NORFOLK 6, ADIRONDACK 3
First-year North American pro Johan Harju notched his first career AHL hat trick and recorded a season-high four points as Norfolk rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to take a 6-3 road win over Adirondack on Friday, improving to 4-1-0-0 in their last five games.
The Admirals (11-5-3-1, 26 points) reached the six-goal mark for the sixth time in 20 games this season and moved within four points of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for first place in the East Division.
Harju, who came in with a trio of two-goal efforts on his resume this season, scored twice in the second period and completed the hat trick 12 minutes into the third frame. The 24-year-old native of Sweden now leads the Admirals with 12 goals and 22 points in 15 games this season.
James Wright, Tim Marks, and Alex Berry also netted goals for Norfolk, which scored five unanswered markers after falling behind 3-1. Netminder Cedrick Desjardins earned the victory with 25 saves on 28 shots.
MANCHESTER 7, ALBANY 2
Rookie Brayden Schenn scored his first two professional goals and added an assist as Manchester rolled to a 7-2 win over visiting Albany on Friday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The 19-year-old Schenn, who was drafted fifth overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2009, entered the night with two assists in four games for the Monarchs this year and two helpers in eight outings for Los Angeles.
He notched his first pro goal just 5:39 into the contest and then added another marker early in the third period.
Corey Elkins (1-2-3) and Oscar Moller (0-3-3) also racked up three points for the Monarchs, while David Meckler (1-1-2), Marc-Andre Cliche, and defensemen Colten Teubert and Patrick Mullen rounded out the offense.
The seven goals marked a season high for the Monarchs, who improved to 6-1-0-0 in their last seven contests and moved one point up on Portland for first place in the Atlantic Division, although they have played three more games than the Pirates.
SPRINGFIELD 4, PORTLAND 2
Springfield outscored Portland 3-1 in the third period and doubled up the host Pirates by a 4-2 count on Friday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Falcons handed Portland its first regulation loss in 11 home contests on the season (9-1-1-0).
Springfield’s Maksim Mayorov and Portland’s Paul Byron traded goals through the first two periods, making it a 1-1 contest heading into the third. Brent Regner put the Falcons on top at 4:25 mark, and Mark Mancari answered on the power play at 9:12.
But just 1:08 later, Michael Blunden scored a power play goal of his own to put the Falcons on top to stay. Rookie Matt Calvert added an empty-netter in the closing minute.
Falcons goaltender David LeNeveu (7-5-1) stopped 28 of 30 shots in net to help his club snap a brief two-game losing skid.
BRIDGEPORT 4, HARTFORD 3 (SO)
Bridgeport rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three goals in the final seven minutes of regulation and went on to a 4-3 win over visiting Hartford on Friday at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
It marked the final game for the Hartford Wolf Pack, as the franchise will officially be rebranded the Connecticut Whale for Saturday’s rematch with the Sound Tigers at the XL Center.
After a scoreless first period, Hartford grabbed a 2-0 second-period lead on goals by Mats Zuccarello and Chad Kolarik. Jeremy Williams stretched the lead to 3-0 early in the third frame with his team-leading 12th goal of the campaign.
But Wes O’Neill began Bridgeport’s comeback when he cashed in on a penalty shot attempt at the 13:18 mark. Just 21 seconds later, rookie Rhett Rakhshani made it a 3-2 game, and then O’Neill tied it with just 1:05 left in regulation.
Neither team scored in the shootout until Sound Tigers forward Jeremy Colliton beat Hartford goaltender Chad Johnson in the seventh round. Bridgeport netminder Mikko Koskinen denied all seven Wolf Pack shootout tries after making 29 saves through the first 65 minutes.
Bridgeport now has a point in three straight games (2-0-1-0).
ROCKFORD 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (SO)
Rockford coughed up a 2-0 lead in regulation but then scored on two of its three shootout tries to come away with a 3-2 road win over Grand Rapids on Friday before 7,018 fans at Van Andel Arena.
Rookies Brandon Pirri and Kyle Beach notched shootout goals for the IceHogs, and goaltender Alec Richards turned aside all four of Grand Rapids’ attempts after making 40 saves on 42 shots through regulation and overtime.
Pirri gave the IceHogs a 1-0 lead 10:51 into the contest, and Ryan Potulny stretched the advantage to 2-0 on the power play midway through the second frame.
Grand Rapids is now winless in five straight games (0-4-0-1) but scored more than one goal in a game for the first time since a 2-1 win at Hamilton on Nov. 14.
Rockford snapped a three-game winless skid (0-2-0-1)
WORCESTER 4, PROVIDENCE 1
Ex-Bruin T.J. Trevelyan recorded a goal and an assist to pace Worcester to a 4-1 road win over Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday.
Trevelyan, who played for Providence from 2006-08, snapped a 13-game goal-scoring drought and found the back of the net for the first time since the Sharks’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Bruins on Oct. 23.
Jonathan Cheechoo, defenseman Nick Petrecki, and Dan DaSilva also scored for the Sharks, who won their season-high third straight game and improved to 8-2-0-2 in their last 12 contests. Petrecki now shows three points (2-1-3) in four games against the Bruins and four points (2-2-4) against everyone else.
Providence captain Jeremy Reich scored his team’s lone goal of the game, as the Bruins’ five-game points streak (4-0-1-0) came to an end.
OKLAHOMA CITY 3, LAKE ERIE 2 (OT)
Colin McDonald tied the game with 4:45 left in regulation and then scored the game-winner at 3:01 of overtime to lift Oklahoma City to a 3-2 road win over Lake Erie on Friday before 10,608 fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
McDonald now has a goal in three straight games (4-0-4) for the Barons, who have won all three of those contests and improved to 10-2-0-1 in their last 13 outings overall.
