Meckler leads Monarchs into fourth place

David Meckler had two goals and an assist and Jonathan Quick made 38 saves as Manchester took over fourth place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-2 win over Springfield at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The victory puts the Monarchs one point ahead of Springfield in the race for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Falcons’ loss also allowed idle Portland to officially clinch a postseason berth.

Meckler opened the scoring on a power play in the final second of the first period, and Trevor Lewis and Jeff Likens scored early in the middle frame to up the Monarchs’ lead to 3-0. Meckler also had a game-high 11 of Manchester’s 38 shots on goal.

Viacheslav Trukhno and Stephane Goulet scored for the Falcons and Brad Farynuk recorded two assists, while Jeff Deslauriers finished with 34 saves in defeat.

Manchester improved to 16-2-2-0 in 20 meetings with Springfield over the last two seasons.

Alexandre Giroux’s hat trick helped the Hershey Bears to a 5-3 win over the Lowell Devils at Giant Center on Sunday.

Giroux has 28 goals on the season, and now has 19 points (9g, 10a) in 14 games since rejoining the Bears on Feb. 26.

Hershey now has a two-point lead over Binghamton in the race for fourth place in the East Division.

Scott Barney and Chris Bourque also scored and Kyle Wilson and Andrew Gordon tallied two assists apiece for the Bears, who have won back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 24-27.

Frederic Cassivi (17-17-3) made 27 saves for the victory.

Olli Malmivaara led the Devils with a goal and two assists as Lowell went 3-for-5 on the power play. Jason Ryznar and Petr Vrana also scored.

Ryan Hamilton broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of goals to give Houston its third straight win, 3-2 over San Antonio at the AT&T Center on Sunday.

Hamilton’s first career two-goal game allowed the Aeros to move into a tie with Milwaukee for fourth place in the West Division, one point behind the third-place Rampage and three ahead of sixth-place Peoria.

Danny Irmen netted his eighth goal of the season and Barry Brust made 36 saves to help Houston win for the 10th time in its last 11 one-goal decisions. It was also the Aeros’ fifth straight road victory.

Bill Thomas and Cam Paddock scored for the Rampage, who have dropped four in a row and six of seven.