PORTLAND 7, HARTFORD 4
Kyle Wanvig scored twice as part of a four-goal second period, and Portland rolled to a 7-4 win over visiting Hartford on Monday afternoon.
The surging Pirates have now won nine straight games, the second-longest run in franchise history, and have closed to within three points of first place in the Atlantic Division.
Portland captured a record 10 consecutive victories during the 1996-97 season, from Nov. 8-27, 1996. The Pirates will attempt to tie that mark when they visit Albany on Friday.
Wanvig added two assists to finish with a season-high four points (2-2-4) for the Pirates, and he extended his scoring streak to seven games (3-7-10).
Tyler Ennis registered a goal and two helpers in the win, and the AHL’s rookie scoring leader (18-35-53) now shows seven points (2-5-7) in his last two outings.
Portland never looked back after taking a 3-0 lead just 5:32 into the contest, and the Pirates held a 7-2 advantage heading into the third period before Hartford scored twice to account for the final margin.
Pirates goaltender Jhonas Enroth (23-14-1) stopped 26 of 30 shots in the winning effort.
Defenseman Nigel Williams had a goal and an assist for the Wolf Pack, Kenny Roche, Dane Byers, and Justin Soryal added goals, and Derek Couture posted two assists. Hartford dropped to 2-7-2-0 in its last 11 contests.
ABBOTSFORD 5, TORONTO 1
Abbotsford pulled away with a trio of third-period goals and matched a season high with its fourth straight victory, a 5-1 decision over Toronto on Monday at Ricoh Coliseum.
Former first-round draft pick Mikael Backlund scored twice for the Heat and registered a game-high eight shots on goal in his first game back following an NHL stint with Calgary.
Goaltender David Shantz earned the win with 22 saves in net for the Heat, who moved two points ahead of Manitoba and into sole possession of third place in the North Division.
Abbotsford, which previously won four straight games from Oct. 28 to Nov. 6 and from Jan. 2-9, will attempt to break the mark when it visits Providence on Friday.
Justin Hodgman notched the Marlies’ lone goal of the game.
ROCKFORD 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1 (OT)
Rookie defenseman Brian Connelly tallied the game-winning goal 1:39 into overtime as Rockford edged visiting Grand Rapids by a 2-1 count at the MetroCentre.
The victory allowed the IceHogs to finish 7-0-0-1 in their eight-game season series with Grand Rapids and move back within a point of first-place Chicago in the West Division race.
The Griffins grabbed a 1-0 lead when Mattias Ritola struck just 37 seconds into the contest, but Rockford’s Bracken Kearns tied it up with an unassisted tally at 7:53. Neither team scored in the middle frame.
Rockford goaltender Corey Crawford took the victory with 25 saves on 26 shots.
ALBANY 2, NORFOLK 1
Albany defenseman Bryan Rodney broke a 1-1 tie with a power play goal at 9:11 of the third period, and the River Rats held on for a 2-1 win over visiting Norfolk at the Times Union Center on Wednesday.
Drayson Bowman also scored for the River Rats, who moved to 3-1-0-1 in their last five contests.
Albany goaltender Justin Peters, recently reassigned by parent-club Carolina, earned the victory with 22 saves on 23 shots in net.
Mark Parrish initially gave Norfolk a 1-0 lead at 4:16 of the second period. The Admirals’ winning streak concluded at three games.