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East Notes: Bernier on fire, Norfolk moving up

 Also see… West Notes: Rampage’s odyssey ends

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Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Syracuse, a game in which Adirondack took a 5-3 lead into the third period, marked the Phantoms’ first regulation loss of the season when leading after 40 minutes (16-1-0-1)… The Phantoms’ 5-0 loss to Hamilton on Sunday dropped them to 0-5-0-0 in their last five Sunday games after beginning the year 4-0-0-0 on Sundays… Mika Pyorala has recorded an even or plus rating in 10 of his first 13 appearances for the Phantoms this season… David Laliberte shows a point in four of his last five contests (2-5-7)… Adirondack hosts Norfolk and Lowell this weekend.
 
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Jerome Samson has matched a team season high by scoring a goal in four consecutive games (5-1-6)… Samson set the original mark when he scored in four straight contests from Oct. 11-17… Samson leads the team with 49 points overall and is followed by four rookies – Zach Boychuk (13-18-31), defenseman Jamie McBain (5-26-31), Stefan Chaput (7-23-30), and Chris Terry (10-18-28)… Albany is 7-1-1-0 thus far in its Northway season series with Adirondack… The River Rats embark on an Atlantic Division road trip this weekend, visiting Portland on Friday and Sunday with a Saturday trip to Manchester in between.
 
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Binghamton has lost four straight games – all by a one-goal margin – and is just 3-10-0-1 in its last 14 contests… Josh Hennessy notched the Senators’ lone goal in Saturday’s Mirabito Outdoor Classic in Syracuse and has a point in four of his last five games (2-3-5) overall… Zack Smith notched two goals on Wednesday vs. Norfolk, his first multiple-goal game since scoring twice on Nov. 10 at Norfolk… Martin St. Pierre is riding a five-game scoring streak (3-3-6) and shows 3-8-11 in his last 10 outings… The B-Sens host Providence and Norfolk this weekend before a Sunday visit to Rochester.
 
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Bridgeport shows just six wins in its last 20 contests (6-8-2-4), but the Sound Tigers have not lost back-to-back games in regulation at any time in that stretch… The ‘Tigers last dropped consecutive games in regulation when they went on a three-game skid from Jan. 1-3… Bridgeport has surrendered a league-low one shorthanded goal all season and has not allowed any in 31 home contests… Defenseman Mark Flood has recorded four goals and nine points in his last nine games… Greg Mauldin (20-24-44) has clinched his second straight 20-goal season, after totaling 24 goals for Binghamton last year… Bridgeport visits Hershey on Saturday for its lone game of the weekend.
 
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Hartford has not won back-to-back games since defeating Providence twice from Jan. 10-16… The Wolf Pack are 4-11-2-0 in 17 outings since then… Prior to a 4-2 win over Worcester on Saturday, Hartford has lost a team-record-tying five straight games in regulation and a franchise-record six straight in regulation at home… Jared Nightingale’s two-point effort (1-1-2) on Feb. 17 vs. Norfolk was his second multiple-point showing in a span of six games, after the fourth-year pro went the first 96 games of his AHL career without ever scoring more than one point in a game… Hartford hosts Springfield and Portland this weekend before a Sunday trip to Lowell.
 
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Hershey has won three straight games, and goaltender Jason Bacashihua was between the pipes for all three victories (1.18, .952)… Bacashihua, who played for Lake Erie the past two seasons, defeated his former team twice in a five-day span this past week… Overall, Bacashihua is on a personal nine-game winning streak since a 3-0 loss at Albany on Dec. 11… AHL leading scorer Keith Aucoin (28-48-76) has a single assist in four straight games, while Chris Bourque has netted a goal in three of his last five contests (3-3-6)… After a Thursday visit to Toronto, the Bears host Bridgeport on Saturday and travel to Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
 
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Lowell is just 1-5-1-2 in its last nine games but is still safely in a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division… The Devils have netted five goals in five of their seven meetings with Manchester this season, and Lowell’s power play is clicking at 35.3 percent this year against the Monarchs’ second-ranked penalty kill (86.9 percent)… In recording three power play points (1-2-3) in his return to the lineup on Friday vs. Manchester, defenseman Matt Taormina ranks second among AHL rookies with 24 power play points for the season (6-18-24)… Lowell visits Manchester and Adirondack this weekend before hosting Hartford on Sunday.
 
