OKLAHOMA CITY 6, ROCKFORD 5 (OT)
Rookie forward Teemu Hartikainen completed a season-high two-goal, three-point performance by scoring the game-winner 1:59 into overtime on Saturday as Oklahoma City collected a wild 6-5 road victory over Rockford at the MetroCentre.
Hartikainen had gone his previous eight games without a goal before scoring twice in a game for the first time all year. The 20-year-old from Finland now shows nine goals and 15 points in 28 games for the Barons this season.
Liam Reddox also had three points (1-2-3) for Oklahoma City, which built a 4-1 lead by early in the second period. Defenseman Jeff Petry (1-1-2) and forwards Colin McDonald and Chris Vandevelde rounded out the Barons’ offense.
Rockford climbed out of deficits of 1-0, 4-1, and 5-2 to ultimately force overtime. Defenseman Shawn Lalonde paced the IceHogs with a goal and two assists, while Mathis Olimb (1-1-2), Jeff Taffe (1-1-2), Ben Smith, and Peter LeBlanc also found the back of the net.
Goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers emerged with the victory after making 30 stops for the Barons, who are now riding a five-game points streak (3-0-0-2).
The IceHogs lost beyond regulation for a second consecutive night (0-0-1-1) but also now have a point in five straight outings (2-0-1-2).
PORTLAND 2, ADIRONDACK 1
Portland rallied for two goals in the third period to take a 2-1 road win over Adirondack on Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The Phantoms, looking for their first back-to-back wins of the season, grabbed a 1-0 lead when rookie Luke Pither scored at 12:58 of the second period. Adirondack carried that edge into intermission.
Goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped 28 of 29 shots in net for the Pirates (16-8-1-1), who have won two straight games for the first time since a three-game run from Nov. 10-20.
Michael Leighton made 28 saves in the loss for the Phantoms, who are now 4-21-2-0 on the season.
WORCESTER 6, ALBANY 3
Worcester carried a 3-0 lead into the third period, watched Albany tie it back up, and then scored three more times in succession to emerge with a 6-3 road win over the Devils at the Times Union Center on Saturday.
Six different Sharks skaters found the back of the net. Andrew Desjardins and Sean Sullivan tallied first-period goals, and Jonathan Cheechoo notched his 10th marker of the year in the second frame to make it a 3-0 lead for the visitors.
But just 1:26 after Sestito’s goal, Worcester forward Tommy Wingels struck for what would turn out to be the game-winner. Jason Pitton and Brandon Mashinter added markers, with the latter going into an empty net.
The Devils dropped to 4-11-0-0 on home ice this season.
CONNECITCUT 5, MANCHESTER 1
Rookie Mats Zuccarello recorded his second multiple-goal game of the season as Connecticut stayed hot with a 5-1 win over visiting Manchester on Saturday at the XL Center.
Zuccarello, who previously tallied a hat trick on Nov. 7 vs. Bridgeport, scored in the first and second periods for his 11th and 12th goals of the season, ranking him second on the team in that category.
Whale goaltender Chad Johnson turned aside 23 of 24 shots between the pipes as his club improved to 5-0-0-1 in its last six games, all since the team named was changed from “Wolf Pack” to “Whale.”
Connecticut also moved back to .500 on the season at 11-11-2-4.
Justin Azevedo registered the Monarchs’ lone goal of the evening.
ROCHESTER 4, BINGHAMTON 3 (SO)
Rookie A.J. Jenks scored the only shootout goal for either side as Rochester edged host Binghamton by a 4-3 count at the Broome County Arena on Saturday.
Americans goaltender Jacob Markstrom (9-11-0) made a season-high 45 saves through the first 65 minutes before turning aside all five shootout attempts.
Derek Smith and Jim O’Brien tallied first-period goals to give the Senators a 2-0 lead, an advantage which was cut in half when Amerks forward Michael Duco scored on the power play with two minutes to play in the frame.
It remained a 2-1 game into the third period until Rochester’s Bates Battaglia and Clay Wilson scored just over two minutes apart to give their club the lead. But Corey Locke tied it back up for the Senators midway through the period, forcing overtime.
The Amerks are now on a three-game points streak (2-0-1-0), their longest since a season-high four-game run (3-0-1-0) from Oct. 25-30.
NORFOLK 7, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4
Norfolk’s league-leading offense record its fifth seven-goal game of the season as the Admirals made a statement by completing a home-and-home sweep of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with a 7-4 road win over the Penguins at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday.
The Admirals (17-6-4-1), who improved to 5-0-1-0 in their last six games, are now just three points back of the Pens (21-6-0-0) for first place in the East Division and Eastern Conference.
Defenseman Troy Milam led the way for Norfolk with two goals and a helper on the night, while fellow rearguard Mark Barberio, Paul Szczechura, and the newly acquired Levi Nelson each posted a goal and an assist.
Matt Fornataro and defenseman Radko Gudas rounded out the Admirals scoring; James Wright, Blair Jones, and Kevin Quick each had two assists; and goaltender Cedrick Desjardins secured the victory with 29 saves on 33 shots in net.
