PROVIDENCE 3, MANCHESTER 0
Making just his fourth AHL appearance of the season, rookie goaltender Matt Dalton turned in a 34-save shutout to lead Providence to a 3-0 win over Atlantic Division-leading Manchester on Friday in front of 8,597 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Dalton, coming off a 21-save performance at Bridgeport on Sunday, recorded his first career AHL shutout and improved to 2-2-0 with the Bruins this season.
The 24-year-old Dalton, who is 11-6-1 in 18 appearances for ECHL Reading on the campaign, had to make 27 of his 34 saves over the final two periods. Manchester held a 27-17 shots advantage in that span.
Rookie Joe Colborne, a first-round draft pick by the parent Boston Bruins in 2008, provided all the offense Providence would need when he scored 15:54 into the first period, with assists going to Antoine Roussel and defenseman Jeff Penner.
The Monarchs (24-13-1-1) were blanked for the first time all season and are now 1-2-0-0 on their season-high nine-game road swing, which continues on Saturday in Portland and Sunday in Bridgeport.
HERSHEY 4, MANITOBA 3
Andrew Gordon tipped home a shot by Lawrence Nycholat with 24.3 seconds left in regulation, lifting Hershey to a 4-3 road win over Manitoba on Friday before 7,442 fans at the MTS Centre.
It marked Gordon’s second goal of the game and team-leading 18th of the season, and the former AHL All-Star is now just two scores shy of clinching his third consecutive 20-goal campaign for the Bears.
Hershey goaltender Dany Sabourin stopped 25 of 28 shots in net to move back to the .500 mark overall at 9-9-0 in 18 appearances.
The Bears improved to 6-1-0-0 in their last seven outings and remain one point back of Norfolk for third place in the East Division and two points behind second-place Charlotte.
The Bears and Moose, who met in the 2009 Calder Cup Finals, will collide for a rematch on Saturday night in Winnipeg.
CHARLOTTE 4, ALBANY 2
Charlotte began a two-game road swing up north on a good note Friday with a 4-2 win over Albany at the Times Union Center.
Jerome Samson notched the eventual game-winning goal and added an assist for the Checkers, who also got tallies from Nicolas Blanchard, Chris Terry, and Brett Sutter, who scored into an empty net with three seconds left in regulation.
Charlotte goaltender Justin Pogge made his fourth straight start in net and turned aside 37 of 39 shots to improve to 12-7-2 on the season. Pogge has now won eight in a row on the road.
The Checkers, who will visit Springfield on Saturday, brought an end to their brief two-game losing skid (0-1-1-0).
PORTLAND 4, SPRINGFIELD 1
A three-goal second period lifted Portland to a 4-1 triumph over visiting Springfield on Friday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Following a scoreless opening period, the Pirates got second-frame strikes from Dennis Persson (4:50), Maxime Legault, and defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani. Mark Mancari stretched the advantage to 4-0 just 11 seconds into the third stanza.
Springfield finally got on the board at the 13:33 mark when former first-round draft pick Nikita Filatov bagged his second goal of the season.
Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped the other 22 shots sent his way and moved his season record back above .500 at 11-10-1 in 24 appearances.
The Pirates collected their 20th victory of the season (20-11-4-1) and have now won back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game run from Dec. 10-12. Portland is now 3-2-0-0 this season vs. Springfield.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 5, BRIDGEPORT 2
Brett Sterling led the way with a goal and two assists as AHL-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rolled to another victory, this one by a 5-2 final over visiting Bridgeport at the Wachovia Arena.
Sterling assisted on a goal by Tim Wallace midway through the opening period, scored one of his own a little more than five minutes later, and completed his three-point night with an assist on Nick Johnson’s insurance goal at 12:32 of the third frame.
Penguins goaltender John Curry stopped 18 of 20 shots sent his way and moved his season record to 13-5-0 in 18 appearances.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton extended its latest winning streak to four games and improved to 29-8-0-0 overall. The Penguins will host Providence on Saturday before embarking on a three-game road trip next weekend.
Jean Bourbeau notched his first career AHL goal for the Sound Tigers, and 2010 AHL All-Star defenseman Mark Katic also scored in the loss. Bridgeport has now dropped three straight for the first time since Nov. 7-12.
BINGHAMTON 6, SYRACUSE 4
Binghamton constructed a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes and then held of Syracuse’s comeback attempts the rest of the way to earn a 6-4 win over the visiting Crunch on Friday at the Broome County Arena.
