PROVIDENCE 6, LOWELL 2
Providence completed a perfect weekend and reclaimed sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 6-2 win over Lowell on Sunday before 6,636 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Providence raced out to a 3-0 lead after the first period. Penner lit the lamp at 6:39, and Hamill followed with two goals a little more than five minutes apart, with Kirk MacDonald assisting on both.
Penner (3:25) and Adam McQuaid (9:40) notched power play goals in the second period for the Bruins to make it a 5-0 game, and Jordan Knackstedt extended it to 6-0 with an even strength marker at 11:02.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask earned his third victory in as many days, stopping 20 of 22 shots to improve to 29-19-2 on the campaign. The Bruins captured their fourth straight win overall, their longest streak since another four-game run from Jan. 31 to Feb. 8.
With Hartford’s loss to Worcester, the P-Bruins moved alone atop the Atlantic Division at 38-24-2-4 (82 points). Providence hosts the Wolf Pack next Sunday.
WORCESTER 4, HARTFORD 1
Worcester scored four unanswered goals on its way to a 4-1 win over visiting Hartford on Sunday before 5,723 fans at the DCU Center.
Riley Armstrong and Tom Cavanagh each posted a goal and a helper for the Sharks, who also received scores from Lukas Kaspar and T.J. Fox. Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss made 21 saves and improved to 22-19-2 for the season.
The Sharks snapped a four-game losing skid to the Wolf Pack and moved into a tie with Portland for fourth place in the Atlantic Division.
Patrick Rissmiller scored for the Wolf Pack, who dropped two points back of Providence for the division’s top spot.
MILWAUKEE 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Milwaukee emerged from a defensive battle with a 2-1 road win over Grand Rapids on Sunday at Van Andel Arena.
The game featured two of the league’s top-10 defenses and was scoreless until the late stages of the third period. Admirals defenseman Cody Franson broke the scoreless deadlock with a power play goal at 17:56 and then scored an empty-netter at 19:19.
MacIntyre still finished with 28 saves and earned his league-leading 30th win of the season (30-11-3).
PEORIA 5, QUAD CITY 2
Peoria snapped a 2-2 deadlock with three third-period goals and dropped Quad City by a 5-2 count at Carver Arena.
Kyle Greentree added his 33rd goal of the season for the Flames, which ranks first on the team and second overall in the AHL.
TORONTO 3, MANITOBA 1
Toronto won for the third time in as many days, taking a 3-1 decision over league-leading Manitoba at Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday.
Ryan Hamilton, Stefano Giliati, and Jeremy Williams all netted goals for the Marlies, who scored once in each period en route to the win. Toronto goaltender Justin Pogge earned the
victory with 21 saves on 22 shots, upping his season mark to 23-18-4.
The Marlies moved seven points up on Syracuse in the race for fourth place in the North Division.
Michael Grabner notched his team-leading 26th goal of the season for the Moose, who lost two of three on the road this weekend. Manitoba has three tilts left on its six-game road swing.
HERSHEY 3, BRIDGEPORT 2
Hershey reclaimed first place in the East Division with a 3-2 win over visiting Bridgeport on Sunday before 10,127 fans at the Giant Center.
The Bears (42-18-1-6, 91 points) are now one point up on the Sound Tigers (41-20-3-5, 90 points) for the division’s top spot.
Alexandre Giroux’s league-leading 47th goal of the season turned out to be the game-winner for the Bears. Chris Bourque and Oskar Osala also scored, and goaltender Daren Machesney earned the victory with 36 saves in net.
PHILADELPHIA 3, NORFOLK 2
Jared Ross scored twice – including the game-winner – to lift Philadelphia past Norfolk by a 3-2 count on Sunday before 6,296 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.
Ross tied the score at 2-2 just 37 seconds after Zingoni’s goal and then gave the Phantoms the lead with a power play score at 2:40 of the third period. Neither side scored the rest of the way.
Philadelphia goaltender Scott Munroe earned the victory with 26 saves on 28 shots. The Phantoms moved within eight points of Binghamton for the East Division’s final playoff spot and still hold three games in hand on the Senators.
HOUSTON 5, ROCKFORD 4
A four-goal second period propelled Houston to a 5-4 win over visiting Rockford on Sunday at the Toyota Center.
Houston (33-25-1-8, 75 points) moved two points ahead of idle Chicago for second place in the West Division with 13 games to play.
HAMILTON 4, ROCHESTER 3 (SO)
Yanick Lehoux scored in the first and sixth rounds of a shootout to give Hamilton a 4-3 road win over Rochester at Blue Cross Arena.
Hamilton rookie goaltender Cedrick Desjardins stopped 30 of 33 shots through regulation and overtime before denying five of six in the shootout.
The Bulldogs improved to 6-2-0-0 in their last eight games and closed within four points of Grand Rapids for second place in the North Division.