LAKE ERIE 7, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Lake Erie erupted for five goals in the second period and seven in all en route to a 7-2 road win over Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena on Sunday.
Justin Mercier led the way with two goals and an assist, helping the Monsters improve to 7-1-0-0 in their last eight games.
Mercier, a 22-year-old rookie, registered his second two-goal game in as many days after going his first 31 outings this season without finding the back of the net.
Mercier gave Lake Erie a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission and then began the Monsters’ second-period barrage just 17 seconds in. Tom Preissing followed at the 56-second mark, Marty Sertich made it 4-0 with a shorthanded marker at 5:17, and Wed O’Neill’s first goal of the year extended the edge to 5-0.
O’Neill, Bartlett, Sertich, Preissing, and Stoa all finished with a goal and an assist for Lake Erie, and former AHL All-Star T.J. Hensick chipped in two helpers. Monsters goaltender Billy Sauer earned the victory with 32 saves on 34 shots in net.
WORCESTER 4, BRIDGEPORT 3
Worcester grabbed leads of 2-0 and 4-1 and then held on for a 4-3 win over visiting Bridgeport on Sunday at the DCU Center.
The surging Sharks matched a season high with their sixth straight win and have now emerged victorious in 14 of their last 17 games (14-2-0-1). Worcester also won six in a row from Nov. 21 to Dec. 4.
T.J. Trevelyan led the Worcester offense with a goal and two assists, while Dwight Helminen and Cory Quirk each posted a goal and a helper. Rookie Benn Ferriero also found the back of the net for Worcester.
HERSHEY 4, ADIRONDACK 1
Keith Aucoin notched two goals and an assist as Hershey cruised to another victory, this one by a 4-1 decision over visiting Adirondack before 7,646 fans at the Giant Center.
Aucoin, who will be making his fifth straight AHL All-Star appearance later this month, tallied his 18th and 19th goals of the season to put him atop the league in that category. Aucoin now shows five goals and 11 points over his last five games.
Bears captain Bryan Helmer posted a goal and an assist, and Andrew Gordon also scored in the victory. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 28 of 29 shots to pick up the win in the first appearance of his rehab stint from parent-club Washington.
The Bears captured their 10th consecutive win, one short of the franchise-record 11 in a row that they won last season from Nov. 14 to Dec. 7, 2008. Hershey is now 27-8-0-2 (56 points) overall.
Stefan Legein tallied his team-leading 17th goal of the year for the Phantoms.
HARTFORD 2, SYRACUSE 1 (SO)
Hartford converted on all three of its shootout tries and captured a 2-1 win over visiting Syracuse on Sunday at the XL Center.
Wolf Pack shooters Corey Locke, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, and defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen all beat Syracuse goaltender Kevin Lalande, and Hartford’s Chad Johnson stopped all three Crunch attempts after making 30 saves through the first 65 minutes.
Jared Aulin gave Syracuse a 1-0 lead at 8:28 of the opening period. It looked like that slim lead might hold up, but Heikkinen’s sixth tally of the season tied it up for Hartford with 8:52 to play in regulation. Locke and Parenteau picked up helpers.
The Wolf Pack matched a season high by capturing their fourth straight victory, while Syracuse failed in its attempt at winning consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 27-28.
HAMILTON 6, MILWAUKEE 4
Hamilton battled back from four separate one-goal deficits to prevail over visiting Milwaukee by a 6-4 count at Copps Coliseum on Sunday.
Milwaukee grabbed leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3, but could not hold any of them. Ryan White, Greg Stewart, and Ben Maxwell each tallied two goals for the Bulldogs. White notched both of his in the third period, including the game-winner at 11:03.
Admirals forward Colin Wilson registered a goal and two assists in the losing effort. Ben Guite and defensemen Nolan Yonkman and Reid Cashman also scored for Milwaukee, which is now winless in three straight games (0-2-0-1).
LOWELL 5, SPRINGFIELD 2
Patrick Davis notched two goals in a 46-second span during the second period, propelling Lowell to a 5-2 win over visiting Springfield at Tsongas Arena.
Davis broke a 2-2 deadlock at 16:54 of the middle period and then gave the Devils insurance with his 10th goal of the season at 17:40. Devils rookie Nick Palmieri scored the only goal for either side in the third frame.
PORTLAND 4, PROVIDENCE 0
Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth matched a season high with 39 saves in a shutout performance as the Pirates took a 4-0 road win over Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Enroth moved to 12-11-1 with his third shutout of the season, one of which was also a 39-save effort in a 2-0 win at Manchester on Dec. 2.
Ennis registered his second straight three-point outing and now shows 12 points (3-9-12) in his last six contests.
The Bruins lost for the eighth time in their last 11 contests (3-8-0-0).
ABBOTSFORD 4, HOUSTON 3 (OT)
David Van der Gulik scored 2:07 into overtime, lifting Abbotsford to a 4-3 road win over Houston in a back-and-forth game at the Toyota Center.
But Houston’s Danny Irmen notched the equalizer with just 1:13 to play in regulation, sending the contest to overtime.
The Heat salvaged a 2-2-0-1 mark on their five-game road trip and will open a stretch of eight straight games at home when they welcome Texas for a pair of tilts next weekend.