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Pic pots a pair as Crunch roll past Rats

Saturday’s boxscores

SYRACUSE 5, ALBANY 2
Alexandre Picard tallied two goals and an assist to lead Syracuse to a 5-2 win over Albany at the Onondaga County War Memorial on Saturday night.

Picard now has three goals in his last two games after scoring twice in his first 27 AHL games this season.

Picard took a pass from Dan Spang at center ice and took off down the right wing, barreled his way to the front of the cage and stuffed a shot through Justin Peters to put the Crunch up 1-0 at the 18:07 mark of the first period. He then buried a rebound of a Grant Clitsome point shot to make it 2-0 in the opening minute of the second.

Mike York added a goal and an assist and Nick Holden and Derek MacKenzie also scored for the Crunch, while Sebastian Dahm stopped 26 of 28 shots.

After being shut out in Cleveland on Wednesday, the Crunch have now scored 11 goals in two weekend wins.

MANITOBA 5, PEORIA 2
More than 15,000 fans – the largest crowd in the AHL this season – watched the Manitoba Moose score four first-period goals off Manny Legace and cruise to a 5-2 win over Peoria at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

Jason Jaffray scored twice and Mario Bliznak and Tom Maxwell had a goal and an assist to help the Moose to a 4-0 lead at the first intermission. Maxwell’s goal was the first of his AHL career.

Curtis Sanford finished with 21 saves as the Moose won their 41st game of the season.

Steve Wagner and Curtis Fraser scored for the Rivermen, who were outscored 9-2 in the two-game set in Manitoba.

MANCHESTER 2, LOWELL 1 (SO)
Jonathan Bernier stopped 34 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime and denied all five shootout attempts to give Manchester a 2-1 win over Lowell in Saturday afternoon action at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.

Bernier and Jeff Frazee dueled through 65 minutes and four shootout rounds before Trevor Lewis scored in the top half of round five. Bernier then made a pad stop on Jon DiSalvatore to secure the victory and move the Monarchs to within two points of the fourth-place Devils in the Atlantic Division.

The teams were scoreless deep into the third period before Gabe Gauthier got Manchester on the board first, tipping home a shot with 5:27 remaining in regulation. Alexander Vasyunov answered for Lowell just over two minutes later.

Bernier made nine saves in each of the first two periods and 12 in the third, including a highlight-reel stop on Michael Swift with just over four minutes to go.

Frazee finished with 32 saves for the Devils, who are 3-1-0-3 in their last seven home games. It was Lowell’s sixth trip to overtime in its last 10 games overall.

Manchester, playing its third consecutive shootout, wrapped up its February schedule with a record of 9-3-0-1 for the month.

TORONTO 7, HAMILTON 1
Ryan Hamilton scored two goals 18 seconds apart to set the stage for Toronto’s 7-1 rout of Hamilton at Copps Coliseum.

Defenseman Anton Stralman led the Marlies with four points, including one assist in each period. Jiri Tlusty and Jeremy Williams had a goal and two assists apiece, and Stefano Giliati and Alex Foster scored as well.

Adam Munro stopped 23 of 24 shots

It was Toronto’s seventh win in its last 10 games; the Marlies have scored 45 goals in those seven victories.

BRIDGEPORT 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2
Dustin Kohn’s first goal since Nov. 23 stood up as the game-winner as Bridgeport took a 3-2 decision from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday.

Kohn’s goal came early in the third period, 63 seconds after Mike Iggulden had snapped a 1-1 tie with his 22nd goal of the season. Former Penguin Kurtis McLean also scored for the Sound Tigers, and Jesse Joensuu recorded two assists.

Janne Pesonen and Deryk Engelland had the Wilkes-Barre goals. Alex Goligoski and Mark Letestu had two assists each.

Bridgeport extended its points streak to 10 games (7-0-0-3) and leap-frogged the Penguins into second place in the East Division. The teams meet again in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday evening.

Attendance at the Arena at Harbor Yard was 7,124.

HARTFORD 4, PORTLAND 3 (SO)
Hartford erased a three-goal deficit in the third period and extended its winning streak to six games with a 4-3 shootout win in Portland.

Matt Zaba allowed more than two goals in a game for the first time in his last nine starts, but held the Pirates off the board for the final 43:37 of the game before stopping four of five shootout attempts. Zaba improved to 10-2-0 since the All-Star break.

Tommy Pyatt, Sean Avery and Mike Ouellette scored third-period goals for the Wolf Pack and Patrick Rissmiller got the decisive goal in the fifth round of the shootout.

Tim Kennedy, Marek Zagrapan and Tyler Bouck scored for Portland and Jeff Jakaitis made 31 saves in his AHL debut, becoming the sixth different Pirates goaltender to play in the team’s last eight games.

