ROCKFORD 5, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Rockford jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the game was half over and cruised to a 5-2 win over Grand Rapids on Saturday before 6,151 fans at the MetroCentre. IceHogs goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 28 of 30 shots in net and improved to 5-0-1 in his last six contests.
As a team, Rockford has won three straight games and shows a point in its last seven outings (6-0-0-1), and the IceHogs hold a one-point lead on Milwaukee for first place in the crowded West Division race.
John Vigilante and defenseman Logan Pyett tallied goals for the Griffins, who dropped their third straight game and fell to 3-12-0-0 in their last 15 contests.
TEXAS 3, LAKE ERIE 0
Texas tallied a goal in each period and pulled out a 3-0 road win over Lake Erie on Saturday afternoon before 6,593 fans at the Quicken Loans Arena.
The Stars salvaged a split of the teams’ two-game weekend set and extended their points streak to four games overall (3-0-1-0).
Defenseman Maxime Fortunus extended the lead to 2-0 late in the second period, and Lindgren sealed the victory with an empty-netter in the game’s closing minute.
Texas goaltender Todd Ford earned the shutout with 26 saves between the pipes.
HOUSTON 5, ABBOTSFORD 4 (OT)
Houston defenseman Brandon Rogers scored 2:43 into overtime to give the Aeros a 5-4 road win over Abbotsford at the Entertainment & Sports Centre and a sweep of the teams’ two-game weekend series.
Jon DiSalvatore and defenseman Maxim Noreau each posted a goal and an assist for Houston, which rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 4-3 to force the extra session. Aeros forward Duncan Milroy made it a 4-4 game at 18:47 of the third period, and Petr Kalus also scored for the Aeros.
Houston matched a season with its third straight win, having previously accomplished the feat from Oct. 24-27, from Nov. 5-13, and from Dec. 13-16.
LOWELL 4, PORTLAND 1
Lowell surrendered the game’s first goal but then registered four unanswered markers en route to a 4-1 road win over Portland before 6,344 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Devils extended their points streak to four games (3-0-0-1) and moved into a first-place tie with Manchester in the Atlantic Division.
NORFOLK 5, MANCHESTER 3
Norfolk poured 49 shots on goal and came away with a 5-3 road win over Atlantic Division-leading Manchester on Saturday before 7,745 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Admirals forward Radek Smolenak scored twice and added an assist for a game-high three points. Mitch Fadden posted a goal and an assist, and Norfolk also received markers from Matt Fornataro and Adam Hall.
Norfolk has begun its seven-game road trip with back-to-back wins and concludes its three-game weekend with a Sunday tilt in Lowell.
HERSHEY 8, MANITOBA 2
For the second straight night, Hershey racked up eight goals vs. Manitoba and cruised to an 8-2 win over the Moose before 10,844 fans at the Giant Center.
Jay Beagle, Oskar Osala, and defenseman John Carlson each posted a goal and a helper, and Boyd Kane rounded out Hershey’s offense. Alexandre Giroux chipped in two assists in the winning effort, and goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 31 shots in net.
The Bears captured their fifth straight win and have outscored opponents 37-14 over that span. Hershey improved to 17-1-0-0 in its last 18 contests.
TORONTO 4, HAMILTON 3
2010 AHL All-Star Christian Hanson registered a goal and two assists as Toronto eked out a 4-3 win over visiting Hamilton on Saturday before 7,084 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.
Ben Maxwell put Hamilton on the board at 5:40 of the second period, but Hanson restored Toronto’s three-goal cushion less than two minutes later.
Goaltender Joey MacDonald earned the victory with 25 saves in net for the Marlies, who have now put together consecutive wins on the heels of a seven-game slide (0-5-2-0).
ALBANY 3, ADIRONDACK 2
Rookie forward Zach Boychuk snapped a 2-2 tie with 4:02 to play in regulation, and Albany went on to post a 3-2 road win over Adirondack before a standing-room only crowd of 5,309 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Albany goaltender Justin Peters earned the win with 26 saves on 28 shots between the pipes.
