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Skille caps hat trick, four-point night with OT winner

ROCKFORD 4, IOWA 3 (OT)
Jack Skille completed his first professional hat trick with 3:44 gone in overtime, giving Rockford a 4-3 win over Iowa at the MetroCentre on Sunday afternoon.

Skille, a 20-year-old rookie and the seventh overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft, also assisted on Petri Kontiola’s goal for a four-point effort.

Colin Fraser had two assists and Wade Flaherty made 35 saves for the IceHogs, who moved past idle San Antonio into second place in the West Division.

Skille opened the scoring 4:22 into the game and doubled Rockford’s lead 1:55 into the second period.

Stars forwards Chris Conner and Konstantin Pushkarev scored three minutes apart to tie the game before Kontiola put the IceHogs back on top later in the stanza.

Janos Vas made it 3-3 at the 5:35 mark of the third.

The Stars closed out their six-game road stretch at 3-2-1-0.


HOUSTON 3, ROCHESTER 2 (OT)
Benoit Pouliot scored with eight seconds left in overtime to send Houston to its seventh consecutive win, 3-2 over Rochester at the Toyota Center on Sunday.

Pouliot slipped the puck past Adam Dennis to cap a 1-on-2 rush into the offensive zone as Houston improved to 12-5 in games decided past regulation this season.

Ryan Hamilton and John Scott also had goals for the Aeros, who are now tied with Milwaukee for fourth place in the West Division.

Barry Brust made 26 saves for Houston. Brust has been in net for all seven victories on the Aeros’ streak, allowing just nine goals and posting three shutouts.

Peter Aston and Dylan Hunter scored for the Americans, who are 2-16-2-1 in their last 21 road contests.


MANITOBA 3, HAMILTON 1
Michael Grabner scored twice as Manitoba closed out a perfect three-game weekend in southern Ontario with a 3-1 win over Hamilton at Copps Coliseum.

The Moose have outscored their opponents 10-2 during their current four-game winning streak.

Maxime Fortunus had a goal and an assist and Colby Genoway added two helpers for Manitoba. Cory Schneider needed just 13 saves to win his sixth straight decision.

Matt D’Agostini gave the Bulldogs an early lead 3:10 into the game, the first goal allowed by Manitoba goaltending in more than 130 minutes of play.

Manitoba moved to within seven points of first-place Toronto in the North Division, while Hamilton remained a point behind third-place Syracuse.


CHICAGO 2, PEORIA 1
Jason Krog scored both Chicago goals and Ondrej Pavelec continued his run of impressive starts with 32 saves as the Wolves edged Peoria, 2-1, at Carver Arena.

Krog hit the 30-goal mark in a season for the first time since his senior year at the University of New Hampshire in 1998-99, when he won the Hobey Baker Award. His previous professional career high came last season, when he scored 29 goals between Chicago (26), the N.Y. Rangers (two) and the Atlanta Thrashers (one).

Pavelec allowed one goal or fewer for the 10th time in his last 14 starts (11-1-2).

The Wolves, 13-1-1-2 in their last 17 games, stayed 12 points ahead of second-place Rockford in the West.

Trent Whitfield scored the only goal for the Rivermen, who fell into the sixth place.


SYRACUSE 2, TORONTO 1
Nate DiCasmirro scored 1:14 into overtime to give Syracuse a 2-1 win in Toronto on Sunday.

The Crunch have earned points in nine straight games (6-0-0-3) and are 10-1-0-5 in their last 16.

Alexandre Picard also scored and Dan LaCosta made 34 saves for Syracuse.

Former Crunch forward David Ling scored his 12th goal of the season – and sixth in six games against his former club – for the Marlies, who have lost four in a row.


PORTLAND 3, HERSHEY 2
Portland ran its winning streak to four games with a 3-2 victory over visiting Hershey on Sunday.

The Pirates played three games in three nights at home over the weekend and won them all.

Drew Miller recorded a goal and two assists and Geoff Platt scored his 30th goal of the season for Portland, which pulled back into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 31 saves in the win. Aubin is 3-1-0 with a 1.26 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage since joining the Pirates.

Scott Barney and Jay Beagle scored for the Bears, who are 2-6-0-0 with one game left on their nine-game road swing.


PROVIDENCE 2, WORCESTER 1 (SO)
Sean Curry scored with 40 seconds left in regulation and Brett Skinner netted the only goal in the shootout as Providence rallied for a 2-1 win over Worcester at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

The Bruins’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division is down to four points.

Tom Walsh had the Sharks’ goal six minutes into the second period, but Curry tied it up with Tuukka Rask pulled for an extra attacker late. Rask finished with 25 saves and was a perfect 5-for-5 in the shootout.

Thomas Greiss stopped 38 of 39 shots for Worcester, which is 4-1-0-3 in its last eight games overall but winless in its last six on the road (0-4-0-2).