WORCESTER 4, SPRINGFIELD 2
Worcester jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a 4-2 road win over Springfield at the MassMutual Center on Friday. Rookie Logan Couture scored twice for the Sharks, who extended their winning streak to six games.
Couture, who was drafted ninth overall by San Jose in 2007, scored twice on the power play and has racked up nine goals and 19 points in just 13 games for Worcester this season.
Sharks rookie goaltender Alex Stalock (12-6-1) earned the victory with 20 saves on 22 shots on net.
Worcester’s six-game winning streak is its longest since a franchise-record seven-game run from Mar. 16-31, 2007.
NORFOLK 2, ADIRONDACK 1 (OT)
Ryan Craig scored 1:32 into overtime to lift Norfolk past Adirondack by a 2-1 count on Friday before 13,127 fans at the Wachovia Center, home of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Smolenak then assisted on Craig’s game-winning tally, and defenseman Scott Jackson also picked up a helper.
Admirals rookie goaltender Dustin Tokarski earned the victory with 22 saves on 23 shots between the pipes, as Norfolk won for just the second time in its last seven games (2-5-0-0).
PROVIDENCE 3, PORTLAND 2 (SO)
Brad Marchand’s fifth-round shootout goal lifted Providence to a 3-2 win over Portland on Friday in Lewiston, Maine. Zach Hamill and reigning Reebok/AHL rookie of the month Jamie Arniel also tallied shootout goals for the Bruins, who improved to 7-2-0-0 in their last nine games.
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk, last season’s Eddie Shore Award winner, tallied a power play goal for Providence in the second game of a conditioning stint from parent-club Boston. Trent Whitfield also scored in regulation, marking the 200th goal of his AHL career.
Bruins goaltender Kevin Regan earned the victory, stopping 34 of 36 shots through the first 65 minutes before denying three of Portland’s five shootout tries.
Paul Byron netted both regulation goals and added a shootout tally for the Pirates, and Nathan Gerbe also converted in the shootout. Portland goaltender Patrick Lalime made 42 saves in the first game of a conditioning assignment from parent-club Buffalo.
Despite the shootout loss, Portland extended its points streak to 11 games (7-0-3-1).
LOWELL 5, BRIDGEPORT 1
Rookie Nick Palmieri netted two goals and added an assist as Lowell rolled to a 5-1 win over visiting Bridgeport on Friday at Tsongas Arena.
The Devils have now totaled 10 goals in their last two games – both victories – after registering two goals during a three-game losing skid from Nov. 25-28.
Brad Mills and Nathan Perkovich also scored to help the Devils pull out to a 4-0 lead by the 10:49 mark of the third period. After Bridgeport’s Trevor Smith scored at 12:18, Michael Swift rounded out Lowell’s offense with a power play strike at 19:22.
The Sound Tigers fell to 2-3-0-1 in their last six games.
ROCKFORD 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Rockford stayed hot on Friday with a 2-1 road win over Grand Rapids before 6,645 fans at Van Andel Arena.
Evan Brophey’s unassisted goal at 2:05 of the second period snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner for the IceHogs, who have won four straight games. Brophey has tallied the game-winning goal in two of those four victories and in three games overall this season.
IceHogs goaltender Alec Richards did not allow another puck past him, finishing with 33 saves on 34 shots to pick up the victory.
The Griffins slumped to 1-4-0-0 in their last five games.
ALBANY 3, HERSHEY 1
Albany scored once in each period and continued its strong play on home ice with a 3-1 win over visiting Hershey on Friday at the Times Union Center.
Defenseman Brett Carson posted two assists for Albany, and goaltender Justin Peters denied 39 of 40 shots between the pipes. The River Rats moved to 6-1-0-0 in their last seven home games and extended their points streak to four games overall (3-0-1-0).
Andrew Gordon notched his team-high 12th goal of the year for the Bears, who fell to 2-2-0-2 in their last six contests.
BINGHAMTON 5, SYRACUSE 0
Chris Holt made 26 saves for his second shutout in as many AHL appearances this season as Binghamton cruised past visiting Syracuse by a 5-0 count on Friday at the Broome County Arena.
