ABBOTSFORD 1, ROCHESTER 0
Abbotsford goaltender Leland Irving made 29 saves for his third shutout and league-leading 15th win of the season as the Heat began a four-game road trip with a 1-0 win over Rochester on Tuesday at the Blue Cross Arena.
It marked the Heat’s first visit to Rochester since rallying from a 3-2 series deficit to win Games 6 and 7 of the teams’ 2010 North Division semifinal.
Ryan Stone, playing just his third game of the season, tallied the game’s only goal on the power play at 8:12 of the second period. T.J. Brodie and defenseman Keith Seabrook earned the assists on the goal by Stone, a 2008 Calder Cup finalist who played 27 games in the NHL with Edmonton last season (0-6-6).
It marked Stone’s first goal since scoring for the Springfield Falcons on Apr. 11, 2009, at Hartford.
Irving, who earned his second shutout in four appearances, improved to 15-8-1 (2.17, .916) in 26 appearances this season. The former first-round draft pick totaled 14 victories in 35 appearances for the Heat a season ago (14-17-2).
HOUSTON 3, HAMILTON 1
Brandon Buck broke a 1-1 tie with an unassisted goal – his first of the season – just 17 seconds into the third period, and Houston went on to a 3-1 road win over Hamilton at Copps Coliseum on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old Buck, in his second pro season, notched just his second career AHL goal and first since scoring for Norfolk on Apr. 11, 2009, at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Warren Peters added a late empty-net goal for the Aeros, who improved to 4-1-0-0 in their last five games and moved into fifth place in the tight West Division, just two points back of Peoria for second.
After a scoreless first period, rookie Alexander Avtsin gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead 8:48 into the second, but it was a short-lived lead as Houston’s Robbie Earl answered just 35 seconds later with his eighth marker of the season.
Aeros rookie goaltender Matt Hackett earned the victory with 24 saves on 25 shots, capturing his first win since defeating Chicago on Nov. 17.
Hamilton still leads the North Division by one point over Abbotsford but dropped to 2-4-0-0 in its last six contests.
MANITOBA 3, TEXAS 1
Marco Rosa snapped a 1-1 tie at 7:57 of the third period as Manitoba concluded a four-game road trip with a 3-1 win over Texas at the Cedar Park Center on Tuesday in a battle of the Western Conference’s last two playoff champions.
Mario Bliznak sealed the victory with a last-minute empty-net marker for the Moose, who salvaged one victory on their trip (1-2-0-1) and will open a six-game homestand with a pair of tilts against Houston this weekend at the MTS Centre.
The Stars, playing their sixth game in an eight-day span, have now dropped back-to-back contests in regulation for the first time since a season-worst four-game slide from Oct. 30 to Nov. 6.