WORCESTER 5, NORFOLK 1
Fifth-year pro Riley Armstrong registered the first hat trick of his professional career to pace Worcester to a 5-1 victory over visiting Norfolk on Friday at the DCU Center.
Armstrong scored once in each period and twice on the power play for the Sharks, moving him into a tie for the team lead with 13 goals in 30 AHL games this season (13-6-19). Cory Larose also has 13 goals (13-12-25) on the campaign for the Sharks.
Norfolk initially took a 1-0 lead on Friday when second-year defenseman Mike Lundin scored his first career AHL goal at 13:25 of the opening period. Lundin spent all of 2007-08 and the first 25 games of this season in the NHL with parent-club Tampa Bay prior to his reassignment to the Admirals on Dec. 13.
The Sharks tied it at 18:58 when Armstrong netted a power play marker and took the lead for good on Armstrong’s second of the night just 2:47 into the middle frame. Rookie Matt Fornataro made it 3-1 at the 14:37 mark, and Ryan Vesce netted a shorthanded marker at 19:26.
Armstrong completed his hat trick with another power play score late in the third period. It marked the third hat trick in the three-year history of the Sharks.
PEORIA 3, SAN ANTONIO 1
Trent Whitfield tallied a goal in each period to finish with a hat trick and lead Peoria over visiting San Antonio by a 3-1 count at Carver Arena.
Whitfield scored on the power play in the opening period, shorthanded in the middle frame, and capped off the hat trick with an even strength marker in the third. Steve Regier assisted on all three goals for the Rivermen, and Charles Linglet added two helpers.
Goaltender Chris Holt secured the win with 25 saves, helping the Rivermen snap a four-game winless slide (0-3-0-1).
Captain Jeff Hoggan scored on the power play in the first period for the Rampage’s lone goal of the night.
ROCKFORD 3, CHICAGO 2
Rob Klinkhammer’s second goal of the game came at 19:04 of the third period and lifted Rockford to a 3-2 road win over Chicago before 10,236 fans at Allstate Arena.
Klinkhammer also opened the game’s scoring at 3:44 of the first period, and Evan Brophey also lit the lamp for the IceHogs.
The scene will shift to the MetroCentre in Rockford when the intra-state rivals clash in a rematch on Saturday night.
HARTFORD 3, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Hartford spoiled Grand Rapids’ first-ever visit to the XL Center by posting a 3-1 victory over the Griffins on Friday. It marked the 500th win in the 12-year history of the Wolf Pack, who are now 500(w)- 289(l) -66(t) -39(otl) -21(sol) in 915 regular-season games.
Hartford goaltender Miika Wiikman earned the victory with 31 saves on 32 shots, moving his season record above .500 at 12-11-3.
Rookie Francis Pare notched the Griffins’ lone goal of the night on the power play at 14:44 of the second period.
BRIDGEPORT 2, PHILADELPHIA 1 (OT)
Mike Iggulden netted a power play goal 4:09 into overtime to give Bridgeport a 2-1 road win over Philadelphia before 6,005 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.
Jeremy Colliton also scored for the Sound Tigers, sending the game to overtime with a power play goal of his own at 13:53 of the third stanza.
The Phantoms initially took a 1-0 lead when Michael Ratchuk lit the lamp 14:09 into the contest, but Philadelphia saw its winless skid extend to five games (0-3-1-1).
Sound Tigers goaltender Yann Danis earned the victory with 28 saves on 29 shots, picking up his first win in a Bridgeport uniform since Nov. 28.
ALBANY 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2
Albany took a 3-0 lead into the third period and had to hold on for a 3-2 win over visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Times Union Center.
But the Penguins attempted a third-period comeback, receiving scores from Danny Richmond at 10:41 and Jean-Michel Daoust at 12:15. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton could not get the equalizer, though, and saw its five-game winning streak come to an end.
River Rats goaltender Justin Peters earned the win with 33 saves, as Albany won consecutive games for the first time since a three-game run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
TORONTO 6, IOWA 1
Bates Battaglia posted a game-high three points (2-1-3) as Toronto ran away with a 6-1 win over visiting Iowa at Ricoh Coliseum.
The six goals matched a season high for Toronto and helped the Marlies move to 6-1-0-1 in their last eight contests.
Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge denied 28 of 29 shots sent his way to pick up the victory.
Drew Miller scored for the Chops, who are winless in three straight games (0-2-1-0).
BINGHAMTON 4, HOUSTON 0
Fresh off being named the Reebok X-Pulse/AHL goaltender of the month for December, Brian Elliott pitched a 21-save shutout to lead Binghamton over visiting Houston, 4-0, at the Broome County Arena, in the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Elliott picked up his second shutout of the campaign, moved to 10-2-0 in his last 12 decisions, and improved his league-leading win total on the season to 18 (18-8-1).
The Aeros suffered their first shutout since a 4-0 setback to Hamilton on Nov. 23.
PROVIDENCE 7, HERSHEY 2
Providence jumped to a 3-0 first-period lead and cruised to a 7-2 home-ice win over league-leading Hershey in front of 7,212 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Martins Karsums and rookie Brad Marchand each had a goal and two helpers for the Bruins. Peter Schaefer and captain Jeremy Reich posted a goal and an assist apiece, and Zach Hamill, Wacey Rabbit, and Matt Marquhardt rounded out the Providence offense.
The seven goals were the most allowed this season by a Bears team that entered having surrendered just 2.61 scores per game, the second-lowest mark in the AHL.
Rookie Francois Bouchard netted both goals for the Bears, who continue their Atlantic Division road swing in Hartford on Saturday.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask earned the victory with 28 saves between the pipes.
HAMILTON 4, SYRACUSE 3
Hamilton scored four times in the second period to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 victory over visiting Syracuse at Copps Coliseum.
It marked the second time in six days that the Bulldogs rallied from a 3-0 hole to post a 4-3 win, having also accomplished the feat last Sunday over Rochester, with that victory coming via the shootout.
Thomas Beauregard scored the first two goals of his AHL career on the power play for Hamilton, Mike Glumac also had a man advantage marker, and Ryan White scored at even strength. The four goals came in a span of 7:09 in the latter half of the second frame.
Hamilton goaltender Loic Lacasse held the fort after that and finished with 21 saves to pick up the win in his AHL debut.
SPRINGFIELD 3, MANCHESTER 2 (SO)
Springfield snapped a seven-game winless skid (0-6-1-0) with a 3-2 shootout win over visiting Manchester at the MassMutual Center.
The teams combined for 13 goals in the shootout, and Bryan Lerg finally ended it by scoring his second of the session in the ninth round. Ryan Potulny also had a pair of shootout goals for the Falcons after scoring once during regulation.
The Monarchs received regulation markers from Scott Parse and Alex Martinez, who sent the game to overtime by scoring at the 19:18 mark of the third period to tie it at 2-2. Parse would go on to score twice in the shootout.
Falcons goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers emerged with the victory after making 27 saves through regulation and overtime.
QUAD CITY 2, MILWAUKEE 1 (OT)
Quad City ended Milwaukee’s six-game winning streak with a 2-1 overtime victory over the visiting Admirals at the I Wireless Center.
It marked the first-ever overtime victory for the Flames, who had previously been 0-7 in such games, including an 0-4 mark this season.
Defenseman Anders Eriksson ended it for the Flames by scoring a power play goal just 51 seconds into the extra session, his first AHL goal since Dec. 7, 2005, as a member of Springfield.
Patric Hornqvist lit the lamp for the Admirals, who had been 6-0-0-0 since a 2-0 loss at Grand Rapids on Dec. 20.
ROCHESTER 2, MANITOBA 1
Stefan Meyer posted a goal and an assist as Rochester took a 2-1 road win over Manitoba before 6,798 fans at the MTS Centre in the opener of the teams’ two-game set. It marked the Americans’ first victory in five tries against the Moose this season (1-4-0-0).
The Moose took a 1-0 lead when Michel Ouellet lit the lamp 10:04 into the contest, but Meyer tied it for Rochester at the 19:15 mark.
Winnipeg native Jacob Micflikier netted the eventual game-winning goal for the Amerks on the power play at 12:07 of the middle frame, with Meyer picking up the primary assist. Neither side scored in the third period.
Rochester goaltender Mike Brodeur (7-3-1) earned the victory with 23 saves on 24 shots.
The teams will square off for a rematch at the MTS Center on Saturday night.