HARTFORD 3, PROVIDENCE 2 (OT)
Hartford rookie forward Evgeny Grachev notched two goals – including the game-winner 3:19 into overtime – as the Wolf Pack captured a 3-2 win over visiting Providence on Saturday before 7,839 fans at the XL Center.
The Wolf Pack, who took a 2-1 overtime decision at Providence last Sunday, improved to 6-1-1-0 against the Bruins this season.
Grachev opened the game’s scoring 7:18 into the contest, with Ryan Garlock picking up the lone assist. After 2010 AHL All-Star Mikko Lehtonen tied it for Providence at 3:37 of the second period, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored his first goal since Dec. 30 to put the Wolf Pack back on top heading into the final 20 minutes.
Providence forced overtime when winger Guillaume Lefebvre notched his fifth goal of the season with 3:59 to play in regulation time.
Wolf Pack goaltender Matt Zaba earned the victory with 37 saves on 39 shots between the pipes.
PORTLAND 3, LOWELL 2 (SO)
Portland converted on three of its four shootout tries and took a 3-2 road win over Lowell on Saturday afternoon before 5,493 fans at Tsongas Arena.
Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth stopped all three shootout tries he faced after turning aside 24 of 26 shots through regulation and overtime.
The Pirates grabbed leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in regulation, as Philip Gogulla scored in the opening period and Gerbe on the power play in the second period. But the Devils answered both times, receiving markers from Michael Swift and Ben Walter.
Lowell, which hadn’t played beyond regulation since a 5-4 overtime loss at Albany on Nov. 6, fell to 1-1 in shootouts this season.
ALBANY 4, BRIDGEPORT 3 (OT)
Nick Dodge scored 1:51 into overtime to give Albany a 4-3 win over visiting Bridgeport in a back-and-forth game before 6,663 fans at the Times Union Center.
2010 AHL All-Star goaltender Justin Peters picked up two assists in the game, including one on Dodge’s game-winner.
The River Rats grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period, as defenseman Jay Harrison tallied his second goal of the year at 9:02 and fellow rearguard Bryan Rodney – a 2010 AHL All-Star – followed on the power play at 13:21.
But Sound Tigers defenseman Victor Bartley and forward Jesse Joensuu countered with goals just 37 seconds apart late in the second period, and Sean Bentivoglio’s shorthanded marker put Bridgeport on top 9:07 into the third.
Bridgeport appeared headed for a regulation victory, but Rats defenseman Jonathan Paiement tied it up with 15 seconds left in the third frame, tallying his first goal of the season.
In addition to his two assists, Peters earned the victory with 22 saves. Sound Tigers goaltender Nathan Lawson stopped 43 of 47 shots in the losing effort.
ABBOTSFORD 6, LAKE ERIE 3
Abbotsford spotted Lake Erie a 3-0 lead after the opening period but then rallied for six unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 win over the Monsters at the Entertainment & Sports Centre.
The Heat climbed back into the contest with a pair of second-period goals before scoring four times in the third frame to take the victory. Abbotsford halted its three-game winless skid (0-2-1-0).
Mikael Backlund, Cam Cunning, 2010 AHL All-Star Jason Jaffray, and defenseman Keith Seabrook all registered a goal and an assist for the Heat, who also received markers from J.D. Watt and defenseman John Negrin.
GRAND RAPIDS 3, HAMILTON 1
Grand Rapids scored once in each period and received a stellar goaltending performance from former AHL All-Star Daniel Larsson on its way to a 3-1 win over visiting Hamilton at Van Andel Arena.
Larsson (13-11-1) stopped 39 of 40 shots between the pipes, including 16 of 17 in a third period in which his club was outshot by a margin of 17-5.
Grand Rapids won for just the third time in its last 12 contests (3-9-0-0).
Ryan White tallied the lone goal for the Bulldogs, whose season-high winless skid extended to four games (0-2-1-1).
HERSHEY 7, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2
Hershey, which breezed to a 10-4 win at Albany on Friday, scored seven more times on Saturday and took a 7-2 win over visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in front of 10,672 fans at the Giant Center.
