Brandon Davidson has always been easy to cheer for.
That's why there has been such an outpouring of support for the Edmonton Oilers prospect since it was revealed last Friday that the 21-year-old defenceman had been diagnosed with testicular cancer
The Oilers announced that Davidson, who had played six games for the Oklahoma City Barons this season, immediately would begin treatment at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center on the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center campus.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Davidson grew up on a farm near Taber, Alta. Early on, his family didn't have the financial resources for him to play elite-level hockey, and as a result he simply went unnoticed by scouts.
But after a couple of seasons of solid play for the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, the Regina Pats took notice. The undrafted and unheralded defenceman cracked the Pats roster at age 18 prior to the 2009-10 season, and in his overage year last season was named the team captain by Regina head coach Pat Conacher.
The Oilers drafted Davidson in the sixth round after his first season in Regina and signed him to a three-year entry-level contract last spring.
Hall of a start
It was an up-and-down weekend for Taylor Hall in his return to action with the Barons. After he tipped in a Colten Teubert shot 38 seconds into the game for his 50th professional goal (he's scored 49 in 126 games with Edmonton) he was tossed in the third period for a hit on Houston Aeros defenceman Jonas Brodin.
The next day the AHL rescinded the game misconduct because the hit in the 4-3 Barons win was deemed shoulder to shoulder. But because this was Hall's first outing since his Mar. 16 left shoulder surgery, he sat out Saturday's game anyway.
Hall, who turns 21 on Nov. 14, returned to the lineup on Sunday against the San Antonio Rampage and recorded three shots on goal in a 2-0 defeat. Barons defenceman Justin Schultz saw his league-best nine-game points streak end. But he still leads the AHL scoring race with six goals and 15 points in 10 games.
The Barons, meanwhile, have a mediocre 5-4-1 record after 10 outings.
Checking in with victories
Because of a scheduling quirk, the Charlotte Checkers opened the AHL season with nine consecutive road games and performed brilliantly at 6-2-1. The Carolina Hurricanes affiliate finally returned home and won its opener at the Time Warner Cable Arena, a 4-1 decision against the Chicago Wolves.
In the victory, Checkers forward Drayson Bowman extended his goal-scoring streak to a club record eight games. The 23-year-old Bowman, who won a Memorial Cup with the Spokane Chiefs in 2008, has scored nine times in 10 games. Only Abbotsford Heat forward Roman Horak has more goals, with 10 in nine outings.
Bowman was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. and grew up in Littleton, Colo., cheering for the Colorado Avalanche before he moved to Vancouver at age 14 to further his hockey development. He has played 69 games for Carolina over parts of the past three seasons.
Packed house in Bridgeport
The area in and around Bridgeport, Conn., a city located on Long Island Sound, 60 miles up the coast from Manhattan, was hit hard by superstorm Sandy last week. So the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers felt the best course of action was to make all their tickets free for two weekend games at Webster Bank Arena.
The Tigers saw capacity crowds of 8,525 for a 3-2 win over the Hershey Bears on Saturday evening and a 5-3 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday afternoon.
AHL outdoor game
The AHL still will have an outdoor game to look forward to even though the tilt between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies, set for Dec. 30 at Detroit's Comerica Park, was cancelled last Friday along with the NHL's Winter Classic game
To mark their 75th anniversary season, the Hershey Bears will host Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Jan. 20 at Hersheypark Stadium, with an alumni game the previous day. The crowd could top 18,000 for a game that will celebrate the AHL's oldest franchise, which has won 11 Calder Cup championships.
Back to accessibility links