In a matchup of two East Division powerhouses, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 overtime win over the Norfolk Admirals.
With the win, the Penguins site just three points behind first-place Norfolk in both the East Division and the overall AHL standings.
Nolan Schaefer made 19 stops for Wilkes-Barre to improve his record to 7-1-0 with the Penguins.
WORCESTER 5, HARTFORD 2
After falling into a 2-0 hole early into the second period, the visiting Worcester Sharks rattled off five unanswered goals to defeat the Hartford Wolf Pack by a score of 5-2.
Worcester scored four times in the second period, including two in a six-second span late in the frame. Graham Mink netted two goals and Tom Cavanagh had a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks to their fourth straight win.
Thomas Greiss earned his 20th win of the year by stopping 38 of 40 shots from the Wolf Pack.
Brandon Dubinsky led Hartford with a goal and an assist.
BRIDGEPORT 6, BINGHAMTON 2
A four-goal opening period proved to be the difference as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers rolled to a 6-2 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Wade Dubielewicz stopped 31 of 33 shots to improve his record to 21-10-5 on the year, eclipsing his number of wins from last season.
Andrew Ebbett led the B-Sens in the loss with a goal and an assist. Brian Elliott stopped 34 shots for Binghamton, making his professional debut following his senior season at the University of Wisconsin.
PHILADELPHIA 6, SPRINGFIELD 4
Mark Cullen tallied a hat trick and added an assist while teammate Boyd Kane recorded four helpers as the Philadelphia Phantoms defeated the Springfield Falcons, 6-4, at the Wachovia Spectrum.
PORTLAND 3, LOWELL 2 (SO)
The Portland Pirates capped their comeback by scoring four goals in the shootout to post a 3-2 win over the Lowell Devils at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Joe Motzko scored twice in the shootout, including the decisive goal in the sixth round.
Gerald Coleman stopped 16 of 18 shots in regulation and overtime and three of six players in the shootout to help the Pirates end a three-game losing skid.
MANCHESTER 2, PROVIDENCE 1
In a key Atlantic Division matchup, it was the Manchester Monarchs who came out on top as they edged the Providence Bruins by a score of 2-1 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Jason LaBarbera stopped 31 of 32 shots to improve his record 34-19-1 and snap the Monarchs’ three-game losing streak.
Dwayne Zinger tallied the lone goal in the loss for the P-Bruins.
Manchester’s lead over second-place Providence now sits at five points.
HAMILTON 3, ALBANY 2 (SO)
After giving up the game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation, the Hamilton Bulldogs rallied for a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Albany River Rats.
Yann Danis made 17 saves on 19 shots and stopped the final four River Rats in the shootout to earn his 19th win of the year.
Corey Locke scored the decisive shootout goal in the fifth round, giving the Bulldogs the win and snapping their three-game skid.
Pat Dwyer scored with 22 seconds left in regulation to give Albany the point in the standings. The River Rats are tied with Bridgeport for fourth place in the East Division.
MILWAUKEE 4, PEORIA 2
Milwaukee scored three unanswered goals in the third period to double up the Peoria Rivermen at Carver Arena by a score of 4-2.
Karl Goehring stopped 29 of 31 shots to improve his record to 21-15-4 for the Admirals.
Jon DiSalvatore led Peoria with a goal and an assist in a losing effort.
SYRACUSE 3, TORONTO 2
The Syracuse Crunch fell behind 2-0 before rattling off three unanswered goals to edge the visiting Toronto Marlies by the score of 3-2.
Tomas Popperle stopped 29 of 31 shots to earn his sixth win in his last seven starts.
ROCHESTER 6, HOUSTON 4
The Rochester Americans came back from a 4-1 deficit midway through the second period to score five unanswered goals and defeat the Houston Aeros 6-4 at the Toyota Center.
IOWA 3, CHICAGO 2
Francis Wathier scored the game-winning goal with 5:20 left in the third period to give the Iowa Stars a 3-2 win over the visiting Chicago Wolves.
MANITOBA 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (SO)
Mason Raymond and Lee Goren each tallied in regulation as the Manitoba Moose rallied to edge the Grand Rapids Griffins by a score of 3-2 in a shootout at the MTS Centre.
Raymond’s first professional goal came with 4:04 left in the third period and forced the tie.
After trailing 2-0 in the latter part of the second period, the Moose rallied to even the score at 2-2 behind the play of former Griffins netminder Drew MacIntyre, who stopped 24 of 26 shots in regulation and overtime.
Matt Ellis had a pair of goals in the loss for Grand Rapids.