HERSHEY 8, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 6
Hershey captain Bryan Helmer posted two assists to become just the second defenseman in AHL history to reach 500 career points, and the Bears posted eight goals for a third straight game en route to an 8-6 road win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Helmer, who won the Calder Cup in 1995 with Albany and again last spring with Hershey, now shows 118 goals and 382 assists for 500 points in 950 career AHL games.
Helmer joins John Slaney (519 points) as the only rearguards in the league’s 74-year history to accumulate 500 career points, and he joins teammate Alexandre Giroux and Providence’s Trent Whitfield in reaching the milestone this season.
Giroux (2-1-3) and Boyd Kane (2-0-2) each scored twice on the night for Hershey, which has now racked up 45 goals during its current six-game winning streak.
Goaltender Braden Holtby picked up the win despite surrendering six goals, as the Bears improved to 18-1-0-0 in its last 19 contests.
CHICAGO 3, GRAND RAPIDS 0
Joey Crabb tallied the eventual game-winning goal and added an empty-netter as Chicago collected a 3-0 win over visiting Grand Rapids before 8,772 fans at Allstate Arena on Friday.
Crabb broke a scoreless deadlock at 14:47 of the second period and then iced the victory with an empty-net tally in the closing seconds. In between, Spencer Machacek provided insurance for the Wolves at 6:16 of the third frame.
Chicago improved to 15-3-0-0 in its last 18 contests, while the struggling Griffins lost their fifth straight and fell to 3-14-0-0 in their last 17 outings.
LOWELL 3, HARTFORD 2
Brad Mills snapped a 2-2 tie at 14:12 of the second period, and it proved to be the game-winning goal as Lowell took a 3-2 road win over Hartford at the XL Center on Friday.
The Devils jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead but then watched the Wolf Pack climb back to a draw prior to Mills’s decisive tally.
Nathan Perkovich registered a power play goal 5:15 into the contest to put Lowell on top, and Mills made it 2-0 with his first of the night at the 8:41 mark.
Devils goaltender Mike McKenna earned the victory with 35 saves on 37 shots.
PORTLAND 3, BRIDGEPORT 2 (SO)
Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth stymied Bridgeport on all five of its shootout attempts as the Pirates rallied for a 3-2 win over the Sound Tigers on Friday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Pirates came back from a pair of one-goal deficits and forced overtime when Mark Mancari scored at 19:59 of the third period with his club holding a 6-on-3 advantage in manpower.
Mancari then beat Bridgeport goaltender Scott Munroe in the third round for the lone shootout goal for either side.
WORCESTER 5, MANITOBA 3
Worcester recovered from a pair of one-goal deficits in the first period to emerge with a 5-3 win over visiting Manitoba at the DCU Center, earning the Sharks a sweep of their two-game set with the Moose.
Rookie forward Brandon Mashinter posted a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who also received goals from Frazer McLaren, Jamie McGinn, rookie John McCarthy, and Dwight Helminen, who scored into an empty net in the closing seconds.
Thirteen different members of the Sharks registered at least one point on the night, helping Worcester collect its fifth straight win and improve to 21-4-1-1 in its last 27 outings.
Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock stopped 29 of 32 shots in net to pick up his league-leading 26th win of the season (26-10-1).
ALBANY 4, ROCHESTER 3
Albany went ahead by a goal on three separate occasions and clawed its way to a 4-3 road win over Rochester on Friday before 5,038 fans at the Blue Cross Arena.
Bellemore’s goal went into an empty net at 19:26 of the third period to give Albany a 4-2 advantage. It proved to be the game-winner when Rochester’s Victor Oreskovich lit the lamp at the 19:43 mark.
MANCHESTER 2, PROVIDENCE 0
Manchester struck for a pair of third period goals, and All-Star goaltender Jonathan Bernier pitched a 34-save shutout as Manchester escaped with a 2-0 road win over Providence before 9,116 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday.
The game was scoreless through the first two periods of action, but Monarchs forward Geoff Walker broke the deadlock with a power play strike at 6:15 of the third frame. Justin Azevedo and defenseman Alec Martinez earned the helpers.
Providence was unable to get the equalizer, and Jon Rheault sealed the Monarchs’ win with a last-second empty-netter.
Bernier earned his fifth shutout of the season – moving him into a tie for the league lead in that category – and improved his record to 20-11-5.
