HERSHEY 5, MANITOBA 1
Extending its points streak to nine games, Hershey closed to within six points of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the standings with a 5-1 win over Manitoba at Giant Center on Sunday afternoon.
At 31-14-4-3 (.673), the Bears trail only the Penguins for both first place in the East Division and the best record in the AHL.
Hershey is 8-0-0-1 in its last nine and 15-4-1-2 in 22 games since Keith Aucoin returned from the injured list on Dec. 17. The Bears are also 7-0-0-2 in their last nine at home.
Aucoin had two assists in Sunday’s win, giving him 477 for his AHL career and moving him into sole possession of 12th place all-time. Former Bears head coach Bruce Boudreau is next on the list with 483 career AHL assists.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for Manitoba, which closes out a seven-game road swing in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday night. The Moose remain one point ahead of Hamilton atop the North Division.
CHARLOTTE 4, PROVIDENCE 3
Drayson Bowman scored twice as part of a three-point afternoon, including the game-winner with 3:43 left in regulation, as Charlotte made its fourth one-goal lead of the game stand up for a 4-3 victory over visiting Providence on Sunday.
Trent Whitfield scored twice for the Bruins, who have lost three straight on the road.
The teams meet again in Charlotte on Tuesday.
PORTLAND 3, CONNECTICUT 2
T.J. Brennan’s goal with 3:12 left in the third period gave Portland a 3-2 win over Connecticut and a split of the teams’ weekend home-and-home series.
With the win, the Pirates closed to within two points of first-place Manchester in the Atlantic Division.
David Leggio finished with 33 saves, including 13 in the third period to preserve his fifth consecutive win in goal. Leggio is 3-0-0 against Connecticut this season.
LAKE ERIE 3, ABBOTSFORD 2
Lake Erie rode two quick strikes to victory over Abbotsford in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon.
Former Heat forward David Van der Gulik and Matthew Ford scored 14 seconds apart late in the first period to give the Monsters a 2-0 lead, and Kevin Montgomery’s goal in the middle frame proved to be the game-winner as Lake Erie improved to 4-1-0-1 in its last six games and 9-3-0-1 in its last 13.
The Monsters are now three points behind second-place Hamilton in the North Division, while the Heat fall to five points behind Lake Erie in the hunt for the division’s final guaranteed playoff spot.