MANITOBA 4, CHICAGO 1
Defense partners Mark Flood and Nolan Baumgartner tallied a goal and an assist each to lead Manitoba to a 4-1 win over Chicago before 11,684 fans at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Friday evening.
The Moose extended their winning streak to six games with the victory.
At 13:58 of the first period, Shawn Weller took a pass from Joel Perrault from the middle of the slot and slipped the puck underneath Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino for his fourth goal of the season. Less than a minute later, Chicago’s Spencer Machacek picked off a pass in the Moose zone in the same area of the slot but only found the outstretched glove of Eddie Lack, who preserved the 1-0 Manitoba lead.
Manitoba killed off a five-minute Chicago power play early in the second period and another minor shortly thereafter, and then scored at 14:33 when Flood took a pass at the right point and wired a slap shot by Mannino.
Baumgartner upped the lead to 4-0 on a wrist shot from the middle of the blue line that went in off the goalpost at 6:43, and only a Mark Matheson goal with 2.5 seconds remaining spoiled the shutout bid for Lack, who has gone the distance during the Moose’s six-game winning streak and allowed a total of eight goals.
MANCHESTER 7, PROVIDENCE 3
Oscar Moller had five points, David Kolomatis (2g, 1a) and Marc-Andre Cliche (1g, 2a) each notched three points and Manchester overcame three early deficits to soar past Providence, 7-3, in front of 9,207 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on New Year’s Eve.
It was the sixth straight win for the Monarchs, who have opened up a seven-point lead over Portland and Connecticut atop the Atlantic Division.
Moller registered a goal and four assists, giving him eight points in three games since returning to the Monarchs lineup from an NHL stint with Los Angeles.
Zach Hamill, Joe Colborne and Kirk MacDonald gave Providence three separate one-goal leads, but David Meckler and Kolomatis scored 35 seconds apart midway through the second period to put Manchester on top for the first time – and for good.
Manchester embarks on a nine-game road swing with a visit to Springfield on Saturday night.
CONNECTICUT 5, PORTLAND 4 (OT)
For the second time in less than 48 hours, Tim Kennedy scored on a power play in the opening minute of overtime to give Connecticut a victory over his former Portland club.
On Friday, Kennedy found the net 24 seconds into the extra frame for a 5-4 road win at a sold-out Cumberland County Civic Center.
NHL veterans Todd White and Jason Williams each earned a goal and an assist in their Whale debuts, and Wade Redden tallied three assists to help Connecticut move into a tie with Portland for second place in the Atlantic Division.
Kennedy, who led the AHL in rookie scoring while playing for the Pirates in 2008-09, has scored five of his six goals this season on the power play.
Paul Byron led the Pirates with two points, including a goal on a penalty shot in the second period. Mark Mancari, Justin Bowers and Colin Stuart also scored for Portland, which fell to 1-4 in games decided in the overtime period.
GRAND RAPIDS 2, TORONTO 1 (SO)
Francis Pare scored with 1:37 left in regulation and then again in the shootout, helping Grand Rapids to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Toronto in front of a capacity crowd of 10,834 fans at Van Andel Arena.
Former Marlies goaltender Joey MacDonald made 43 saves for the Griffins.
The battle between the North Division rivals was scoreless until Christian Hanson broke through for Toronto at 13:04 of the third period, netting his 10th goal of the season.
Ben Scrivens stopped 40 of 41 shots for Toronto, which went to a shootout for the fourth time in its last seven games.
It was the opener of a nine-game road swing for the Marlies, who are now off until visiting Chicago on Wednesday.
Toronto and Grand Rapids entered the game part of a logjam in the North Division, where the bottom six teams were separated by four points. The Griffins (37 points) are now three points behind the second-place Marlies and Manitoba (40 points each).
BRIDGEPORT 3, WORCESTER 2
Dustin Friesen banged home his first goal of the season with 10:37 remaining in regulation, lifting Bridgeport to a 3-2 win over Worcester at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Friesen and Jeremy Colliton each had a goal and an assist for the Sound Tigers, who matched a season high with their third straight win.
Brian Stewart made 27 saves in regular play and stopped all four Falcons attempts in the shootout to secure his first AHL win of the season.
It was Adirondack’s first shootout of the season; the Phantoms were the last team in the AHL to have a game still tied after 65 minutes.
