MILWAUKEE 8, PEORIA 1
Rookie forward Blake Geoffrion recorded a season-high five points with two goals and three assists, leading Milwaukee to an 8-1 romp over West Division-leading Peoria on Friday night in front of 10,793 fans at the Bradley Center.
Geoffrion, the 2009-10 Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey’s top player, has now registered eight points (3-5-8) in his last three games and shows 24 points (7-17-24) in 34 games for the season.
Ryan Thang and 2011 AHL All-Star Linus Klasen each posted a goal and two assists in the winning effort, while Andreas Thuresson (1-1-2) and defenseman Roman Josi (0-2-2) also finished with multiple points.
Milwaukee goaltender Mark Dekanich made 27 saves on 28 shots, and the 2011 AHL All-Star improved to 17-7-4 in 29 appearances on the campaign.
The Admirals, who snapped a three-game losing skid (0-1-0-2), put up their largest offensive output since collecting an 8-1 triumph over Chicago on Apr. 9, 2010.
Rookie defenseman Mark Cundari recorded the Rivermen’s lone goal on the power play in the second period. Peoria fell into third place in the West, one point back of San Antonio and Houston.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRTANTON 4, ALBANY 1
2011 AHL All-Star Eric Tangradi tallied a goal and added a pair of assists to lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 4-1 road win over Albany on Friday at the Times Union Center.
It marked Tangradi’s second performance of three or more points this season, following a three-goal, one-assist outing vs. Toronto on Dec. 8.
Rookie defenseman Carl Sneep, who entered the night with two goals in 41 games for the season, scored twice for the Penguins, and Nick Johnson rounded out the offense with a third-period power play goal.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improved to 11-3-0-0 in its last 14 games and to a league-leading 36-11-0-0 in 47 games for the campaign.
Defenseman Dan Kelly recorded the Devils’ lone goal early in the second period.
GRAND RAPIDS 5, ROCKFORD 2
Chris Minard, who had recorded just two goals in his last 20 games, erupted for three scores en route to his first hat trick of the season as Grand Rapids earned a 5-2 win over visiting Rockford on Friday before 8,851 fans at Van Andel Arena.
With the game deadlocked at 2-2 in the second period, Minard tallied a power play goal at 1:22 for his sixth marker of the season. He followed that up with an insurance goal late in the third frame and capped off the hat trick with a last-minute empty-netter.
2011 AHL All-Star Ilari Filppula racked up a goal and two assists for the Griffins; second-year pro Tomas Tatar finished with a goal and an assist; while Francis Pare and defenseman Derek Meech each chipped in two helpers.
Grand Rapids rookie goaltender Jordan Pearce stopped 39 of 41 shots and improved to 3-0-1 in his last four appearances.
Ryan Potulny notched both goals for the IceHogs, who have now lost a season-high four straight games in regulation. Rockford hosts Milwaukee on Saturday in its last game before the All-Star break.
MANCHESTER 4, CONNECTICUT 2
Manchester scored three goals in a 5:06 span during the second period and rolled that explosion to a 4-2 road win over Connecticut on Friday at the XL Center.
The Monarchs improved to 6-1-0-0 against the Whale this season and moved back into first place in the Atlantic Division, one point up on Portland.
Monarchs rookie goaltender Martin Jones (17-5-0) stopped 26 of 28 shots in net to pick up the victory.
Evgeny Grachev also scored for the Whale, who fell to 2-5-0-0 in their last seven contests.
HERSHEY 3, BINGHAMTON 2
Hershey rallied back from a 2-1 deficit and extended its winning streak to three games by claiming a 3-2 road decision over Binghamton on Friday at the Broome County Arena.
Boyd Kane put the Bears on top 4:28 into the opening period, but Binghamton’s Bobby Butler answered on the power play at 16:25 with his AHL rookie-leading 20th goal of the season. Kaspars Daugavins then gave the Senators a 2-1 advantage early in the second frame.
2011 AHL All-Star goaltender Braden Holtby secured the victory with 21 saves on 23 shots in net, as Hershey improved to 5-2-0-0 against the Senators this season.
PROVIDENCE 4, PORTLAND 2
Rookie forward Jordan Caron snapped a 2-2 tie at 7:48 of the third period, and Providence went on to post a 4-2 win over visiting Portland before 7,477 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
It marked the sixth AHL goal of the season but first game-winner for Caron, a first-round draft pick in 2009 who began the season by appearing in 20 games for parent-club Boston.
Providence, which won its third straight game and improved to 7-1-0-0 in its last eight outings, remained two points back of Worcester for fourth place in the Atlantic Division race.
TEXAS 2, OKLAHOMA CITY 1
Texas registered a pair of second-period goals to Oklahoma City’s one and held on for a 2-1 road win over Oklahoma City on Friday at the Cox Convention Center.
Aaron Gagnon and Colton Sceviour scored for the Stars, who have now won three straight games for the first time since Dec. 28-31, a run that began with a 4-3 shootout decision at Oklahoma City. All three victories in Texas’s current streak have been by a one-goal margin.
