TORONTO 5, BINGHAMTON 2
Toronto’s power play unit came to life with a 4-for-8 showing, and the Marlies rallied for a 5-2 road win over Binghamton on Wednesday. Kyle Calder led the way with a goal and two assists for the resurgent Marlies, who have won five straight and posted a 6-0-1-0 mark in their last seven games to get back in the playoff picture.
The Marlies moved two points up on Lake Erie for fifth place in the North Division and now sit five points back of Manitoba for the division’s fourth and final postseason entry. Toronto still has a pair of head-to-head dates with the Moose at Ricoh Coliseum on Apr. 2 and 3.
The teams combined to score six power play goals out of seven total markers on the night, a Kyle Rogers empty-netter in the closing minutes serving as the lone exception.
Greg Scott gave Toronto a 1-0 lead 7:41 into the first period only to watch Binghamton’s Justin Keller tie it up less than three minutes later with his team-leading 31st goal of the season. The Senators then grabbed a 2-1 edge when Yannick Tifu lit the lamp midway through the second.
It was all Marlies the rest of the way. Ben Ondrus and Tim Brent scored power play goals less than a minute apart late in the second to put Toronto on top 3-2 heading into intermission, and Calder extended it to 4-2 at 2:37 of the third.
Toronto had entered the night with the AHL’s 29th-ranked power play both overall (12.7 percent) and on the road (9.5) percent. Prior to Wednesday’s four-spot, the Marlies had totaled 16 man-advantage tallies in 35 road tilts.
Rogers’ empty-netter sealed the victory and brought the Marlies back to .500 on the season at 30-30-6-5 (71 points).
Toronto goaltender Joey MacDonald earned the victory with 37 saves on 39 shots between the pipes.
ROCHESTER 3, LAKE ERIE 1
Rookie Evgeny Dadonov tallied a goal and assisted on the game-winner as Rochester collected a 3-1 road win over Lake Erie at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.
Dadonov got the Amerks on the board just 34 seconds after the opening face-off, scoring his 15th goal of the season. Defenseman Clay Wilson earned the lone helper to run his scoring streak to seven games (1-9-10).
After a scoreless second frame, Brian Fahey brought the Monsters within 2-1 early in the third, but Mike York sealed the Amerks’ victory with a late power play strike. Wilson also registered an assist on that marker.
Goaltender Tyler Plante made 24 saves in net for the Americans, who halted a three-game losing skid and moved one point up on Abbotsford for second place in the North Division race.
The reeling Monsters dropped to 1-5-0-2 in their last eight outings and remain seven points back of Manitoba for the North’s final playoff berth. Lake Erie will play its next six contests on the road.
MANCHESTER 2, LOWELL 1
Manchester rallied from a 2-1 deficit and rode the goaltending of Jonathan Bernier to a critical 2-1 road win over Lowell on Wednesday at the Tsongas Center.
With the victory – which was just Manchester’s second in its last eight games (2-4-1-1) – the Monarchs moved one point up on both Lowell and Bridgeport for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Lowell is now tied with Bridgeport for fourth after the Sound Tigers defeated Syracuse on Tuesday.
Bernier (27-20-6) stopped all 26 shots he faced over the final two periods, helping the Monarchs snap a four-game losing skid vs. Lowell.
ALBANY 6, ADIRODACK 2
Albany scored twice in each period and continued its dominance over Northway rival Adirondack with a 6-2 road win over the Phantoms in Glens Falls, N.Y.
Red-hot River Rats forward Jerome Samson tallied a hat trick and added an assist for his third four-point effort in his last 10 games. Samson is now tied for the league lead with 37 goals (37-35-72) in 70 games for Albany this season.
The River Rats improved to 8-1-1-0 against Adirondack this season, with two games left to play.
BRIDGEPORT 5, SYRACUSE 2
Five different Bridgeport skaters scored as the Sound Tigers continued their late-season surge with a 5-2 win over visiting Syracuse at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Bridgeport improved to 8-0-1-0 in its last nine games and now sits tied with Lowell for fourth place in the Atlantic Division. Both teams show identical records of 35-27-4-6 with eight games remaining.
Jeremy Reich and defenseman Mark Flood both scored their 10th goals of the season in the first period, and Bridgeport stretched its lead to 4-0 on early second-period markers by Jesse Joensuu and Michael Haley.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3, NORFOLK 0
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scored three times in the third period, and rookie goaltender Brad Thiessen made it stand up with a 31-save shutout as the Penguins took a key 3-0 road win over Norfolk at the Scope.
With the victory, the Penguins improved to 14-3-1-1 since Feb. 12 and jumped one point ahead of the Admirals for the East Division’s third and final guaranteed playoff spot.
Chris Conner proved all the offense Wilkes-Barre would need when he scored shorthanded 9:56 into the third period for hid 20th goal of the season.
Thiessen improved to 10-11-1 for the season, with three of his 10 victories coming by way of the shutout.
Norfolk, which suffered just its second shutout of the season and first since a 2-0 loss to Syracuse on Oct. 30, will seek revenge when the teams battle again on Friday night.
PEORIA 4, CHICAGO 2
Peoria kept its slim postseason hopes alive on Wednesday by doubling up West Division-leading Chicago by a 4-2 count at Carver Arena.
The Rivermen, who beat the Wolves for just the third time in 10 tries this season (3-6-0-1), closed to within seven points of Milwaukee for the West’s fourth and final playoff spot. Both have nine games remaining, including two against each other.
Spencer Machecek and Joey Crabb scored for the playoff-bound Wolves, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.
HAMILTON 7, MANITOBA 1
Brock Trotter scored twice and five other players tallied goals as Hamilton rolled to a 7-1 road win over Manitoba in the back end of the teams’ two-game set at the MTS Centre.
Trotter tallied his team-leading 32nd and 33rd goals of the season for the Bulldogs, who also received markers from Andrew Conboy (1-1-2), Ryan Russell (1-1-2), Aaron Palushaj (1-1-2), and defenseman Yannick Weber.
The Bulldogs, who have already clinched the North Division title, snapped a brief two-game winless slide (0-1-0-1) and will head to Abbotsford for a pair of games this weekend.
Defenseman Lawrence Nycholat netted the lone goal for the Moose, who came up short in their bid to win three straight games for the first time since a four-game run from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2
Manitoba is now five points up on streaking Toronto for the North Division’s final postseason entry.