WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 6, SYRACUSE 3
Chris Minard notched his second hat trick of the season as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton doubled up visiting Syracuse, 6-3, on Wednesday at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
The Penguins matched a franchise record with their ninth straight victory, the longest streak in the AHL this season. With the hat trick, Minard has six goals in his last three games (6-1-7) and a team-high 16 on the season (16-11-27).
Minard scored twice in the second period and once more in the third. His other hat trick this season came in a 5-4 opening-night win over Hershey on Oct. 3.
Rookie goaltender John Curry, who was named the Rbk Edge/AHL rookie of the month for December earlier in the day, made 22 saves for his fifth straight victory.
The Penguins previously won nine straight games from Oct. 5-29, 2005.
Steven Goertzen netted two goals for the Crunch, who have lost three times to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the past eight days.
PORTLAND 3, HARTFORD 2 (SO)
Andrew Ebbett scored twice in the shootout, including the decisive goal in the in the sixth round, to lift visiting Portland past Hartford, 3-2, at the XL Center.
Portland’s Geoff Platt netted both of his club’s regulation goals, and he now has five goals in four games against the Wolf Pack this season (5-1-6), including one while still a member of Syracuse.
Pirates netminder Mike McKenna stopped 34 of 36 shots in the win. He has turned aside 50 of 52 shots over his last two games (.962), both victories.
SPRINGFIELD 4, LOWELL 3 (SO)
Colin McDonald scored twice in regulation, and Springfield eventually prevailed in a shootout by a 4-3 final over host Lowell at Tsongas Arena.
Springfield took a 3-0 lead into the third period, but Lowell fought back with three goals in a span of 6:23 during the final stanza. Ivan Khomutov and Trevor Kell each posted a goal and an assist for the Devils, and Petr Vrana also lit the lamp.
Springfield received shootout goals from Viacheslav Trukhno and Schremp. The win snapped the Falcons’ seven-game losing streak (0-5-2-0).
The Devils fell to 1-4-1-0 against Springfield this season.
WORCESTER 3, HERSHEY 1
Worcester scored twice in the first period and never looked back on its way to a 3-1 win over visiting Hershey at the DCU Center.
Goaltender Thomas Greiss picked up the win with 18 saves for the Sharks, who held a 34-19 advantage in shots.
Hershey received its lone goal from Chris Bourque. It came unassisted and shorthanded at 1:32 of the second period.
TORONTO 2, ROCHESTER 0
Justin Pogge made 19 saves for his second shutout in seven days as Toronto blanked visiting Rochester, 2-0, at Ricoh Coliseum.
Pogge’s other shutout was a 31-save effort in a 2-0 win over Grand Rapids on Dec. 27.
The Americans were blanked for a third straight game and fell to 1-13-0-0 in their last 14 outings.
HAMILTON 2, ROCKFORD 1
Jaroslav Halak stopped 35 of 36 shots and Hamilton received a pair of second-period goals in a 2-1 win over host Rockford at the MetroCentre.
Halak finished 2-0-0 against the IceHogs this season, allowing just two goals on 72 shots, a .972 save percentage.
Rockford’s Troy Brouwer prevented a shutout with his team-leading 16th goal of the season at 18:46 of the third period.
The IceHogs have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Nov. 23-24.
CHICAGO 4, MILWAUKEE 1
Joel Kwiatkowski notched a goal and helper to lead Chicago to a 4-1 victory over visiting Milwaukee at the Allstate Arena.
Sterling ranks second in the AHL with 20 goals (20-11-31) in just 29 games this season.
Chicago goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 25 of 26 shots in the victory.
Milwaukee received its lone goal from Josh Langfeld, who has scored in each of his last three games (3-1-4).