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Pesonen strikes late to send Pens past Griffins


Wednesday’s Boxscores

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 5, GRAND RAPIDS 3
Janne Pesonen scored twice late in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and lift Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 5-3 win over Grand Rapids on Wednesday at the Wachovia Arena in a match-up of inter-conference powers.

Pesonen, who leads the Penguins with 29 goals and 73 points, lit the lamp at 12:33 and 16:24 of the final frame to provide the winning margin.

Jeff Taffe put up a game-high three points (1-2-3) for the Pens, while Luca Caputi and Chris Minard also scored.

The Pens built a 3-0 lead by the 6:31 mark of the second period before Grand Rapids struck for three to tie it. Darren Haydar, Aaron Gagnon, and Cory Emmerton scored for the Griffins, who were playing the opener of a seven-game road swing.

Connor James and Nick Johnson each chipped in two assists for the Penguins, and goaltender John Curry earned the victory with 31 saves in net.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton swept the two-game season series with the Griffins, having taken a 3-2 shootout decision in Grand Rapids on Nov. 21.


HERSHEY 4, TORONTO 3
Hershey rallied from a 3-1 deficit to post a 4-3 win over visiting Toronto on Wednesday at the Giant Center.

Keith Aucoin and Andrew Joudrey netted second-period goals for the Bears to tie it at 3-3, and rookie Oskar Osala tallied the game-winner at 8:15 of the third.

Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux registered his league-leading 51st goal of the season, and goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 29 saves in net to help the Bears to their third straight win.

Andre Deveaux scored twice and defenseman Todd Perry once for the Marlies, who are now winless in four straight games (0-2-1-1) for the first time since a five-game skid from Jan. 14-23.


PHILADELPHIA 3, BINGHAMTON 1
Philadelphia goaltender Scott Munroe stopped 36 of 37 shots in net as the Phantoms picked up a critical 3-1 road win over Binghamton on Wednesday.

The victory pulls the Phantoms within six points of the Senators in the race for the East Division’s final playoff spot, and Philadelphia still holds two games in hand.

Jared Ross netted his team-leading 26th goal of the season for the Phantoms, and rookies Jonathon Kalinski and Patrick Maroon also found twine.

Senators rookie defenseman Mattias Karlsson tallied a power play goal midway through the third to spoil Munroe’s shutout bid. Sens captain Denis Hamel picked up an assist on that marker to record his 500th career AHL point, becoming the 75th player in league history to join that club.


ROCHESTER 4, ALBANY 3 (SO)
Rochester staged a late third-period rally and eventually took a 4-3 shootout win over intra-state rival Albany at the Blue Cross Arena.

Karl Stewart netted the game-tying goal for the Amerks with 3:18 to go in regulation, and he then potted the winning shootout marker in the fifth round.

Albany had built a 3-1 lead on the strength of goals by Harrison Reed, Nick Dodge, and Brett Carson. Rochester rookie defenseman Jason Garrison scored his second of the night 11:34 into the third stanza to make it 3-2, setting the stage for Stewart’s heroics.

Brett Parnham and Janis Sprukts also notched shootout goals for Rochester, and goaltender Mike Brodeur stopped three of four Albany tries after making 29 saves through the first 65 minutes.


HOUSTON 4, MILWAUKEE 1
Houston strengthened its hold on second place in the West Division with a 4-1 road win over first-place Milwaukee at the Bradley Center.

Benoit Pouliot tallied a pair of goals for the Aeros, defenseman Maxim Noreau posted a goal and a helper, and Krys Kolanos also lit the lamp. Tomas Mojzis chipped in two assists, and Corey Locke added a helper to extend his scoring streak to 10 games (4-8-12).

Aeros goaltender Nolan Schaefer stopped 15 of 16 shots in the winning effort, as Houston moved three points up on Peoria for second in the West.

Kelsey Wilson netted the lone goal for the Admirals, who have lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 19-20.


QUAD CITY 5, CHICAGO 4 (OT)
Kyle Greentree’s second goal of the night and 35th of the season came at 4:35 of overtime to push Quad City past visiting Chicago by a 5-4 count at the I Wireless Center.

Greentree finished with three points (2-1-3) on the night for the Flames, who also received regulation markers from Kris Chucko (1-1-2), Carsen Germyn, and defenseman Brandon Roach, who tied it with 1:56 left in the third period.

John Vigilante and Anders Eriksson each chipped in two assists, and Flames goaltender Leland Irving made 28 saves in the winning effort.

Matt Anderson, Riley Holzapfel, Steve Martins, and Spencer Machacek all found the back of the net for the Wolves, who moved within a point of Rockford for the last guaranteed playoff spot in the West Division. Quad City is six points back of that spot.


IOWA 5, ROCKFORD 4
Iowa staked itself to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes and held on for a key 5-4 road win over Rockford at the MetroCentre.

Eric Boguniecki notched a pair of goals for the Chops, and Matt Beleskey chipped in a goal and a helper. John de Gray and Ryan Dingle added single goals, while captain Ajay Baines contributed a pair of helpers.

Chops goaltender David LeNeveu earned the win with 26 saves in net, helping Iowa move within two points of Rockford for a playoff spot in the West Division.

Rookie Pete MacArthur registered a goal and an assist to pace the IceHogs. Jack Skille, Pascal Pelletier, and Adam Pineault also scored.


MANITOBA 5, SYRACUSE 3
Jason Krog scored twice and added an assist as Manitoba fended off Syracuse by a 5-3 count on Wednesday, earning the Moose a split of the teams’ two-game set at the MTS Centre.

Jason Jaffray posted a goal and an assist in the winning effort, and the Moose also got goals from Matt Pope and Guillaume Desbiens.

Manitoba goaltender Curtis Sanford stopped 21 of 24 shots to pick up the win in net.

Dan Spang, Kevin Harvey, and Derek MacKenzie all lit the lamp for the Crunch, who remained one point back of Toronto for a playoff spot in the North Division with eight games to go for both teams.