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Bulldogs win, Americans clinch

Hamilton continued its charge towards a playoff spot in the North Division with a 6-3 victory over Edmonton on Sunday evening, a win that allowed the Rochester Americans to become the first team to clinch a berth in the 16-team field for the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Bulldogs have tied the fifth-place Road Runners with 67 points. Syracuse is fourth with 68 points, while Cleveland has 65.

Chris Higgins recorded two goals and an assist and Jonathan Ferland scored twice for Hamilton, which dropped Edmonton to 1-9-1-4 in its previous 15 games.

The Road Runners had erased an early 3-0 deficit to tie the score heading into the third period. Former Bulldog Paul Healey recorded two assists in his Edmonton debut.

But Hamilton responded with three goals in the final frame, with Higgins’ goal 52 seconds in standing up as the winning goal.

Elsewhere on Sunday:
Thomas Vanek had a hat trick in Rochester’s 6-5 shootout loss to Syracuse, as the Crunch took over fourth in the North… Antoine Vermette had a goal and two assists as Binghamton kept its spot atop the East Division with a 6-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Mike Cammalleri scored his 40th goal of the season and Adam Hauser finished with 42 saves as Manchester beat Lowell, 4-2… Eric Perrin, Jeff Ulmer and Jamie Rivers had three points apiece and former Admiral Mike Souza scored twice as Hershey downed Norfolk, 5-3… J.P. Vigier recorded a goal and three assists to lead Chicago to a 5-2 win over Manitoba… Patrice Bergeron and Keith Aucoin had a goal and an assist each as Providence beat Albany, 3-2… Antero Niittymaki made 32 saves to lead Philadelphia to a 4-1 win over Worcester… Brooks Laich scored twice and Kirk Daubenspeck made 28 saves as Portland won its eighth straight home game, 2-0 over Hartford… Cole Jarrett scored with 5:18 remaining as Bridgeport beat Springfield, 2-1.