CHARLOTTE 5, ADIRONDACK 2
Former first-round draft pick Zach Boychuk broke out of a prolonged scoring drought with a pair of goals and added an assist as Charlotte took over sole possession of third place in the East Division with a 5-2 win over Adirondack on Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Checkers, who head right back on the road for games in Connecticut and Portland this weekend, moved two points back up on Norfolk for third in the East standings, though the Admirals now hold four games in hand.
The 21-year-old Boychuk, drafted 14th overall by parent-club Carolina in 2008, matched his offensive output from the past 20 games combined with his two-goal performance on Tuesday.
Boychuk assisted on a Chris Terry power play goal late in the opening period before scoring a pair of man-advantage markers of his own in the second and third frames, his 18th and 19th AHL goals of the season.
Terry’s 29th goal of the campaign capped off a first-period in which Charlotte held a 14-2 shots advantage and emerged holding a 2-1 lead, with Mike McKenzie also finding the back of the net for his first career AHL goal.
Jacob Micflikier also scored for the Checkers; Cedric McNicoll and defenseman Michal Jordan each chipped in a pair of assists; and goaltender Justin Pogge (18-16-3) made 17 saves in the winning effort.
LAKE ERIE 2, ROCHESTER 1
In a game which was scoreless into the third period, Lake Erie got a pair of goals from defensemen and took over sole possession of first place in the North Division with a 2-1 over reeling Rochester on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Travis Gawryletz broke a 1-1 tie for the Monsters at 12:08 of the third frame, tallying his second goal in the last three games after totaling two markers in his first 62 outings this season. Matthew Ford and Zach Cohen picked up assists on the game-winner.
Goaltender Jason Bacashihua (19-15-3) earned the victory with 20 saves in net for the Monsters, who established a new franchise record with their sixth consecutive win.
Lake Erie, which is in its fourth AHL season and seeking its first trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs, is a remarkable 17-4-0-1 since Jan. 26 and now sits two points up on idle Manitoba in the North Division race.
Rochester dropped its third straight game and fell to 1-7-0-0 in its last eight contests.
WORCESTER 5, PORTLAND 4 (OT)
Worcester battled back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-2 in regulation, and John McCarthy struck 16 seconds into overtime as the Sharks boosted their playoff hopes with a 5-4 road win over Atlantic Division-leading Portland in a Tuesday matinee at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The victory lifted Worcester (33-26-4-8, 78 points) to within one point of Binghamton for the Eastern Conference’s crossover playoff spot and to within two points of Connecticut for the Atlantic Division’s third and final guaranteed postseason entry. Both the Senators and Whale are idle on Tuesday.
The Sharks had been outscored 19-7 in dropping their previous three visits to Portland, and this one looked to be more of the same as the Pirates jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead. Rookie Corey Trop got it started just 13 seconds after the opening face-off, and Derek Whitmore (15:09) and ex-Shark Dennis McCauley (16:05) followed up with two goals in a 56-second span.
Patrick Davis netted a late first-period shorthanded goal to put Worcester on the board, and Dan DaSilvas’s power play marker early in the second frame made it a 3-2 game. Paul Byron restored Portland’s two-goal edge at 5:03 with his 20th goal of the season, but Sharks defenseman Nick Schaus cut it to 4-3 less than eight minutes later.
Portland was fewer than four minutes away from earning the victory and clinching a playoff spot before defenseman Joe Loprieno netted his third goal of the campaign at 16:37 of the third period to send the tilt to overtime. McGinn and McCarthy picked up helpers on that marker.
MILWAUKEE 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (SO)
Milwaukee converted all four of its shootout attempts on Oklahoma City goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers and pulled out a 4-3 win over the visiting Barons on Tuesday at the Bradley Center.
Coupled with Houston’s 3-0 loss to Texas, the Milwaukee victory pushed the Admirals (38-19-5-8, 89 points) one point up on the Aeros for first place in the West Division, and Milwaukee still holds three games in hand.
Mark Santorelli, Mark Van Guilder, Gabriel Bourque, and Ryan Thang all nabbed shootout goals for the Admirals, and rookie goaltender Jeremy Smith stopped two of Oklahoma City’s three attempts after making 35 saves through the first 65 minutes.
Oklahoma City rookie Mark Arcobello netted the final game-tying goal on the power play with 3:27 left in regulation. Arcobello and defenseman Anthony Aiello each posted a goal and an assist on the night, while Andrew Lord struck for his first career AHL goal.
The Barons (36-26-2-8) moved one point up on idle Chicago and Peoria for the West Division’s fourth and final guaranteed playoff spot.
TEXAS 3, HOUSTON 0
Texas put the brakes on Houston’s four-game winning streak and maintained sole possession of third place in the West Division with a 2-0 win over visiting Houston on Tuesday in front of a sellout crowd of 6,863 fans at the Cedar Park Center.
Stars rookie goaltender Richard Bachman made 20 saves in net to record his sixth shutout of the season, moving him into third in the AHL in that category behind Binghamton’s Barry Brust and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Brad Thiessen, who have seven apiece.
Greg Rallo, Francis Wathier, and Travis Morin registered a goal apiece for the Stars, and Aaron Gagnon assisted on all three markers. Rallo and Morin each scored on the power play, and Wathier’s goal came shorthanded.
Texas secured just its third win in 12 meetings with Houston this season (3-6-2-1).
The Aeros, who dropped one point back of Milwaukee for first place in the West, suffered their first shutout since a 4-0 loss at San Antonio on Jan. 8.