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Crunch roll into playoffs on 15-game winning streak


Sunday’s Boxscores

SYRACUSE 7, HAMILTON 1
Zenon Konopka and Derek MacKenzie finished with three points apiece, and Duvie Westcott had a game-high four (1-3-4) as Syracuse ended the regular season with a 7-1 win over Hamilton at the Onondaga County War Memorial on Sunday.

The Crunch won their 15th straight game and finished one point up on Manitoba for second place in the North Division. As a result, Syracuse will open the playoffs at home against the Moose on Friday.

Konopka netted a pair of goals and added an assist for Syracuse, while MacKenzie posted a goal and two helpers.

Clay Wilson and Derick Brassard each had a goal and an assist in the victory, and Gilbert Brule also scored. Karl Goehring stopped 25 shots to pick up the win in net.

Syracuse did not lose a game in regulation after Feb. 18, finishing the season on a 20-0-0-3 run.

Jonathan Ferland netted the lone goal for the Bulldogs, who did not make the playoffs one year after winning the Calder Cup.


HOUSTON 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (SO)
Houston scored on three of its four shootout tries and took a 3-2 win over visiting Milwaukee in front of 9,739 fans at the Toyota Center.

Milan Gajic, Shawn Belle, and Morten Madsen netted shootout goals for the Aeros. Gajic also had a regulation goal, as did Joel Ward.

Aeros goaltender Nolan Schaefer stopped three of four Milwaukee shootout attempts after making 16 saves through regulation and overtime.

The Admirals received regulation markers from Mike Santorelli and Antti Pihlstrom, and John Vigilante scored in the shootout.

Houston has a date with Rockford in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, while Milwaukee will square off with Chicago.


QUAD CITY 4, SAN ANTONIO 3
Quad City rallied for a pair of third-period goals to conclude its season with a 4-3 road win over San Antonio at the AT&T Center.

With his club trailing 3-2, Flames forward Kris Chucko netted the equalizer at 13:03 of the final period. Krys Kolanos then notched the game-winning marker with 2:13 left in regulation.

Kolanos also scored in the first period, and Can Cunning rounded out Quad City’s offense. Tim Ramholt chipped in a pair of assists, and goaltender Curtis McElhinney earned the win with 22 saves.

David Spina and Matt Murley had a goal and an assist apiece for the Rampage, and Cam Paddock also scored.

San Antonio will cross over to the North Division for the Calder Cup Playoffs and has a first-round match-up with division champion Toronto.


ROCKFORD 5, IOWA 3
Rockford parlayed three second-period goals into a 5-3 victory over visiting Iowa on Sunday at the MetroCentre. The victory ensured the IceHogs of second place in the West Division and a first-round playoff date with Houston.

Trailing 2-1, the IceHogs received second-period goals from Troy Brouwer, Derek Nesbitt, and Colin Fraser to make it a 4-2 lead.

Iowa’s Raymond Sawada and Rockford’s Michael Blunden exchanged third-period markers to account for the final score.

IceHogs goaltender Corey Crawford made 23 saves in the winning record and finished the regular season with a record of 29-19-5.


CHICAGO 5, PEORIA 3
Darren Haydar broke a 3-3 tie with 1:56 to go in regulation and Chicago went on to a 5-3 win over visiting Peoria in front of 9,531 fans at the Allstate Arena.

The Wolves clinched first place overall in the Western Conference with the win and will have home-ice advantage through the first three playoff rounds.

Jason Krog netted a pair of goals for Chicago, the second of which went into an empty net and clinched the league’s goal-scoring title. Krog finished with 39 goals and also led the league with 112 points while playing in all 80 games.

Haydar and Joel Kwiatkowski each posted a goal and two assists, and Brett Sterling had a goal and one helper. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (33-16-3) made 30 saves in the winning effort.

Jean-Guy Trudel and Nicholas Drazenovic each had a goal and a helper for the Rivermen, and Martin Kariya also scored.


MANITOBA 4, TORONTO 3
Brad Moran had a goal and an assist as Manitoba ended the regular season with a 4-3 road win over Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum.

Jannik Hansen, Greg Classen, and Maxime Fortunus rounded out the Moose’s offense, and rookie goaltender Cory Schneider (21-12-3) stopped 29 of 32 shots in the victory.

