HAMILTON 2, LAKE ERIE 1
Newly named AHL All-Star Mark Olver tallied the game-winning goal in the third period and goaltender John Grahame stopped 25 of 26 shots as Lake Erie eked out a 2-1 road win over first-place Hamilton on Thursday at Copps Coliseum.
With the victory, the Monsters improved to 7-2-0-0 in their last nine games and moved into sole possession of third place in the North Division, two points up on Toronto.
Lake Erie forward Justin Mercier began the night’s scoring with an unassisted tally at 16:34 of the opening period, his eighth goal of the campaign. Hamilton answered back midway through the second frame when rookie Gabriel Dumont registered his third goal.
It remained a 1-1 contest until the 9:25 mark of the third frame, when Olver cashed in for his team-leading 19th goal of the season. The game-winner was assisted by Joel Chouinard and Kevin Montgomery.
Olver, who was named to the Western Conference All-Star team earlier on Thursday, has now recorded a goal in seven of his last nine outings (8-1-9).
Grahame, who preserved the win by stopping 14 of 14 shots in the third period alone, improved to 7-1-0 in his last eight appearances and has surrendered two or fewer goals in all but one of those outings.
Hamilton’s season-high six-game winning streak came to an end, as the Bulldogs fell for the first time since a 3-2 setback at Milwaukee on Jan. 9.
HERSHEY 4, SPRINGFIELD 3
The game had originally been scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed due to inclement weather in central Pennsylvania.
Hershey goaltender Dany Sabourin turned aside 25 of 28 shots between the pipes, helping the Bears to their fourth consecutive victory, which matches a season high achieved on two prior occasions. The Bears are now tied with Norfolk for second place in the East Division at 57 points apiece and hold two games in hand.