MANITOBA 4, HARTFORD 2
Michael Grabner, returning to Manitoba’s lineup after a five-game absence, netted a pair of goals as the Moose doubled up host Hartford by a 4-2 count at the XL Center.
Grabner, who missed action while playing for his native Austria in an Olympic qualifying tournament, now shows a team-high 21 goals (21-9-30) in 40 games for Manitoba.
The Moose twice had to recover from one-goal deficits, as Wolf Pack forward Tommy Pyatt gave his team leads of 1-0 in the first period and 2-1 midway through the second.
Baumgartner shows three goals in as many games against Hartford this season, and four goals in 44 games against the rest of the AHL.
Manitoba goaltender Cory Schneider earned the win with 24 saves, helping his team move to 2-0-0-1 on its 10-game road trip.
At 36-14-0-4 for 76 points, the Moose now sit atop the entire AHL standings.
TORONTO 6, SYRACUSE 3
Toronto posted its second consecutive strong offensive performance on Wednesday, taking a 6-3 decision over visiting Syracuse before a matinee crowd of 7,851 at Ricoh Coliseum.
Boyd Devereaux netted a pair of goals for the Marlies, who moved four points up on the Crunch for fourth place in the North Division.
Toronto was coming off scoring a franchise-record and AHL season-high 10 goals in Sunday’s 10-5 triumph over Grand Rapids. That came on the heels of a 4-1 loss to the Crunch on Saturday.
In Wednesday’s tilt, the Marlies jumped out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes on a shorthanded goal from Jiri Tlusty, defenseman Joe Ryan’s first career AHL tally, and Brent Aubin’s sixth of the campaign. Craig MacDonald had the Crunch’s lone score of the opening period.
Devereaux made it a 4-1 game with his first of the afternoon just 1:34 into the middle frame, but Crunch All-Star Derek MacKenzie answered with a power play goal at 9:15. Tim Stapleton regained Toronto’s three-goal lead on the power play at 18:08, giving him five goals in his last two games and eight in his last five outings.
Devereaux and Syracuse’s Grant Clitsome exchanged markers in the third period, the latter coming shorthanded.
Marlies goaltender Justin Pogge emerged with the victory after making 16 saves on 19 shots. The third-year pro is now 18-14-4 on the campaign.
Toronto improved to 4-2-0-0 on its 11-game homestand, while the Crunch fell to 2-4-1-0 in their last seven contests.
HAMILTON 4, HERSHEY 2
Hamilton scored three unanswered goals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 road win over Hershey on Wednesday at the Giant Center.
Yanick Lehoux made it a 2-2 game at 4:42 of the second period for the Bulldogs, Kyle Chipchura netted the eventual game-winner at 19:02, and Ryan White added a power play insurance marker midway through the third.
PHILADELPHIA 2, LOWELL 1 (SO)
Rookie Patrick Maroon scored in the ninth round of a shootout to lift Philadelphia to a 2-1 road win over Lowell at Tsongas Arena.
The Phantoms swept their four-game season series from the Devils and moved to 8-0-0-0 against Lowell over the last two campaigns. Philadelphia is now four points back of Binghamton for the East Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Philadelphia’s Andreas Nodl netted a first-period goal, but Lowell defenseman Matthew Spiller responded in the second frame. The point earned by the Devils pulled them within three points of Worcester for the Atlantic Division’s final playoff entry.
ALBANY 4, BINGHAMTON 2
Albany jumped to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes and cruised to a 4-2 road win over Binghamton on Wednesday at the Broome County Arena.
Rookie Nick Dodge registered his second two-goal game in as many nights for the surging River Rats, who have won a season-high four straight contests.
Albany goaltender Justin Peters earned the victory with 23 saves on 25 shots.
MANCHESTER 5, SPRINGFIELD 2
Two-time AHL All-Star Teddy Purcell netted two goals and added an assist as Manchester rallied for a 5-2 win over visiting Springfield at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Purcell cut the deficit in half at 16:11 of the first and scored the eventual game-winning goal 15:38 into the middle frame. Matt Moulson posted a goal and two helpers for the Monarchs, Richard Clune tallied his first goal of the season, and Vladimir Dravecky also lit the lamp.
The Falcons fell to 0-7-1-0 in their last eight games and travel to Albany, Syracuse, and Toronto this weekend.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3, LAKE ERIE 1
Adam Henrich netted his first goal of the season and added an assist as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rolled on with a 3-1 win over visiting Lake Erie before 6,075 fans at the Wachovia Arena.
The Penguins set a season high with their sixth straight victory and pulled within five points of first-place Hershey in the East Division race, with one game in hand.
The first period was scoreless despite Wilkes-Barre/Scranton holding a 17-4 shots advantage, but the Pens grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2:54 into the second when Henrich scored unassisted. The Monsters’ Randy Rowe responded at the 17:13 mark.
Jeff Taffe gave the Penguins the lead for good with a power play goal at 8:40 of the third, and Paul Bissonnette provided an insurance score just 33 seconds later. Pens goaltender Adam Berkhoel earned the win with 16 saves on 17 shots.
BRIDGEPORT 4, SAN ANTONIO 3 (OT)
Bridgeport scored two goals in an eight-second span to tie it, and Mike Iggulden netted his 20th of the year at 4:11 of overtime to give the Sound Tigers a 4-3 win over San Antonio at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
The victory pushed the Sound Tigers (29-17-3-2, 63 points) back into third place in the East Division, one point up on Binghamton.
ROCKFORD 1, PEORIA 0
Goaltender Antti Niemi pitched a 21-save shutout as Rockford edged Peoria by a 1-0 count on Wednesday at Carver Arena.
The IceHogs will return to the MetroCentre to host Peoria on Friday having posted a 5-2-0-0 record on their season-high seven-game road swing.
Former AHL goaltender of the year Manny Legace made 21 saves in his Peoria debut, but the Rivermen fell to 1-4-0-0 in their last five contests.
ROCHESTER 4, CHICAGO 3
Janis Sprukts netted a pair of goals – including the game-winner – to help Rochester edge host Chicago by a 4-3 final on Wednesday at Allstate Arena.
Sprukts scored in the first period before breaking a 3-3 tie at 6:47 of the third frame, marking his team-high 14th goal of the season but first game-winner.
Amerks goaltender Mike Brodeur took over in the second period and made 24 saves to earn the victory.