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Manchester goaltender Jonathan Bernier has made 30 or more saves in each of his last six appearances (4-2-0)… Bernier leads AHL goaltenders with eight shutouts and a .939 save percentage, and he ranks third with 25 wins and a 2.01 goals-against average in 46 outings overall (25-15-5)… After Saturday’s 4-0 win over Providence, Manchester has blanked the Bruins in four straight meetings and in five of seven clashes on the season… David Meckler had gone 22 straight games without a goal before scoring twice in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Springfield… The Monarchs host Lowell and Albany this weekend.
 
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Norfolk head coach Jim Johnson was promoted to an assistant coaching position with the parent Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday… Johnson guided the Admirals to a 14-2-1-0 mark in 17 games since becoming the clubs’ head coach during the AHL’s All-Star break… The Admirals have matched a season high with their current four-game winning streak and are 7-1-0-0 in their last eight contests… Mark Parrish is riding a seven-game scoring streak (3-6-9) for Norfolk… After their current five-game road trip, the Admirals will play 12 of their final 16 games at home.
 
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Portland’s 13-game points streak (12-0-0-1) ended on Wednesday in a 3-1 loss at Worcester… The Pirates failed to score at least two goals for the first time since their last regulation loss, a 4-1 defeat to Lowell on Jan. 23… Portland is now two points back of the Sharks for first place in the Atlantic Division… Marc-Andre Gragnani (2-2-4) and rookie Tyler Ennis (0-3-3) are each riding three-game scoring streaks… Ennis remains atop the AHL’s rookie scoring list with 56 points (18-38-56) in 58 games for the season… The Pirates host Albany twice this weekend, with a Saturday trip to Hartford in between.
 
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Providence dropped its last two games by a combined score of 9-2 and is just 1-3-0-0 in four contests following a season-high four-game winning streak from Feb. 6-13… The Bruins, who haven’t missed the playoffs since 1998, are currently four points back of Bridgeport for the Eastern Conference’s final entry… Defenseman Andy Wozniewski has a point in six of his last eight games (1-6-7) for the B’s… Trent Whitfield snapped a six-game goal-scoring drought with a tally in Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Abbotsford… The Bruins begin a four-game road swing with tilts this weekend in Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre.
 
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Springfield is winless in four straight games (0-3-0-1) and shows just one win in its last eight outings (1-5-1-1)… Falcons leading scorer Charles Linglet (17-42-59) is the only member of the team to appear in all 62 games thus far… Colton Fretter, who has a team-leading 22 goals and ranks second with 42 points, has appeared in 61 of the team’s 62 contests… Defenseman Chris Armstrong is on a three-game scoring streak (1-2-3)… The Falcons wrap up their five-game road swing this weekend with visits to Hartford and Syracuse.
 
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Syracuse’s 6-5 win at Adirondack on Wednesday marked the Crunch’s first road win this season when trailing after two periods (1-12-2-1)… Maksim Mayorov had not recorded a multiple-goal game all season prior to scoring twice – including the game-winner shorthanded – against the Phantoms… It marked Syracuse’s 12th shorthanded goal of the season, which ranks third in the AHL… Michael Blunden boasts a five-game scoring streak (3-5-8), while Alexandre Picard is on a three-game run (2-3-5) and shows 7-5-12 in his last 10 outings… Syracuse visits Lake Erie on Friday before hosting Springfield and Norfolk to close the weekend.
 
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s season-high six-game winning streak ended on Tuesday with a 2-1 loss at Portland… It had marked the Penguins’ longest winning streak since a nine-game run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 20, 2009… The Pens currently sit three points back of Bridgeport for the final postseason slot in the Eastern Conference… Dustin Jeffrey notched Wilkes-Barre’s lone goal on Tuesday and has a point in six of his last seven games (4-5-9)… Wilkes-Barre is a perfect 16-0-0-0 at home when taking a lead into the third period… The Pens host Providence and Hershey this weekend after enjoying Friday night off.
 
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Captain Ryan Vesce returned to Worcester’s lineup on Wednesday following a 26-game injury absence and scored twice to help the Sharks to a 3-1 win over Portland… Vesce now has a goal in his last three games played (4-1-5) and a point in six straight (5-6-11)… Dan DaSilva notched a goal on Wednesday to run his points streak to five games (5-3-8)… Worcester has the AHL’s third-ranked offense overall (3.40)… Rookie Alex Stalock leads all AHL goaltenders in wins (32-13-1) and minutes played (2,723)… The Sharks will play their next six games against either Abbotsford or Manitoba.