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Stars grab final playoff berth

The Iowa Stars claimed the 16th and final berth in the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 shootout victory in Peoria on Friday night.

The Stars will be the fourth seed in the West Division, and open their first postseason next Friday in either Milwaukee or Houston.

Nicklas Grossman scored the tying goal three minutes into the third period, and the Stars bench celebrated their achievement on the bench at the end of regulation. Iowa needed a single point to eliminate Omaha from contention and secure fourth place in the West.

Toby Petersen recorded a goal and an assist for the Stars, while Mike Smith finished the night with 40 saves before denying all four Rivermen attempts in the shootout.

Elsewhere on Friday:

  • Grand Rapids secured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy and the best record in the AHL for the 2005-06 regular season as Tomas Kopecky had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win over San Antonio
  • A crowd of 17,653 fans at the Bradley Center — the largest gathering for a regular-season AHL game in more than five years — saw Simon Gamache and Darren Haydar record a goal and an assist each as Milwaukee edged Chicago, 3-2
  • Matt Foy scored twice in regulation and Roman Voloshenko converted twice in the shootout as Houston remained two points out of first place in the West with a 5-4 win over Omaha
  • On the day he was presented the "Baz" Bastien Award as the AHL’s top goaltender, Dany Sabourin made 21 saves to lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton past Bridgeport, 3-0
  • Barry Brust stopped 29 shots as Manchester moved back into third place in the Atlantic Division with a 4-1 victory over Lowell
  • Al Montoya made 25 saves for Hartford in a 3-1 win at Providence
  • Tomas Fleischmann and Lawrence Nycholat picked up a goal and an assist each as Hershey topped the 100-point mark with a 4-1 win in Philadelphia
  • Martin St. Pierre, Eric Meloche and Matt Keith recorded a goal and an assist apiece to lead Norfolk past Binghamton, 6-2
  • Jeremy Williams scored twice as Toronto doubled up Hamilton, 4-2
  • Pierre Parenteau recorded a goal and an assist to lead Portland past Springfield, 3-1
  • Matt Hendricks snapped a tie with 3:04 left in regulation, sending Rochester to a 3-1 win over Syracuse