The first week of the IceHL's 2012-13 season is now behind us. And what a week it was. The standings above tell you how it all ended but doesn't even begin to tell you the whole story. So I'll do my best to break it all down. First, the full scoreboard, then my analysis. IceHL EAST first, then the WEST.
I'm pleased to say my Barracudas reigned over the IceHL EAST to get the season started. Our 63 points would've topped anybody this week. But all we had to do was get past the Arsenal, who hit only 30. A respectable number to be sure, but not quite enough for the win.
Turns out that when we're dealing with AHL rosters, my inclination for snapping up Lightning players (or future Lightning players, in this case) is paying off so far. Tyler Johnson had 2 goals, 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes for a 21-point week and Dustin Tokarski picked up 3 wins between the pipes.
The defending champion Nighthawks were no match for the Archers, who won handily, 59-31. The win was mostly thanks to Oliver Ekman-Larsson's IceHL EAST-leading 24 points (2g, 2a, 10pim). The Archers saw production from all five skaters while goalie Ben Bishop has yet to dress for a game this season.
In fact, only one team enjoyed contributions from all six members of its roster. The Lagers left the Mammoths feeling a bit woozy after a 54-15 pounding. Minnesota's performance was a league-low this week, due in part to the fact that two of its players have yet to see AHL action this season. Mikael Granlund was the star in Milwaukee with 2 goals and 4 assists for 20 points.
Elsewhere, the Hitmen saw four players top double digits, propelling them to a 54-26 victory over the Motorheads in Week 1. (Already looking like an improvement over last season.) And it was the blue line that helped the Blue Crabs to a 52-21 win against the Steelcats. Mike Kostka and Slava Voynov combined for 23 points, which included 3 goals and 3 assists.
By far the closest match-up of the week took place between the Quebec rivals with the Armada just edging out the Olympiques by one point, 31-30. The expansion Mariners made a victorious IceHL debut, beating the Colonials 40-27, while the Sentinels walloped the Guardians 40-21.
Before you share your take on these results, have a look at the IceHL WEST.
It was a week of extremes in the IceHL WEST as the top-scoring team exceeded the 70-point plateau and the lowest-scoring team failed to even reach double digits.
The Renegades sit atop the league this week after a stunning 74-29 win over the Narwhals to open the season. But this match-up would've been a lot closer had it not been for Mark Borowiecki going a little nuts over the weekend. The blue-liner was credited with 42 points!
On Saturday, Borowiecki picked up a pair of major penalties for boarding and fighting halfway throught the first period. He then tallied a goal in the second period before being assessed another minor penalty in the third. And before it was all said and done, he found himself in yet another fight — his third major of the game — which triggered an automatic game misconduct (AHL Rule 20.4). That's 27 penalty minutes in one night!
Regina's win was impressive but they only won by 45 points. The Huskies finished the week 50 points ahead of the Sharpshooters, in a match-up that ended 59-9. Radko Gudas was MIA while Matt Fraser and Emerson Etem have been quiet on the scoresheet for the Sharpshooters. Meanwhile, the Huskies enjoyed an offensive outburst from Cory Conacher and Zack Kassian, who combined for 5 goals and an assist. Kassian threw in 14 penalty minutes for good measure.
The IceHL WEST defending champion Beasts were true to their name as one of three teams to get production from all six players as they crushed the Cavalry, 66-21. Mikael Granlund and Chris Kreider put up 37 points together, on Granlund's 2 goals and 4 assists and Kreider's 17 penalty minutes. The Cavalry's problem stemmed from having a pair of players who aren't even playing AHL games at the moment in Taylor Hall and Ryan Ellis.
Another team to see six-way performance was the Winterhawks, who stumped the Hellcats with a 62-32 win. Marcus Foligno and Justin Schultz notched 3 goals apiece. Tim Erixon was the only skater without a goal, but he made up for it with a little time in the box. For Houston, goalie David Leggio's pair of wins made him the team's leading scorer this week.
The closest match-up of the week saw the Wave edge out the Lumberjacks, 46-41. But things might have gone differently had it not been for Oliver Ekman Larsson's 24-point performance for California. Cody Hodgson and Slava Voynov each had 12 for Vancouver.
Elsewhere, the Kodiaks' defense powered them to a 41-28 victory over the Scorpions as blue-liners Tyson Barrie and Mark Barberio combined for 2 goals and 5 assists. In the battle of the Pacific Northwest, the Aviators topped the Pioneers 52-38, while the Outlaws outpaced the Gators 30-21 in the week's only match-up without a single player in double-digit points.
How's that for some number-crunching. Share your insights in the comments. What do you think we'll see in Week 2? Are certain AHLers posed for a point explosion?