ROCHESTER 3, PORTLAND 2 (SO)
Mike York scored the tying goal with just 1.3 seconds left in regulation and then notched the decisive shootout goal as Rochester edged red-hot Portland by a 3-2 count on Sunday at Blue Cross Arena for its 2,000th win in franchise history.
Currently in their 54th season of play, the Americans joined the Hershey Bears as the only AHL franchises to reach 2,000 regular-season victories and snapped a four-game losing skid in the process.
The teams traded goals in the opening period. Ex-Amerk Marc-Andre Gragnani gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead just 3:26 into the contest, but Rochester’s Jeff Taffe notched a power play goal at 10:47, his 20th marker of the campaign.
Felix Schutz put the Pirates back on top at 2:22 of the third period, only to watch York’s late tally send the tilt to overtime.
Rochester goaltender Alexander Salak stopped 20 shots through the first 65 minutes. He surrendered shootout goals to Drew Schiestel and Tyler Ennis in the first two rounds before stopping Portland’s next three shooters.
The Pirates’ franchise-record 11-game winning streak came to an end, but Portland earned a point to move into sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division.
HERSHEY 5, ALBANY 3
Hershey’s Francois Bouchard broke a 3-3 tie with a pair of third-period goals, and the Bears went on to a record-setting 5-3 win over visiting Albany on Sunday before 9,166 fans at the Giant Center.
The Bears set a new American Hockey League record by winning their 20th consecutive home game, which represents half of their entire regular-season home schedule.
Hershey, which has not lost at Giant Center since Nov. 28, eclipsed a 19-game home winning streak achieved by the 1996-97 Philadelphia Phantoms.
HAMILTON 5, ADIRONDACK 0
Brock Trotter and Tom Pyatt each registered two goals and an assist on Sunday as Hamilton blanked Adirondack by a 5-0 final before a crowd of 15,529 fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal, home of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.
It marked the largest crowd for a home game in the Bulldogs’ 14-year-history.
Bulldogs goaltender Cedrick Desjardins made 16 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and Hamilton’s 10th as a team, tying Manchester for the league lead.
Adirondack suffered its seventh shutout of the season and fell to 2-4-0-0 in its last six outings.
BRIDGEPORT 2, HARTFORD 1
Bridgeport defenseman Brendan Witt broke a 1-1 tie at 11:53 of the third period, and the Sound Tigers held on for a 2-1 win over visiting Hartford at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
A veteran of 890 career NHL games – including 42 this season with the parent N.Y. Islanders – Witt tallied his first AHL goal since the 1996-97 season, when he was a member of the Portland Pirates.
After a scoreless first period, Greg Mauldin put Bridgeport on top with his team-leading 20th goal of the season 1:23 into the second frame, a power play marker. But Hartford’s Corey Locke responded with his own man-advantage tally before the period was out.
Mauldin picked up an assist on Witt’s game-winner, and defenseman Mark Flood helped out on both Sound Tiger goals.
Bridgeport goaltender Nathan Lawson earned the win with 21 saves, helping the Sound Tigers move to 3-1-0-0 in their last four contests.
Hartford lost for the sixth time in its last seven outings (1-6-0-0) and fell four points back of Bridgeport for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4, MANCHESTER 2
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton struck for a pair of third period goals and doubled up host Manchester by a 4-2 count on Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Penguins extended their season-high winning streak to six games and earned a split of their two-game season series with the Monarchs.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender John Curry earned the victory with 25 saves in net.
Justin Azevedo notched both goals for the Monarchs.
CHICAGO 7, SAN ANTONIO 4
Chicago rallied for four goals in the third period and pulled out a 7-4 win over visiting San Antonio before 8,616 fans at Allstate Arena on Sunday.
Wolves defenseman Paul Postma finished with a hat trick and four points on the afternoon, including a pair of tallies as part of the four-goal third period.
Joey Crabb (0-3-3), Anthony Stewart (0-2-2), Jason Krog (0-2-2), and defenseman Jamie Hunt (0-2-2) all had multiple assists in the victory, which was Chicago’s eighth in a row. The Wolves also extended their points streak to 14 games (12-0-0-2).
GRAND RAPIDS 5, TEXAS 4
Five different Grand Rapids skaters tallied goals, and the Griffins held off visiting Texas by a 5-4 count on Sunday at Van Andel Arena.
The Griffins spotted the Stars a 2-0 first-period lead but responded with a trio of goals in the middle frame. Tomas Tatar, Doug Janik (1-1-2), and Jeremy Williams (1-1-2) scored that period for the Griffins, while Patrick Rissmiller and Justin Abdelkader (1-1-2) added third-period strikes.
Griffins goaltender Daniel Larsson emerged with the victory after making 30 saves, helping his team halt a four-game winless skid (0-2-2-0).
Ex-Griffin Aaron Gagnon scored twice for the Stars, while Greg Rallo and defenseman Ethan Graham each had a goal and an assist. Texas fell to 2-2-0-0 on its five-game road trip, which concludes on Tuesday in Peoria.
ABBOTSFORD 5, PROVIDENCE 2
Shawn Weller scored twice – including the eventual game-winner – as Abbotsford took a 5-2 road win over Providence before 7,174 fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Sunday.
Weller’s second goal of the night at 1:49 of the third frame broke a 2-2 tie and marked the beginning of a three-goal period for the Heat, who improved to 7-1-0-1 in their last nine games.
Goaltender David Shantz stopped 41 of 43 shots in net for the Heat, who moved to 5-1-0-0 on their nine-game road trip, which continues on Wednesday in Bridgeport.
Trent Whitfield and defenseman Jeff Penner netted goals for the Bruins, with Jordan Knackstedt and rearguard Andy Wozniewski assisting on both. Providence has dropped three of four (1-3-0-0) on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
MILWAUKEE 4, ROCKFORD 1
Milwaukee built itself a 3-0 lead by the game’s midpoint and cruised to a 4-1 win over visiting Rockford on Sunday at the Bradley Center.
Triston Grant began the Admirals’ scoring halfway through the first period, and Milwaukee extended its lead to 3-0 when Dylan Hunter and Nick Spaling lit the lamp just 2:32 apart early in the second frame.
Rockford saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.
HOUSTON 4, PEORIA 1
Houston’s dormant offense came to life on Sunday in a much-needed 4-1 road win over Peoria on Sunday at Carver Arena.
The Aeros, who had totaled just four goals in their previous five contests, snapped a three-game losing skid and closed to within six points of Texas for the West Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Chad Rau, Colton Gillies, Duncan Milroy, and Danny Irmen all notched goals for the Aeros. Rau converted a penalty shot early in the second period, and Irmen sealed the win with a late empty-net marker.
Houston goaltender Barry Brust stopped 31 of 32 shots and improved to 6-4-0 in the AHL this season.
Derek Armstrong initially gave the Rivermen a 1-0 lead at 15:23 of the opening period.