PORTLAND 4, MANCHESTER 0
Jhonas Enroth made 24 of his 29 saves over the final two periods, earning the shutout as Portland snapped a three-game losing skid with a 4-0 victory over visiting Manchester on Friday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Enroth, who had surrendered seven goals in dropping his last two appearances, collected his fifth shutout of the season and improved to 28-18-1 on the campaign. The 21-year-old second-year pro only faced five shots in the first period but was peppered with 15 in the second and nine more in the third.
Brad Larsen provided all the offense the Pirates would need when he scored on the power play with 1:31 left in the opening period.
Jeff Cowan, Paul Byron, and rookie Tyler Ennis added second-period goals, the latter two also coming with the man advantage. Portland finished 3-for-7 on the power play while holding Manchester to an 0-for-3 showing.
Larsen and Ennis each finished with a goal and an assist on the night. Ennis continues to lead all AHL rookies in scoring, now showing 61 points (20-41-61) in 62 contests.
With the victory, the Pirates remained five points back of Worcester for first place in the Atlantic Division, and they stretched their lead over third-place Manchester to four points.
The Monarchs, who were blanked for the fifth time this season, fell to 1-4-1-0 in their last six outings.
TORONTO 3, CHICAGO 0
Toronto goaltender Joey MacDonald held the AHL’s second-ranked offense scoreless on 40 shots, and the Marlies earned a 3-0 road win over Chicago on Friday at Allstate Arena.
MacDonald earned his second shutout of the season for the Marlies, turning aside 16 shots in the first period, 11 in the second, and 13 more in the third. Chicago entered the night averaging 3.46 goals per game, second only to Hershey’s 4.30.
Toronto pushed its points streak to three games (2-0-1-0) and remained nine points back of Manitoba for fourth place in the North Division.
The Wolves, who had not been shut out since a 1-0 loss at Rockford on Nov. 20, saw their six-game points streak (4-0-1-1) come to an end.
ALBANY 4, ROCHESTER 3
Albany climbed out of three separate one-goal deficits and eventually prevailed over host Rochester by a 4-3 count on Friday at the Blue Cross Arena.
River Rats defenseman Bryan Rodney tallied the game-winning goal on the power play 7:04 into the third period, helping the Rats extend their points streak to five games (3-0-0-2).
NHL trade deadline acquisition Oskar Osala potted his first two goals in an Albany uniform, while rookie Drayson Bowman also beat Amerks goaltender Tyler Plante. Rookie defenseman Jamie McBain posted two assists on the night.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 5, PROVIDENCE 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton registered four unanswered goals to pull out a critical 5-3 road win over Providence on Friday in front of 10,110 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The Penguins moved three points ahead of the Bruins in the Eastern Conference standings and remained two points back of victorious Bridgeport for the East Division’s final postseason entry.
The contest was deadlocked 2-2 entering the third period, but Tim Wallace tallied his 20th and 21st goals of the season to break the tie. He notched the eventual game-winner 3:48 into the frame and added a shorthanded marker with 5:24 to play.
The Bruins are now winless in four straight contests (0-3-0-1).
WORCESTER 6, BINGHAMTON 4
Worcester took a 5-2 lead into the waning moments of the third period but had to withstand a scare on its way to a 6-4 win over pesky Binghamton at the DCU Center on Friday.
Senators forward Jason Bailey made it a 5-3 game at the 16:14 mark, and defenseman Geoff Kinrade completed a nifty rush down the right wing by tucking the puck past Worcester’s Alex Stalock just 56 seconds later.
Binghamton was unable to get the equalizer, though, and Sharks forward T.J. Trevelyan hit the Senators’ vacated net for his second goal of the game.
Sharks rookie Logan Couture wound up with his ninth game-winning goal of the season and 20th marker overall. Defenseman Danny Groulx had a game-high three points (1-2-3) for Worcester, which also got goals from rookie John McCarthy and captain Ryan Vesce.
Stalock finished with 32 saves on the night, helping the first-place Sharks to their third straight win.
BRIDGEPORT 3, NORFOLK 2 (SO)
Bridgeport rookie Robin Figren’s fourth-round score stood up as the lone shootout goal for either side, and it pushed the Sound Tigers to a 3-2 road win over Norfolk at the Scope.
Sound Tigers goaltender Scott Munroe turned aside all five of Norfolk’s attempts after making 28 saves through the first 65 minutes.
Tyler Haskins notched both regulation goals for the Sound Tigers, giving them a 1-0 lead in the first period and then tying the contest at 2-2 in the third after Norfolk had taken a 2-1 advantage.
The Sound Tigers, who improved to 6-6 in shootout this season, have now won four straight games overall for the first time since starting the season 4-0-0-0. Bridgeport remains two points up on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the East Division’s final playoff spot.
HERSHEY 5, ADIRONDACK 4 (OT)
Defenseman Bryan Helmer scored 1:33 into overtime as Hershey rallied for a 5-4 road win over Adirondack at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux netted a pair of goals in regulation, including the game-tying marker on the power play with 8:02 left to play in the third period. Jay Beagle and Pinizzotto also scored for the Bears, who earned their sixth consecutive victory.
