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Pack inch closer to P-Bruins for second in Atlantic

Brad Isbister scored twice in the first period as Hartford netted the first three goals of the night and went on to defeat the Providence Bruins, 3-2, at the Hartford Civic Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

With the win, the Wolf Pack improve to 30-20-3-0 and 63 points, just one point behind the Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Al Montoya stopped 31 shots for his 11th win in his last 13 decisions for the Wolf Pack, who are 5-1-0-0 in their last six games at home.

Dwight Helminen provided the other tally while Nigel Dawes had two assists for Hartford, which will play the tail end of a home-and-home series against the P-Bruins on Sunday.

T.J. Trevelyan led the Bruins with a goal and an assist in the loss.


PEORIA 3, OMAHA 2
Trent Whitfield tallied the game-winning goal midway through the third period as the visiting Peoria Rivermen defeated Omaha by a score of 3-2 on Saturday afternoon.

It was the 13th straight win for the Rivermen over the Knights, including all six meetings this season.

Chris Beckford-Tseu stopped 27 of 29 shots in the contest for Peoria and Mike Glumac and Konstantin Zakharov provided the other tallies for the Rivermen, who are 8-0-0-0 all-time at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

Carsen Germyn and Dustin Boyd each scored in the loss for Omaha.


MANCHESTER 5, TORONTO 2
The Monarchs got back on the winning track as they downed the Toronto Marlies in an early evening tilt at Ricoh Coliseum.

Petr Kanko, Shay Stephenson and Gabe Gauthier contributed a goal and an assist each for Manchester, who will face the Marlies again in the tail end of a two-game set at Ricoh on Sunday.

Jason LaBarbera needed just 19 saves to backstop the Monarchs to victory and become the first goaltender to earn 30 wins on the season. He is also the 14th goalie in AHL history with three career 30-win campaigns.

Marty Murray and Tim Jackman also tallied goals as defenseman Brendan Buckley rounded out the scoring for Manchester by added two assists.

Erik Westrum provided both goals in the loss for Toronto.


LOWELL 3, BRIDGEPORT 2
Stephen Gionta and David Clarkson each tallied a goal and an assist as the Lowell Devils ended a four-game losing skid with a 3-2 win at home over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

The Lowell win also brought the Sound Tigers’ season-high six-game winning streak to an end.

Jordan Parise earned his 10th win of the year by stopping 33 of 35 shots on the night for Lowell, which has won three straight at Tsongas Arena.

Chris Minard provided the other tally for the Devils while 2007 AHL All-Star defenseman Andy Greene added two assists and was a plus-3 in the win.

Jason Pitton and Petteri Nokelainen scored in the loss for Bridgeport.


WORCESTER 2, SPRINGFIELD 1
After allowing the first goal of the night, the Worcester Sharks tallied the next two goals to grab a 2-1 lead and eventual win over the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center.

Grant Stevenson and Steve Bernier provided the scoring to help the Sharks end their four-game losing skid and earn its second win on an eight-game road swing. Stevenson’s goal in the first period also ended a 147-minute scoreless drought for Worcester.

Thomas Greiss moved to 11-9-0 on the year by stopping 20 of 21 shots in the win.

Defenseman Doug O’Brien scored the lone goal for Springfield in the loss.


GRAND RAPIDS 4, SAN ANTONIO 2
Grand Rapids put the first three goals of the game on the board and added a late third-period goal to defeat the visiting San Antonio Rampage by a score of 4-2 and extend its winning streak to six games.

Eric Himelfarb tallied a goal and an assist and 2007 AHL All-Star defenseman Derek Meech had two helpers in the win for Grand Rapids, which got three of its four goals on special teams including its fourth shorthanded goal in two games.

Stefan Liv stopped 22 of 24 shots for his 10th win of the year.

Kip Miller, Matt Ellis and Scott Barney all scored for Grand Rapids, while former Griffin Donald MacLean and Randall Gelech tallied in the loss for San Antonio.


ALBANY 3, HERSHEY 1
The River Rats tallied the first three goals on the night, which proved to be enough as they took down the Hershey Bears by a score of 3-1 at the Giant Center.

Jakub Petruzalek, Matt Murley and Antti Laaksonen all scored for Albany, who won its first game in 20 tries against the Hershey Bears since Mar. 28, 2004.

Tyler Weiman earned his 15th win of the season by stopping 35 of 36 shots on the night for Albany.

Kip Brennan had the lone goal for Hershey in the loss.


BINGHAMTON 4, NORFOLK 1
Cory Pecker netted a pair of goals as the Binghamton Senators earned their first win of the year against the Admirals by score of 4-1 in a game being played in Elmira, N.Y.

With the score tied 1-1 heading into the third period, Jeff Heerema tallied 51 seconds into play to break the tie and rally the Senators to victory.

Matt Koalska tallied on a penalty shot to put the B-Sens up 3-1.

Jeff Glass stopped 43 of 44 shots on the night, his fifth 40-plus save performance on the year, to earn his seventh win of the season.

Adam Burish ended a personal six-game goal scoring drought in the loss for Norfolk, which had taken the first four meetings of the season between the clubs.


PHILADELPHIA 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 1
Ryan Potulny had a pair of assists as three different Phantoms tallied goals in a 3-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in front of 8,365 fans at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.

Martin Houle backstopped Philadelphia to the win by making 35 saves.

Stefan Ruzicka, Darren Reid and Niko Dimitrakos all provided goals for the Phantoms, who won their second game in as many nights.

Tyler Spurgeon scored his first career AHL goal for the Pens.


ROCHESTER 5, SYRACUSE 2
Michael Ryan once again provided the offensive punch for Rochester, as the Amerks downed the Syracuse Crunch by a score of 5-2 at the War Memorial at Oncenter.

Ryan scored the first three goals on the night, his second natural hat trick in the last three games, and added an assist for four points as Rochester ended a three-game road losing streak.

Janis Sprukts had a goal and two helpers for the Amerks while netminder Craig Anderson stopped 34 of 36 shots to earn his 21st win of the year.

Ben Simon and Curtis Glencross each scored in a losing effort for Syracuse, who are winless in their last six (0-4-1-1).


IOWA 6, MILWAUKEE 2
A four-goal second period proved to be the difference as the Stars defeated the Milwaukee Admirals at Wells Fargo Arena by the score of 6-2.

Marius Holtet had a goal and an assist and six different players tallied for Iowa, which improved to a perfect 8-0-0-0 on the season against the Admirals. The Stars are now tied with Peoria for fourth place in the West Division.

Defenseman Mario Scalzo had a pair of helpers and netminder Dan Ellis stopped 19 of 20 shots to earn his 16th win of the year, tying his career best in wins.

Vojtech Polak, Greg Rallo, Janos Vas, John Lammers and Francis Wathier all scored as Iowa went 4-for-10 on the man advantage.

Rich Peverley led Milwaukee with a goal and an assist in the loss.


HOUSTON 4, CHICAGO 1
Mattias Weinhandl tallied the first two goals of the game, which proved to be enough as the Aeros defeated the Wolves 4-1 at the Toyota Center.

Erik Reitz and Matt Foy also scored for Houston, which earned its third straight win over the Wolves.

Netminder Dieter Kochan snapped a personal six-game losing streak and got his first win since Oct. 21 by making 31 saves.

Danny Irmen and Benoit Pouliot added a pair of assists as the Aeros ended a three-game losing skid, and had their first game decided by two or more goals since Jan. 21.

Kevin Doell scored the lone goal to help Chicago avoid a shutout.