only losing the first game of the season in overtime. The Knights, an affiliate of the Calgary Flames, have returned to the ice with essentially the same crew as last season. A new addition is Dustin Boyd. The rookie is lighting with 13 points this season. Goalies Brent Krahn and Curtis McElhinney are splitting goal duties and each is looking good, with a solid defense in front.

Two other games to look at this weekend, one is happening in Chicago at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. The Chicago Hounds of the UHL take to the ice for the first time on Friday night against the Flint Generals.

The other game, the one I would travel to see this weekend, the Manitoba Moose versus the Grand Rapids Griffins in Van Andel Arena of Grand Rapids. The last time these two teams met was in the Northern Division Playoffs of last season. In the final game, the Moose started backup goalie Bryan Helmer after a groin injury to Wade Flaherty. At the end of the second period Helmer missed a save, leaving the score 4-1. The Moose were only able to put one shot on goal in the final period, but allowed four unanswered goals, losing the game 5-4. It was the biggest meltdown of the previous season and a real heart breaker for Moose fans.

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