MANITOBA 6, GRAND RAPIDS 4
Manitoba staked itself to a 4-0 lead after the first period and held on for a key 6-4 road win over Grand Rapids on Friday in front of 8,589 fans at Van Andel Arena.
AHL All-Star Jason Krog registered a hat trick and an assist for the Moose, who are 6-1-0-0 in their last seven games and moved two points up on the Griffins for first place in the North Division.
Jaffray and Krog were each plus-4 in the contest, while Raymond Sawada contributed a pair of assists for Manitoba.
The Moose built a 6-1 advantage before Grand Rapids scored three times in the third period to make it closer. Francis Pare paced the Griffins with three points (2-1-3), Ville Leino had a goal and an assist, and defenseman Jonathan Ericsson also lit the lamp.
AHL All-Star goaltender Cory Schneider made 26 saves for Manitoba, improving his season record to 15-2-0.
HERSHEY 5, BRIDGEPORT 3
Alexandre Giroux continued his march toward AHL history and Francois Bouchard recorded three points (1-2-3) as Hershey took a 5-3 road win over Bridgeport in a match-up of the East Division’s top two teams.
Giroux scored twice for the Bears and now has a goal in 13 straight outings (19-7-26), moving within one game of the AHL record of 14 set by Brett Hull in the 1986-87 season.
Rookies Oskar Osala and Mathieu Perreault each had a goal and an assist for the Bears, who snapped a season-high three-game losing skid. Hershey goaltender Daren Machesney picked up the win with 36 saves.
Ben Walter netted a pair of goals for the Sound Tigers, and AHL All-Star Mike Iggulden had a goal and a helper. Bridgeport has now dropped consecutive games in regulation for the first time all season.
BINGHAMTON 6, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4
Shawn Weller broke a 4-4 deadlock with 3:54 left in regulation, sending Binghamton on its way to a 6-4 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a back-and-forth game at the Broome County Arena.
Weller and Denis Hamel each finished with a goal and an assist in the game, while Josh Hennessy also found the back of the net. Danny Bois and rookie Zack Smith each posted two assists, and goaltender Martin Gerber made 43 saves in the first game of his conditioning assignment from parent-club Ottawa.
The B-Sens captured their third straight win and moved within a point of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for third place in the East Division.
PHILADELPHIA 5, LOWELL 4
Jeffrey Szwez’s goal at 12:01 of the third period snapped a 4-4 tie and lifted Philadelphia to a 5-4 win over visiting Lowell before 6,948 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.
That set the stage for Szwez, who registered his ninth goal of the season and fifth game-winner. Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe stopped 37 of 41 shots to pick up the victory.
PORTLAND 5, PROVIDENCE 3
Portland rallied for three goals in the third period, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 road win over Providence before 9,179 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
AHL All-Star Nathan Gerbe, who also scored in the opening stanza, began the Pirates’ rally with the tying goal 7:38 into the third, and Marek Zagrapan tallied the eventual game-winner at 11:41. Felix Schutz provided an insurance marker at the 15:13 mark.
Defenseman Zach Tarkir rounded out the Pirates’ offense, and goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 37 shots between the pipes. Portland moved within two points of the B’s for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Prior to Friday, Providence had won 86 consecutive games in which it took a lead into the third period since a 3-2 shootout loss to Hartford on March 26, 2006.
WORCESTER 3, NORFOLK 2 (SO)
Worcester rookie Matt Fornataro tallied the game-tying goal six minutes into the third period and then potted the winning shootout marker in the seventh round to lift the Sharks over Norfolk by a 3-2 count at the Scope.
Torrey Mitchell, on a conditioning stint from San Jose and playing his first game of the season, scored a second-period goal for the Sharks. Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss earned the win, making 31 saves through the first 65 minutes and stopping five of seven in the shootout.
ROCHESTER 5, MANCHESTER 3
Janis Sprukts tallied a hat trick and an assist as Rochester rallied for a 5-3 road win over Manchester at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
But Sprukts scored his second of the night at 17:14 of the second period to make it 3-2 and then tied it with a power play marker at 12:42, completing his hat trick.
HAMILTON 4, LAKE ERIE 0
Rookie goaltender Loic Lacasse registered a 28-save shutout to lift Hamilton over visiting Lake Erie by a 4-0 count at Copps Coliseum.
It marked Lacasse’s second whitewash of the Monsters in an eight-day span, following a 22-save effort in a 3-0 triumph on Jan. 9.
T.J. Kemp and defenseman Ryan O’Byrne each chipped in a pair of assists in the winning effort.
HARTFORD 3, SPRINGFIELD 1
Hartford rallied from a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 win over visiting Springfield on Friday at the XL Center.
After a scoreless second stanza, the Wolf Pack took the lead for good when defenseman Corey Potter lit the lamp on the power play 1:23 into the third. Mike Ouellette added an insurance tally with 3:51 left in regulation.
Hartford goaltender Miika Wiikman stopped 22 of 23 shots in the win.
SYRACUSE 2, ALBANY 1
Syracuse tallied a pair of third-period goals to edge visiting Albany by a 2-1 count at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
After a scoreless opening stanza, AHL All-Star Michael Ryan gave the River Rats a 1-0 lead with a power play tally 3:09 into the second, and Albany took the slim lead into intermission.
Syracuse goaltender Sebastian Dahm earned the victory with 30 saves on 31 shots, helping the Crunch to their fourth win in five games (4-1-0-0).
PEORIA 2, SAN ANTONIO 1
Justin Fletcher scored with 30.7 seconds left in regulation to lift Peoria over host San Antonio by a 2-1 count before 6,957 fans at the AT&T Center.
Chad Kolarik lit the lamp in the second period for the Rampage, who have Saturday off before hosting Peoria for a rematch on Sunday.
IOWA 3, QUAD CITY 2
Eric Boguniecki scored at 19:35 of the third period, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving Iowa a 3-2 win over visiting Quad City at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Chops goaltender David LeNeveu earned the victory with 28 saves, helping his team snap a three-game winless slide (0-2-0-1).
Kyle Greentree netted his team-leading 18th and 19th goals of the season for the Flames, who dropped to 0-2-0-0 on their nine-game road swing.
CHICAGO 3, ROCKFORD 2
Joe Motzko and Jeff Hamilton each racked up a goal and two assists to help Chicago edge intra-state rival Rockford by a 3-2 count on Friday at the MetroCentre.
Defenseman Brett Skinner also scored for the Wolves, who captured just their third win in nine games against the IceHogs this season (3-5-0-1). Chicago has now won back-to-back contests overall for the first time since Dec. 14-18.
Wolves goaltender Robert Gherson made 25 saves on 27 shots in the winning effort.
HOUSTON 3, TORONTO 2 (SO)
Houston scored on its final three shootout tries to emerge with a 3-2 win over visiting Toronto before 7,732 fans at the Toyota Center.
Beaudoin and Ryan Hamilton tallied power play goals in regulation for the Aeros. Houston goaltender Nolan Schaefer made 35 saves through the first 65 minutes and stopped all three of Toronto’s shootout attempts.
Boyd Devereaux and Mark Bell scored in regulation for the Marlies, who suffered their second straight shootout loss and fell to 2-1-1-2 on their nine-game road swing, which continues on Monday in San Antonio.