CHICAGO 7, GRAND RAPIDS 4
Joey Crabb, who had just two points (1-1-2) in his previous 16 games, struck for a goal and two assists as Chicago stormed past Grand Rapids by a 7-4 final on Saturday at Van Andel Arena.
The Wolves erupted for four first-period goals en route to the victory. Crabb joined Riley Holzapfel, Johnny Pohl, and Brett Sterling in netting first-period goals for Chicago. Both Crabb and Sterling scored unassisted, with Sterling notching his team-leading 16th marker of the campaign.
Chicago, which has now won back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game run from Nov. 21-25, produced its largest offensive output since a 7-1 win over Abbotsford on Oct. 24.
Wolves goaltender Peter Mannino earned the victory with 31 saves on 35 shots.
WORCESTER 7, SPRINGFIELD 2
Worcester scored the game’s first five goals and rolled to a 7-2 home-ice win over skidding Springfield on Saturday at the DCU Center.
Sharks rookie Benn Ferriero racked up two goals and two assists for a game-high four points, giving him 14 points (6-8-14) in just 13 AHL contests this season.
Fellow rookie Logan Couture registered a goal and two helpers, and Worcester also received multiple points from John McCarthy (1-1-2), Steven Zalewski (1-1-2), Dan DaSilva (1-1-2), Joe Callahan (1-1-2), Mike Moore (0-3-3), and Andrew Desjardins (0-2-2).
Moore was a game-high plus-5 on the night, and Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock earned the victory with 19 saves in net.
LOWELL 5, PROVIDENCE 1
Rookie Michael Swift notched a pair of goals as Lowell took a 5-1 win over visiting Providence on Saturday before 4,586 fans at Tsongas Arena.
Alexander Vasyunov chipped in two assists for Lowell, and goaltender Jeff Frazee stopped 34 of 35 shots between the pipes to pick up his second straight win over the Bruins. The Devils improved to 5-1-0-0 in their last six games overall.
Trent Whitfield scored for Providence, which has lost five of its last six contests (1-5-0-0) and managed just seven goals over that span.
BRIDGEPORT 3, HARTFORD 2 (SO)
Rookie Justin DiBenedetto scored in regulation and then converted in the sixth shootout round to lift Bridgeport past visiting Hartford by a 3-2 count before 6,143 fans at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Saturday.
The Sound Tigers grabbed 1-0 and 2-1 leads in regulation on goals by DiBenedetto in the second period and Matt Martin – courtesy of a penalty shot – in the third frame.
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau notched the lone shootout goal for Hartford, which dropped to 2-5-1-3 in its last 11 outings.
HERSHEY 4, SYRACUSE 1
Hershey continued its latest surge on Saturday with a 4-1 win over visiting Syracuse before 9,005 fans at the Giant Center in the season’s first meeting between the teams.
The East Division-leading Bears (46 points) earned their fifth straight victory and improved to 7-1-0-0 in their last eight contests.
Trevor Frischmon scored for the struggling Crunch, who have lost five straight games in regulation and are just 2-8-0-0 in their last 10 outings.
MANCHESTER 2, PORTLAND 1 (OT)
Defenseman David Kolomatis scored just 31 seconds into overtime, propelling Manchester to a come-from-behind 2-1 road win over Portland at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier earned the victory with 27 saves in net, helping his first-place team to its seventh win in its last nine games (7-2-0-0).
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2, ALBANY 1
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton eked out a 2-1 win over visiting Albany on Saturday before 6,040 fans at the Wachovia Arena in the front end of a home-and-home set.
Wyatt Smith and Tyler Spurgeon scored for the Penguins in the first and second periods, respectively. Spurgeon’s marker was his first of the season, and both Wade Brookbank and Joey Haddad assisted on both goals.
The River Rats will seek revenge when the teams clash for a rematch at the Times Union Center on Sunday afternoon.
ROCHESTER 4, HAMILTON 2
Rochester rallied for a trio of third-period goals and doubled up visiting Hamilton by a 4-2 count before 7,043 fans at the Blue Cross Arena.
With the win, which snapped a four-game skid (0-3-1-0), the Americans (44 points) leapfrogged back past the Bulldogs (43 points) for first place in the North Division race.
Rochester defenseman Keaton Ellerby had a hand in all four goals, scoring once and chipping in three assists. Jeff Taffe potted a pair of goals for the Amerks, and Evgeny Dadonov also found the back of the net.
Taffe netted his two goals at 5:49 and 13:22 of the third period after Hamilton had taken a 2-1 lead, and Ellerby scored into an empty net in the closing seconds.
ADIRONDACK 3, BINGHAMTON 2
Adirondack erased a 2-0 deficit with three third-period goals and captured a 3-2 road win over Binghamton at the Broome County Arena on Saturday.
Phantoms goaltender Johan Backlund earned the win with 32 saves in net, as Adirondack improved to 4-1-0-0 in its last five outings and above .500 overall at 14-13-2-0 (29 points).
Drew Bannister and Erik Condra notched first-period goals for the Senators, who entered the game having outscored Adirondack 12-0 in winning their first two match-ups. Binghamton’s five-game home winning streak ended with the defeat.
LAKE ERIE 4, TORONTO 2
Darren Haydar scored twice and added an assist as Lake Erie captured a 4-2 win over visiting Toronto on Saturday before 8,041 fans at Quicken Loans Arena.
Haydar netted both of his goals by the time the game was 2:56 old. He scored at even strength 1:32 in and converted a Lake Erie power play at the 2:56 mark. T.J. Hensick assisted on both goals, two of his three helpers on the night.
Monsters goaltender Tyler Weiman (9-10-2), who has been between the pipes for all three wins, stopped 29 shots on Saturday.
ROCKFORD 4, MILWAUKEE 2
A pair of third-period goals lifted Rockford to a 4-2 win over visiting Milwaukee on Saturday before 4,285 fans at the MetroCentre.
IceHogs defenseman Brian Connelly (1-1-2) broke a 2-2 tie with a power play goal 9:17 into the third period, and forward Rob Klinkhammer sealed the Rockford victory with an empty-net tally in the game’s closing minute.
SAN ANTONIO 4, HOUSTON 2
San Antonio struck for three goals before the game was 10 minutes old and held on for a 4-2 road win over Houston before 6,323 fans at the Toyota Center.
Rookie Matt Watkins, who assisted on the Rampage’s first two goals, potted one of his own at the 9:05 mark to give San Antonio a 3-0 lead heading into intermission.
But neither team scored in the third frame until Watkins completed a four-point night (2-2-4) with an empty-net goal in the closing minutes.
Rampage goaltender Justin Pogge earned the win with 24 saves on 26 shots, improving to 3-2-0 on the campaign.