MANITOBA 4, PEORIA 1
Eddie Lack earned his 12th win of the season – tops among AHL rookie goaltenders – with 33 saves on 34 shots to help Manitoba keep rolling with a 4-1 win over suddenly struggling Peoria on Tuesday before 7,543 fans at the MTS Centre.
Manitoba secured a sweep of its two-game set vs. the Rivermen and extended its overall winning streak to a season-high five straight games since a 5-4 shootout loss at San Antonio on Dec. 11.
The 22-year-old Lack has collected all five victories during the current streak and improved to 12-6-2 in 20 appearances for the season.
Sergei Shirokov, Lee Sweatt, Jonas Andersson, and Tommy Maxwell all tallied goals for the Moose, who built a 4-1 advantage before Derek Nesbitt spoiled Lack’s shutout bid with 5:52 to play in the game.
Bill Sweatt chipped in two assists in the victory, which lifted Manitoba to 17-10-0-4 (38 points) for the season and into a second-place tie with Toronto in the North Division, five points back of first-place Hamilton with three games in hand.
The Rivermen have now lost three straight games in regulation on the heels of a 13-game points streak (11-0-2-0). It matches Peoria’s longest losing skid of the season, as the Rivermen also dropped three straight from Oct. 24-30.
PORTLAND 4, PROVIDENCE 3
Paul Byron tallied a goal and assisted on the game-winner as Portland held off visiting Providence by a 4-3 count on Tuesday at the Cumberland County Civic Center, snapping a three-game winless skid (0-2-1-0).
Mark Mancari and Byron helped the Pirates climb out of 1-0 and 2-1 deficits, and Portland then built a 4-2 advantage on the strength of goals from Dennis McCauley and Colin Stuart. Maxime Sauve scored for Providence with just under three minutes left, accounting for the final margin.
Defenseman Drew Schiestel chipped in two helpers for the Pirates, and goaltender Jhonas Enroth earned the win with 23 saves in net. Portland closed within five points of Manchester for the Atlantic Division lead and still holds three games in hand on the Monarchs.
Providence dipped to 4-9-0-0 in its last 13 contests overall and fell to 1-3-0-0 against Portland on the year.
BRIDGEPORT 4, ALBANY 3 (SO)
Rob Hisey and Jesse Joensuu scored in the fourth and fifth shootout rounds, respectively, as Bridgeport rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the shootout to beat host Albany by a 4-3 final at the Times Union Center on Tuesday.
Sound Tigers netminder Mikko Koskinen allowed a conversion to Michael Swift in the opening round but then stopped Albany’s next four tries. Koskinen (5-7-0) made 25 saves through the first 65 minutes.
Bridgeport improved to 6-2-0-1 in its last nine games and moved within a point of Worcester for fourth place in the Atlantic Division.
CHICAGO 5, HAMILTON 3
Fresh off a comeback 6-3 win over Grand Rapids on home ice a night earlier, Chicago kept its surge going with a 5-3 triumph at Hamilton on Tuesday in the opener of a four-game Canadian road trip.
The game was tied at 3-3 entering the third period before defensemen Postma (9:29) and Siklenka (12:10) each scored on the power play to put Chicago on top to stay.
Dustin Boyd registered a hat trick for all three Hamilton goals, and Ben Maxwell and defenseman Brendon Nash each chipped in two helpers. The Bulldogs are now just 1-2-0-1 in their last four contests.
HERSHEY 6, BINGHAMTON 1
Kyle Greentree scored twice and added an assist to lead Hershey to a 6-1 pounding of visiting Binghamton on Tuesday before 10,547 fans at the Giant Center.
It matched a season-high single-game point total for Greentree, who now shows 29 points (13-16-29) in 28 games for the campaign. Greentree notched two goals in a game for the first time since nabbing a pair against the Senators in an 8-3 win on Nov. 14.
Rookie Dmitri Kugryshev notched a goal and an assist for the Bears; Sean Collins and Nikita Kashirsky each scored their first AHL markers of the season; and defenseman Zach Miskovic rounded out Hershey’s offensive attack.
Collins and Patrick Wellar were each plus-4 on the night, and Francois Bouchard chipped in two assists. Hershey goaltender Dany Sabourin stopped 21 of 22 shots between the pipes, helping the Bears improve to 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 outings.
Kaspars Daugavins netted the lone goal for the Senators, who dropped to 1-5-0-0 against Hershey this season.
ADIRONDACK 2, SYRACUSE 0
Rookie goaltender Nic Riopel turned aside 26 shots for his first career AHL shutout as Adirondack blanked visiting Syracuse by a 2-0 count on Tuesday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
With the victory, the Phantoms improved to 3-1-0-0 in their last four outings and collected their first shutout as a team since Jeremy Duchesne stymied Providence in a 4-0 win on Mar. 13, 2010.
Phantoms forward Greg Moore, who has twice reached 23 goals in an AHL season, finally broke through for his first of the 2010-11 campaign in his 33rd game when he beat Syracuse’s Jean-Philippe Levasseur 2:21 into the second period.
Rookie Luke Pither added insurance midway through the third period, notching his sixth goal of the year.
The Crunch, who entered the night with the AHL’s 27th-ranked offense, were shut out for the fifth time this season and fell to 2-5-0-0 in their last seven contests overall.
Alex Berry initially put the Admirals on top 1-0 midway through the second period, but Charlotte grabbed a 2-1 second-period advantage when Jon Matsumoto (13:35) and Jacob Micflikier (14:02) scored just 27 seconds apart.
Micflikier’s goal was his 15th of the year, putting him two back of Jerome Samson for the team lead.
Checkers goaltender Justin Pogge turned aside 32 of 34 shots through regulation and overtime before denying four of Norfolk’s five shootout bids.
With the win, the Checkers closed to within three points of Norfolk for second place in the East Division and remained one point ahead of Hershey for the third spot.
ROCKFORD 4, MILWAUKEE 1
Mathis Olimb tallied a pair of goals as Rockford handed Milwaukee just its second home regulation loss of the season with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday at the Bradley Center.
Olimb, a first-year North American pro who entered the night with six points (3-3-6) in 12 games, opened the game’s scoring on the power play 10:54 into the first period and then closed it with an empty-netter in the third.
Fresh off a brief NHL recall to Chicago, IceHogs goaltender Hannu Toivonen earned the win with 22 saves on 23 shots, helping his club improve to 3-1-0-0 in its last four outings.
Dylan Hunter notched his first NHL goal of the season for the Admirals, who fell to 7-2-2-1 at the Bradley Center this year.
TEXAS 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (SO)
Texas scored on three of its four shootout tries and stayed hot with a 4-3 road shootout win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday at the Cox Convention Center.
Colton Sceviour, Tomas Vincour, and Mathieu Tousignant all tallied shootout goals for the Stars, and goaltender Richard Bachman stopped three of Oklahoma City’s five tries after making 32 saves through the first 65 minutes.
Texas rallied from a 3-1 third-period to force overtime, as Vincour brought the Stars within 3-2 at 1:49 and Fabian Brunnstrom potted the equalizer with just 49 seconds left in regulation.
Greg Rallo also scored for Texas, which extended its points streak to five games (3-0-1-1) and moved into a tie with Milwaukee for third place in the West Division, just three points back of front-running San Antonio.