Veteran Corey Locke (1-2-3) and rookie Colin Greening (1-2-3) each had a game-high three points for the Senators, who won for just the second time in their last five games (2-3-0-0) and halted Syracuse’s three-game winning streak in the process.
Binghamton goaltender Barry Brust (13-12-1) made 31 saves on 35 shots to preserve the win.
Defenseman Nathan Paetsch notched a pair of power play goals and Eric Lampe scored at even strength for the Crunch, who were looking for a season-high fourth straight win. Syracuse continues a seven-game road swing on Saturday in Albany.
NORFOLK 5, CONNECTICUT 2
Norfolk struck for three goals in a 1:08 span in the third period to turn a 2-2 deadlock into a 5-2 victory over visiting Connecticut in the opener of a two-game weekend set at the Scope.
Johan Harju and James Wright also registered goals for the Admirals, who had taken leads of 1-0 and 2-1 only to watch Connecticut respond each time. Norfolk goaltender Cedrick Desjardins emerged with the victory, though, after making 24 stops in net.
The Admirals (19-9-6-2) were able to snap a season-high five-game winless skid (0-3-1-1) with their first victory since a 5-1 triumph over Albany on Dec. 18.
PEORIA 5, OKLAHOMA CITY 2
Peoria raced out to a 3-0 lead after the first period and cruised to a 5-2 road win over Oklahoma City on Friday at the Cox Convention Center.
With their fourth straight victory, the Rivermen improved to 24-10-2-1 on the season and hold a two-point lead on San Antonio for first place in the West Division.
Dave Spina and Graham Mink each notched a pair of goals for Peoria, and Andrew Carroll also found the back of the net. Mink snapped a 12-game goal-scoring drought with his first markers since a 2-1 win at Hamilton on Dec. 3.
Milan Kytnar and Ryan O’Marra tallied goals for the Barons, who fell to 2-7-0-1 in their last 10 outings. Defenseman Bryan Helmer, who signed with Oklahoma City earlier in the day, registered an assist in his Barons debut.
SAN ANTONIO 5, TEXAS 1
San Antonio withstood a first-period onslaught of shots and received goals from five different players en route to a 5-1 win over visiting Texas on Friday before 7,701 fans at the AT&T Center.
With the victory, the Rampage snapped a season-high four-game losing skid and remained two points back of victorious Peoria for first place in the West Division race.
San Antonio was outshot 12-4 in the opening period but emerged in a 1-1 deadlock. Texas’s Fabian Brunnstrom scored unassisted 4:10 in, but Ebbett answered on the power play at 16:33 to begin a stretch of five unanswered Rampage goals.
Rampage netminder Matt Climie, who helped the Stars to last year’s Calder Cup Finals, earned the victory with 27 saves on 28 shots.
The victory came just two nights after the Marlies were routed by a 9-3 final at Chicago, and Toronto moved to 1-1-0-1 thus far on a nine-game road trip.
A former first-round draft pick, Kadri now shows 2-2-4 in three games since rejoining the Marlies from the NHL, and Mueller extended his scoring streak to six games (1-7-8).
Igor Mayorov initially gave the IceHogs a 1-0 lead when he scored shorthanded 1:22 into the contest.
HOUSTON 3, LAKE ERIE 0
Rookie goaltender Matt Hackett made 25 saves for his first professional shutout as Houston earned a 3-0 victory over visiting Lake Erie on Friday at the Toyota Center.
Hackett, a third-round draft pick by the Minnesota Wild in 2009, improved to 8-9-1 for the season by stopping 10 shots in the first period, eight in the second, and seven in the third.
Lake Erie, which is now 3-8-1-2 in its last 14 contests, continues its seven-game road trip on Saturday at Texas and Sunday at Oklahoma City.
ABBOTSFORD 3, ADIRONDACK 2 (SO)
Abbotsford converted on three of its five shootout tries to emerge with a 3-2 win over visiting Adirondack on Friday in the opener of a two-game set at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Matt Keith, Mitch Wahl, and Jon Rheault all tallied shootout goals for the Heat, who snapped a season-high seven-game winless skid (0-5-2-0) with their first victory since earning a 1-0 decision at Rochester on Dec. 14.
The Phantoms, who extended their points streak to five games (4-0-0-1), rallied late in the third period just to force overtime. Defenseman Jonathon Kalinski scored shorthanded at 16:07, and Michael Ryan notched the tying goal at the 19:37 mark.