It was the only game in the American Hockey League on Monday, but the Syracuse Crunch probably preferred that no one watched.
The Ducks’ top affiliate lost 10-3 to the Charlotte Checkers after falling behind 9-1 after two periods. According to the Syracuse Post-Dispatch, Charlotte’s eight-goal second period was the most in an AHL period since Providence scored a league-record 10 in the first – also vs. the Crunch – on Nov. 25, 1998. During the middle period Charlotte scored twice in a span of 21 seconds, three goals in 1:07, four in 1:41, five in 2:41, six in 3:39, seven in 7:15, and eight in a span of 13:44.
Timo Pielmeier started in goal before giving way to Jean-Phillippe Levasseur in the fateful second period. Levasseur provided no relief, allowing goals on both shots he faced, before being pulled in favor of Pielmeier, who finished with 33 saves on 41 shots.
Dan Sexton played his first game back in Syracuse since returning from Anaheim. Kyle Palmieri, Stefan Chaput and San Jacinto native Jake Newton scored goals for the Crunch.
Syracuse has won two of its last 10 games, falling to 8-12-1-3 on the season.
The Ducks had a day off the ice Sunday, but it was a busy day of travel for six players released from training camp.
Center Trevor Smith, center MacGregor Sharp, goaltender Timo Pielmeier and defenseman Jake Newton were assigned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League. Igor Bobkov was assigned to his Ontario Hockey League team, the London Knights, and forward Stephane Veilleux was released from his pro tryout contract.
Only 30 players remain on the roster and the opening-day roster is starting to become more clear.
The 15,872 who showed up at HP Pavilion got their money’s worth for a mere exhibition, in which the Ducks and Sharks racked up nine goals and six separate fights.
Both coaches, who figured the game would merely be a good chance to tinker with their personnel in preparation for the regular season, probably got their money’s worth, too.
Playing on a line with Aaron Voros, Corey Perry had three goals and Ryan Getzlaf had four assists. San Jacinto’s Jake Newton scored his first of the preseason and Dan Sexton potted the game-winner with five minutes remaining.
Curtis McElhinney started in goal and stopped 18 of 20 shots in 29:25. Timo Pielmeier came on in relief to stop 22 of 24.
Veteran forwards Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Todd Marchant postponed their preseason debuts another day, likely until tomorrow night in Vancouver. Bobby Ryan also sat the game out. But Getzlaf and Perry more than held their own. Getzlaf had the primary assist on all of Perry’s goals, as well as Newton’s goal – which deflected into the net off San Jose’s Derek Joslin. All four of Getzlaf’s assists came on the power play.
Sexton took a nice pass from Jason Blake to beat Sharks goalie Harri Sateri with the game-winner.
Stephane Veilleux’s second game of the preseason was limited to 2:20. He and Scott Nichol fought at 11:55 of the first period – the fourth fight in less than two minutes – and were promptly ejected.
Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist as the Ducks skated to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center for their first win of the preseason.
Skating a more veteran lineup than in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Ducks were buoyed by the presence of several regulars. Jonas Hiller started in goal and stopped all 19 shots he faced in 32 minutes. Corey Perry also scored a goal and the line of he, Getzlaf and Matt Beleskey (two assists) combined for five points.
Aaron Voros, Danny Syvret and Jason Blake also scored for the Ducks. Timo Pielmeier finished in goal, stopping 19 of 21.
Cam Fowler, the 12th overall pick in the June draft, assisted on Syvret’s second-period power play tally for his second assist in as many games.
The Ducks won despite being outshot 40-18 but otherwise held the edge on the stat sheet. Luca Sbisa (3) had as many blocked shots as the entire San Jose team and had five hits.
The Sharks, in their first game of the preseason, failed to score on eight power-play opportunities, while the Ducks went 2-for-3.
The Ducks went out winners at the Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C., topping the Vancouver Canucks’ rookies 4-2.
After two straight losses in which they were outmuscled for net position and looked lost on special teams, the kids turned it around in a major way. A pair of power-play goals, by Rob Bordson and Cam Fowler, staked the Ducks to a 2-0 lead through two periods.
In the third, Vancouver came back to tie the game at 2 against goaltender Timo Pielmeier, who lost the tournament opener Sunday. But center Maxime Macenauer, who spent all of last season with ECHL affiliate Bakersfield, scored the game-winner with less than three minutes to play. Kyle Palmieri’s empty-net goal provided the final score.
