MANCHESTER 5, CONNECTICUT 4 (SO)
Oscar Moller notched two goals and an assist in regulation and scored again in the shootout as Manchester rallied back from a 4-0 deficit to stun visiting Connecticut in a 5-4 win on Tuesday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Monarchs matched a season high with their fourth straight victory, previously accomplished from Nov. 14-20 and from Nov. 24-28.
Manchester improved to 21-11-1-1 for the season and has opened a seven-point lead on Portland atop the Atlantic Division, although the Pirates have played four fewer games.
This one started ominously for the Monarchs, as Dale Weise, Chad Kolarik, and Devin DiDiomete all scored to give Connecticut a 3-0 advantage after 20 minuets. Jeremy Williams extended the Whale’s lead to 4-0 midway through the second with his team-leading 17th goal of the season.
Moller brought the Monarchs’ offense to life before the middle frame was out, scoring at 13:27 and 15:10 to cut his club’s deficit in half.
Andrei Loktionov finished with two assists for Manchester, which collected its third win of the season when trailing after the second period (3-9-1-0). Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones took over after 20 minutes and made 12 saves on 13 shots the rest of the way.
Connecticut is now winless in two straight (0-1-0-1) on the heels of a six-game winning streak.
Sanford (12-5-0) picked up his second shutout in his last three appearances for the Bulldogs, who finished 3-1-0-0 on their four-game southern road trip and improved to 18-9-1-3 overall.
Desharnais’ season-best two-goal, two-assist effort lifted him atop the AHL’s overall scoring list with 40 points (10-30-40) in 32 games for the season. He now has a point in four straight games (3-5-8) and eight of his last nine outings (3-10-13).
Hamilton’s Ryan Russell put up a goal and an assist, and the Bulldogs also got scores from Dustin Boyd and rookie Olivier Fortier. Defenseman Brandon Nash chipped in an assist and was plus-4 on the night.
The Aeros suffered their second consecutive shutout and have now lost four straight games overall, their longest such stretch since a season-high six-game slide (0-5-0-1) from Oct. 16-29.
TORONTO 6, PEORIA 3
Six different Toronto skaters found the back of the net as the Marlies brought and end to Peoria’s 12-game points streak (10-0-2-0) with a 6-3 road win on Tuesday at Carver Arena.
Mikus scored the eventual game-winner at 8:13 of the third period, breaking a 3-3 tie, and Cowan and Hanson then tacked on insurance markers, the latter into an empty net.
Mike Zigomanis contributed a trio of assists in the winning effort, and Toronto goaltender Jussi Rynnas turned aside 30 of 33 shots sent his way. The Marlies won for just the second time in their last seven outings (2-4-0-1).
Anthony Nigro, David Spina (shorthanded), and Nikita Nikitin (power play) netted goals for the Rivermen, who suffered their first regulation loss in more than a month, since a 3-1 setback to San Antonio on Nov. 17.
MILWAUKEE 3, CHICAGO 2 (SO)
Milwaukee converted on each of its first three shootout tries and edged host Chicago by a 3-2 count on Tuesday at Allstate Arena.
Mark Santorelli, Linus Klasen, and Jamie Lundmark all netted shootout goals for the Rivermen, and goaltender Mark Dekanich stopped three of Chicago’s four tries. Nigel Dawes had the Wolves’ lone conversion.
Klasen potted his team-best 15th goal of the year on the power play midway through the second period, and defenseman Jonathon Blum recorded another man-advantage marker early in the third.
Dekanich made 19 saves on 21 shots through the first 65 minutes for the Admirals, who improved to 4-1-1-0 in their last six contests.