The Senators have won four straight home games and outscored opponents 21-1 over that span, including three consecutive shutouts. Binghamton is now 6-2-0-1 in its last nine games overall.
Josh Hennessy and Kaspars Daugavins each posted a goal and an assist for Binghamton on Friday, and Cody Bass, Jim O’Brien, and Max Gratchev also found the back of the net. Eleven different Senators earned at least one point in the winning effort.
Syracuse, which suffered its third shutout of the season, will seek revenge when it hosts the Senators in the back end of a home-and-home on Saturday night.
HAMILTON 3, TORONTO 0
Hamilton continued its stifling defensive play on Friday with a 3-0 win over visiting Toronto at Copps Coliseum in the front end of a home-and-home set between the division rivals.
Bulldogs goaltender Cedrick Desjardins earned his second straight shutout – and Hamilton’s third in a row as a team – with 15 saves in net. Hamilton has not surrendered a goal in its last 198:51, setting a new franchise record.
Rookie P.K. Subban scored twice to seal the victory, making it a 2-0 game midway through the second period and adding an empty-netter in the closing minute of the third.
The Bulldogs have now won three straight games for the first time since Oct. 20-24, while the Marlies dropped to 0-2-1-0 in their last three contests.
MANCHESTER 7, HARTFORD 1
Manchester torched Hartford for five goals in the first period and never looked back en route to a 7-1 win on Friday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Geoff Walker, Viatcheslav Voynov, and Kevin Westgarth all scored for the Monarchs by 9:21 of the first period. That trio of goals temporarily chased Hartford starting goaltender Steve Valiquette, who was making his first AHL appearance since Feb. 10, 2007.
Westgarth finished with two goals for the Monarchs, Voynov had a game-high three points (1-2-3), and Manchester also received multiple-point performances from Walker (1-1-2), Gabe Gauthier (0-3-3), Oscar Moller (0-2-2), and defenseman Joe Piskula (0-2-2).
Derek Couture scored for the Wolf Pack, who fell to 0-1-1-1 in their last three games and allowed as many as seven goals in a game for the first time since an 8-2 loss at Lowell on Jan. 27, 2006.
TEXAS 5, MILWAUKEE 1
Mathieu Beaudoin registered a hat trick as Texas began a busy road weekend with a 5-1 win over Milwaukee on Friday at the Bradley Center.
Beaudoin, who entered the night with just one goal in 24 games this season, scored once in each period for the Stars.
The Admirals are now winless in three straight games (0-2-0-1).
PEORIA 7, MANITOBA 1
Peoria matched a season high with seven goals in a 7-1 win over visiting Manitoba on Friday at Carver Arena.
Rookies Lars Eller and Aaron Palushaj led the way with a goal and two assists for the Rivermen. Julian Talbot and Derek Armstrong each posted a goal and a helper, while Anthony Peluso, Barry Tallackson, and Ryan Reaves also found the back of the net.
Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop earned his third straight victory with 19 saves between the pipes.
Defenseman Brian Salcido netted a power play goal for the Moose’s lone score of the night.
SAN ANTONIO 3, HOUSTON 2 (OT)
Kevin Porter scored at 1:38 of overtime as San Antonio emerged with a 3-2 win over visiting Houston on Saturday at the AT&T Center.
The Rampage earned their second win over Houston in as many days – with Porter scoring the game-winner in both contests – and won their third straight game overall on the heels of an 11-game winless skid (0-9-1-1).
Rampage goaltender Josh Tordjman earned the victory in net with 34 saves on 36 shots.
CHICAGO 3, LAKE ERIE 2
Brett Sterling snapped a 2-2 deadlock at 10:30 of the third period, and Chicago held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Lake Erie on Friday at Allstate Arena.
It marked Sterling’s team-leading fourth game-winning goal of the season and helped the Wolves (12-11-0-1) avoid a season-high fourth straight loss.
But former AHL All-Star T.J. Hensick pulled the Monsters within 2-1 before the end of the opening stanza, and after a scoreless second period, Ryan Stoa tallied the equalizer on the power play 3:42 into the third frame.
Pohl picked up the lone assist on Sterling’s game-winning tally, and Wolves goaltender Drew MacIntyre earned the win with 29 saves in net.