Bears win seventh straight, move atop the East

Four goals in the first period and a flurry late in the third helped Hershey edge the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers by the score of 6-5 at Giant Center on Saturday night.

Chris Bourque tallied a hat trick and added an assist for the Bears, who extended their winning streak to seven games and jump over Norfolk to take over the top spot in the East and the overall league lead.

Bridgeport took a 5-4 lead with 3:22 left on James Sixsmith‘s second goal of the game, but Bourque capped his hat trick nine seconds later and Quintin Laing put Hershey back in front 22 seconds after that.

Alexandre Giroux and Joey Tenute also scored for the Bears and Troy Milam recorded three assists in the victory.

The loss keeps Bridgeport two points out of the final playoff spot in the East heading into Sunday’s showdown with fourth-place Albany.

Albany kept its drive towards the playoffs alive with a 5-3 win over the Norfolk Admirals at the Times Union Center.

Ryan Bayda tallied a pair of goals and Matt Murley added two helpers for Albany, which ended a three-game homestand with the win.

Tyler Weiman stopped 36 of 37 shots on the night to improve his mark to 24-18-3.

Dan DaSilva, Cody McLeod and Shane Willis all provided goals for the River Rats, who moved into sole possession of fourth place in the East with a loss by Bridgeport.

Jack Skille recorded two goals in a losing effort for the Admirals. Skille now has five points (3g, 2a) and has scored in three of his first four professional games out of the University of Wisconsin.

Jonathan Ferland had two goals and an assist as the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the Rochester Americans, 7-4, at Copps Coliseum.

Eric Manlow, Mikhail Grabovski and Kyle Chipchura all registered a goal and an assist and the Bulldogs went 3-for-7 on the power play. Chipchura got his mark on a penalty shot awarded midway through the second period.

Yann Danis made 14 saves on the night to earn his second-straight win and 21st of the year.

Ajay Baines and Mathieu Biron also tallied for Hamilton, while Corey Locke and Dan Jancevski both had two assists in the win.

Mark Mancari recorded three assists in the loss.

The Hartford Wolf Pack held off a third-period rally to edge the visiting Manchester Monarchs by a score of 5-4 and move closer to the top spot in the Atlantic.

In a battle of first versus second place in the division, Hartford jumped out to 5-1 lead at the end of the second frame with help from Dane Byers, who scored three goals in that period to put the Wolf Pack in command.

Al Montoya stopped 24 shots to earn his third straight win and improve his record to 24-15-0 on the year.

Hugh Jessiman and Nigel Dawes rounded out the scoring for Hartford, which is now just two points behind the Monarchs for first place in the Atlantic.

Four different players scored for Manchester and Marty Murray recorded three assists.

Kip Miller tallied with 54 seconds to play in overtime to give Grand Rapids a 2-1 win over the visiting Chicago Wolves.

Scott Parse scored a goal and an assist and defenseman Derek Meech recorded two helpers for Grand Rapids, which earned its second straight home win past regulation play.

Jimmy Howard ended a four-game losing skid by stopping 38 of 39 shots for the Griffins.

Defenseman Mark Popovic scored the lone goal for Chicago, which despite the loss clinched a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Philadelphia Phantoms ended a four-game slide by routing the Binghamton Senators by the score of 5-1 at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

Eric Meloche and Jared Ross each scored a goal and an assist to lead the Phantoms, who tallied four unanswered goals for the victory.

Martin Houle stopped 30 of 31 shots to earn his 11th win of the year for Philadelphia.

Frederik Cabana and Darroll Powe, who played in just his sixth AHL game, rounded out the scoring for the Phantoms.

Defenseman Charlie Cook netted the only goal in a losing effort for Binghamton.

The Manitoba Moose scored two of their three goals on the power play to edge the Ak-Sar-Ben Knights 3-2 at Omaha.

With the win, Manitoba clinches a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Jannik Hansen, Jesse Schultz and Lee Goren all provided tallies for Manitoba, which stopped its two-game skid and earned its first win on a seven-game road trip.

Drew MacIntyre stopped 23 of 25 shots to improve his mark to 22-10-2 on the year.

Dustin Boyd led the Knights with a goal and an assist in the loss, which keeps Omaha two points behind Chicago for first place in the West Division.

For the second straight night Peoria lost by a score of 6-3 and for the second straight night it was in the state of Texas, as the Rivermen were dropped by the San Antonio Rampage at the AT&T Center.

Yanick Lehoux and Alex Leavitt each tallied a pair of goals as the Rampage used four markers in the third period to defeat Peoria.

Josh Tordjman made 31 saves on 34 shots to backstop the Rampage to victory.

Joel Perrault and Randall Gelech also provided goals for San Antonio, which has won three of the last four meetings with Peoria.

Trent Whitfield scored a pair of goals in the loss for the Rivermen.

The Lowell Devils scored four of the game’s last five goals to edge the visiting Providence Bruins by a score of 4-3 at the Tsongas Arena.

Chris Minard and Grant Marshall both tallied a goal and an assist to snap a two-game skid by Lowell at home.

Jordan Parise made 42 saves on the night to earn his fourth win in six starts on the month. David Clarkson and Mike Mottau also produced goals in the win for Lowell.

T.J. Trevelyan led Providence with a pair of goals in the loss.

Joe Motzko scored two goals and Drew Miller had a goal and two assists as the Portland Pirates defeated the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center by a score of 5-1.

Former Falcons goalie Gerald Coleman stopped 37 of 38 shots to earn the win and even his record to 3-3-0 with Portland, which has now won four straight games.

Ryan Carter and Sean Blanchard also scored and Bobby Ryan recorded two assists in his season debut with Portland.

Defenseman Justin Fletcher scored the lone goal for Springfield.

Erik Westrum scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Toronto Marlies a 2-1 win over the Syracuse Crunch at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter.

Jean-Francois Racine made 43 saves on 44 shots and stopped all five Syracuse players in the shootout to give the Marlies their fourth win in their last five contests.

Brad Leeb scored the only goal in regulation for Toronto.

Curtis Glencross tallied for Syracuse and Tomas Popperle made 40 saves in a losing effort.

Francis Wathier scored two goals and Shane Endicott recorded three assists as the Iowa Stars downed the Milwaukee Admirals by the score of 6-2 at the Bradley Center.

Tobias Stephan earned his 10th win of the year and first since Jan. 26 by stopping 35 of 37 shots for the Stars.

Chris Conner, Yared Hagos, Marius Holtet and Mark Fistric all tallied for the Stars, who have won three straight on the road.

John Laliberte scored both goals for Milwaukee in a losing effort.

Mike Iggulden netted a hat trick as the Worcester Sharks won their seventh consecutive game, a 7-3 decision over Houston at the Toyota Center.

Craig Valette, Torrey Mitchell and Brennan Evans each tallied a goal and an assist and Mathieu Darche recorded four assists on the night for the Sharks.

Thomas Greiss also extended his winning streak to seven games by stopping 25 of 28 shots to earn his 23rd win of the year.

Matt Foy, Jason Morgan and defenseman Erik Reitz all scored in the loss for Houston.