SPRINGFIELD 3, NORFOLK 2 (OT)
Liam Reddox notched his 11th goal of the season 1:32 into overtime to lift Springfield to a 3-2 win over visiting Norfolk on Friday at the MassMutual Center.
Springfield improved to 4-2-0-0 in its last six games and pulled within three points of Providence for seventh place in the Atlantic Division.
SYRACUSE 5, SAN ANTONIO 4 (SO)
Syracuse defenseman Brendan Bell’s first-round conversion marked the lone shootout goal for either side as Syracuse captured a 5-4 win over visiting San Antonio at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
The Crunch overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 on their way to the victory. Maksim Mayorov, Dan Fritsche, and defenseman Michael Ratchuk each posted a goal and an assist on the night, and ex-Rampage defenseman Dylan Reese notched the go-ahead goal for Syracuse at 5:23 of the third period.
San Antonio participated in its fourth straight shootout (1-0-0-3) and extended its points streak to five games overall (2-0-0-3).
Crunch goaltender Kevin Lalande made 29 saves through the first 65 minutes before denying all five of the Rampage’s shootout attempts.
LAKE ERIE 6, TORONTO 3
Lake Erie torched Toronto for four goals in the second period and doubled up the visiting Marlies by a 6-3 count on Friday before 8,283 fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
Monsters goaltender Tyler Weiman earned the victory with 23 saves in net, helping Lake Erie improve to 13-4-0-1 in its last 18 contests. Once eight games below the .500 mark, the Monsters pulled within one point of Abbotsford for the final playoff spot in the North Division.
Viktor Stalberg (1-1-2), Greg Scott (1-1-2), and 2010 AHL All-Star Christian Hanson potted goals for the Marlies, and Tim Brent contributed two assists. Toronto’s four-game points streak (2-0-0-2) came to an end.
ADIRONDACK 2, BINGHAMTON 1
David Laliberte’s goal at 19:22 of the second period stood up to be the game-winner as Adirondack eked out a 2-1 win over visiting Binghamton before 4,103 fans at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Jonathon Kalinski staked Adirondack to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, but 2010 AHL All-Star Ryan Keller tied it for the Senators with a power play strike at 4:28 of the second period, his team-leading 21st goal of the season.
Phantoms goaltender Johan Backlund (14-9-1) earned the victory with 28 saves on 29 shots between the pipes.
MILWAUKEE 2, HOUSTON 0
Second-year pro Mark Dekanich made 22 saves to record his first shutout of the season and the first by a Milwaukee goaltender in more than two months as the Admirals captured a 2-0 win over visiting Houston before a crowd of 11,510 fans at the Bradley Center.
Dekanich improved to 15-9-3 on the season and earned the Admirals’ first shutout since rookie Chet Pickard blanked Texas on 31 shots in a 2-0 win on Nov. 27.
Ben Guite provided all the offense Milwaukee would need with a power play tally at 7:56 of the second period, with Dekanich picking up an assist on the play.
Colin Wilson potted an insurance goal with 1:33 to play in regulation, also on the power play, as Milwaukee halted a brief two-game losing skid.
The Aeros have now dropped back-to-back tilts on the heels of a two-game sweep in Abbotsford last weekend. Houston concludes its five-game road swing with a visit to Peoria on Saturday.
ROCKFORD 4, PEORIA 2
Rockford netted a pair of third-period goals and doubled up visiting Peoria by a 4-2 count before 5,521 fans at the MetroCentre.
Rockford goaltender Corey Crawford earned the victory with 27 saves between the pipes, as the IceHogs improved to 7-1-0-1 in their last nine contests.
TEXAS 6, ABBOTSFORD 1
Texas scored twice in each period and cruised to a 6-1 win over visiting Abbotsford on Friday before 5,661 fans at the Cedar Park Center.
The Stars extended their winning streak to three games and their points streak to six games (5-0-1-0) with their highest goal output in a game this season.
Aaron Gagnon (1-1-2), Travis Moen (1-1-2), and rookie Sergei Korostin also found the back of the net. Greg Rallo and 2010 AHL All-Star defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy each chipped in two assists on the night.
Texas goaltender Matt Climie earned the victory with 36 saves on 37 shots in net.
Jason Jaffray scored the lone goal of the night for the Heat, who are just 1-4-2-0 in their last seven outings.
Abbotsford will seek revenge when the teams conclude their four-game season series on Saturday night.