This week in the AHL: Weeks 1 & 2

The AHL season is underway. Catch up on all of the need to know info right here!

The American Hockey League is the Triple-A affiliate league for the NHL. They are the top minor league for the NHL. They began this season two weeks ago, and now RealSport brings you post to post coverage of the AHL.


The American Hockey League announced four people received a selection to the American Hockey League Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Jim Bartlett, Don Biggs, Brian Kilrea, and Glenn Merkosky will be immortalized in the AHL Hall of Fame on January 29, 2018, at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, New York. 

The Hershey Bears will play the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday, January 20th, 2018 at Hersheypark Stadium. The Home of the Hershey Wildcats (A league soccer franchise) and the Hershey FC (NPSL soccer club) will host an outdoor game between the Washington Capitals affiliate (Bears) and the affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers (Phantoms). The game will also have an alumni scrimmage the night before. 

Three stars

(These are from the first two weeks of the season)

Third Star – Lucas Wallmark, center (Charlotte Checkers)

Wallmark sits tied for the league lead in points with 11 (3g 8a). Wallmark, a fourth-round pick (#97 overall) in the 2014 draft, is a member of the Carolina Hurricanes organization. He played in eight games last season with the Hurricanes, recording two points and two penalty minutes.

Second Star – Teemu Pulkkinen, left wing (Chicago Wolves)

Pulkkinen shares the league lead in points with Wallmark at 11 (4g 7a). The 111th overall selection in the 2010 draft (by Detroit) is now in the Vegas Golden Knights system. Pulkkinen spent time with Minnesota and Arizona last season before being selected by the Golden Knights in the expansion draft.

First Star – Thatcher Demko, goaltender (Utica Comets)

A second-round pick (#36) in the 2014 draft by Vancouver, Demko is one of the shining young stars in the Canucks’ farm system. He has a 3-1-0 record in the AHL this season with a .960 save percentage and a goals-against average of 1.26. Demko is in his second professional season after playing four with Boston College. 

The game that was

(This section is dedicated to the best AHL game of the week, not to be confused with the AHL Game of the Week that has yet to be played)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 6, Laval Rocket 5 in overtime Friday, October 20, 2017

The Baby Pens and Team Rocket blasted off to a six-goal first period, three coming to each side. Daniel Sprong recorded his first two, but it took a goal by Tom Kostopoulos with less than a minute in the period to tie the score. 

Laval took the lead in the second on an Eric Gelinas goal at 5:15. They would have the lead for 14 seconds as Wilkes-Barre tied the game at 5:29 on a goal from Gage Quinney. With 100 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Michael McCarron put Laval in the lead with his second of the season.

There was only one goal scored in the third, and it was not just a game-tying goal, but it gave Daniel Sprong the hat trick. At 10:41 of the third, he tallied his third of the game, and seventh of the season, on the power play.

Tristan Jarry turned away the only two shots of overtime he would see. His mates scored on the first attempt at Rocket goaltender Charlie Lindgren. Teodors Blugers scored his first of the season and ended the contest in front of 3,712 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Place in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.


Eastern Conference

Lehigh Valley Phantoms510111
Providence Bruins510010
Toronto Marlies520010
Charlotte Checkers520010
Laval Rocket42109
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins42008
Binghamton Devils31107
Hartford Wolfpack33017
Utica Comets32006
Syracuse Crunch24105
Belleville Senators24015
Rochester Americans23004
Bridgeport Sound Tigers24004
Hershey Bears14013
Springfield Thunderbirds16002

Western Conference

Rockford IceHogs510010
San Antonio Rampage510010
Milwaukee Admirals41008
Stockton Heat 42008
Texas Stars33017
Bakersfield Condors32006
Manitoba Moose33006
San Jose Baracuda33006
Tucson Roadrunners21105
Chicago Wolves22105
Cleveland Monsters22105
Grand Rapids Griffins23015
San Diego Gulls23004
Iowa Wild24004
Ontario Reign05000

Scoring Leaders

Teemu PulkkinenChicago Wolves4711
Lucas WallmarkCharlotte Checkers3811
Daniel SprongWilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins7310
Danick MartelLehigh Valley Phantoms7310
Andrew MangiapaneStockton Heat3710
Matt TaorminaLaval Rocket1910

What to look forward to

Rockford Ice Hogs at Cleveland Monsters Tuesday, October 31 at 7:15 EST

Rockford leads the Central Division with a 5-1-0 record and will go into Cleveland looking to put some distance between them and the current second place Milwaukee Admirals. Cleveland sits at fifth in the Central with a 2-2-1 record, tied for ninth in the conference. 

However, this game gets the nod over others because, well, how can you not pick a game where the Monsters are playing on Halloween? 

Cleveland is a great city and should have all kinds of fun stuff going on during the spookiest night of the year. 

Stay wired into RealSport for more coverage of the AHL!

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Ed Brickeen