GRAND RAPIDS 3, HAMILTON 2
2010 AHL All-Star Patrick Rissmiller’s third-period goal stood up to be the game-winner as Grand Rapids edged host Hamilton by a 3-2 count on Friday in the opener of a two-game set.
Rissmiller’s goal at 1:17 of the third frame stretched the Griffins’ lead to 3-1, but Ryan Russell pulled the Bulldogs within 3-2 at the 9:15 mark.
Hamilton, which earlier received a shorthanded score from Grant Stevenson, was unable to get the equalizer and watched its winning streak end at nine games, equaling a franchise record. Despite the loss, Hamilton officially secured its spot in the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs by virtue of Lake Erie’s shootout loss at Abbotsford.
The teams will battle in a rematch on Saturday night at Copps Coliseum.
LOWELL 3, SYRACUSE 1
Lowell struck for a pair of goals just 2:04 apart late in the second period, and it proved to be the difference in a 3-1 road win over Syracuse on Friday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
With the Devils already holding a 1-0 lead on a Nathan Perkovich power play goal in the first period, Alexander Vasyunov made it 2-0 at 15:23 of the second, and rookie defenseman Matt Taormina’s power play strike at 17:27 extended the edge to 3-0.
It remained a 3-0 game until Chad Kolarik put the Crunch on the board early in the third period, registering his 20th goal of the season. But Syracuse could not get any closer and watched its three-game winning streak go by the boards.
Lowell, which took a 3-2 shootout win at Providence last Sunday, has now won consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 29-31.
HARTFORD 4, SPRINGFIELD 2
Hartford jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the game and held on for a 4-2 road win over Springfield at the MassMutual Center on Friday.
The Wolf Pack snapped a seven-game winless skid (0-3-3-1) overall and improved to 4-1-2-0 against the Falcons this season. Hartford remains six points back of Bridgeport for the Eastern Conference’s final postseason spot.
Corey Locke tallied a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack, while Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Brodie Dupont, and Dale Weise also found the back of the net. Weise’s 22nd goal of the season midway through the second period proved to be the game-winner.
SAN ANTONIO 3, TEXAS 2
Stefan Meyer broke a 2-2 tie at 6:53 of the third period, and San Antonio held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Texas before 7,210 fans at the AT&T Center on Friday.
It marked Meyer’s 10th goal of the season and his fourth game-winner, and Gavin Morgan picked up the lone assist on the play.
Alexandre Picard also scored for the Rampage, tallying a power play goal in the first period. Picard now shows 21 goals on the season and four in five games since joining the Rampage at the NHL trade deadline.
San Antonio goaltender Josh Tordjman earned the win with 27 saves, helping the Rampage close to within six points of idle Milwaukee for the West Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Aaron Gagnon registered a power play goal for the Stars, whose three-game winning streak came to an end.
MANITOBA 6, ROCKFORD 1
Manitoba put together its highest goal output in nearly a month and rolled to a 6-1 victory over visiting Rockford on Friday before 7,751 fans at the MTS Centre.
The Moose, who last scored six goals on Feb. 16 in a 6-3 triumph at Rochester, improved to 4-2-0-0 in their last six games and increased their lead on fourth-place Lake Erie in the North Division to six points, pending the result of the Monsters’ late game at Abbotsford.
Matt Pope, who entered the night showing two points (1-1-2) in 32 AHL games this season, broke out with two goals and an assist to pace the Moose’s offense.
Moose goaltender Cory Schneider (28-19-1) earned the victory with 28 saves on 29 shots between the pipes.
Matt Keith netted the lone goal for the IceHogs, who have now been outscored 13-3 in dropping consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 8-9. Rockford will seek revenge when the teams’ conclude their four-game season series on Saturday night in Winnipeg.
PEORIA 4, HOUSTON 3
Peoria roared back from an early 2-0 deficit with four straight goals and then held on for a 4-3 road win over Houston before 9,614 fans on Friday at the Toyota Center.
Nicholas Drazenovic scored twice for the Rivermen, including the eventual game-winner which went into an empty net with 1:02 to play in regulation to make it a 4-2 game. Houston’s Nathan Smith registered a power play goal in the closing minute.
Peoria improved to 6-2-1-1 in its last 10 games and now sits seven points back of Milwaukee for the West Division’s fourth and final playoff bid.
Jean-Michel Daoust potted a pair of first-period goals for the Aeros, who lost in regulation for just the fourth time all season after scoring the game’s first goal (21-4-3-2). Houston is now 1-5-0-1 in its last seven contests.
ABBOTSFORD 3, LAKE ERIE 2 (SO)
Brent Sutter and Garth Murray scored in the fourth and fifth rounds of a shootout as Abbotsford pulled out a 3-2 win over visiting Lake Erie at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Heat goaltender David Shantz turned aside four of Lake Erie’s five shootout tries after making 38 saves through the first 65 minutes, helping Abbotsford improve to 7-1-0-2 in its last 10 contests.
Stoa netted the Monsters’ lone shootout conversion in the second round. Lake Erie is now five points back of Manitoba for the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot, and both teams have 13 games left to play.