HOUSTON 6, HARTFORD 1
Goaltender Nolan Schaefer made 32 saves and added a pair of assists to win his sixth consecutive start as Houston defeated Hartford by a 6-1 score on Wednesday at the Hartford Civic Center. The Aeros extended their season-high winning streak to five games, while the Wolf Pack suffered their first regulation loss since Nov. 21 (7-0-0-1).
Erik Reitz scored power play goals in both the second and third periods, with Schaefer earning assists on both. They marked Schaefer’s first two points of the season, already matching a career high. He also tallied two assists in 2005-06 with the Cleveland Barons.
Reitz extended his team-leading totals in goals (7), points (17), and power play goals (5).
The game remained scoreless through the first period and most of the second, until Reitz gave Houston a 1-0 lead at 15:05. Steve Kelly made it 2-0 just 1:35 later, at the 16:40 mark.
The Aeros blew the game open with four goals in the final stanza. Ryan Hamilton and Cal Clutterbuck notched even strength goals, Reitz scored with the man-advantage, and Troy Riddle rounded out the Houston offense with an unassisted, shorthanded goal.
Wolf Pack leading goal-scorer Greg Moore (15-13-28) netted a shorthanded marker of his own at 16:58, ending Schaefer’s shutout bid.
Schaefer, who moved to 8-4-0 on the season, has posted a 1.47 GAA and .944 save percentage during his current six-game winning streak.
GRAND RAPIDS 2, HAMILTON 1 (SO)
Garrett Stafford scored in the shootout’s fifth round to lift Grand Rapids over visiting Hamilton at the Van Andel Arena.
Mark Cullen and Mark Hartigan also scored in the shootout for the Griffins. Goaltender Jimmy Howard allowed goals on Hamilton’s first two tries, then stopped the next three to secure the win. He made 20 saves through regulation and overtime.
Defenseman Jakub Kindl netted the Griffins’ lone regulation goal at 9:05 of the second period, unassisted and on the power play.
Jimmy Bonneau, just up from Cincinnati of the ECHL, scored his first career AHL goal for Hamilton.
SYRACUSE 4, LAKE ERIE 1
Syracuse received a goal and an assist from both Joakim Lindstrom and Derek MacKenzie on its way to a 4-1 victory over host Lake Erie at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Lindstrom, who leads the Crunch with 12 goals and 26 points, played in his first game back with Syracuse following a three-game stint with parent-club Columbus in which he notched one goal.
Chris Stewart scored the Monsters’ only goal of the game.
PROVIDENCE 6, LOWELL 5 (SO)
Providence went 3-for-3 in the shootout to take a 6-5 win over visiting Lowell in a back-and-forth game at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
ALBANY 4, BRIDGEPORT 3
Albany staked itself to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 4-3 road victory over Bridgeport at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Casey Borer led the River Rats’ offense with a pair of goals on just three shots, and he also contributed an assist.
QUAD CITY 4, SAN ANTONIO 2
Quad City scored three times in a 3:48 span during the third period to take a 4-2, come-from-behind victory over host San Antonio at the AT&T Center.
Kris Chucko notched the game’s first goal just 1:05 after the opening face-off and finished plus-3 on the night.
Quad City rookie goaltender Matt Keetley made 27 saves, improving to 4-2-1 on the season and 3-0-0 in his last three starts. The Flames are 11-4-0-0 in their last 15 games overall.