Donald MacLean‘s second hat trick in as many games was the difference maker on Wednesday night as Grand Rapids beat Iowa, 6-3, at Van Andel Arena.
MacLean’s two consecutive hat tricks tie an AHL record. Wednesday night’s performance was also his fourth three-goal game of the season, something that has not been done since Hartford’s John Tripp notched four hat tricks in the 2002-03 season.
MacLean now owns the league lead in goal scoring with 27 for the season. He also added an assist, giving him four points on the night.
Iowa’s Mathias Tjarnqvist notched all three of the Stars’ goals in the losing effort, and in doing so became the first Iowa player to record a hat trick.
Jimmy Howard made 23 saves to pick up his 11th win of the season, while Dan Ellis stopped 36 of 41 shots for Iowa.
The Griffins (29-11-1-2, 61 pts.) have now won 11 of their last 13 games, and with the win increased their lead in the North division to six points over Manitoba. With the loss, the Stars (20-18-1-1, 42 pts.) remain in fourth place in the West.
Elsewhere on Wednesday:
Derek MacKenzie scored three times and Jared Ross scored twice to lead Chicago over Omaha, 7-3… Matt Hussey scored twice and Kurtis McLean notched a goal and four assists in his third career AHL game to help Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 7-2 win over Syracuse… Cody McLeod had two goals and Craig Kowalski made 47 saves for Lowell as the Lock Monsters beat Portland, 5-4, in a shootout… Manchester scored three times in a five-minute span of the second period, then held on for a 6-3 win in Hartford… Tuomas Pihlman, David Clarkson, Krisjanis Redlihs and Dan McGillis each had a goal and an assist to help Albany to a 4-3 win over Norfolk.