HOUSTON 5, PEORIA 4 (SO)
Derek Armstrong’s remarkable night was offset by a stunning Houston comeback as the Aeros pulled out a 5-4 shootout victory over the Rivermen at Carver Arena on Saturday night.
Armstrong scored all four Peoria goals in regulation, staking the home team to a 4-0 third-period lead. It was Armstrong’s first AHL hat trick since Oct. 12, 2002, when he was with the Manchester Monarchs, and marked his first career four-goal night.
But the Aeros finally got on the board and quickly, scoring four times in a span of 7:34 to tie the score with 5:23 left in the third. Jon DiSalvatore had two goals and an assist and Maxim Noreau recorded a goal and two assists during the spurt.
Peoria survived a Houston power play late in regulation and the overtime period was scoreless, but Armstrong’s goal leading off the shootout was all the extra offense the Rivermen would get. DiSalvatore scored on his attempt for the Aeros and Chad Rau scored in the third round; Nicholas Drazenovic came up empty on Peoria’s fifth shot and Houston had the two points.
Anton Khudobin finished with 32 saves on the night, stopping all 25 shots by Peoria players other than Armstrong. The victory snapped Khudobin’s personal winless streak at 10 decisions (0-9-1).
The dramatic comeback came in Houston’s first visit to Carver Arena since upsetting the Rivermen in Game 7 of last year’s West Division semifinal playoff series.
HERSHEY 8, ALBANY 3
Hershey hit the eight-goal mark for the fourth game in a row, cruising to an 8-3 win over Albany in front of 10,015 fans at Giant Center.
The Bears have now won 19 of their last 20 games and have scored 53 goals during their current seven-game winning streak.
Saturday’s crooked numbers included three power-play markers, a five-point showing by Chris Bourque (1g, 4a) and two-goal efforts by both Alexandre Giroux (2g, 2a) and Keith Aucoin (2g, 1a). Giroux and Aucoin both extended their scoring streaks to 15 games, during which time the pair have combined for 26 goals, 39 assists and 65 points.
The Bears won their 15th consecutive home game, four shy of the AHL record held by the 1996-97 Philadelphia Phantoms. They also became the first team to crack the 200-goal mark for the season (205).
HAMILTON 3, CHICAGO 2
A crowd of 15,532 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., saw the hometown Chicago Wolves score a pair of third-period goals to tie the score but ultimately fall in a shootout to Hamilton, 3-2.
Andre Benoit and Ryan Russell gave Hamilton a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes, but Brett Sterling (1:03) and Nathan Oystrick (15:21) responded in the final frame as Chicago earned a point in the standings for the 11th time in 12 games (10-1-0-1).
The Bulldogs have won four of six as they end a seven-game road swing in Milwaukee on Sunday.
MANITOBA 6, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4
Sergei Shirokov scored twice and Matt Pettinger recorded a goal and two assists as Manitoba ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Saturday night.
The Moose had been winless since a two-game sweep in Abbotsford back on Jan. 12-13.
Manitoba faced an early deficit after Dustin Jeffrey scored 4:13 into the contest, but Mike Keane pulled the Moose even less than six minutes later and Shirokov scored twice before the end of the frame to give Manitoba a 3-1 lead at intermission.
The teams traded goals the rest of the way, but the Penguins could not pull any closer than 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4.
Marco Rosa and Dusty Collins had single goals and Lawrence Nycholat and Jannik Hansen registered two assists apiece for the Moose, who wrap up their six-game road trip in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday afternoon.
Cory Schneider made 24 saves to snap a personal five-game slide.
Luca Caputi led the Penguins with two goals and an assist and Jeffrey added a goal and two assists but Wilkes-Barre fell for the seventh time in eight outings, allowing 41 goals over that span.
The Rampage now have points in six straight contests (3-0-0-3), and are 2-0-0-1 through three games of their 14-game road trip.
It was the fourth straight win overall for the Stars and their sixth straight on home ice.
PROVIDENCE 8, SPRINGFIELD 2
Providence went 5-for-6 on the power play and rolled to an 8-2 win over the Falcons in Springfield on Saturday.
Mikko Lehtonen (2), Jeff Penner, Andy Wozniewski and Brad Marchand all scored with the man advantage and Jamie Arniel converted on a penalty shot for the Bruins, who had scored more than three goals in a game just twice in their previous 26 outings.
Jordan Knackstedt scored twice at even strength for Providence, one of seven B’s with more than one point on the night.
Colton Fretter scored both Springfield goals to reach the 20-goal mark for the season.
ROCKFORD 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Akim Aliu scored his second goal of the game on a penalty shot with 2:35 remaining in regulation, snapping a 2-2 tie and sending Rockford to a 3-2 win over Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena.
The IceHogs improved to 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games, including 4-0-0-1 in their last five on the road. Rockford is also 5-0-0-1 against the Griffins on the year.
Aliu’s penalty shot was set up when he was taken down on a breakaway. The rookie winger beat Thomas McCollum five-hole for the eventual game-winner.
MANCHESTER 2, HARTFORD 0
Jonathan Bernier’s second consecutive shutout backed Manchester’s 2-0 road win over Hartford before 8,539 fans at the XL Center on Saturday.
Matt Zaba made 33 saves for the Wolf Pack, who have three straight regulation losses at home after starting the year 15-3-1-2 on home ice.
The contest marked the finale of the eight-game season series between the clubs. Manchester finished with a 5-3-0-0 edge, with Bernier allowing just 12 goals in the eight games.
ROCHESTER 2, TORONTO 0
Tyler Plante made 22 saves for his first career AHL shutout as Rochester extended its road winning streak to three games with a 2-0 win over Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum,
Defenseman Clay Wilson led the offense with a goal and an assist, while Graham Mink added his 12th goal of the season for the Americans. Jamie Johnson extended his scoring streak to eight games with an assist.
Plante made 14 saves in the first period and four each in the second and third to earn his first AHL win since Oct. 21.
Andrew Engelage stopped 32 of 34 shots for the Marlies in defeat.
NORFOLK 2, ADIRONDACK 1
Dustin Tokarski was nearly perfect as Norfolk continued its post-break hot streak with a 2-1 win over Adirondack in Glens Falls, N.Y.
The Admirals improved to 5-0-1-0 with one game remaining on their seven-game road trip (Sunday at Bridgeport). The stretch also coincides with the hiring of Jim Johnson as head coach during the AHL All-Star break.
The Phantoms finished with a 37-19 edge in shots but managed a single goal, David Laliberte’s power-play marker at 15:25 of the first period.
The win moves Norfolk into a tie with Adirondack for third place in the East Division.
The teams have split six meetings this season, with the home team winning each one. Their next get-together will be the Mirabito Outdoor Classic at the New York State Fairgrounds on Feb. 20.
The Crunch scored four times in the first period to chase Senators starting goaltender Andy Chiodo.
Derek MacKenzie had a goal and an assist for Syracuse and Dan Fritsche also scored. Defensemen David Liffiton (2a) and Dylan Reese were both plus-4 for the night, and Kevin Lalande finished with 31 saves.
Josh Hennessy scored the only goal for Binghamton.
The Pirates won for the fifth time in six outings, while the Sound Tigers fell to 1-4-1-3 in their last nine games.
Whitmore opened the scoring 1:19 into the contest with his ninth goal of the season, and Cowan doubled Portland’s lead with 1:04 left in the opening frame.
Nathan Lawson stopped 25 of 27 shots in defeat.