Jonathon Kalinski scored on a shorthanded breakaway in the first period for his first goal since Oct. 30, and Greg Moore extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with the game-tying score early in the third. Moore had gone without a goal over his first 32 games before his current run.
The Phantoms have won four of their last six games and are 2-2-0-0 under head coach Joe Paterson.
SYRACUSE 4, HERSHEY 2
Timo Pielmeier made a season-high 45 saves, Dan Sexton scored the game-winner and three players recorded a multiple-point game for the visitors, helping the Syracuse Crunch snap a three-game losing streak and end 2010 on a good note, defeating the Hershey Bears by a 4-2 final in front of 9,876 fans at Giant Center.
The Crunch scored the game’s first goal just 3:11 into the contest, ending a scoreless of 143 minutes and 4 seconds. John Mitchell stole the puck in the offensive zone, spun around and whipped a shot past Dany Sabourin to give the Crunch the early lead.
Trevor Smith then found his own rebound on the left side of the net and put the second effort by Sabourin to stake the Crunch to a 2-0 lead at the 11:25 mark of the first period. Hershey cut the Crunch lead to 2-1 about three and a half minutes later when Kyle Greentree cashed in the power play, rifling an Andrew Gordon pass to the top left corner past a sprawling Pielmeier at the 15:00 mark.
The Crunch took a 3-1 lead when Josh Green notched his seventh goal of the season, shuffling home a pass from Patrick Maroon on the power play just 1:21 into the second period. Syracuse then extended its lead when Sexton corralled the puck off an offensive zone face-off and centered a feed intended for Nicolas Deschamps that deflected in off a Hershey defenseman.
Hershey got one back when reigning AHL MVP Keith Aucoin deflected a Sean Collins shot past Pielmeier at the 8:09 mark of the third. The Bears pressed hard for the equalizer down the stretch, but Pielmeier made 20 of his 45 saves in the third period to seal the win.
ALBANY 5, BINGHAMTON 4
Alexander Vasyunov scored his first two AHL goals of the season and added two assists for a four-point night, leading Albany to a 5-4 win in Binghamton on Friday evening.
Vasyunov, who has played 17 NHL games with New Jersey in addition to his 10 contests for Albany this season, was also a plus-2 and took a game-high six shots on goal.
Michael Swift had a goal and an assist for the Devils, Stephen Gionta scored and Darcy Zajac’s first career AHL goal snapped a 3-3 tie early in the third period. Mike McKenna made 28 saves and earned his first win since Nov. 5.
PEORIA 3, MILWAUKEE 1
Peoria ended a three-game slide with a 3-1 win over Milwaukee at Carver Arena on Friday night.
Nathan Oystrick scored on one of the Rivermen’s two shots in the first period, as Peoria took a 1-0 lead into the intermission despite an 11-2 disadvantage on the shot clock.
Ryan Thang broke up Allen’s bid for his fifth shutout with a goal at 15:12 of the third.
OKLAHOMA CITY 4, SAN ANTONIO 1
Alexandre Giroux scored three times, Liam Reddox recorded a goal and two assists and Martin Gerber made 44 saves as Oklahoma City ended a six-game winless skid with a 4-1 win over San Antonio at the AT&T Center on Friday night.
With his first hat trick of the season, Giroux moved into a tie with Bruce Cline for 12th place all-time with 321 career AHL goals.
San Antonio owned a 33-12 edge in shots through two periods but trailed 1-0 thanks largely to Gerber’s efforts. The deficit had grown to 3-0 before the Rampage got a power-play goal from Petr Prucha at the 8:08 mark of the third period.
The Barons are now 13-0-0-0 when scoring at least four goals in a game, and 4-13-1-4 when scoring three or fewer.
TEXAS 3, ABBOTSFORD 0
Tyler Beskorowany made 25 saves for his first career AHL shutout, backstopping Texas to a 3-0 win in Abbotsford on Friday night.
Beskorowany, a second-round draft pick by Dallas in 2008, improved to 3-4-0 in seven appearances for the Stars this season.
Mathieu Tousignant finished the scoring into an empty net with seven seconds to play.
It was the third win in a row for the Stars, who extended their points streak to seven games (5-0-1-1).
The Heat have lost five in a row, falling back to the .500 mark at 16-16-1-3.