MANCHESTER 2, PROVIDENCE 0
Making his first start since Dec. 5, rookie goaltender Jeff Zatkoff registered a 36-save shutout as Manchester took a 2-0 win over Providence on Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Monarchs captured their third straight win and moved to 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 contests.
The victory moved Manchester to 23-9-1-2 (.700) for a league-leading 49 points on the season. By virtue of having the AHL’s second-best points percentage at the cut-off date, fourth-year Monarchs head coach Mark Morris and assistant Scott Pellerin will coach the PlanetUSA AHL All-Stars at the Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic in Portland on Jan. 18-19.
Hershey (.727) currently boasts the league’s top points percentage, but Bears coaches Mark French and Troy Mann are already slated to lead the Canadian AHL All-Star squad by virtue of the Bears’ 2009 Calder Cup championship.
Zatkoff (7-2-0) earned his second shutout of the season and Manchester’s sixth as a team, including three in its last five games. Zatkoff’s first shutout also came against the Bruins, a 31-save effort in a 3-0 victory on Oct. 24.
Providence dropped its third straight game and fell to 1-6-0-0 in its last seven contests.
LAKE ERIE 7, TORONTO 0
Lake Erie matched a season high with seven goals and rolled to a 7-0 road win over Toronto on Sunday at Ricoh Coliseum, giving the Monsters a sweep of the teams’ home-and-home set this weekend.
The suddenly surging Monsters have won four straight games overall, outscoring opponents 20-6 over that span. Lake Erie’s winning streak is its longest since a five-game run from Feb. 20-28, 2009.
Darren Haydar paced the Monsters’ offense with two goals, an assist, and seven shots on goal. Ryan Stoa (1-2-3) and T.J. Hensick (0-3-3) joined Haydar with three points on the day, Cedric McNicoll also scored twice, while defenseman Ray Macias and captain Brian Willsie rounded out the offense.
The Marlies dropped their third straight game and fell to 1-5-1-0 in their last seven outings.
HERSHEY 7, NORFOLK 1
Keith Aucoin notched two goals and an assist as Hershey rolled to another victory, a 7-1 decision over visiting Norfolk on Sunday before 10,601 fans at the Giant Center.
Aucoin converted a penalty shot attempt 10:48 into the contest and then made it a 2-0 game at 5:13 of the second frame. The four-time AHL All-Star is now tied for the league lead with 16 goals (16-19-35) in 26 games for the season and shows 7-4-11 in his last six outings.
The Bears received goals from a trio of defensemen, as Patrick Wellar, Greg Amadio, and captain Bryan Helmer each lit the lamp, with Wellar and Amadio scoring for the first time all year. Francois Bouchard and Boyd Kane rounded out Hershey’s offense.
Hershey extended its winning streak to a season-high six games and improved to 23-8-0-2 (48 points) on the campaign.
Mark Parrish scores for the Admirals, who will seek revenge when they host Hershey on Tuesday night.
HARTFORD 4, SPRINGFIELD 3 (OT)
AHL leading scorer Corey Locke lit the lamp 1:09 into overtime, propelling Hartford to a 4-3 road win over Springfield on Sunday at the MassMutual Center.
Locke, who also picked up an assist on the night, now shows 41 points (15-26-41) in 34 contests for the Wolf Pack, including a team-high four game-winning goals.
Andres Ambuhl, Brodie Dupont, and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (1-1-2) also scored for Hartford, which overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to pull out the victory in the first meeting between the teams since Oct. 17.
Wolf Pack goaltender Steve Valiquette earned the victory with 28 saves in net, helping Hartford capture just its third win in its last 12 contests (3-5-1-3).
WORCESTER 3, LOWELL 2
Worcester grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second period and held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Lowell on Sunday at the DCU Center.
The Sharks improved to 10-2-0-1 in their last 13 games and won for the first time in three tries against Lowell at home this season. The Devils had won the teams’ first two DCU Center clashes by a combined score of 14-8.
Rookies Logan Couture and Brandon Mashinter netted goals for the Sharks, as did third-year pro Andrew Desjardins. Mashinter’s goal at 6:58 of the third period turned out to be the game-winner, his first of the year.
