LAKE ERIE 3, OKLAHOMA CITY 1
Rookie Mark Olver (pictured) notched his 16th goal of the season, 2011 AHL All-Star Ryan Stoa netted the eventual game-winner, and Lake Erie extended its winning streak to four games by taking a 3-1 decision from visiting Oklahoma City on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Monsters are now on their longest winning streak of the season, and at 20-19-3-4 (47 points), Lake Erie is above the .500 mark for the first time in a month. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, saw its own four-game winning streak come to an end.
After a scoreless opening frame, Olver put Lake Erie on top with just 1:23 gone in the second period. Olver leads the team with his 16 tallies, and he was assisted on this play by Matthew Ford.
Barons defenseman Bryan Helmer continued his remarkable run of late when he tied the game up on the power play two and a half minutes after Olver scored. Helmer now shows four goals and 11 points in seven games since joining the Oklahoma City lineup on Jan. 7.
The Monsters regained a one-goal advantage heading into intermission, though, when Stoa scored on the power play at 17:16 for his 15th marker of the year. Jonas Holos and Ben Walter earned the helpers on what turned out to be the decisive tally.
Mike Carman added an insurance goal for the Monsters at 6:16 of the third frame, and Lake Erie goaltender John Grahame (9-7-2) preserved the victory with 24 saves in net. Grahame has been between the pipes for all four games of the Monsters’ current winning streak and has now lost since a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Barons on Jan. 9.
The Barons continue a seven-game road swing with weekend visits to Milwaukee and Rockford.
The Bruins forced overtime when rookie Jordan Caron netted his fourth AHL goal of the season with 59 seconds left in regulation, tying the contest at two scores apiece. Fellow first-year pros Matt Bartkowski and Joe Colborne earned assists on the play.
Providence forward Jeremy Reich staked his team to a 1-0 lead when the game was just 1:15 old, but Sound Tigers gained a 2-1 advantage when Micheal Haley and Jason Pitton scored within the first two minutes of the second and third periods, respectively.
Providence has now won three straight games for the first time since Nov. 5-7, while the Sound Tigers’ winless skid is now at eight games (0-5-2-1).
HAMILTON 7, ROCHESTER 0
Hamilton poured 29 shots on goal in the first two periods combined and was rewarded with a 7-0 advantage and cruised to a victory over visiting Rochester by that final on Tuesday at Copps Coliseum.
It marked the Bulldogs’ greatest offensive output and most lopsided win of the season, as the ‘Dogs extended their winning streak to three games, their longest run since winning three in a row from Nov. 21-26.
Seven different Bulldogs tallied goals on the night, and Ryan Russell led the way with a trio of points (1-2-3). Andreas Engqvist, Aaron Palushaj, and defenseman Frederic St. Denis each posted a goal and an assist, while J.T. Wyman, Olivier Fortier, and rearguard Mathieu Carle also found the back of the net.
Hamilton goaltender Curtis Sanford (16-7-1) stopped 31 shots for his second consecutive shutout and fourth of the season, moving him into a tie for second in the AHL in that category.
The Americans have now dropped a season-worst five straight games in regulation. Aside from a 6-4 defeat to Lake Erie on Sunday, Rochester has totaled just three goals in the other four losses during this stretch.
NORFOLK 2, SYRACUSE 1
Rookie defenseman Radko Gudas broke a 1-1 tie 47 seconds into the third period, and Norfolk held on to collect a 2-1 victory over visiting Syracuse on Tuesday at the Scope.
The Admirals earned their fourth straight victory, the first time they have accomplished that feat since beginning the season 4-0-0-0. Norfolk moved four points ahead of idle Charlotte for second place in the East Division and still holds a game in hand on the Checkers.
Troy Milam put the Admirals on top 1-0 at 2:47 of the second period, but Crunch forward Nick Bonino scored on the power play just over five minutes later to make it a 1-1 contest heading into the final frame.
Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski earned the victory with 19 saves on 20 shots in net.
The Crunch, who have not scored more than two goals in any of their last five outings (1-3-0-1), wrap up a brief two-game road swing in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday night.
MANITOBA 4, TORONTO 1
Kevin Clark netted a goal and assisted on two others as Manitoba earned a 4-1 win over visiting Toronto on Tuesday in the first of a two-game set at the MTS Centre.
Clark earned a helper on first-period goals by Mario Bliznak (13:03) and Bill Sweatt, which gave the Moose a 2-0 advantage, before extending the lead to 3-0 with a strike of his own just 1:36 into the second frame. It marked Clark’s sixth goal of the season.
Manitoba carried the 3-0 lead into the third period before Marlies defenseman Josh Engel broke up the shutout at 7:12. Moose forward Shawn Wellar tacked on an empty-net marker with 3:03 still left to play in regulation.
Goaltender Tyler Weiman earned the win with 29 saves on 30 shots for the Moose, who improved to 10-2-1-0 in their last 13 games and remained two points back of Hamilton for first place in the North Division.
The division rivals will collide again on Wednesday night in Winnipeg.
GRAND RAPIDS 4, TEXAS 3 (OT)
Jordan Owens tallied a pair of goals – including the game-winner 3:11 into overtime – to lift Grand Rapids past host Texas by a 4-3 count on Wednesday evening at the Cedar Park Center.
Owens’ decisive marker came after he had tied the game at 3-3 with just 4:12 remaining in the third period, scoring on the power play off assists by Derek Meech and Jamie Johnson. Owens had entered the night with three goals in 42 games this season prior to his two-score effort.
Jamie Tardif and Chris Minard also netted goals for the Griffins, and Ilari Filppula contributed a pair of assists as Grand Rapids wrapped up a six-game road swing at 3-3-0-0, including 3-1-0-0 in four games in the state of Texas.
Griffins goaltender Jordan Pearce made his fourth straight start in net and stopped 39 of 42 shots to pick up the victory.
PEORIA 5, ABBOTSFORD 1
After scoring just four goals over their last three games, the Peoria Rivermen offense erupted for three goals in 2:50 midway through the second period and rolled to a 5-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat on Tuesday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre.
The victory ended Peoria’s three-game losing streak and pushed them back into the top spot in the West Division and the Western Conference with 55 points (26-13-2-1).
T.J. Hensick (1g, 2a) added to his team lead in points with third three-point night of the season and extended his point-streak to seven games. It is now the team’s longest such streak this season, besting his own mark of six straight games which he opened the season with.
He scored Peoria’s first goal on the team’s first shot of the game at 4:04 of the first period. Nikita Nikitin sent a backhand pass to Hensick in the slot who slid it along the ice past Leland Irving for his 10th goal of the season.
Abbotsford’s lone goal came at 13:03 to tie the game at 1-1. Gaelen Patterson beat Jake Allen with a wrist shot from the left circle to register his fourth goal of the campaign and put his team even through 20 minutes.
The Rivermen broke the game open in the second period with three quick goals. Brett Sonne deflected Nathan Oystrick’s shot over Irving’s glove at 11:42 just 22 seconds before Graham Mink snapped a shot under his blocker for his 13th. The pair of goals prompted Jim Playfair to make a goaltending change and install Jean-Philippe Lamoureux with 7:56 left in the second period.
Shortly after the goaltending move, Cam Cunning was called for holding the stick that put Peoria on the power play. Nicholas Drazenovic sent a wrist shot from along the boards just inside the far post for his 10th of the season. Assisted by Ian Cole, it was the first of two power-play goals of the night.
Nikitin scored the other in a rough third period that saw 41 of the game’s 53 penalty minutes issued.
Allen (16-5-0) finished with 24 saves in the winning effort.