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Sun. roundup: Perfect weekend for Crunch

Sunday’s AHL Boxscores

SYRACUSE 5, ALBANY 3
Behind a four-goal effort by center Trevor Smith, Syracuse completed a perfect weekend on Sunday with a 5-3 win over host Albany at the Times Union Center. The Crunch went 3-0-0-0 in a trio of road games this weekend, outscoring the opposition 13-6 after being shut out in its previous two contests.

The three-game winning streak matches a season high for the Crunch, who also won three straight from Oct. 16-23.

Smith scored once in the first period, recorded a pair of power play goals in the second, and completed his night with a shorthanded, empty-net goal in the game’s closing minute.

Smith, who entered the night with eight goals and a team-high 23 points on the year, registered the AHL’s fourth four-plus goal effort of the season. Houston’s Casey Wellman (Dec. 10) and Lake Erie’s Patrick Rissmiller (Dec. 3) previously scored four, and Oklahoma City’s Linus Omark had five goals on Nov. 7.

MacGregor Sharp rounded out Syracuse’s offense with a goal and an assist, and Dan Sexton contributed two helpers in the victory. Crunch goaltender Timo Pielmeier (9-10-1) made 23 saves to win his third game in as many nights.

Chad Wiseman, David McIntyre, and Michael Swift netted goals for the Devils, who fell to 4-12-0-1 this season on home ice.

CHARLOTTE 4, BINGHAMTON 2
Oskar Osala recorded a game-high three points (1-2-3) and Jon Matsumoto notched the game-winning goal and an assist as Charlotte doubled up Binghamton, 4-2, on Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena, earning a split of the teams’ two-game set.

Jerome Samson gave the Checkers a 1-0 first-period lead with his team-best 18th goal of the campaign, and Charlotte stretched the advantage to 3-0 on goals within the first three minutes of the second and third periods, respectively, by Osala and Matsumoto.

The Senators got third-period strikes from Andre Benoit and Ryan Keller to climb back into the contest, but Chris Terry made it 4-2 for the Checkers at 13:13, ending the game’s scoring.

Osala snapped a five-game goal-scoring drought with his effort, while Matsumoto now has a goal in four of his last six outings (5-1-6).

Goaltender Justin Pogge (11-6-1) earned the win with 34 saves for the Checkers, who bounced back from a 3-0 loss to the Senators on Saturday night. Charlotte secured its 20th victory of the season (20-11-1-3).

Binghamton fell to 1-3-0-0 in its last four contests and is idle until opening a three-game weekend at home vs. Syracuse next Friday.

PROVIDENCE 2, BRIDGEPORT 1
Providence’s offense continued to struggle, but the Bruins managed to halt a four-game losing skid by eking out a 2-1 road victory on Sunday at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

Yuri Alexandrov and captain Jeremy Reich netted goals for the Bruins, who entered with the AHL’s 27th-ranked offense and have now gone 17 straight games without recording more than three goals.

But two strikes was enough on this night, as Reich’s marker at 6:49 broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner. Zach Hamill earned his second assist of the night on the play, and rookie Jordan Caron also picked up a helper.

Providence goaltender Matt Dalton stopped 21 of 22 shots to record his first AHL victory of the season (1-2-0).

The Sound Tigers saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

MANCHESTER 3, CONNECTICUT 0
In a battle of a pair of Atlantic Division teams playing their third game in as many nights, Manchester came away with a 3-0 road win over Connecticut at the XL Center on Sunday.

Monarchs rookie goaltender Martin Jones stopped all 39 shots he faced to secure his second shutout of the season and improve his record to 13-2-0 in 18 appearances. Jones stymied a Whale squad which was coming off a 6-2 pounding of Providence on Saturday.

David Meckler and Richard Clune recorded a goal and an assist apiece for Manchester, and rookie Brandon Kozun provide all the offense his club would need when he scored on the power play midway through the opening period.

The win improved Manchester to 24-12-1-1 for 50 points, seven points better than the second-place Whale in the Atlantic. Connecticut’s four-game winning streak came to an end.

WORCESTER 3, PORTLAND 2
Rookie Matt Irwin tallied a power play goal with just 3.3 seconds left in regulation to lift Worcester to a dramatic 3-2 win over visiting Portland at the DCU Center on Sunday.

It marked just Worcester’s second victory in its last seven games (2-4-1-0) and its first overtime triumph since a 2-1 win over Providence on Oct. 30.

