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