NORFOLK 3, BRIDGEPORT 0
Riku Helenius’s first career AHL start was one to remember, as the 20-year-old goaltender registered a 41-save shutout to pace Norfolk to a 3-0 win over visiting Bridgeport on Friday at the Scope.
Helenius, who was drafted 15th overall by Tampa Bay in 2006, made 16 saves in the third period alone after stopping 25 shots over the first two frames combined.
He added his second of the night – and team-leading 18th of the season – early in the third period, and Brandon Segal rounded out the scoring with a little more than four minutes to play. Radek Smolenak assisted on both of Norfolk’s third-period goals.
Helenius registered the Admirals’ second shutout of the season and their first since Mike McKenna turned in a 24-save effort in a 5-0 win over Albany on Dec. 19.
Norfolk is 3-1-0-0 in its last four games overall and will host the Sound Tigers for a rematch on Saturday.
LOWELL 4, SPRINGFIELD 2
Rookie Matt Halischuk registered two goals and two assists as Lowell rallied for a 4-2 road win over Springfield at the MassMutual Center.
The Devils entered the third period trailing 2-1, but Vladimir Zharkov tied it 9:41 into the frame. Halischuk then put Lowell ahead to stay at 10:42 and added a power play marker in the closing minute. Lowell had been 1-20-0-1 this season when trailing after two periods.
Devils goaltender Jeff Frazee earned the victory with 25 saves, as Lowell snapped a brief two-game losing skid.
GRAND RAPIDS 6, CHICAGO 3
Grand Rapids’ offense erupted again as the Griffins doubled up Chicago on Friday before 7,718 fans at Van Andel Arena. The Griffins moved into a first-place tie with Manitoba in the North Division.
Justin Abdelkader (0-3-3), Darren Haydar (0-3-3), and Cory Emmerton (0-2-2) all contributed multiple assists, helping Grand Rapids to its ninth six-plus goal performance of the season. Griffins goaltender Daniel Larsson made 25 saves to pick up the win.
Jordan LaVallee netted a pair of goals for the Wolves.
HERSHEY 5, PHILADELPHIA 3
Hershey jumped to a 3-0 first-period lead and held on for a 5-3 road win over arch-rival Philadelphia before 7,777 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.
The Bears moved to 6-0-0-3 in their last nine games overall and are now 17-1-2-3 in Philadelphia since the beginning of the 2005-06 season.
PROVIDENCE 3, MANITOBA 2 (SO)
Providence gave up a late lead in the third period but eventually prevailed over Manitoba in a shootout, 3-2, on Friday before 8,317 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
After a scoreless first period, the Moose took a 1-0 lead on Alexandre Bolduc’s power play goal at 2:37 of the second.
Jeff Penner tied it for the Bruins at the 8:20 mark, and defenseman Johnny Boychuk put Providence ahead 8:41 into the third. That lead held until Manitoba’s Guillaume Desbiens scored shorthanded with three minutes to go, Bolduc picking up the lone assist.
The division-leading Bruins have now won three straight games for the first time since Jan. 2-4.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4, SAN ANTONIO 3 (OT)
Reid Cashman’s second game-winning goal in as many games came 4:18 into overtime and allowed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to escape with a 4-3 victory over San Antonio before 7,369 fans at the Wachovia Arena.
Cashman scored his first career AHL goal in the third period on Tuesday at Philadelphia to break a 1-1 tie, and his second goal proved just as big.
HAMILTON 3, BINGHAMTON 2
2009 AHL All-Star defenseman Yannick Weber’s second goal of the night came 1:41 into overtime, lifting Hamilton to a 3-2 win over visiting Binghamton at Copps Coliseum.
Weber also broke a scoreless deadlock with a power play goal 18:28 into the second period. Fellow defenseman Mathieu Carle added another power play score at 7:35 to make it 2-0.
But the Senators rallied to a draw, receiving a power play marker from Danny Bois at 16:02 and the equalizer from Greg Mauldin at 19:56 with goaltender Martin Gerber on the bench for an extra attacker.
Bulldogs goaltender Marc Denis made 30 saves to snap a personal four-game skid and help Hamilton snap a three-game losing skid as a team.
LAKE ERIE 3, SYRACUSE 2
Lake Erie rallied for a pair of third-period goals to take a 3-2 win over visiting Syracuse on Friday in front of 8,024 fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Monarchs grabbed a 3-0 lead by early in the third period, but the Sharks attempted a late comeback. Frazer McLaren put Worcester on the board at 16:20, and Jamie McGinn followed at 18:46.
But Manchester goaltender Jonathan Bernier would not allow the equalizer, finishing with 29 saves to pick up the win and lift the Monarchs to 3-1-0-0 in their last four outings.
MILWAUKEE 4, ROCKFORD 1
Milwaukee scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 win over visiting Rockford on Friday at the Bradley Center.
The West Division-leading Admirals captured their fourth straight victory while ending the second-place IceHogs’ winning streak at four games.
Rob Klinkhammer initially put Rockford on top 1-0 at 15:06 of the opening frame, tallying his 12th goal of the season.
Admirals goaltender Drew MacIntyre made 26 saves to pick up his league-leading 24th victory of the season (24-9-1).
PEORIA 3, QUAD CITY 2
Peoria netted a pair of late goals to snatch a 3-2 road victory from Quad City on Friday at the I Wireless Center.
The Rivermen trailed 2-1 after Kyle Greentree’s power play goal for the Flames at 11:35 of the third period. But Nicholas Drazenovic tied it at 15:07, and Steve Regier followed with an unassisted marker for the game-winner at 18:31.
The rally made a winner of Peoria goaltender Ben Bishop, who stopped 31 of 33 shots between the pipes.
The Flames have now lost four straight games in regulation for the first time since Oct. 29 to Nov. 7.
IOWA 4, HOUSTON 3
Iowa scored four straight goals after falling behind 2-0 and held on for a 4-3 win over visiting Houston on Friday at Wells Fargo Arena.
T.J. Trevelyan, John de Gray, Petteri Wirtanen, and Kirk MacDonald all scored for the Chops, who have a point in four straight games (2-0-0-2). De Gray’s goal was his first as a professional, and MacDonald’s was his first in the AHL this season.
Iowa goaltender David LeNeveu earned the victory with 27 saves on 30 shots.
The Aeros jumped to a 2-0 first-period lead on a pair of goals by Krys Kolanos. After Iowa scored the next four, Jesse Schultz lit the lamp for Houston with 1:02 left in regulation. But the Aeros could not get the tying score and fell to 1-4-0-0 in their last five games.