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Sun. roundup: Surging Norfolk grabs OT win

Sunday’s AHL Boxscores

NORFOLK 3, SPRINGFIELD 2 (OT)
Defenseman Mike Vernace registered two goals – including the game-winner 1:43 into overtime – and added an assist as Norfolk edged Springfield by a 3-2 count on Sunday at the MassMutual Center to complete a perfect 3-0-0-0 weekend on the road.

The Admirals, who also beat Manchester and Portland on the weekend, wrapped up their six-game road trip at 5-1-0-0 and climbed to 15-6-3-1 (34 points) for the season, good for a five-point bulge over Hershey and Charlotte for second place in the East Division.

Vernace, who entered with just six points (3-3-6) on the year, scored Norfolk’s first goal of the game late in the second period before notching a power play tally in the extra session. Blair Jones and Chris Durno each assisted on the game-winner for their second helpers of the contest.

Alex Berry also scored for Norfolk, and goaltender Dustin Tokaraki made 22 saves in net to move his season record back to .500 at 5-5-0.

Michael Blunden tallied a power play goal to give Springfield a 1-0 first-period advantage. After Norfolk went up 2-1, Jay Pandolfo sent the game to overtime when he found the back of the net with just 20 seconds left in regulation.

The Admirals, who have played 18 of their first 25 games on the road, return home to battle Syracuse on Wednesday.

MILWAUKEE 5, PEORIA 4 (OT)
Milwaukee blew a 4-0 lead over the second half of regulation but righted the ship and came away with a 5-4 victory at Peoria when Teemu Laakso scored just his second goal of the season at 2:17 of overtime.

Chris Mueller and Jamie Lundmark (0-2-2) picked up assists on Laakso’s game-winner, which lifted the Admirals to 4-1-0-1 in their last six contests.

Milwaukee jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the 11:55 mark of the second period, as defenseman Aaron Johnson (2-1-3) scored twice and Linus Klasen (1-1-2) and rookie Blake Geoffrion (1-1-2) once apiece.

Defenseman Nathan Oystrick, who finished with a game-high four points (2-2-4) on the night, began Peoria’s comeback when he lit the lamp just 39 seconds after Geoffrion’s goal.

It remained a 4-1 score until Derek Nesbitt and rookie Nikita Nikitin notched power play goals 13 seconds apart midway through the third frame, and Oystrick recorded the equalizer with 1:39 to go in the game.

The Rivermen’s four-game winning streak came to an end, but Peoria has now earned at least a point in nine consecutive contests (7-0-2-0).

Admirals rookie goaltender Jeremy Smith captured the victory with 31 saves in net.

SYRACUSE 3, CHARLOTTE 2
Syracuse rallied for a pair of third-period strikes to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 road win over Charlotte on Sunday at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Stefan Chaput, who spent the past two seasons playing for the Charlotte franchise when it was known as the Albany River Rats, scored the game-winner for the Crunch with 2:23 to go in regulation. Trevor Smith had pulled Syracuse even 2:37 into the third frame.

Patrick Maroon posted a goal and an assist for the Crunch, who have now won two of three (2-1-0-0) after suffering seven straight defeats (0-6-0-1).

Syracuse goaltender Timo Pielmeier earned the victory with 34 saves on 36 shots in net.

Jerome Samson (13th goal of the season) and Chris Terry (11th) found the back of the net for the Checkers, who will look for revenge when the teams meet in a rematch on Monday night.

CHICAGO 5, TORONTO 1
Defenseman Mark Matheson scored the eventual game-winning goal and added an assist as Chicago cooled off Toronto with a 5-1 road win over the Marlies on Sunday.

The Wolves added to their own hot streak in the process, moving to 7-2-0-0 in nine games since beginning the year with a 6-11-1-0 mark.

Matheson and Patrice Cormier each scored his first goal of the season for Chicago. Matheson’s tally came shorthanded, and for Cormier, it marked his first as a professional.

Matheson and Cormier each added an assist on the afternoon, and the Wolves also got goals from Nigel Dawes, Jared Ross, and Andrew Kozek. Peter Mannino (8-4-0) made 21 saves and surrendered just one goal for the third time in his last four outings.

Dale Mitchell scored that goal for the Marlies, whose five-game winning streak came to an end in the finale of a four-game homestand.

WORCESTER 6, PORTLAND 4
Worcester constructed a 6-1 lead by 13 seconds into the third period and then withstood a Portland rally to defeat the Pirates by a 6-4 final on Sunday at the DCU Center.

Steven Zalewski paced the Sharks offense with a goal and two assists in this one after recording just two assists in his previous 12 contests.

Worcester forward T.J. Trevelyan had a goal and an assist, while the Sharks also received goals from forwards Cameron MacIntyre and Kevin Henderson along with defensemen Nick Shaus and Sean Sullivan.

Jonathan Cheechoo chipped in two assists in the winning effort, and Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock turned aside 26 of 30 shots to earn his 11th win of the season (11-8-2), moving him into a share of the league lead in that category.

The Sharks extended their points streak to three games (2-0-0-1) and moved within a point of the second-place Pirates in the Atlantic Division race.

The Pirates fell behind 4-0 before Derek Whitmore put them on the board late in the second frame. After allowing two more goals, Portland got third-period scores from Nick Crawford, Mark Mancari, and Corey Tropp, but the comeback fell short.

Portland dipped to 1-4-0-1 in its last six games.

ALBANY 4, ADIRONDACK 2
Trevor Kell recorded a goal and an assist for his first AHL points of the season as Albany kept Adirondack reeling with a 4-2 win over the visiting Phantoms on Sunday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Kell, who shows 11 points (5-6-11) in nine games with the Devils’ ECHL affiliate in Trenton this season, scored an unassisted shorthanded marker early in the third period which wound up standing as the game-winner.

Nick Palmieri, Adam Henrique, and Michael Swift also potted goals for the Devils, and Jeff Frazee stopped 26 of 28 shots between the pipes.

Luke Pither and defenseman Kevin Marshall scored for the Phantoms, who lost their 10th straight game (0-9-1-0) and fell to 3-20-2-0 on the season.

SAN ANTONIO 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (OT)
Mathieu Beaudoin scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season with San Antonio on a power play at 2:35 of overtime, lifting the Rampage to a 3-2 road win over Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena.

San Antonio collected its third straight win, emerged victorious for the 10th time in its last 12 games (10-2-0-0), and moved to 18-6-1-0 for the season.

Andrew Ebbett and Petr Prucha tallied regulation goals for the Rampage, who erased a pair of one-goal deficits en route to defeating the Griffins for the second time in as many days.

Rampage goaltender Matt Climie (11-4-0) stopped 29 of 31 shots between the pipes.

Derek Meech (power play) and defenseman Travis Ehrhardt (shorthanded) recorded special-teams goals for the Griffins, who lost in overtime for the first time this season (10-10-1-4).

PROVIDENCE 2, MANCHESTER 1
Providence brought an end to its four-game losing skid on Sunday by eking out a 2-1 victory over visiting Manchester at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.

Second-year pro Jamie Arniel and rookie Joe Colborne provided the Bruins’ offense on the afternoon. Arniel registered his team-best 10th goal of the season, and Colborne’s power play marker – which stood as the game-winner – gave him seven tallies for the year.

Justin Azevedo brought the Monarchs within 2-1 at 7:22 of the third period, but Manchester was unable to get the equalizer and fell for just the third time in its last 12 games (9-3-0-0).

Bruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 shots in the winning effort, and Manchester’s Jeff Zatkoff took the tough-luck loss despite making a season-high 45 saves.