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Syracuse, Norfolk prevail in shootouts

Two of the four games on Wednesday’s AHL schedule were decided in extra-round shootouts, with Syracuse and Norfolk coming away with exciting victories.

In Wilkes-Barre, Alexander Svitov scored with 5:02 left in regulation — 67 seconds after the Penguins had taken the lead — to forge a 3-3 tie for the Crunch. After a scoreless overtime period, the Crunch held a 2-1 lead in the shootout when Erik Christensen converted for the Penguins to keep the game alive.

Mark Hartigan scored on Syracuse’s sixth try, but Michel Ouellet answered again for the Pens. Round 7 started with Matthias Trattnig beating Andy Chiodo, and ended with Christensen being denied by Pascal Leclaire to give the Crunch a 4-3 victory.

Syracuse is 2-0 in shootouts this season; Trattnig is 3-for-3 on attempts with two game-winning shootout goals.

In Norfolk, Scott Clemmensen made 45 saves for Albany, but allowed four goals on seven shootout attempts as the Admirals posted a 2-1 victory.

Jason Morgan and Igor Radulov scored in the fifth and sixth shootout rounds, respectively, to keep the game alive for Norfolk, and after Tuomas Pihlman failed leading off the seventh round, Matt Ellison converted to send the Scope crowd home happy.

There have now been seven shootouts in the AHL this season. These were the first two to extend as far as a seventh round of shooters.

Also on Wednesday, Antero Niittymaki made 22 saves and rookie Tony Voce had a goal and an assist as Philadelphia posted a 5-0 win over Bridgeport at the Wachovia Center, home of the NHL’s Flyers.

It was Niittymaki’s first shutout of the year and the eighth of his AHL career.

And in Chicago, Brad Larsen‘s hat trick powered the Wolves to a 7-1 romp over San Antonio.

Newcomer Lonny Bohonos had a goal and two assists in his Chicago debut, and Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves. Patrick DesRochers, getting the start in net for the Rampage on his 25th birthday, was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots in the first period.