ROCKFORD 6, CHICAGO 4
Rockford netted three third-period goals to rally for a 6-4 road win over Chicago on Sunday before 8,920 fans at Allstate Arena.
Jassen Cullimore, Daryl Boyle, and Evan Brophey also scored in the victory, while Pete MacArthur (0-3-3), Bracken Kearns (0-2-2), Rob Klinkhammer (0-2-2), and defenseman Brian Connelly (0-2-2) each posted multiple assists.
Rockford won for just the third time in 14 all-time regular-season visits to Chicago (3-8-2-1) and improved to 5-2-0-1 overall against its cross-state rivals this season.
IceHogs goaltender Joe Fallon picked up the win with 33 saves on 37 shots.
PEORIA 5, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Julian Talbot netted two goals and added an assist for a season-high three points as Peoria cruised to a 5-1 road win over Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena.
Peoria improved to 6-1-0-0 in its last seven games and is 2-1-0-0 thus far on a five-game road swing.
Defenseman Jakub Kindl scored for the Griffins, who have now lost three straight games for the first time since a four-game skid from Oct. 10-18.
SAN ANTONIO 4, TEXAS 1
San Antonio rebounded from a 1-0 first-period deficit to post a 4-1 win over visiting Texas on Sunday at the AT&T Center.
Kyle Turris, Ryan Hollweg, Brett MacLean, and MacGregor Sharp all netted goals for the Rampage. Hollweg’s first goal of the season – a power play marker at 15:07 of the second period – turned out to be the game-winner.
San Antonio finished 2-for-5 with the man advantage, and Rampage goaltender Josh Tordjman secured the win with a season-high 44 saves in net.
The Rampage won for the fourth time in their last five games (4-1-0-0) and are now just two games below the .500 mark overall (13-15-3-1).
Warren Peters initially staked Texas to a 1-0 lead on the power play 12:47 into the contest. The West Division-leading Stars fell to 1-4-0-0 in their last five contests.
ROCHESTER 5, BINGHAMTON 3
Rochester scored five times over the final 40 minutes and came away with a 5-3 win over visiting Binghamton at the Blue Cross Arena on Sunday.
Michal Repik and team leading scorer Jamie Johnson each had two assists, and Amerks goaltender Ryan Mior earned the win with 33 saves between the pipes. Rochester now boasts back-to-back victories for the first time since Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
Senators forwards Josh Hennessy and Martin St. Pierre both posted a goal and an assist, and captain Denis Hamel also scored. Defenseman Paul Baier picked up two helpers in the loss, as Binghamton fell to 1-3-0-0 against Rochester this season.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3, ALBANY 2
Mark Letestu and Nick Johnson scored less than three minutes apart in the third period, lifting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 3-2 road win over Albany at the Times Union Center.
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the final 20 minutes, but Letestu lit the lamp at 4:07 and Johnson followed at the 6:39 mark. Dustin Jeffrey assisted on both markers.
Albany’s Chris Terry pulled his club within 3-2 at 12:41, but the River Rats could not get the equalizer. Mike Angelidis also scored for the River Rats, who dropped two straight to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on the weekend.
Letestu finished with two goals and an assist for the Penguins, and Johnson (1-1-2) also registered multiple points. Pens goaltender Adam Berkhoel stopped 24 of 26 shots in the winning effort.
MANITOBA 4, ABBOTSFORD 1
Manitoba scored the game’s first four goals and cruised to a 4-1 win over visiting Abbotsford on Sunday before 7,748 fans at the MTS Centre.
Defenseman Brian Salcido put the Moose on top with a power play strike just 2:05 into the contest. Manitoba then took command with a trio of second-period tallies, as Michael Grabner and defensemen Nathan McIver and Evan Oberg found the back of the net. McIver and Oberg registered their first goals of the campaign.
The Heat finally got on the board when Kris Chucko converted a power play opportunity with 3:42 left in regulation.
The North Division rivals will square off for a rematch on Monday night in Winnipeg.