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Thu. roundup: Griffins cruise past SA

Thursday’s AHL Boxscores

GRAND RAPIDS 5, SAN ANTONIO 2
Ex-Rampage forward Adam Keefe tormented his old team with a pair of goals to lead Grand Rapids to a 5-2 road win over San Antonio at the AT&T Center on Thursday.

Keefe, who played 75 games for San Antonio during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons, scored six minutes into the game and then added a shorthanded marker late in the second period for his first two goals in four outings with Grand Rapids this year.

The Griffins also got goals from Chris Minard, Tomas Tatar, and Francis Pare, while defenseman Logan Pyett chipped in a pair of helpers.

Grand Rapids goaltender Jordan Pearce made a season-high 42 saves on 44 shots to record his first victory since Nov. 27, helping the Griffins open their four-game visit to Texas on a good note.

Jamie Bates notched a goal in his Rampage debut, and defenseman Maxim Goncharov also scored for San Antonio. The Rampage slid to 2-6-0-0 in their last eight outings.

OKLAHOMA CITY 7, PEORIA 2
Defenseman Bryan Helmer notched two goals and an assist to become the AHL’s all-time leading defenseman scorer as Oklahoma City ran away with a 7-2 road win over Peoria on Thursday at Carver Arena.

Helmer, who has recorded 2-5-7 in just four games since joining the Barons last weekend, shows 122 goals and 398 assists for 520 points in 986 regular-season AHL games over his 18-year career. He topped a mark held for nearly four years by John Slaney, who totaled 519 points.

Alexandre Giroux led all scorers with two goals and two assists for the Barons; Teemu Hartikainen chipped in a goal and an assist; and Philippe Cornet and Greg Stewart also found the back of the net.

Brad Moran (0—3-3), Ryan O’Marra (0-2-2), and defenseman Alex Plante (0-2-2) all finished with multiple assists in the winning effort, and Oklahoma City goaltender Martin Gerber stopped 25 of 27 shots.

Stefan Della Rovere and Graham Mink notched goals for the Rivermen, whose five-game winning streak came to a thudding end.

MANCHESTER 6, CHARLOTTE 4
Corey Elkins and Dwight King each scored twice as Atlantic Division-leading Manchester began its two-game visit to Charlotte with a 6-4 win over the Checkers on Thursday at Time Warner Cable Arena.

King notched both of his goals within 3:05 of each other to open the game’s scoring in the first period, and Elkins stretched the lead to 3-0 midway through the frame.

After Checkers forward Brett Sutter (2-1-3) netted a pair of goals to bring his club within 3-2, Manchester’s Justin Azevedo made it a 4-2 game at 6:42 of the second frame. It stayed that way into the third.

Elkins potted what turned out to be the game-winner 3:34 into the third frame, but Charlotte attempted a comeback when Jacob Micflikier and Oskar Osala scored less than three minutes apart at 11:06 and 13:45, respectively.

Marc-Andre Cliche clinched the victory with a last-minute empty-netter, and Monarchs rookie goaltender Martin Jones earned the win with 32 saves. The 2011 AHL All-Star improved to 15-3-0 in 21 appearances this season.

The teams will battle again on Friday night in Charlotte.

MANITOBA 3, MILWAUKEE 0
Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season, backstopping Manitoba to a 3-0 win over visiting Milwaukee in the opener of a two-game set at the MTS Centre.

Lack (14-8-2) had to make 15 saves over the first and second periods combined before stopping 12 in the third period alone.

Nolan Baumgartner and Evan Oberg netted power play goals for the Moose before Tommy Maxwell added a late empty-netter. Manitoba scored a goal in each period and improved to 10-2-0-0 in its last 12 contests.

At 22-12-0-4 overall, the Moose have again pulled within one point of Hamilton for the North Division lead.

The Admirals, who will look for revenge in Saturday’s rematch, watched their four-game winning streak come to an end.