Brian Finley finished with 24 saves for his second straight shutout, Scottie Upshall tallied two goals and Simon Gamache scored just 21 seconds into the game as the Milwaukee Admirals routed the Houston Aeros 5-0 at the Bradley Center on Thursday night.
Libor Pivko and Paul Brown also scored for Milwaukee, which moved four points clear of second-place Chicago in the West Division.
Mike Smith made 22 saves for the Aeros, who suffered their worst loss of the season and remained one point behind Cincinnati for third place in the West. Houston fell to 1-5-2-0 in its last eight trips to the Bradley Center, and has lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since January 14-16.
Milwaukee won its second in a row and improved to 19-8-1-1 on home ice this season.
Finley made nine saves in the first period, nine in the second and six in the third for his sixth shutout of the season. After going winless in five straight starts, Finley is 3-1-0 in his last four, including two consecutive shutouts.
CLEVELAND 2, SAN ANTONIO 1
Cleveland dominated the majority of their road game Thursday night in San Antonio, winning 2-1 over the Rampage in front of 4,206 fans at the SBC Center.
Ryane Clowe scored his 21st goal of the year and Grant Stevenson added what would be the game-winner just 47 seconds later, late in the second period.
The win places the Barons just four points out of the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot currently held by Edmonton.
Nolan Schaefer made 18 saves, losing a shutout bid on Joel Kwiatkowski‘s goal with 1:16 left in regulation.