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Admirals drop Bears before capacity crowd

Craig MacDonald‘s goal with 19 seconds left in overtime helped the Norfolk Admirals defeat division rival Hershey by a score of 5-4 in front of a record crowd of 8,784 at Norfolk Scope Arena on Friday night.

MacDonald also added an assist as teammates Colin Fraser, Jonas Nordqvist, Pierre Parenteau and defensemen Danny Richmond all tallied a goal and an assist for Norfolk.

The capacity crowd broke the previous record crowd of 7,209 set just one week ago on Jan. 19.

The Admirals regained first place in the East Division and overall league lead with a record of 32-10-4-1 and 67 points.

Corey Crawford earned his league-leading 25th win of the season, making 31 stops against the Bears.

Dave Steckel led Hershey with a pair of goals in the loss.


HARTFORD 4, BRIDGEPORT 2
Brad Isbister scored a pair of goals, helping the Wolf Pack double up their division rival Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a score of 4-2 at the Hartford Civic Center.

Al Montoya stopped 29 of 31 shots for his fourth consecutive win and Dwight Helminen and Dane Byers provided the other tallies for Hartford.

The Wolf Pack are 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 games and have gone 21-6-2-0 since Nov. 24.

Masi Marjamaki and Eric Boguniecki each scored in the loss for Bridgeport.


WORCESTER 2, BINGHAMTON 1
Patrick Traverse tallied a shorthanded goal at 16:06 of the first period, which proved to be the difference as the Worcester Sharks downed the Binghamton Senators by a score of 2-1 at the DCU Center.

Dimitri Patzold made 28 saves for the Sharks, who won their third consecutive game, all of which have been decided by one goal.

Fellow defenseman Scott Ferguson added the other goal on the man advantage for Worcester.

Andrew Ebbett scored the only goal for Binghamton. Jeff Glass made 25 saves in a losing effort.


PHILADELPHIA 7, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2
The Phantoms used four goals on the power play, going 4-for-5 with the man advantage, in their 7-2 rout of Pennsylvania rivals Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Wachovia Spectrum.

2007 AHL All-Star Nolan Baumgartner had four assists and teammate Matt Ellison had three helpers to lift Philadelphia to its first win in four games.

Pete Zingoni had a pair of goals and Darren Reid had a goal and two assists to end his five-game scoreless drought.

Michael Leighton earned his first win as a Phantom by stopping 26 shots on the night.

Joe Jensen and Rob Schremp scored for the Penguins in the loss.


PROVIDENCE 6, PORTLAND 2
Ben Walter tallied two goals, three assists and a plus-4 rating, as the Providence Bruins defeated the Portland Pirates for the third consecutive game by a score of 6-2 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Petr Kalus scored two goals and teammate Pascal Pelletier provided the other tally as Providence remained in third place in the Atlantic Division with a 24-18-1-3 record and 52 points.

Philippe Sauve stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn his third win in as many starts.

Geoff Peters and Matt Keith both scored in the loss for Portland.


HAMILTON 3, SAN ANTONIO 2
Three goals in the first period were enough to hold off the Rampage as Hamilton defeated San Antonio 3-2 at Copps Coliseum.

Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and an assist, while teammate and 2007 AHL All-Star Andrei Kostitsyn recorded two helpers for the Bulldogs, who have won their last three outings by a combined score of 10-4.

Yann Danis earned his third consecutive victory by stopping 20 of 22 shots for Hamilton.

Yanick Lehoux and 2007 AHL All-Star Bill Thomas each scored for the Rampage in the loss.


IOWA 2, PEORIA 1
Tobias Stephan stopped 28 of 29 shots to earn his first win of 2007 as the Iowa Stars downed their division rival Peoria Rivermen on the road by score of 2-1.

Marius Holtet and Junior Lessard both scored for the Stars, who are on a three-game winning streak, in which each game has been decided by one goal.

Jon DiSalvatore tallied the lone goal while 2007 AHL All-Star Marek Schwarz made 34 saves in a losing effort for the Rivermen.


CHICAGO 5, OMAHA 0
Brett Sterling and Jordan LaVallee each scored twice and Fred Brathwaite made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season, helping Chicago stay atop the West Division with a 5-0 win in Omaha.

The Wolves opened up a four-point lead their hosts by posting their fifth win in a row against the Knights.

Sterling now has 39 goals on the year, tops in the league, and Darren Haydar extended his league-leading total to 88 points with a goal and an assist.

Nathan Oystrick, who earlier in the day was named to the Canadian roster for this weekend’s 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic, recorded two assists for Chicago and is now tied for the AHL lead among defensemen with 32 points.

Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves in defeat. The second-year pro is 0-4-0 this season against Chicago, but 19-5-0 against the rest of the AHL.


LOWELL 5, SPRINGFIELD 3
Lowell overcame a three-goal deficit with five unanswered tallies to take a 5-3 victory over the Springfield at the MassMutual Center.

Norm Milley, Andre Deveaux and Eric Healey staked the Falcons to a 3-0 lead late in the second period, but the Devils rallied to snap a four-game losing streak and pull to within one point of the sixth-place Springfield in the Atlantic Division.

The Falcons have lost 10 of their last 13.

Ryan Murphy put the Devils on the board at 17:43 of the second period, and Grant Marshall, Nicklas Bergfors and David Clarkson all scored in the first seven minutes of the third to give Lowell the lead.


SYRACUSE 1, MANITOBA 0 (OT)
In his first game back from a seven-week stay on the injured list, Jamie Pushor scored 2:18 into overtime to give Syracuse a 1-0 win over visiting Manitoba.

For Pushor, out since Dec. 1 with a sports hernia, it was his first goal since Mar. 24, 2006.

Tomas Popperle made 32 saves for his third shutout of the year for the Crunch, who are 4-1-1-2 in their last eight home games.

Julien Ellis stopped 30 shots but fell to 0-4-0 for the Moose.


MANCHESTER 3, HOUSTON 2
A two-goal effort from Danny Irmen and a 46-save performance by Dieter Kochan went for nought as Houston dropped a 3-2 decision in Manchester.

Matt Moulson, Noah Clarke and Shay Stephenson scored for the Monarchs, who won their sixth in a row. Barry Brust returned to the Manchester lineup and earned his first AHL win since Nov. 11.

Kochan made 20 saves in the first period and 20 more in the second, but still lost his third straight start since returning from injury.


ROCHESTER 5, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Rochester took advantage of a depleted Grand Rapids lineup and posted a 5-1 win over the Griffins at the Blue Cross Arena.

The Griffins were without three of their top four scorers – Josh Langfeld, Matt Ellis and Matt Hussey are on recall to the Detroit Red Wings – and goaltenders Jimmy Howard and Stefan Liv.

Drew Stafford, headed to the 2007 Rbk Hockey AHL All-Star Classic this weekend, led the Americans with a goal and two assists. Marek Zagrapan and Michael Ryan had a goal and an assist each, and Clarke MacArthur added three helpers for first-place Rochester.

Craig Anderson made 32 saves in the win, allowing only a Brendan Brooks goal with 6:25 left in regulation.