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Bears prevail in clash of division leaders


Sunday’s Boxscores

HERSHEY 6, PROVIDENCE 4
AHL All-Stars Alexandre Giroux and Chris Bourque each tallied two goals and an assist as Hershey took a 6-4 win over Providence on Sunday at the Giant Center in a match-up of the Eastern Conference’s two division leaders.

The Bears’ league-leading offense has now totaled 20 goals over a four-game points streak (2-0-1-1).

Graham Mink posted a goal and an assist in the win, giving him nine points (5-4-9) in his last four contests, and defenseman Karl Alzner tallied his first AHL goal since Nov. 9.

Rookies Mathieu Perrault (0-3-3) and Steve Pinizzotto (0-2-2) and AHL leading scorer Keith Aucoin (0-2-2) each chipped in multiple assists on the afternoon.

Hershey’s penalty-killing unit denied eight of Providence’s 10 power play chances, and goaltender Daren Machesney made 24 saves to earn his 17th win of the season (17-9-1).

Mikko Lehtonen, Zach Hamill, Johnny Boychuk, and captain Jeremy Reich all scored for the Bruins, who remained two points up on Hartford in the Atlantic Division. Providence continues its eight-game road swing on Wednesday in Toronto.

Attendance at the Giant Center on Sunday was 9,718.


CHICAGO 2, QUAD CITY 1
Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec continued his dazzling play of late, stopping 39 of 40 shots to help Chicago edge Quad City by a 2-1 count before 7,431 fans at Allstate Arena.

Pavelec, last week’s Reebok/AHL Player of the Week, has now posted a 1.00 goals-against average and .970 save percentage in his last six games (5-1-0).

The Flames’ Brett Sutter and the Wolves’ Matt Anderson exchanged shorthanded goals before Jordan LaVallee snapped the 1-1 deadlock with the eventual game-winner for the Wolves at 7:34 of the second period.

Chicago upped its winning streak to four games – its longest since early November – and moved into a second-place tie with Rockford in the West Division.


MANCHESTER 2, SPRINGFIELD 1
David Meckler and Gabe Gauthier tallied second-period goals to lift Manchester over host Springfield by a 2-1 count at the MassMutual Center.

The Monarchs won for the 10th time in their last 15 games (10-4-0-1) and moved into a tie with Lowell for the Atlantic Division’s fourth and final postseason berth.

Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 18 saves in the win, allowing just one goal for the second time in as many days.

Geoff Paukovich scored shorthanded for the Falcons, who dropped to 3-13-2-1 in their last 19 contests.


PORTLAND 6, LOWELL 1
Portland scored three first-period goals and never looked back on its way to a 6-1 win over visiting Lowell at the Cumberland County Civic Center, moving the Pirates within two points of second-place Hartford in the Atlantic.

Defenseman Kenny MacAulay netted his first career AHL goal for the Pirates, Dylan Hunter scored for the first time since Dec. 28, and Portland also received markers from Felix Schutz, Colton Fretter, Aaron Slattengren, and Mathieu Darche.

Portland captain Tyler Bouck contributed two helpers, and goaltender Kellen Briggs earned the victory with 33 saves in net.

Nicklas Bergfors lit the lamp for the Devils, who are now tied with Manchester for the division’s fourth and final playoff spot.


BRIDGEPORT 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2 (OT)
Defenseman Mark Wotton scored 51 seconds into overtime as Bridgeport rolled on with a 3-2 road win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday in the back end of a home and home.

Wotton’s goal was just his fourth of the season, two of which have now come in overtime.

Jesse Joensuu extended his scoring streak to six games (3-6-9) with a goal for the Sound Tigers, and AHL All-Star Mike Iggulden also lit the lamp.

Goaltender Nathan Lawson made 39 saves in net, helping Bridgeport move to 8-0-0-3 in its last 11 contests.

Tommy Goebel and Jean-Michel Daoust netted goals for the Penguins, who dropped to 1-3-1-0 in their last five games and fell two points back of Bridgeport for second place in the East Division.


GRAND RAPIDS 5, TORONTO 4
Rookie Justin Abdelkader’s power play goal with 8:16 left in regulation snapped a 4-4 tie and sent Grand Rapids to a 5-4 road win over Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum.

Ryan Oulahen assisted on that goal and scored two of his own for the Griffins, who also got markers from Evan McGrath and Francis Pare.

Grand Rapids established a 3-1 lead early in the second period before Toronto tallied a trio of power play goals to close the stanza with a 4-3 advantage. Defenseman Anton Stralman netted a pair and Andre Deveaux – who also scored in the first period – potted the other. Stralman now has six points (3-3-6) in his last two games for the Marlies.

Oulahen scored the equalizer just 36 seconds into the third period. Darren Haydar and Garrett Stafford each posted three assists for the Griffins, and goaltender Daniel Larsson made 28 stops.


ALBANY 4, NORFOLK 2
Albany doubled up Norfolk by a 4-2 count in its return to the Times Union Center on Sunday afternoon.

River Rats defenseman Brett Carson snapped a 2-2 tie midway through the third period, and Jakub Petruzalek scored an empty-netter in the closing seconds.

Defenseman Bryan Rodney put up a game-high three points (1-2-3), and Mike Angelidis also lit the lamp. Goaltender Daniel Manzato earned the victory with 31 saves.

More than 4,000 fans attended the River Rats’ first game at the Times Union Center since their Feb. 19 bus accident, which forced the rescheduling of two home tilts last weekend.

Paul Szczechura scored his second goal in as many days for the Admirals, and Pete Zingoni added a marker.


HAMILTON 3, LAKE ERIE 1
A pair of streaks ended on Sunday as Hamilton upended Lake Erie by a 3-1 final at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The Bulldogs brought a halt to their three-game losing skid and scored as many goals as they had in those three losses combined. The Monsters, meanwhile, saw their franchise-record five-game winning streak come to an end.

Lake Erie initially took a 1-0 lead when Chris Durno scored just 55 seconds after the opening face-off, his 14th goal of the season.

But the Bulldogs responded with goals from Steve Gainey, Yanick Lehoux, and Brock Trotter, allowing them to improve to 13-2-0-1 all-time against Lake Erie.

Hamilton rookie goaltender Cedrick Desjardins made 40 saves to pick up his first win since Jan. 24.


MILWAUKEE 3, HOUSTON 2
Milwaukee rallied from a 2-0 deficit to come away with a 3-2 win over Houston before 10,316 fans at the Bradley Center.

Hugh Jessiman converted on a power play 3:20 into the third period, snapping a 2-2 tie and giving Milwaukee the victory. Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist tallied second-period markers for the Admirals, and Mike Santorelli chipped in two assists.

Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich only had to make 10 saves in the winning effort, as his club held a whopping 38-12 advantage in shots.

Danny Irmen and Krys Kolanos netted first-period power play goals for the Aeros, who are now two points back of Rockford and Chicago for second place in a West Division that is topped by Milwaukee.


ROCHESTER 3, BINGHAMTON 2
Jordan Henry’s shorthanded goal at 19:29 of the third period broke a 2-2 deadlock and sent Rochester to a 3-2 win over visiting Binghamton at the Blue Cross Arena.

Michal Repik and Judd Blackwater also scored for the Americans, who avenged a 4-3 loss to the Senators in Binghamton on Saturday.

Amerks goaltender Tyler Plante picked up the win with 27 saves, helping Rochester improve to 5-2-0-1 in its last eight contests.

Peter Regin and Shawn Weller scored to initially give the Senators a 2-0 advantage in the game.