ROCHESTER 5, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3
Rochester outscored Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3-1 in the third period and took a 5-3 win over the visiting Penguins on Saturday at the Blue Cross Arena.
Ex-Penguin Jeff Taffe led the way with two goals and an assist on the night for the Americans. Jamie Johnson and Daniel Steiner each posted a goal and a helper, and Michal Repik also found the back of the net.
2010 AHL All-Star goaltender Alexander Salak earned the win with 29 saves for the Amerks, who improved to 4-1-0-0 in their last five contests.
BINGHAMTON 5, BRIDGEPORT 2
Josh Hennessy and 2010 AHL All-Star Ryan Keller each scored twice as Binghamton rallied from a 2-1 deficit to post a 5-2 win over visiting Bridgeport at the Broome County Arena.
Hennessy gave the Senators an early 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Sound Tigers erased it and took a lead of their own into intermission on tallies less than two minutes apart by Greg Mauldin and Jesse Joensuu.
Keller then tallied his team-leading 19th and 20th goals of the season in the second period to put Binghamton back on top. Erik Condra added to the B-Sens’ lead early in the third frame, and Hennessy sealed the win with a late empty-netter.
Binghamton goaltender Chris Holt secured the win with 35 saves on 37 shots in net, helping the Senators earn consecutive victories for the first time since Nov. 28 to Dec. 4.
SPRINGFIELD 2, HARTFORD 1 (OT)
Playing just his second game since Oct. 30 due to injury, forward Chris Minard lit the lamp 1:42 into overtime to give Springfield a 2-1 win over visiting Hartford before 5,930 fans at the MassMutual Center on Saturday.
Linglet potted his 11th goal of the season at 14:28 of the third period, with Wiseman picking up the lone helper. That marker tied the contest at 1-1 and ultimately forced overtime.
Falcons goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur only had to make 15 saves in the winning effort, as his club held a 37-16 edge in shots on goal.
WORCESTER 5, SYRACUSE 4
Worcester brought a 5-2 lead into the third period but had to hold on for a 5-4 road win over Syracuse on Saturday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
All-Star Sharks rookie Logan Couture scored twice in the victory and now shows four goals and five points in his last three outings.
Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock stopped 24 of 28 shots to pick up his league-leading 24th victory of the season (24-10-1). Worcester improved to 19-4-1-1 in its last 26 contests overall.
The Crunch made a game of it in the third period, as Brendan Bell and 2010 AHL All-Star Dan Fritsche each scored in the final 20 minutes. But Syracuse dropped its fourth straight games on the heels of a four-game winning streak from Jan. 8-15.
MILWAUKEE 3, SAN ANTONIO 2 (SO)
Colin Wilson’s eighth-round shootout goal lifted Milwaukee to a 3-2 road win over San Antonio on Saturday before 6,336 fans at the AT&T Center.
Brothers Mark Santorelli and Mike Santorelli also scored in the shootout for the Admirals, as did defenseman Alexander Sulzer. Ads goaltender Chet Pickard stopped five of the eight attempts against him after turning aside 28 shots through regulation and overtime.
Milwaukee battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits in regulation. Sulzer tied it at 1-1 with a power play goal midway through the second period, and after San Antonio went back on top, Wacey Rabbit’s unassisted marker with 2:12 to play in the third period sent the tilt to overtime.
The Admirals improved to 7-2-0-0 in their last nine games and sit one point back of Rockford for first place in the West Division, holding four games in hand on the IceHogs.
PEORIA 5, CHICAGO 4
Five different Peoria skaters found the back of the net as the Rivermen put a halt to Chicago’s seven-game winning streak with a 5-4 win over the Wolves before 5,062 fans at Carver Arena.
Jason Krog paced the Wolves’ offense with a goal and two assists on the night. Tim Stapleton, Brett Sterling, and Paul Postma also scored, but Chicago still suffered its first loss since a 3-1 setback at Hamilton on Jan. 6.