John Mitchell, Alex Foster, and David Ling netted goals in the losing effort for the Marlies.

Manitoba opens the playoffs at Syracuse on Friday, while Toronto kicks off its postseason play at home against San Antonio on Wednesday.


HARTFORD 3, BRIDGEPORT 2
Defenseman Michael Sauer broke a 2-2 tie at 3:30 of the third period and Hartford held on for a 3-2 road win over Bridgeport and a sweep of the teams’ home-and-home set.

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau gave the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead just 22 seconds after the opening face-off, and Corey Potter made it 2-0 at 7:44 of the middle stanza.

The Sound Tigers came back to tie it on goals late in the second period by Jeff Tambellini and Trevor Smith. Tambellini finished with 38 goals and 76 points in 57 AHL games this season.

Wolf Pack goaltender Miika Wiikman stopped 33 of 35 shots in the winning effort and finished the regular season at 21-8-3.

Hartford opens the Calder Cup Playoffs at home against Portland on Wednesday.


LOWELL 4, PROVIDENCE 1
Jason Ryznar posted two goals and an assist as Lowell ended its season with a 4-1 road win over Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Ivan Khomutov and Nicklas Bergfors also scored for the Devils and goaltender Frank Doyle (14-29-4) picked up the win with 33 saves. Lowell wrapped up the campaign at 25-43-7-5.

Bruins captain Nate Thompson netted his team’s lone goal with only 42 seconds left in regulation.

Providence, which finished first overall in the AHL at 55-18-3-4, will begin the Calder Cup Playoffs at home on Wednesday against Manchester.


WORCESTER 4, SPRINGFIELD 2
Tom Cavanagh netted a pair of goals as Worcester doubled up Springfield by a 4-2 count at the DCU Center in the season finale for both teams.

Brad Staubitz and Ashton Rome tallied the Sharks’ other goals, and Lukas Kaspar chipped in a pair of assists. Worcester finished its season on a three-game winning streak.

Sharks goaltender Taylor Dakers picked up the victory with 21 saves, and he was between the pipes for all three of Worcester’s wins this weekend.

Justin Chwedoruk netted his first career AHL goal for the Falcons, and T.J. Kemp also lit the lamp.


HERSHEY 6, BINGHAMTON 5 (OT)
Andrew Joudrey netted the game-winner at 2:02 of overtime, and five other Hershey skaters notched goals in a 6-5 win over visiting Binghamton in front of 8,025 fans at the Giant Center.

The Bears’ Francois Bouchard opened the game’s scoring with his first professional goal, and Kyle Wilson, Louis Robitaille, Ryan Flinn, and Alexandre Giroux also found the back of the net for Hershey.

Jay Beagle chipped in a trio of assists, Andrew Gordon and Shawn Collymore had two helpers apiece, and goaltender Frederic Cassivi picked up the win with 38 saves.

Justin Mapletoft led the Senators with a goal and two assists, while Matt Kinch and Shawn Weller each had a goal and one helper.

Binghamton will miss the playoffs, while Hershey opens the first round at home on Wednesday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


PHILADELPHIA 3, ALBANY 2
Denis Gauthier broke a 2-2 tie at 9:23 of the third period to give Philadelphia a 3-2 win over Albany before 9,657 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Jonathan Matsumoto and Michael Ratchuk netted first-period goals for the Phantoms, both on the power play, giving them a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Ratchuk’s goal was the first of his professional career.

The River Rats came back with a pair of tallies in the middle stanza, with Mike Angelidis and Jakub Petruzalek doing the honors.

Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe (18-8-2) picked up the victory with 28 saves on 30 shots.

The two teams will square off in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, beginning on Wednesday in Albany.


ROCHESTER 6, LAKE ERIE 5
Rochester exploded for five goals in the second period and held on for a 6-5 win over Lake Erie at the Blue Cross Arena in the season finale for both teams.

2008 AHL All-Star Mark Mancari notched two goals and added an assist for the Americans. Brady Calla, Marek Zagrapan, Jordan Hendry, and Paul Baier also lit the lamp.

Amerks goaltender Tyler Plante made 23 saves in the winning effort.

Lake Erie received five-point efforts from Brad Richardson (3-2-5) and Eric Healey (1-4-5) in the loss. Brent Kelly posted a goal and an assist for the Monsters.