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Santorelli sparks Milwaukee to West Division crown


Sunday’s Boxscores

MILWAUKEE 5, CHICAGO 2
Milwaukee forward Mike Santorelli made sure that the Admirals’ winless skid would end at four games (0-3-0-1). The 2009 AHL All-Star racked up three goals and an assist on Sunday as the Admirals took a 5-2 road win over Chicago, officially clinching the AHL’s West Division title in the process.

Santorelli scored once in each period, including the eventual game-winning marker on the power play midway through the second. He completed the hat trick with an empty-netter in the game’s final minute.

Ian McKenzie added his first career AHL goal for the Admirals, and Oren Eizenman rounded out the team’s scoring. Robert Dietrich and 2009 AHL All-Star defenseman Cody Franson each contributed a pair of assists.

Milwaukee goaltender Drew MacIntyre (31-14-4) earned the victory with 31 saves, moving back into a tie for the league lead in wins.

The Admirals (45-20-3-6, 99 points) have secured their third West Division crown in the last six years and first since 2006, when they advanced to the Calder Cup Finals.

Joe Motzko and defenseman Brett Skinner each registered a goal and an assist for the Wolves, who dropped to 3-6-1-1 in their last 11 contests.


PORTLAND 4, SPRINGFIELD 3
Tim Kennedy’s goal with 4:14 left in regulation broke a 3-3 tie and allowed Portland to escape with a 4-3 road win over Springfield at the MassMutual Center.

The Pirates initially took a 3-0 lead with three goals in a 5:02 span during the opening period. Felix Schutz scored one those goals and assisted on the other two, which were notched by Mathieu Darche and Colton Fretter.

But the Falcons battled back to a draw. Cory Urquhart made it a 3-1 game before the first period was out, defenseman Bryan Young scored 5:36 into the second frame, and Jordan Eberle’s first professional goal tied it at 16:15 of the second.

Kennedy’s decisive goal was assisted by defenseman Dennis Persson, and it allowed the Pirates to extend their winning streak to three games.

Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth earned the victory with 33 saves on 36 shots.


LOWELL 5, BRIDGEPORT 3
Lowell took another step back into the Atlantic Division playoff picture on Sunday with a 5-3 win over Bridgeport at Tsongas Arena.

Pascal Rheaume netted a pair of goals and Jon DiSalvatore put up a game-high three points (1-2-3) for the Devils, who scored three times in the opening period and never looked back.

Alexander Vasyunov and Nicklas Bergfors added tallies in the win, and Vladimir Zharkov and Rod Pelley each chipped in two assists. Lowell goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped 30 of 33 shots between the pipes.

With the win, the Devils moved two points back of Manchester for fifth place in the Atlantic and remained three back of Worcester, which now occupies the division’s final postseason slot.

Andrew MacDonald, Chris Lee, and Mark Wotton all scored for the Sound Tigers, who have now lost three straight games in regulation for the first time all season.


WORCESTER 4, PROVIDENCE 2
Worcester rallied for three third-period goals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 road win over Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday.

The Sharks snapped a seven-game winless skid (0-6-0-1) to the Bruins and moved a point up on Manchester for fourth place in the Atlantic Division race.

Worcester’s Trent Campbell tied the game at 2-2 on the power play 7:46 into the third period. After Dan DaSilva made it 3-2 at the 15:58 mark, Campbell iced the victory with an empty-net marker in the closing seconds.

Frazer McLaren also scored for the Sharks, who received two assists apiece from Jason Demers and Andrew Desjardins, and 26 saves in net from goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Zach Hamill and Vladimir Sobotka notched goals for the Bruins, who lost in regulation for just the second time all season when taking a lead into the third period (29-2-0-1) and missed a chance to tie Hartford for first place in the Atlantic.


SYRACUSE 4, TORONTO 3 (SO)
Playing its eighth game in a 10-day span, Syracuse had enough left in the tank to take a key 4-3 shootout win over host Toronto on Sunday at Ricoh Coliseum.

The win leaves the Crunch and Marlies deadlocked for the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot. Both teams have 82 points with five games to play.

Rookies Nikita Filatov and Maksim Mayorov netted shootout goals for the Crunch, and goaltender Kevin Lalande stopped three straight Toronto shooters after surrendering a marker to Jeremy Williams in the second round. Lalande made 29 saves through the first 65 minutes.