2010 AHL All-Star Alexandre Giroux put up two goals and an assist and now shows eight points (5-3-8) in the last two nights. Fellow AHL All-Star Keith Aucoin and defenseman Patrick McNeill each racked up a game-high four-points (1-3-4) in the victory
Both Aucoin and Giroux have registered a point in 10 straight contests, which represents an AHL season high.
Kyle Wilson also scored twice for the Bears, and Steve Pinizzotto rounded out the scoring. Boyd Kane chipped in a pair of helpers. Hershey goaltender Braden Holtby secured the win with 20 saves on 22 shots.
After a scoreless opening period, Manchester struck first when rookie Corey Elkins tallied a power play goal 4:34 into the second frame.
But the Sharks came back with a trio of special teams goals. Steven Zalewski and Dan DaSilva registered power play markers at 10:29 and 13:54, respectively, and Couture gave the Sharks the lead for good with a shorthanded strike at 18:11.
Mashinter extended Worcester’s lead to 4-1 midway through the third period, and then the Monarchs’ Viatcheslav Voynov and the Sharks’ McCarthy traded goals to account for the final margin, with McCarthy’s going into an empty net.
Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock earned the win with 27 saves between the pipes.
SPRINGFIELD 5, BINGHAMTON 2
Springfield put up its highest offensive output in a two-month span on Saturday en route to a 5-2 road win over Binghamton at the Broome County Arena.
The Falcons, who had not scored five goals in a game since a 6-2 triumph over Albany on Nov. 15, improved to 2-1-1-0 in their last four contests.
Marc Pouliot chipped in three assists and now has six points (1-5-6) in three games since joining the Falcons. Springfield goaltender Jean-Philippe Levasseur turned aside 38 of 40 shots in the winning effort.
2010 AHL All-Star Ryan Keller netted both goals for the Senators, who fell to 3-7-0-0 in their last 10 games.
ADIRONDACK 3, NORFOLK 1
Adirondack climbed out of a 1-0 second-intermission deficit to post a 3-1 road win over Norfolk at the Scope on Saturday.
The Phantoms swept their two-game visit to Virginia this weekend and have now won a season-high three straight games overall.
Ryan Dingle tied the game for Adirondack with an unassisted marker 3:18 into the third frame, and Rob Bellamy’s first goal of the season at 6:20 gave the Phantoms the lead for good. Krys Kolanos added an empty-netter in the closing minute.
Norfolk fell to 2-8-1-0 in its last 11 outings.
MILWAUKEE 6, MANITOBA 2
Milwaukee netted two goals in each period and took its second decisive win in as many nights over Manitoba, this one by a 6-2 final before 8,453 fans at the MTS Centre.
Colin Wilson led the way with four points (1-3-4) for the Admirals, who beat the Moose by a 7-2 count on Friday and swept the teams’ four-game season series.
Milwaukee rookie goaltender Chet Pickard earned the win with 21 saves in net, helping his club to its sixth victory in seven games (6-1-0-0).
PEORIA 4, ROCKFORD 3 (SO)
Ex-IceHog Pascal Pelletier’s fifth-round shootout conversion sent Peoria to a 4-3 win over visiting Rockford before 5,355 fans at Carver Arena.
Peoria forward Derek Armstrong scored twice in regulation, and Yan Stastny also potted a goal, as the Rivermen have put together back-to-back wins for the first time since its five-game streak from Dec. 9-19.
Rockford’s three-game winning streak came to an end.
HOUSTON 5, TORONTO 2
Houston jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a 5-2 win over visiting Toronto on Saturday in front of 8,843 fans at the Toyota Center.
Houston goaltender Wade Dubielewicz earned the victory with 30 saves on 32 shots, improving to .500 on the season at 9-9-0.
ROCHESTER 4, SYRACUSE 3
Rochester continued its dominance of Syracuse this season with a 4-3 road win over the Crunch on Saturday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
2010 AHL All-Star goaltender Alexander Salak earned the win with 29 saves for Rochester, which improved to 8-0-0-0 against Syracuse on the campaign.