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.
Grachev’s game-winner was assisted by David Urquhart and Jordan Owens. Grachev now shows 11 markers on the season, with six of them coming via three separate two-goal efforts.
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.
Paul Byron and 2010 AHL All-Star Nathan Gerbe scored in the fist two rounds for the Pirates before two-time AHL All-Star Mark Mancari clinched the victory with a fourth-round conversion.
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.
Defensemen Keith Aulie and Staffan Kronwall each contributed a pair of assists, and Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving earned the win after stopping all 14 shots he faced in relief.
Mike Bartlett posted a goal and an assist for the Monsters, and Matthew Ford and 2010 AHL All-Star T.J. Hensick also scored. Lake Erie’s four-game winning streak came to an end.
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.
Cory Emmerton registered a goal and an assist for the Griffins, while Francis Pare and rookie Tomas Tatar also found the back of the net.
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.
The Penguins received goals from Mark Letestu (1-1-2) and defenseman Chris Lee in the losing effort.
WORCESTER 5, MANCHESTER 2
Rookies Logan Couture, Brandon Mashinter, and John McCarthy all notched goals to help Worcester past visiting Manchester by a 5-2 count at the DCU Center.
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.
Ryan O’Marra notched a goal and an assist for the Falcons, Colin McDonald registered a goal, and Viacheslav Trukhno scored twice late in the third period to put the game away.
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.
Adirondack goaltender John Grahame stopped 28 of 29 shots in the winning effort, only surrendering a goal to the Admirals’ Ryan Craig late in the second period.
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.
Chris Mueller scored twice and added an assist in the win, and the Admirals also got goals from Peter Olvecky (1-1-2), Mike Santorelli (1-1-2), and defenseman Robert Dietrich.
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).
Marco Rosa (1-1-2) and 2010 AHL All-Star Sergei Shirokov found the back of the net for the Moose, who dropped to 0-3-0-1 in their last four home games.
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.
Nicholas Drazenovic also notched a shootout goal for the Rivermen, and goaltender Hannu Toivonen stopped four of Rockford’s five tries after making 31 saves through regulation and overtime.
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.
Bracken Kearns, Matt Keith, and Evan Brophey notched regulation goals for the IceHogs, and rookie Akim Aliu scored their lone shootout marker.
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.
Aeros forward Nathan Smith paced the offense with two goals and an assist, and J.P. Testwuide also had three points on the night with a goal and two helpers.
Matt Kassian and Jean-Michel Daoust also potted goals for Houston, and 2010 AHL All-Star defenseman Maxim Noreau chipped in two assists and a game-high seven shots on goal.
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.
Jeff Taffe paced the Americans with two goals in the victory, defenseman Clay Wilson posted a goal and an assist, and Michal Repik also found the back of the net.
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.
Maksim Mayorov, Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman, and Derek MacKenzie all scored for the Crunch, whose season-high four-game winning streak and six-game points streak (5-0-0-1) both came to an end.