PROVIDENCE 4, PORTLAND 3
Another milestone night from Trent Whitfield, in the arena he called home for seven years, led the Providence Bruins to a 4-3 win over Portland at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Saturday.
Whitfield, a member of the Pirates from 1998-2005, scored twice in the first 5:19 of the game to become the 76th player in the 74-year history of the American Hockey League to reach 500 career points.
Whitfield finished with three points on the night, as did Brad Marchand, whose goal with 11:36 left in regulation broke a 3-3 deadlock and sent the Bruins to their fourth straight win while snapping Portland’s points streak at 11 games (7-0-3-1).
Whitfield, who scored his 200th AHL goal on Friday, now shows 202 goals and 299 assists in 631 games with Portland, Peoria and Providence.
A native of Alameda, Sask., Whitfield is in his first season back with the Boston Bruins organization, which originally drafted him in 1996. He has appeared in seven NHL games with Boston in 2009-10, giving him 184 career NHL matches with the Bruins, the St. Louis Blues, the Washington Capitals and the N.Y. Rangers.
ABBOTSFORD 6, ROCHESTER 2
Colin Stuart scored twice and Abbotsford’s power play struck three times on five opportunities as the Heat cooled off Rochester, 6-2, in the first of a two-game set at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
The league-leading Americans have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Jamie Lundmark and Cam Cunning each tallied a goal and an assist for the Heat, who find themselves just five points behind the Amerks in the North Division standings. Garth Murray and Keith Seabrook also scored for Abbotsford, and Matt Keetley finished with 22 saves.
The rookie Pickard had allowed 11 goals on 64 shots in his three previous outings but got back in the win column, improving to 6-4-2 on the year.
TEXAS 5, CHICAGO 3
Down 2-0 just 2:16 into the game, Texas scored five of the game’s last six goals and raced past Chicago, 5-3, at Allstate Arena on Saturday.
Greg Rallo and Aaron Gagnon led the Stars with a goal and two assists each and Mathieu Beaudoin, Maxime Fortunus and Travis Morin added goals for Texas, which maintains its seven-point lead atop the West Division.
Rylan Kaip and Steve McCarthy scored 25 seconds apart to give Chicago an early two-goal cushion, and Tim Stapleton added his team-leading 12th goal of the season for a short-lived 3-2 lead in the second period.
Matt Climie made 31 saves for the win.
ROCKFORD 4, LAKE ERIE 2
Rockford extended its winning streak to five games with a 4-2 win over Lake Erie at the MetroCenter, the first win by the home team in eight all-time meetings between the clubs.
TORONTO 6, HAMILTON 5 (OT)
Viktor Stalberg scored with 21 seconds left in overtime to give Toronto a 6-5 win over Hamilton at Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
The rookie Stalberg, whose holding penalty had given the Bulldogs a power play earlier in overtime, finished with two goals and an assist in the game and now has 18 points in 16 games with the Marlies this season.
Mike Glumac, David Desharnais, J.T. Wyman, Eric Neilson and Ryan Russell were the goal scorers for the Bulldogs, who were coming off three consecutive shutout victories. Hamilton’s team shutout streak reached 207 minutes, 21 seconds before the Marlies struck this afternoon.
Andrew Engelage stopped 42 of 47 shots to earn his first AHL win for the Marlies.
ALBANY 4, ADIRONDACK 1
Albany improved to 4-0-0-0 against Adirondack this season with a 4-1 win over the Phantoms at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Stefan Chaput recorded a goal and an assist and Mike Murphy made 20 saves as the River Rats moved to 4-0-1-0 in their last five games overall. Jerome Samson, Jacob Micflikier and Nicolas Blanchard also scored for Albany.
Stefan Legein had the only goal – his third in four games – for Adirondack, which has lost six of its last seven.
BRIDGEPORT 7, SPRINGFIELD 3
Greg Moore and Justin DiBenedetto scored 25 seconds apart early in the third period, snapping a 3-3 tie and sending Bridgeport to a 7-3 win over Springfield at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
DiBenedetto added a second goal later in the period and Jesse Joensuu picked up three points (1g, 2a) as the Sound Tigers churned out their highest offensive output since a 7-2 win over the Falcons on Dec. 7, 2007.
Bridgeport raced out to a 3-0 lead on first-period goals by Matt Martin, Greg Mauldin and Joensuu, outshooting Springfield by a 15-3 margin over the first 20 minutes. But the Falcons responded with goals in the second period from Johan Motin, Geoff Paukovich and Bill Thomas, sending the game to the second intermission tied.
Aaron Sorochan made 30 saves for the Falcons, who are winless in their last six games (0-5-0-1).
The Griffins took a 2-0 lead by the 9:01 mark of the first period and Daniel Larsson stopped 24 of 25 shots as Grand Rapids defeated the Rivermen for the third time this season.
Adam Cracknell scored with 8:50 left in the second period, extending his scoring streak to five games (2g, 3a).
HERSHEY 5, NORFOLK 4
Claimed off waivers by the Washington Capitals earlier in the day, Chris Bourque made a triumphant return to Hershey with a pair of goals, including the tiebreaker with 9:31 left in regulation, as the Bears rallied for a 5-4 win over Norfolk before 9,011 fans at Giant Center.
Bourque, a member of the Bears’ Calder Cup championship teams in 2006 and 2009, began the season with the Pittsburgh Penguins before being reclaimed by Washington.
Keith Aucoin added a goal and an assist and Jay Beagle and Kyle Wilson also scored for the Bears, who trailed 2-0 and 4-2 but wound up with a win for the 19th time in their last 22 meetings with the Admirals (19-2-0-1).
MANCHESTER 5, WORCESTER 4 (SO)
David Meckler’s goal in the eighth shootout round allowed Manchester to pull out a 5-4 win over Worcester at Verizon Wireless Arena.
Kevin Westgarth scored twice in regulation for the second straight night for the Monarchs, who took a 4-2 lead into the final five minutes of regulation before Steven Zalewski and Benn Ferriero tied it late for the Sharks.
Westgarth now has five goals in his last four games after going scoreless in his first 21 games of the season. Alec Martinez and Marc-Andre Cliche also scored for Manchester, which improved to 11-2-0-1 at home.
Ferriero scored twice, Zalewski finished with a goal and two assists and Logan Couture picked up two more assists, giving him 21 points (9g, 12) in 14 games with Worcester. The shootout loss ended the Sharks’ six-game winning streak.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4, HARTFORD 1
Tim Wallace and Konstantin Pushkarev had a goal and an assist each and Joe Vitale recorded three assists to lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 4-1 win over visiting Hartford on Saturday.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Penguins and dropped the Wolf Pack to 0-2-1-1 in their last four.
John Curry made 20 saves to improve to 10-7-1 on the year.
SYRACUSE 3, BINGHAMTON 2
Jared Aulin scored the winning goal midway through the third period and took a game-high eight shots on goal to spark Syracuse to a 3-2 win over visiting Binghamton.
Kaspars Daugavins scored his fourth goal in five contests and Brandon Svendsen netted his first career AHL goal for the Senators, who failed for the fourth time this season to extend a winning streak to three games.
Chris Holt, coming off back-to-back shutouts, made 28 saves for Binghamton.