Filatov notched a pair of goals in regulation for Syracuse, and Michael Blunden also scored. All three tallies came on the power play.

Williams, Tim Stapleton, and Ben Ondrus potted regulation markers for the Marlies, the latter coming via a penalty shot in the second period.


WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 1, HERSHEY 0
The defending Eastern Conference champions are headed back to the postseason. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made that official on Sunday with a 1-0 road win over rival Hershey before 10,666 fans at the Giant Center.

Penguins rookie Dustin Jeffrey, who made his pro debut during the team’s run to the Calder Cup Finals last spring, scored the game’s lone goal on the power play 19:12 into the first period. Connor James and Chris Minard earned the assists.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender John Curry made 31 saves to pick up his fourth shutout of the season. Curry (31-14-0) is now in a three-way tie with Providence’s Tuukka Rask and Milwaukee’s Drew MacIntyre for the AHL lead in victories.

The Penguins will return to the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season, and the victory brought them into a tie with Bridgeport for second place in the East Division, five points behind the Bears for the top spot.

Hershey’s five-game winning streak came to an end.


PHILADELPHIA 4, GRAND RAPIDS 1
In a critical game for their playoff hopes, the Philadelphia Phantoms started quickly and took a 4-1 win over Grand Rapids, sweeping a pair of weekend games from the Griffins.

Danny Syvret and Jonathan Matsumoto each posted a goal and an assist for the Phantoms, who also received markers from Rob Sirianni and Jonathon Kalinski. Matsumoto and Sirianni each finished with four goals in the two contests against Grand Rapids this weekend.

Philadelphia goaltender Scott Munroe secured the victory with 33 saves, improving his season mark to 27-19-3.

The Phantoms pulled within four points of Binghamton for fourth place in the East Division. Sunday marked one of Philadelphia’s two games in hand on the Senators.

Rookie Cory Emmerton notched the lone goal for the playoff-bound Griffins, who fell to 2-3-0-0 on their eight-game road swing.


MANITOBA 3, HAMILTON 2
Manitoba scored a pair of third-period goals to take a 3-2 win over Hamilton in the back end of the teams’ two-game set at the MTS Centre.

The score was deadlocked at 2-2 heading into the final 20 minutes, but the Moose received goals from Travis Ramsey and Jason Jaffray to move ahead 3-1 with just less than eight minuets remaining.

Hamilton rookie Ben Maxwell notched a power play goal with 1:48 to go, but the Bulldogs were unable to tie it. Fellow rookie Brock Trotter also scored for Hamilton.

Jason Krog posted a goal and an assist for the Moose, and goaltender Cory Schneider stopped 44 of 46 shots to improve his season record to 28-7-1.

Attendance in Winnipeg on Sunday was 9,681.


QUAD CITY 3, IOWA 2 (SO)
Quad City let a 2-0 lead slip away in the third period but eventually captured a 3-2 shootout win over host Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena.

Kris Chucko, David Van der Gulik, and Kyle Greentree all scored shootout goals for the Flames, and rookie goaltender Leland Irving stopped three of Iowa’s four tries. Irving made 22 saves on the night and picked up his 20th victory of the campaign (20-17-2).

Van der Gulik gave Quad City a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period, and Greentree made it 2-0 with a shorthanded marker – his 36th goal of the season – at 5:40 of the middle frame.

But the Chops battled back in the third, receiving a goal from Petri Kontiola at 7:01 before T.J. Trevelyan tied it with a shorthanded tally of his own at the 17:20 mark.

Iowa, which captured its first shootout victory of the season on Saturday in Milwaukee, fell to 1-9 in the tiebreaker this season.


ROCKFORD 2, HOUSTON 1
Rockford scored twice in the second period and held on for a 2-1 win over visiting Houston on Sunday at the MetroCentre.

Pascal Pelletier posted a goal and an assist for the IceHogs, and Adam Hobson also lit the lamp. Rockford defeated Houston for the second time in the last three days and moved two points back of the Aeros and Peoria for second place in the West Division race.

IceHogs goaltender Antti Niemi earned the victory with 29 saves on 30 shots.

The Aeros spoiled Niemi’s shutout bid when Morten Madsen scored with 2:25 to go in regulation, but they could not find the equalizer. Houston went 0-2-0-1 this weekend after winning its previous five games.