Liam Reddox staked Oklahoma City to a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes with his 11th goal of the season, but the Monsters scored twice in the middle frame to move ahead 2-1. Rookies Luke Walker and Mark Olver did the damage for Lake Erie.
Reddox earned the lone assist on McDonald’s tying goal, and defenseman Tyler Plante was credited with the only helper on the game-winner.
Barons goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers earned the victory with 25 saves on 27 shots.
The teams will meet again in Cleveland on Saturday night.
HAMILTON 1, BINGHAMTON 0
Hamilton goaltenders Curtis Sanford and Robert Mayer combined for a 33-save shutout as the Bulldogs edged Binghamton on Friday before a crowd of 14,873 fans at Scotiabank Place, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
The teams were engaged in a scoreless deadlock before Bulldogs rookie Alexander Avtsin scored the game’s only goal at 13:28 of the third period, with assists going to Aaron Palushaj and Andreas Engqvist.
Sanford made eight saves in the first period before giving way to Mayer, who stopped all 25 shots he faced over the final 40 minutes of action.
Hamilton has now won three straight games and has earned a point in its last six contests (5-0-0-1).
The Senators, who scored exactly one goal in five previous contests this season, were shut out for the first time.
HERSHEY 5, SYRACUSE 1
Andrew Gordon took over the AHL scoring lead with two goals and an assist, and Hershey cruised to a 5-1 road win over Syracuse on Friday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Gordon, who scored on the power play and at even strength in addition to assisting on the eventual game-winning goal, now shows a league-leading 28 points (14-14-18) in 20 games on the year. His 14 goals are tied with Binghamton rookie Bobby Butler for first in the AHL.
Patrick Maroon scored 11:10 into his Crunch debut to give Syracuse a 1-0 lead, but Hershey scored the game’s next five goals en route to the win.
Mathieu Perreault (1-2-3), Andrew Joudrey, and Kyle Greentree rounded out the Bears’ offense, and goaltender Dany Sabourin made 25 saves to earn his first win since a 24-save shutout in Syracuse on Nov. 13.
The Bears improved to 3-0-0-0 against the Crunch this season, with all three meetings taking place in Syracuse. Hershey still hosts the Crunch three times, the first of those clashes occurring on New Year’s Eve.
TORONTO 3, ROCHESTER 2
Joey Crabb snapped a 2-2 power play with a power play goal at 18:02 of the second period, and Toronto held on for a 3-2 road win over Rochester on Friday at the Blue Cross Arena.
Marlies forward Christian Hanson, who had scored the game-tying goal less than five minutes earlier, earned an assist on Crabb’s marker to finish with two points on the night.
Toronto improved to 9-2-0-2 in its last 14 games and moved within five points of Hamilton for first place in the tight North Division race.
CHICAGO 3, PEORIA 2 (OT)
Spencer Machacek stayed hot by scoring at 2:07 of overtime to lift Chicago to a 3-2 road win over Peoria in front of 6,018 fans at Carver Arena on Friday.
Machacek extended his goal-scoring streak to four games (5-2-7) for the Wolves, who have won all four of those contests on the heels of a seven-game losing skid. The third-year pro Machacek now leads Chicago with 10 goals in 22 games on the season (10-8-18).
Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino earned his fourth consecutive win with 33 saves on 35 shots in net.
Peoria’s three-game winning streak came to an end.
SAN ANTONIO 5, HOUSTON 3
Five different San Antonio skaters found the back of the net as the first-place Rampage continued their torrid start to the season with a 5-3 road win over in-state rival Houston at the Toyota Center on Friday.
Rookie defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, drafted sixth overall by the parent Phoenix Coyotes in 2009, contributed three assists in the contest, and San Antonio goaltender Al Montoya (6-2-0) secured the win with 22 saves in net.
The Rampage set a new season high with their seventh consecutive win and moved to 14-2-0-0 in their last 16 games. San Antonio is 15-4-1-0 overall, good for a three-point lead on Oklahoma City for first place in the West Division.
Houston, which fell to 0-3-0-0 against the Rampage this season, has now dropped back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since a three-game skid from Oct. 23-29.
MILWAUKEE 1, TEXAS 0
Milwaukee goaltender Mark Dekanich moved into a tie for the AHL lead with his third shutout of the season, stopping all 29 shots he faced as the Admirals edged host Texas by a 1-0 count on Friday at the Cedar Park Center.
Dekanich improved to 9-3-2 on the season and helped the Admirals halt a four-game winless skid (0-3-0-1). Milwaukee is now 4-3-0-1 on its 10-game road swing, which concludes with contests this weekend in Houston and San Antonio.
Richard Bachman took the loss despite making 28 saves on 29 shots for the Stars, who have dropped two of their last three (1-2-0-0).
ABBOTSFORD 2, MANITOBA 1 (SO)
Abbotsford scored on three of its four shootout tries and came away with a 2-1 win over Manitoba on Friday in the first of a two-game set before 5,873 fans at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Jon Rheault, Mitch Wahl, and Matt Keith all netted shootout goals for the Heat, who improved to 4-2 in the shootout this season. Each of Abbotsford’s last three home games have ended in the shootout, and the Heat have won all three.
Heat goaltender Leland Irving (11-5-0) denied all three of Manitoba’s shootout attempts after making 40 saves on 41 shots through the first 65 minutes.
The Heat snapped a season-high three-game winless skid (0-2-0-1) with the victory.