Sceviour finished with a goal and an assist on the night; 2011 AHL All-Star Francis Wathier picked up a helper; and rookie goaltender Richard Bachman (17-10-2) stopped 28 of 29 shots between the pipes.
The victory allowed Texas (26-15-3-2) to tie Oklahoma City (26-16-2-5) with 57 points apiece in the tight West Division race.
Rookie forward Teemu Hartikainen tallied the lone goal for the Barons, who are out to an 0-1-0-1 start to their five-game homestand, which continues on Saturday vs. Chicago.
CHARLOTTE 2, ADIRONDACK 1
Charlotte forward Jerome Samson broke a 1-1 deadlock with a power play goal at 15:44 of the third period, sending the Checkers to a 2-1 road win over Adirondack on Friday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Charlotte goaltender Mike Murphy (12-9-2) earned the victory with 32 saves on 33 shots, helping the Checkers continue a trend of lose one, win one which has now sustained for their last 11 games.
Charlotte is now just one point back of Norfolk for second place in the East Division race.
TORONTO 5, SYRACUSE 2
Recent acquisition Fabian Brunnstrom recorded a pair of goals to pace Toronto past host Syracuse by a 5-2 count on Friday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Brunnstrom snapped a five-game points drought and notched his first two goals in eight games since joining the Marlies via trade from the Dallas Stars organization.
Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens made a season-high 45 saves on 47 shots to earn his fifth victory of the campaign (5-2-3) and help the Marlies move back into a third-place tie with Lake Erie in the North Division race.
SPRINGFIELD 3, NORFOLK 2 (SO)
Kyle Wilson tied the game with 2:37 left in regulation, and Springfield went on to post a 3-2 shootout victory over host Norfolk on Friday evening at the Scope.
The Falcons beat Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski on each of their three shootout bids, receiving strikes from Brent Regner, Wilson, and rookie Tomas Kubalik. Springfield goaltender Gustaf Wesslau made 35 saves through the first 65 minutes before denying three of Norfolk’s four shootout tries.
Chris D’Alvise also scored in regulation for Springfield, which has now won two of its last three games (2-1-0-0).
Blair Jones and Marc-Antoine Pouliot registered goals for the Admirals, who are now winless in four straight games (0-3-0-1) for the first time since a five-game skid (0-3-1-1) from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2.
The teams will battle again on Saturday night in southern Virginia.
WORCESTER 3, BRIDGEPORT 2
2011 AHL All-Star defenseman Justin Braun scored twice to stake Worcester to a 2-0 first-period lead, and the Sharks went on to a 3-2 win over visiting Bridgeport on Friday at the DCU Center.
The Sound Tigers battled back from the early deficit on second-period strikes by Justin DiBenedetto (4:32) and defenseman Dylan Reese (10:06), but Dan DaSilva tallied the game-winner for the Sharks at 8:18 of the third frame.
Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock (18-17-4) only had to make 17 saves to pick up the victory in net, as his club held a remarkable 48-19 advantage in shots on goal.
The Sharks halted a three-game winless skid (0-2-0-1), while Bridgeport dropped its third straight game and fell to 1-8-2-1 in its last 12 contests.
ROCHESTER 2, MANITOBA 1
Triston Grant’s fourth goal of the season broke a 1-1 deadlock at 10:17 of the third period, and Rochester held on for a 2-1 win over visiting Manitoba on Friday before 6,137 fans at the Blue Cross Arena.
Amerks Rookie goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 33 saves in net and has now stopped 67 of 70 shots over the past two games, both victories. Rochester has now won back-to-back contests for the first time since sweeping a home-and-home from Toronto on Dec. 17 and 18.
Garth Murray registered the lone goal for the Moose, who in turn have dropped consecutive games for the first time since losing three in a row from Dec. 4-10.
SAN ANTONIO 4, CHICAGO 1
Mikkel Boedker scored twice and added an assist to lead suddenly red-hot San Antonio to a 4-1 win over visiting Chicago on Saturday in front of a franchise-record crowd of 14,339 fans on “Pink in the Rink” night at the AT&T Center.
The Rampage extended their points streak to five games (4-0-1-0), which comes on the heels of a season-worst five-game regulation losing skid from Jan. 9-17.
Coupled with Peoria’s 8-1 loss in Milwaukee, San Antonio (60 points) moved back into first place in the West Division, as the Rampage and Houston Aeros are now one point up on the Rivermen.
Rampage goaltender Matt Climie turned aside 37 of 38 shots between the pipes, improving to 18-7-0 in 26 appearances for the season.
Nigel Dawes initially gave the Wolves a 1-0 first-period lead with his team-leading 22nd goal of the season, a power play marker.
HOUSTON 4, ABBOTSFORD 3 (SO)
Chad Rau’s fifth-round shootout goal lifted Houston to a 4-3 win over visiting Abbotsford on Friday at the Toyota Center.
Houston built leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2 only to watch Abbotsford come back to tie it on all three occasions. Jean-Michel Daoust, Carson McMillan, and Patrick O’Sullivan tallied regulation goals for the Aeros, and 2011 AHL All-Star defenseman Maxim Noreau chipped in two helpers.
With the victory, the Aeros moved into a first-place tie with San Antonio in the West Division, one point up on Peoria.