HERSHEY 6, NORFOLK 4
Graham Mink scored the tying goal with 3:03 left in regulation and Mathieu Perreault netted the winner 28 seconds later as Hershey rallied for a 6-4 win over Norfolk before 10,542 fans at Giant Center.

The Bears have rediscovered their offensive touch, now with 20 goals in their last four games.

Mink’s two-goal night gives him seven points (4-3-7) in his last three games. Oskar Osala scored his first goal in 18 games, Grant McNeill recorded his first goal since Mar. 29, 2008, and Chris Bourque had an assist to go with his empty-net goal.

BINGHAMTON 4, ROCHESTER 3
Zack Smith broke a 3-3 tie with 11:16 to play and Binghamton held on for a 4-3 victory over visiting Rochester in the front end of a home-and-home set.

Ilya Zubov had a goal and two assists, Peter Regin scored his fifth goal in three games and Mattias Karlsson dished out three assists as the Senators won their third game in a row.

Jeff Glass stopped 25 of 28 shots for the victory.

Randall Gelech, Michael Duco and Andrew Sweetland (the first of his AHL career) had the Amerks’ goals.

PHILADELPHIA 4, PROVIDENCE 3 (SO)
In his first game with the Phantoms since Jan. 18, Claude Giroux scored in the eighth round of the shootout to give Philadelphia a 4-3 win over Providence in front of 10,277 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.

Patrick Maroon and Jonathan Matsumoto had a goal and an assist in regulation for the Phantoms and Jonathon Kalinski also scored, but Philadelphia could not hold on to three separate one-goal leads.

Wacey Rabbit, Jordan Knackstedt and Brad Marchand scored and Kevin Regan stopped 36 of 39 shots for the Bruins, whose lead atop the Atlantic Division shrunk to two points over Hartford.

WORCESTER 7, SPRINGFIELD 3
P.J. Fenton, who came into the game with one goal in 40 career AHL outings, scored three times and added an assist to pace Worcester to a 7-3 win over Springfield at the DCU Center.

T.J. Fox had a goal and two assists, Matt Fornataro added a goal and an assist and Ryan Vesce scored his 20th of the season for the Sharks, who hit the seven-goal mark for the first time since a 7-6 overtime win at Binghamton on Apr. 7, 2007.

Worcester closed to within one point of fourth-place Lowell in the Atlantic.

Charles Linglet, Tim Sestito and Geoff Paukovich scored for the Falcons, who fell to 3-12-2-1 in their last 18 games.

LAKE ERIE 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (SO)
Jason Bacashihua saw his bid for a third consecutive shutout end, but his Lake Erie club still pulled out a 3-2 shootout win over Grand Rapids at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Bacashihua’s shutout streak was snapped at 174 minutes, 56 seconds, when Cory Emmerton scored at the 11:10 mark of the third period, and Francis Pare tied it three and a half minutes later. The Monsters had built a 2-0 lead on goals by Matt Hendricks and T.J. Hensick.

Chris Durno scored the decisive shootout goal to give Lake Erie its fifth straight win. The Monsters remain seven points out of fourth place in the North Division.

The Griffins fell to 1-4-0-2 in their last seven road games.

IOWA 2, MILWAUKEE 1
With another large crowd in attendance, the Iowa Chops came through on Saturday night and posted a 2-1 win over league-leading Milwaukee at Wells Fargo Arena.

Ryan Dingle broke a 1-1 deadlock at the 1:35 mark of the third period to send the Chops to victory in front of 9,879 fans.

Petteri Wirtanen also scored for Iowa and David LeNeveu made 19 saves as the Chops snapped a nine-game winless streak (0-5-1-3).

Patric Hornqvist tallied the only goal for the Admirals, who have scored just 13 goals in their last eight games.

HOUSTON 4, QUAD CITY 3 (SO)
Marco Rosa scored twice in regulation and once in the shootout to lift Houston to a 4-3 win over Quad City in Moline, Ill.

The Aeros have won seven of their last eight games and are now tied for third place in the West Division.

Jesse Schultz added a goal and an assist for Houston, which went 3-for-7 on the power play. Nolan Schaefer made 27 saves before improving to 5-5 in shootouts this season.

ROCKFORD 3, SAN ANTONIO 2 (SO)
San Antonio returned home from its 13-game road trip to a crowd of 10,265 fans at the AT&T Center and staged a third-period rally, but Corey Crawford’s 44-save performance stole the show and gave Rockford a 3-2 win over the host Rampage.

Pascal Pelletier and Petri Kontiola scored in regulation for the IceHogs and Mike Radja and Tim Brent converted in the shootout to help Rockford take over sole possession of second place in the West Division.

Crawford stopped all 27 shots he faced over the first two periods, but Sean Sullivan got the Rampage on the board 4:12 into the third and Jonas Ahnelov scored his first AHL goal with 1:53 left in regulation.

San Antonio was playing on home ice for the first time since Jan. 30.