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AHL Quick Hits: Crunch look to close gap in North


LOOKING BACK:
On Tuesday, Junior Lessard broke a tie late in the third period to send Bridgeport into first place in the East with a 2-1 win at Lowell… Jeff Glass made 38 saves and Matt Taormina and Bryan McGregor scored in their AHL debuts as Binghamton beat Portland, 3-1… Krys Kolanos netted the game-winner against his former team as Houston dropped Quad City, 3-1.

Mon 3/9
No games scheduled

Tue 3/10
Bridgeport 2, LOWELL 1
Binghamton 3, PORTLAND 1
HOUSTON 3, Quad City 1


LOOKING AHEAD:

Syracuse is five points back of Toronto for a potential playoff spot in the North Division and hosts the Marlies on Wednesday… The teams have split their first six meetings this season, but Toronto has outscored the Crunch 14-8 in capturing the last two… Jiri Tlusty has racked up 36 points (16-20-36) in his last 18 contests for the Marlies and shows seven goals and eight points in six games against Syracuse… Jeremy Williams is coming off a hat trick on Sunday at Hamilton and has 16 points (10-6-16) in 12 AHL games since being reassigned from the parent Maple Leafs… Tim Stapleton has eight points (3-5-8) in his last five AHL games for the Marlies… Syracuse has totaled just one goal – scored by Alexandre Picard on Sunday at Albany – in dropping its last two games… Picard has five goals and seven points in his last six contests… Mike York paces the Crunch with 47 points (10-37-47) in 60 games, and 2009 AHL All-Star Derek MacKenzie has a team-high 19 goals (19-18-37)… Toronto boasts the AHL’s second-ranked power play (21.2 percent).

An intra-state battle pits Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Philadelphia on Wednesday in the teams’ eighth meeting of the season… The Phantoms sit eight points out of a playoff spot in the East Division but still hold three games in hand on fourth-place Binghamton… Second-year pro Jonathan Matsumoto paces the Phantoms with 23 goals on the season (23-22-45) and has a point in six of his last seven games (3-6-9)… Patrick Maroon is tied for fourth among all rookie scorers with 44 points (21-23-44) while playing all 62 games for Philadelphia… The Phantoms have killed 81 of 86 shorthanded situations (94.2 percent) over their last 17 games… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is playing the first of four straight on the road… Mark Letestu scored twice on Sunday against Norfolk and is the Penguins’ leading scorer since Jan. 1 with 13-18-31 in 30 games… Janne Pesonen has netted a goal in five of his last seven tilts (6-3-9)… The Pens’ John Curry ranks third in the AHL with 25 wins (25-12-0, 2.39, .906)… Including playoffs, Wilkes-Barre has won seven of its last eight visits to Philadelphia.

West Division-leading Milwaukee continues a five-game road swing on Wednesday at Rockford, which ranks third in the division but is just one point up on fourth-place Chicago and two ahead of fifth-place Peoria… The Admirals (40-16-3-4) bring a four-game points streak (3-0-0-1) into Wednesday’s action… Cal O’Reilly leads the Ads with 62 points in 60 games, and his 51 assists rank second in league… O’Reilly (0-7-7), Mike Santorelli (2-5-7) and Ryan Maki (1-3-4) are also riding four-game scoring streaks for Milwaukee… Patric Hornqvist has netted a goal in seven straight games (7-1-8), the longest active run in the AHL… Admirals goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who leads the league with 29 wins, was recalled to Nashville on Tuesday… Rockford is without top scorers Pascal Pelletier (27-24-51) and Tim Brent (19-31-50), both on recall to the Chicago Blackhawks… Bryan Bickell has scored two of his five goals this season (5-4-9) against Milwaukee… The IceHogs, who have lost five of their last six at the MetroCentre, are trying to snap a three-game winless skid overall (0-2-0-1).

(all times Eastern)
Wed 3/11
Norfolk @ Albany, 7:00
Springfield @ Hershey, 7:00
Toronto @ Syracuse, 7:00
W-B/Scranton @ Philadelphia, 7:05
Binghamton @ Worcester, 7:05
Iowa @ Chicago, 8:00
Milwaukee @ Rockford, 8:05

Thu 3/12
No games scheduled


ALUMNI WATCH:
In Tuesday’s NHL action, two-time AHL All-Star Mike Iggulden picked up his fourth assist in three NHL games this season, but the N.Y. Islanders fell 3-2 at Toronto on an overtime goal by 2007 Calder Cup champion Mikhail Grabovski… On Monday, goaltender Brian Elliott made 25 saves for his third straight win as Ottawa edged Toronto, 3-2… 2008 AHL Rookie of the Year Teddy Purcell extended his scoring streak to five games (2-4-6) with a pair of assists to help Los Angeles past Vancouver, 3-2.


BY THE NUMBERS:
6 — Consecutive 40-win seasons for the Milwaukee Admirals (2003-09), tying the AHL record held by the Cleveland Barons (1947-53)… The Hartford Wolf Pack need five more wins this season to match the mark as well.


AHL LIVE:
Don’t miss a step on the road to the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs. AHL Live brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts and highlights of every AHL game, as well as behind-the-scenes features and interviews in the Video On Demand section… Visit theahl.com or ahllive.com for details.