The Ducks led in the shot column, 33-18, and Pielmeier needed only 16 saves for the win. Russian goalie Igor Bobkov was on the bench for the first time in the tournament, but the Ducks’ third-round 2009 draft pick did not appear in the game.
Nick Bonino scored during a 5-on-3 power play for the Ducks’ lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks in the opener for both teams in the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, British Columbia.
The Ducks didn’t lack for opportunities against San Jose goalie J.P. Anderson, an undrafted 18-year-old invitee from the Ontario Hockey League. But too often for their liking, Anderson made a great save, or watched the Ducks misfire.
Bonino broke up the shutout by scoring in a scramble in front of the net while the Ducks held their second two-man advantage of the period.
The Sharks scored two of their four goals on the power play. They mostlhy succeeded in creating traffic in front of Timo Pielmeier, a former San Jose prospect who was acquired along with Bonino for Kent Huskins and Travis Moen back in 2009.
The Ducks didn’t create nearly as much traffic in front of Anderson and relied on the breakaway for most of their chances.
For the 12th overall pick in the recent NHL Entry Draft, the coolest aspect of the Ducks’ rookie conditioning camp has been watching a pair of players with NHL experience, Dan Sexton and Nick Bonino. Not watching how they skate, pass, or shoot, but “seeing how they carry themselves, how they’re professional in the way that they act.”
“I think it’s cool for me as a young guy just to be around those guys and see what it’s like,” Fowler said. “It’s just being respectful to everybody, carrying yourself professionally whether it’s picking weights up in the locker room or gathering up some money to help the trainers out. They always seem to be one step ahead of things to help us young guys out.”
In three intrasquad scrimmages this week, Fowler has been among the players who are a step ahead of everyone else — more mentally than physically, but sometimes both.
The Ducks have sent goaltender Mattias Modig, a 2007 fourth-round draft pick, to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the upcoming entry draft. The Penguins had originally acquired the pick from the Montreal Canadiens, so this will be the 27th pick of the sixth round and the 177th pick overall.
Modig, 23, has spent his entire career with Lulea of the Swedish Elite League. In 34 games, he posted a 2.49 goals-against average and .899 save percentage for Lulea in 2009-10. Modig has already signed a two-year entry-level contract with Pittsburgh.
The Ducks have several goaltenders already in the system, which likely made Modig expendable. Marco Cousineau and Timo Pielmeier are already signed, and soon-to-be free agents Jean-Phillippe Levasseur and Joey MacDonald could be brought back. Russian prospect Igor Bobkov was a fairly high draft pick (third round, 76th overall) in last year’s draft.
The Bakersfield Condors, the Ducks’ ECHL affiliate, saw its season come to an end Saturday with a 7-4 loss to Stockton in Game 5 of their Kelly Cup playoff series.
Timo Pielmeier allowed six goals on 33 shots in the loss and finished the playoffs with a 1-2-1 record, 3.39 goals-against average and .892 save percentage in four games. Jean-Phillippe Levasseur went 3-2-1, 2.61 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Kyle Calder, who had two assists Saturday, led the Condors with five goals and 10 points in 10 playoff games. MacGregor Sharp had a goal Saturday to bring his totals to three goals and eight points in 10 games. Ducks prospects Maxime Macenauer, Stu Bickel and Eric Regan also suited up for the Condors in the playoffs (team stats here).
Consider this a belated, Ducks-related, American Hockey League playoff update.
Since the Ducks do not have an AHL affiliate this year, tracking their prospects’ postseason progress is a more haphazard endeavor than usual. Three (Dan Sexton, Brian Salcido and Mat Clark) are with the Manitoba Moose, who tonight lost Game 1 of their seven-game series against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Needless to say, each was held scoreless.
On Wednesday, defenseman Nathan Oystrick had two assists in the Chicago Wolves’ 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Admirals in Game 1 of their series. Shawn Weller, playing for the Abbotsford Heat, contributed the second of three goals in a 3-2 win over the Rochester Americans. Heat defenseman Mark Mitera was held scoreless.
The Ducks’ ECHL affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, begin play in the second round of the Kelly Cup playoffs tomorrow against the Stockton Thunder. Kyle Calder, MacGregor Sharp, Ryan Donally, Maxime Macenauer, Matt McCue, Eric Regan, Stu Bickel, Timo Pielmeier and J-P Levasseur are all competing in the series for Bakersfield.