BRIDGEPORT 2, MANCHESTER 0
Bridgeport tallied a pair of third-period goals on Saturday, and the Sound Tigers wrapped up a playoff spot with a 2-0 win over Manchester before 4,702 fans at the Arena at Yard.
Lowell also secured a playoff bid in the Eastern Conference on Saturday courtesy of a 5-2 win at Portland.
Goaltender Scott Munroe earned the 23-save shutout, as the Sound Tigers reached the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
The Monarchs, who suffered their first shutout since a 2-0 loss at Syracuse, saw their season-high eight-game winning streak come to an end. Manchester, which will oppose Portland in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, concludes its regular season on Sunday at Springfield.
LOWELL 5, PORTLAND 2
Five different Lowell skaters found the back of the net as the Devils clinched a playoff spot with a 5-2 road win over Portland on Saturday at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Ben Walter led the way with a goal and an assist for the Devils, who will reach postseason play for the first time in their four-year history.
Cody McCormick scored for the Pirates, who are guaranteed to finish second in the Atlantic Division and will oppose Manchester in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
TORONTO 3, HAMILTON 2 (SO)
Philippe Paradis scored in the fifth round of a shootout to lift Toronto past visiting Hamilton by a 3-2 count on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.
Paradis, a first-round draft pick in 2009, registered the lone shootout goal for either side, as Marlies goaltender James Reimer turned aside all five of Hamilton’s attempts.
The Marlies battled back from a 2-0 deficit heading into the third period, receiving markers from Richard Greenop and Alex Foster to tie the score. Paradis earned an assist on Foster’s game-tying goal at 18:31 of the third period.
Reimer finished with 16 saves through regulation and overtime for Toronto, which moved to 2-0-0-1 in its last three games.
ALBANY 3, ADIRONDACK 2
Oskar Osala snapped a 2-2 deadlock with 5:29 left to play in regulation, and Albany held on for a 3-2 road win over Adirondack at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Jiri Tlusty earned the lone assist on Osala’s game-winning tally, which allowed the River Rats to finish 43-29-3-5 for 94 points on the season. Albany will enjoy home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs against either Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Bridgeport, or Lowell.
HARTFORD 7, SPRINGFIELD 5
A night after being eliminated from playoff contention for the first time in its 13-year history, Hartford scored seven second-period goals en route to a 7-5 win over visiting Springfield before 7,275 fans at the XL Center.
The Wolf Pack, who finished 6-2-2-0 against the Falcons this season, registered the AHL’s first seven-goal period since Hamilton turned the trick in the second frame as part of a 9-5 win over Rochester on Feb. 11, 2007.
Wolf Pack forward Corey Locke, who posted 2-2-4 in that game for the Bulldogs, registered two goals and an assist on Saturday. Andres Ambuhl also recorded two goals and a helper to pace Hartford’s offense.
Hartford rookie goaltender Chad Johnson emerged with the victory after making 28 saves in net.
WORCESTER 3, PROVIDENCE 0
Worcester clinched its first Atlantic Division title on Saturday with a 3-0 win over visiting Providence in front of 7,296 fans at the DCU Center.
Worcester will take on either Bridgeport or Lowell in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs beginning next week.
AHL All-Rookie goaltender Alex Stalock earned his league-leading 39th victory (39-18-2) for the Sharks with 19 saves in net, collecting his fourth shutout in the process.
Providence, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1998, was shut out for the third time in its last seven outings.
BINGHAMTON 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 1
Binghamton continued its strong push toward the season’s finish line with a 3-2 win over visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Broome County Arena.
The division rivals will conclude the regular season with a rematch on Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre.
Binghamton registered two of its three goals on the power play and finished 2-for-6 with the man advantage, and the Sens extended their points streak to five games (4-0-1-0).
NORFOLK 5, HERSHEY 2
Norfolk erupted for three goals in the third period to take a 5-2 win over Hershey in the back end of a two-game set before 5,177 fans at the Scope.
Despite the win, the Admirals were eliminated from playoff contention when both Bridgeport and Lowell won their games on Saturday. Norfolk will miss the postseason for a third consecutive season.
Admirals forwards Matt Fornataro and Paul Szczechura also found the back of the net, Ryan Craig posted two assists in the victory, and Norfolk goaltender Dustin Tokarski secured the win with 23 saves on 25 shots between the pipes.
ABBOTSFORD 4, LAKE ERIE 3 (SO)
Abbotsford clinched third place in the North Division with a 4-3 shootout win over host Lake Erie on Saturday before 14,103 fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Heat will oppose second-place Rochester in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs, while Manitoba takes on first-place Hamilton in the other division semifinal.
Abbotsford goaltender David Shantz turned aside five of Lake Erie’s six shootout tries after making 26 saves through the first 65 minutes.
SYRACUSE 5, ROCHESTER 2
Syracuse finally broke through against Rochester this season, earning a 5-2 win over the Americans on Saturday before a standing-room only crowd of 6,317 fans at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
The Crunch, who will miss the playoffs for the second straight season, began with nine straight loses to the Americans this year prior to Saturday’s victory.
Maksim Mayorov, who registered a hat trick on Friday night, scored two more goals and added an assist to pace the Crunch’s offense. Nick Holden posted a goal and a helper, while Trevor Frischmon and defenseman Michael Ratchuk also scored.
SAN ANTONIO 4, ROCKFORD 2
San Antonio goaltender Josh Tordjman, who was presented with the Yanick Dupre Award as the AHL Man of the Year prior to the game, went out and made 35 saves on 37 shots as San Antonio doubled up Rockford by a 4-2 count before 8,250 fans at the AT&T Center.
Rockford, which was already locked into third place in the West Division, will oppose Texas in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
MANITOBA 3, PEORIA 2 (SO)
Manitoba captain Mike Keane scored in the sixth round of a shootout, lifting the Moose to a 3-2 win over Peoria before 12,301 fans at the MTS Centre.
It marked the regular-season finale for both teams. Manitoba advances to take on Hamilton in the North Division semifinals, while Peoria will miss the playoffs for the third time in four years.
The teams were scoreless through the first and second periods before Rivermen defenseman Daryl Boyle broke through with an unassisted tally 3:35 into the third frame. But Mario Bliznak responded for the Moose at 9:11, with assists going to rookie Jordan Schroeder and defenseman Tom Galvin.
Julian Talbot notched the Rivermen’s lone shootout goal in the third round.
HOUSTON 4, TEXAS 2
Houston rallied back from a 2-1 third-period deficit and doubled up visiting Texas by a 4-2 count on Saturday before 8,508 fans at the Toyota Center.
Aeros forward Nathan Smith tallied the tying goal at 13:08 of the third period, and Carson McMillan followed with the game-winner just 2:47 later. Danny Irmen tacked on an empty-net marker in the game’s closing minute.
CHICAGO 6, GRAND RAPIDS 4
Johnny Pohl scored twice and defenseman Paul Postma recorded a game-high three points (1-2-3) as Chicago took a 6-4 win from visiting Grand Rapids in front of 14,019 fans at Allstate Arena on Saturday.
Chicago is set to take on Milwaukee in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.