AHL Weekly: Postponements Prevail | NEWS

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ROCKET SPORTS MEDIA — Welcome to our new column here at the AHL Report: AHL Weekly! Published every Tuesday, this post will bring you the latest American Hockey League (AHL) news from around North America.

We’ll feature the AHL’s Player(s) of the Week/Month, interesting news items, plus league standings, suspensions, and leaders.

For our faithful Laval Rocket and Lehigh Valley Phantoms readers, we’ll highlight the latest news and updates of the week for those two teams as well, including links to our Rocket Sports Media team’s comprehensive game recaps.

Player of the Week

No AHL Player of the Week was announced for the week of December 20-26.

Noteworthy News

Postponements Rising

There have been many COVID-19 outbreaks around the AHL, and although the holiday weekend gave everyone a chance to reset, 11 teams were still being affected by virus protocols after the break. 16 additional games have already been postponed between December 27 and New Year’s Day.

With many NHL players also entering protocols, AHL players are being recalled in droves. This is not only causing a roster mess through these two leagues, but also through the ECHL, which, in turn, has players being called up to the AHL.

This topic was discussed in depth on this week’s episode of The Press Zone podcast, when Rocket Sports Media special contributor Patrick Williams joined hosts Amy Johnson and Rick Stephens for the ‘AHL Hot Stove’ segment. Click here to listen to the conversation!

Here’s a list of all postponed games currently announced at time of publication for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day:

December 27:

  • Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Cleveland Monsters (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Utica Comets (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Rochester Americans
  • Ontario Reign vs. San Diego Gulls (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Bakersfield vs. San Jose Barracuda (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Rockford IceHogs (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Iowa Wild

December 28:

  • Syracuse Crunch (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Belleville Senators (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Providence Bruins vs. Toronto Marlies (COVID-19 protocols)

December 29:

  • Laval Rocket vs. Syracuse Crunch (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Cleveland Monsters (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Lehigh Valley
  • Henderson Silver Knights vs. San Diego Gulls (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Stockton Heat vs San Jose Barracuda (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Utica Comets (COVID-19 protocols) vs Springfield Thunderbirds

December 30:

  • Abbotsford Canucks (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Manitoba Moose
  • Rockford IceHogs (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Milwaukee Admirals

December 31:

  • Abbotsford Canucks (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Manitoba Moose
  • Charlotte Checkers (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Texas Stars (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Cleveland Monsters (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
  • San Diego Gulls (COVID-19 protocols) vs Tucson Roadrunners

January 1:

  • Charlotte Checkers (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Texas Stars (COVID-19 protocols)
  • Cleveland Monsters (COVID-19 protocols) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

January 2:

  • San Diego Gulls (COVID-19 protocols) vs Tucson Roadrunners

At the rate players are entering COVID protocols, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more postponements announced in the coming days.

All-Star Weekend Scratched

The Laval Rocket will have to wait once again to host the AHL All-Star Classic. League officials announced that the 2022 event, scheduled for February 6-7, was postponed for a second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“…with the event only six weeks away and faced with ongoing challenges pertaining to health and safety, international travel, and group gatherings, the League and the Rocket organization feel it is in everybody’s best interests to postpone the event, said Scott Howson, President and CEO of the AHL.

France Margaret Bélanger, President of Sports and Entertainment at Groupe CH, added, “Postponing the All-Star Classic for a second year is disappointing, but unfortunately unavoidable in the circumstances.”

Howson also confirmed that the league is “committed to bringing the All-Star Classic to Laval in the future.”

Laval Rocket Update

The Laval Rocket had no games scheduled this past week. Their sole home game this week, scheduled for December 29th against Syracuse, has been postponed due to COVID-19 protocols affecting the Crunch.

Lehigh Valley Phantoms Update

December 21: HER (1) @ LHV (2)

In an almost-perfect outing for Pat Nagle, the Bears scored with about three minutes remaining and ended his chance for a shutout. But his 29-save performance helped him improve his record to 4-0-2 this season.

The Bears also almost tied the game, but it was half a second too late, and the Phantoms were able to hang on to their win, extending their point streak to five games.

The two goal-scorers for Lehigh Valley were Charlie Gerard and Connor Bunnaman.

The December 22 game against the Hershey Bears was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols affecting Hershey.

League Standings

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

League Leaders

Skaters

Goaltenders

League Suspensions

There were no suspensions announced over the past week.

For all the latest news, updates, analysis, and information on hockey prospects, be sure to bookmark AHLReport.com and follow @TheAHLReport on Twitter and Facebook. We invite you to leave a comment below!

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By Maria Bouabdo, Staff Writer
The AHL Report
Copyright © 2021 Rocket Sports

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