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Penguins can clinch this afternoon

The Wilkes-Barre/Penguins have just one win in their last nine games, but they can wrap up a berth in the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs with a victory in regulation against the Hershey Bears this afternoon.

The Pens’ only recent win was on Friday night, when they scored twice in the final minutes of the third period to steal a 3-2 decision from the Bears. Wilkes-Barre has 86 points to Hershey’s 81 in the East Division, with each team showing four games remaining on the schedule.

Face-off at the Giant Center is 5:00 p.m. ET today, and you can catch the action live via audio cybercast with the voice of the Pens, Tom Grace, or the voice of the Bears, John Walton.

Other Sunday action with playoff implications:

Hamilton at Manitoba, 3:00 ET
The Bulldogs can inch closer to a playoff spot in the North Division with another win over the Moose at the MTS Center.

Hamilton has gone 17-7-1-1 since Feb. 11 to take control of the postseason race in the North. The Bulldogs are currently six points ahead of Syracuse, which has only four games left to play.

Manitoba, meanwhile, has lost five of its last seven games and is ahead of third-place St. John’s by a single point in the race for home-ice advantage in a likely first-round series between the Moose and Maple Leafs.

Springfield at Worcester, 4:05 ET
Hartford at Providence, 4:05 ET
The IceCats are suddenly just three points back of Providence for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division after a pair of heart-stopping wins.

Worcester beat the Falcons on Friday with an overtime goal by Jay McClement after tying the score with 62 seconds left in regulation. On Saturday, the Cats squandered four separate one-goal leads before McClement clinched a win over Portland in a shootout.

The Bruins have dropped two in a row since a six-game winning streak, including a 4-1 setback in Hartford on Saturday night.

Cincinnati at Cleveland, 5:00 ET
San Antonio at Houston, 6:05 ET
Cincinnati and Houston remain tied for third place in the West Division, and they can put some distance between themselves and idle Grand Rapids today.

Frederic Cassivi earned his AHL-leading ninth shutout of the season in a 1-0 decision over Cleveland on Saturday night.

The Aeros continued their domination of the Rampage with a 2-1 win on Saturday. Houston is 8-1-2-0 against its in-state rivals, outscoring them 21-3 in their last four meetings.