BRIDGEPORT 4, SYRACUSE 3
Rookie Rhett Rakhshani had a goal and two assists as Bridgeport held off host Syracuse by a 4-3 count on Saturday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Rakhshani is now on a four-game scoring streak (3-6-9) and has recorded a point in six of his last seven outings (5-7-12).
Jeremy Colliton (1-1-2), Brandon Svendsen, and defenseman Wes O’Neill also scored for the Sound Tigers, who won their season-high third straight game and improved to 6-1-1-1 in their last 10 contests.
TORONTO 7, LAKE ERIE 4
Rookie Marcel Mueller, who entered the game with two goals in 25 outings on the season, recorded a hat trick on Sunday as Toronto earned a 7-4 road win over Lake Erie at Quicken Loans Arena.
Mueller scored twice in a span of 2:34 late in the second period and then completed his hat trick with a power play strike early in the third. Justin Hodgman, Dale Mitchell, and defenseman Simon Gysbers each assisted on two of Mueller’s markers.
Toronto halted a brief two-game losing skid and moved within a point of Hamilton for first place in the North Division heading into the teams’ nationally televised showdown at Copps Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
PROVIDENCE 3, SPRINGFIELD 2
Providence climbed out of a 2-0 second-intermission deficit with a trio of goals in the third period and claimed a 3-2 road win over Springfield on Sunday at the MassMutual Center.
The Bruins moved back to .500 on the season at 11-11-2-1 and will host the Falcons in a rematch on Sunday afternoon.
After a scoreless first period, Falcons defenseman Grand Clitsome tallied a pair of second-period goals to give his club a 2-0 lead. He scored at even strength at 1:01 and on the power play at the eight-minute mark.
Defenseman Matt Bartkowski began the Bruins’ comeback at 11:07 of the third period, and fellow rearguard Jeff Penner notched the equalizer just 53 seconds later, with former first-round draft picks Joe Colborne and Jordan Caron earning assists on the play.
Maxime Sauve then sent the Bruins home happy by scoring the game-winner on the power play with just three seconds left in regulation. Penner earned the lone assist.
The Falcons are now winless in four straight games (0-3-1-0) and dropped to 2-7-1-0 in their last 10 outings.
PEORIA 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Ryan Reaves entered the night with one goal in 21 games for the season but scored twice – including the game-winner – as Peoria edged visiting Grand Rapids by a 3-2 count on Saturday at Carver Arena.
After Adam Cracknell gave the Rivermen a 1-0 lead just 1:48 into the contest, Reaves made it 2-0 at the 9:25 mark. Jamie Tardif brought Grand Rapids within 2-1 early in the second period, but Reaves countered 23 seconds into the third period.
That proved decisive when Tardif scored again on the power play at the 16:14 mark, an unassisted goal.
Goaltender Ben Bishop made 21 saves for the Rivermen, who upped their season-high points streak to 10 games (8-0-2-0).
Grand Rapids now has just one win in its last five outings (1-3-1-0).
SAN ANTONIO 5, MANITOBA 4 (SO)
San Antonio rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 in regulation and ultimately collected a 5-4 shootout win over visiting Manitoba at the AT&T Center on Saturday.
Mikkel Boedker, Andrew Ebbett, and Garrett Stafford all tallied shootout goals for the Rampage, while goaltender Matt Climie stuffed all three Manitoba attempts after making 36 saves through regulation and overtime.
Bill Sweatt paced the Moose’s attack with a goal and two helpers; Sergei Shirokov and defenseman Kevin Connauton scored once apiece; and Shawn Wellar sent the game to overtime by scoring with just 55 seconds left in regulation.
But Manitoba’s winless skid stretched to four games (0-3-0-1) – matching a season high – as the Moose prepare to conclude a four-game road trip on Tuesday at Texas.
The West Division-leading Rampage bounced back nicely from a 5-3 loss in Houston on Friday and earned their 20th victory of the season (20-7-1-0, 41 points).
TEXAS 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (OT)
Travis Morin tallied his team-leading 11th goal of the season just 17 seconds into overtime as Texas escaped Milwaukee with a 3-2 win over the Admirals on Saturday at the Bradley Center.
Greg Rallo and defenseman Brad Lukowich picked up assists on Morin’s game-winner, which lifted the Stars to 5-1-1-1 in their last eight contests and into a tie with Milwaukee for fourth place in the tight West Division standings.
CHICAGO 5, ABBOTSFORD 2
Entering with the AHL’s second-best power play (23.1 percent), Chicago converted three of its eight man-advantage opportunities en route to a 5-2 road win over Abbotsford on Saturday at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
Chicago captain Jason Krog and defenseman Mark Matheson each had two assists on the night; rearguard Paul Postma chipped in three helpers; and goaltender Peter Mannino 9-6-0) stopped 29 of 31 shots between the pipes.
The Wolves earned a split of their two-game trip to British Columbia and moved back to .500 on the season at 14-14-2-0.