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River Rats post shootout win over Pirates in Buffalo

Tuesday’s Boxscores

Rookie Nick Dodge tallied a pair of goals in regulation, and Albany went on to post a 4-3 win over Portland before 11,144 fans on Tuesday at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.

River Rats defenseman Jonathan Paiement netted the lone shootout goal for either side, as Albany matched a season high with its third straight win.

The Pirates, playing at the home of their new NHL affiliate Buffalo Sabres, struck first when rookie Nathan Gerbe netted his 20th goal of the season 3:40 into the contest. Gerbe now has a point in all three games (1-2-3) since returning from injury.

Dodge countered for Albany just 2:08 later, and the Rats took a 2-1 lead at 11:45 of the second period when Michael Ryan tallied his team-leading 24th goal of the campaign. Ryan spent the first five seasons of his pro career in the Buffalo organization and skated in 46 games for the Sabres last season.

Albany’s 2-1 advantage held until Buffalo native Tim Kennedy tied it for the Pirates with 1:45 to play in the second. Kennedy, a rookie who assisted on Gerbe’s marker, now shows three goals in his last four games after going his previous 28 outings without scoring.

The River Rats reclaimed the lead on Dodge’s second of the night 1:44 into the third frame and appeared headed for a regulation victory before Portland’s Kyle Rank scored his first AHL goal of the season at the 19:30 mark.

Rank’s last AHL tally came as a member of Bridgeport on Apr. 15, 2007.

After a scoreless overtime, Paiement netted his winning shootout goal in the second round. River Rats goaltender Justin Peters denied all five of Portland’s tries in the shootout after making 28 saves through the first 65 minutes.

Ryan Maki’s second goal of the night with 7:29 left in regulation broke a 3-3 tie and allowed Milwaukee to escape with a 4-3 win over visiting Grand Rapids on Tuesday at the Bradley Center in a match-up of two of the Western Conference’s top teams.

The Admirals staked themselves to a 3-1 lead on goals by Hugh Jessiman, Cal O’Reilly, and Maki, who entered the game with just four tallies on the season.

But Grand Rapids fought back to a draw on early third-period markers just 23 seconds apart from Evan McGrath (2:19) and rookie Justin Abdelkader (2:42). That set the stage for Maki’s game-winner.

Admirals goaltender Drew MacIntyre, an ex-Griffin, made 22 saves to pick up his league-leading 25th win of the campaign (25-10-1).

Darren Haydar added his 20th goal of the year for the Griffins, who have lost three straight games in regulation for the first time all season. It marks their first three-game skid of any kind since a four-game slide (0-3-0-1) from Nov. 16-22, which included a pair of losses to Milwaukee.

A three-goal third period lifted Rochester to a 4-1 win over Iowa on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Arena in the opener of a five-game road trip.

Randall Gelech broke a 1-1 tie for the Amerks 8:22 into the third frame, and Drew Larman netted an unassisted shorthanded goal at the 11:28 mark.

Karl Stewart made it a three-goal lead with an empty-net tally at 17:49, and Americans goaltender Tyler Plante earned the win with 33 saves on 34 shots.

Shawn Matthias scored a power play goal in the opening period to five Rochester a 1-0 advantage, a lead that held until the Chops’ Eric Boguniecki lit the lamp 1:19 into the third.

The Amerks move on to Chicago on Wednesday before playing three road games in three days over the weekend.