The Sharks grabbed a 2-0 lead by the game’s midpoint on goals by defenseman Sean Sullivan and forward Ryan Del Monte and took that advantage into the third period. But Corey Tropp cut Portland’s deficit in half at 8:15, and Derek Whitmore tied it up just over six minutes later.

Rookie Justin Braun and veteran Jonathan Cheechoo assisted on the game-winner by Irwin, who registered his sixth goal of the season, four of which have come on the power play.

Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock (15-13-2) secured the victory with 26 saves on 28 shots.

The Pirates are now winless in three straight games (0-1-2-0).

ROCKFORD 6, OKLAHOMA CITY 5
Rockford, which came in with the AHL’s 26th-ranked offense, scored twice in each period en route to a 6-5 road win over Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center.

It marked the IceHogs’ second-best offensive output of the season, trailing only an 8-5 win over Texas on Dec. 8. Rockford avenged a 2-1 loss to the Barons on Saturday night.

Rookie Peter LeBlanc led the way with a goal and two assists for the IceHogs, who received goals from six different players. Evan Brophey, rookie Kyle Beach, and defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy all had a goal and an assist, while Ryan Potulny and Ben Smith also lit the lamp.

Rob Klinkhammer chipped in two assists in the win, and rookie IceHogs goaltender Alec Richards emerged with the win after making 30 saves in net.

Liam Reddox scored twice and Teemu Hartikainen (1-1-2), Chris Vandevelde, and defenseman Taylor Chorney once apiece for the Barons, and Linus Omark picked up four helpers.

HERSHEY 2, NORFOLK 0
Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby made 22 saves for his second straight shutout as Hershey blanked struggling Norfolk by a 2-0 count on Sunday before 8,530 fans at the Giant Center.

Holtby, who improved 10-3-1 for the year, was coming off a 25-save blanking of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday night in Pittsburgh and collected his fourth shutout overall, moving him into a tie with Binghamton’s Barry Brust for second in the AHL.

Holtby had to make 11 of his 22 saves during a third period in which the Admirals attempted to climb out of a 2-0 deficit.

Kyle Greentree and defenseman Zach Miskovic scored in the first and second periods, respectively, for the Bears, who won for the fifth time in their last six games (5-1-0-0) and moved within one point of Norfolk and Charlotte for second place in the East Division.

The Admirals’ season-high winless skid has now reached five games (0-3-1-1). Coupled with Saturday’s 4-3 setback in Wilkes-Barre, Norfolk has now dropped back-to-back games in regulation for the first time all season, becoming the last AHL team to do so.

ADIRONDACK 3, ROCHESTER 2 (SO)
Greg Moore and rookie Luke Pither netted shootout goals as the suddenly surging Adirondack Phantoms earned a 3-2 road win over Rochester at Blue Cross Arena on Thursday.

The Phantoms completed a perfect 3-0-0-0 weekend – their first three-game winning streak of the year – and are 6-2-0-0 in their last eight games following a 4-23-2-0 start to the season.

Adirondack goaltender Brian Stewart made 32 stops in regular time before denying four of Rochester’s five shootout bids, and the rookie earned his third straight victory after entering the weekend with an 0-5-0 mark in the AHL this season.

The Phantoms trailed 2-0 midway through the third period, but veteran forwards Denis Hamel (11:44) and Michael Ryan (12:44) scored 60 seconds apart to knot it up.

Jeff LoVecchio and Kenndal McArdle had goals in the first and second periods, respectively, for the Americans, and Michal Repik recorded Rochester’s only conversion in the shootout.

MILWAUKEE 3, SAN ANTONIO 1
Defenseman Jonathon Blum tallied a goal and added an assist to help Milwaukee past visiting San Antonio, 3-1, on Sunday at the Bradley Center.

Gabriel Bourque and Matt Halischuk also netted goals for the Admirals, and Jamie Lundmark chipped in two assists. Milwaukee goaltender Jeremy Smith stopped 26 of 27 shots between the pipes.

With their fourth victory in six games (4-2-0-0), the Admirals moved into a third-place tie with Texas in the West Division at 46 points apiece. That duo is just one point back of San Antonio and Peoria, who each have 47 points.

The Rampage have now dropped a season-high three straight games in regulation – totaling five goals in that span – and are just 1-4-0-0 in their last five contests. Andrew Ebbett had the lone goal for the visitors on Sunday.

San Antonio’s only other three-game stretch without a win this season came back from Oct. 10-16, when it went 0-2-1-0 in games two, three, and four of the schedule.