Falcons edge River Rats in Albany

Ryan Vesce and Dennis Packard scored third-period goals to lead the Springfield Falcons to a 4-3 win over the Albany River Rats at the Pepsi Arena on Wednesday night.

Springfield improved to 5-2-1-0 on the year with the victory, and closed to within one point of first place in the Atlantic Division.

The Falcons struck first, as Darren Reid scored his first goal of the year just 80 seconds into the game. Tuomas Pihlman tied it up five minutes later.

Springfield regained the lead on Norm Milley‘s fifth power-play goal of the season. But Albany responded again, taking a 3-2 advantage on goals by Krisjanis Redlihs and Ryan Murphy.

The River Rats held the lead until Vesce netted his second goal in as many games with 8:32 left in regulation. Packard won it with just 2:33 to play.

Gerald Coleman made 29 saves in the victory for the Falcons.

Quintin Laing scored off a deflection at the 7:18 mark of the third period to propel Norfolk to a 3-2 win in Bridgeport on Wednesday.

Anton Babchuk added a pair of goals for the Admirals and Corey Crawford made 27 saves.

Bruno Gervais and Wyatt Smith scored power-play markers for the Sound Tigers, who got 43 saves from Chris Madden in defeat.

Wade Flaherty needed only 15 saves to record his third shutout of the season, leading Manitoba to a 2-0 win in San Antonio.

Brett Skinner and Sven Butenschon scored for the Moose against Rampage goaltender Brian Boucher, making the start on a conditioning assignment from the Phoenix Coyotes.

Flaherty has won each of his last five decisions, leading Manitoba into first place in the North Division with a record of 7-3-0-0.

Kris Beech had a goal and an assist in regulation and netted the only goal in the shootout as Milwaukee posted a 3-2 road win over Omaha.

It was the Knights’ fourth straight shootout in a home game.

Beech tied the game at 1-1 midway through the second period, then set up Darren Haydar‘s equalizer with 32.7 seconds left in regulation.

Curtis McElhinney made 41 saves for Omaha, which was outshot 44-21 for the night.