PEORIA 5, HOUSTON 1
Peoria kept pace in the West Division playoff race with a 5-1 road win over Houston on Friday at the Toyota Center. Rookie forward Ryan Reaves tallied the game-winner and added an assist, and Yan Stastny notched a game-high three points (2-1-3).
The Rivermen remained two points back of Houston and Milwaukee, who are currently tied for fourth place in the West. The top five spots in the division are likely to yield playoff berths.
After Houston’s Marco Rosa scored on the power play at 16:09 of the second, Stastny potted a shorthanded goal with 33 seconds left in the period. The teams played a scoreless third stanza.
Rivermen goaltender Marek Schwarz picked up the win with 18 saves on 19 shots.
Peoria concludes its four-game Texas swing with a tilt in San Antonio on Saturday.
ROCHESTER 5, MANITOBA 4 (SO)
Rochester let a 4-0 lead slip away but eventually prevailed over Manitoba in a shootout by a 5-4 final in front of 8,160 fans at the Blue Cross Arena. It marked the 4,000th regular-season game in the Americans’ 52-year history.
The shootout loss snapped Manitoba’s 10-game winning streak, but the standings point allowed the Moose to clinch a spot in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Defenseman Jordan Henry began the Amerks’ scoring with his first professional goal at 10:04 of the first period. Tanner Glass and Drew Larman also tallied goals in the period, and Dylan Hunter extended the lead to 4-0 just 2:59 into the middle stanza.
After a scoreless overtime, Larman scored the only goal for either side in the shootout. Rochester goaltender Tyler Plante stopped all five Moose attempts.
The shootout loss marked the end of Manitoba goaltender Cory Schneider’s personal nine-game winning streak. Schneider finished with 28 saves.
SPRINGFIELD 4, PROVIDENCE 3 (SO)
Rookie Liam Reddox and Rob Schremp netted shootout goals to give Springfield a critical 4-3 road win over league-leading Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Falcons goaltender Devan Dubnyk earned the win, stopping 33 shots through regulation and overtime and four of five in the shootout.
With the victory, Springfield remained three points back of Manchester for the Atlantic Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
MANCHESTER 4, NORFOLK 0
Manchester began a stretch of three road games in three days against the East Division with a 4-0 win over Norfolk at the Scope.
Teddy Purcell chipped in pair of assists for Manchester, which posted its fourth straight win overall and maintained a three-point edge on Springfield for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
Goaltender Jonathan Quick made 26 saves to pick up his second shutout of the season.
The Monarchs and Admirals will square off for a rematch on Saturday, and Manchester then heads north for a tilt in Hershey on Sunday.
BRIDGEPORT 4, HERSHEY 2
Tim Jackman’s power play goal at 8:46 of the third period propelled Bridgeport to a crucial 4-2 win over division-rival Hershey at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
The Sound Tigers moved within three points of the Bears for the East Division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Bridgeport, which is in sixth place and one point back of fifth-place Binghamton, holds two games in hand on the Bears and three in hand on the Senators.
Jeff Tambellini tallied his team-leading 30th goal of the season for Bridgeport, while Tyler Mosienko and Matthew Spiller also lit the lamp. Spiller’s goal, which came into an empty net, was his first marker of the season.
Bridgeport goaltender Joey MacDonald (14-17-1) earned the win with 29 saves on 31 shots.
PHILADELPHIA 5, BINGHAMTON 3
Nate Guenin’s goal at 13:35 of the third period snapped a 3-3 tie and sent Philadelphia on its way to a 5-3 win over visiting Binghamton before 8,261 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum
That set the stage for Guenin’s game-winner, and Ross added an empty-netter in the closing seconds. Ross added an assist for a three-point night, and Boyd Kane contributed three assists in the win.
Phantoms goaltender Jeremy Duchesne picked up the win with 19 saves on 22 shots.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 5, HAMILTON 4 (SO)
Tim Brent scored twice in a shootout, including the decisive marker in the sixth round, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rallied for a 3-2 win over visiting Hamilton before 8,337 fans at the Wachovia Arena.
Kurtis McLean and Chris Minard each scored in regulation and the shootout in the winning effort. Minard, back from an NHL stint with Pittsburgh, was playing in his first game for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton since Feb. 13.
After Hamilton took its 4-2 lead, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Stone scored at 12:10 of the third and Minard at 13:53 to force overtime.
ROCKFORD 3, CHICAGO 2 (SO)
Petri Kontiola scored twice in a shootout to lead Rockford over visiting Chicago by a 3-2 final at the MetroCentre.
But Chicago’s Darren Haydar, who had already scored just 1:09 after the opening face-off, tallied a power play goal with 4:54 left in regulation to force overtime.
Rockford is now 3-5-0-0 against the Wolves this season, and all three of its wins in the season series have come at home.
HARTFORD 3, WORCESTER 2
Hartford scored three times in the second period on its way to a 3-2 win over visiting Worcester at the XL Center.
The Wolf Pack finished 8-0-0-0 in their season series against the Sharks. Worcester never led at any point in any of the eight games.
MILWAUKEE 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (SO)
Milwaukee took a 2-0 first-period lead and wound up prevailing in a shootout by a 3-2 final over host Grand Rapids at the Van Andel Arena.
Jason Guerriero and Matt Ellison tallied shootout goals for the Admirals. After allowing Carl Corazzini to score on Grand Rapids’ first attempt, Ads goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris stopped the next four tries. He made 38 saves on 40 shots through the first 65 minutes.
Corazzini cut the lead in half for the Griffins with a power play goal late in the first, and 2008 AHL All-Star Jonathan Ericsson tallied the equalizer 50 seconds into the third period, also on the man-advantage.
The win allowed Milwaukee to halt a brief two-game slide and maintain a two-point edge over Peoria for fifth place in the West Division.
LOWELL 4, PORTLAND 1
2008 AHL All-Star Petr Vrana scored twice and added an assist as Lowell dropped host Portland by a 4-1 count at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Pirates have now lost three straight games for the first time since Oct. 12-14.
SYRACUSE 3, ALBANY 2 (OT)
Syracuse captain Zenon Konopka scored on the power play 3:05 into overtime to give the Crunch a 3-2 win over Albany in front of 6,084 fans at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
The Crunch captured their seventh straight win and picked up a point for a 15th consecutive outing (12-0-0-3). Syracuse is 16-1-0-5 since Feb. 2.
Crunch goaltender Karl Goehring stopped 35 of 37 shots in the winning effort, improving to 13-8-2 with Syracuse this season.
TORONTO 4, LAKE ERIE 1
Alex Foster and Colin Murphy each had a goal and two assists to lead Toronto over host Lake Erie by a 4-1 count at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The Marlies have picked up a point in seven consecutive games (6-0-0-1).
Jamie Lundmark netted the Monsters’ lone goal at 13:36 of the second period.
IOWA 4, QUAD CITY 1
Iowa scored two goals apiece in the second and third periods on its way to a 4-1 win over visiting Quad City at the Wells Fargo Arena.
Stars goaltender Tobias Stephan earned the victory with 37 saves on 38 shots.
The Flames initially took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Grant Stevenson’s team-leading 30th goal of the season.