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Vanek leads Amerks to 3-2 win

Thomas Vanek recorded a goal and two assists to lead the offense as Rochester posted a 3-2 win over Hamilton in preseason action on Wednesday night in Brantford, Ont.

The 20-year-old Vanek, a native of Vienna, Austria, played three seasons of junior hockey with Sioux Falls, earning league MVP honors in the USHL in 2002. He then went on to the University of Minnesota, where he was named NCAA Tournament MVP as a freshman when the Gophers captured the national title in 2003.

Vanek was the fifth overall choice in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by Buffalo.

Jiri Novotny and Scott Sheppard also scored for the Amerks (2-0-0-0), while Greg Hewitt and Chris Madden combined to turn aside 34 of 36 shots.

Chris Higgins and Philippe Plante scored for Hamilton (1-2-0-0).

BINGHAMTON 5, SYRACUSE 3
Three-point efforts by Jason Spezza and Denis Hamel lifted Binghamton to a 5-3 win over Syracuse.

Spezza had a goal and two assists in the second period as the Senators (1-2-0-0) erased a 2-0 deficit. Hamel had two assists in the second before tallying an insurance goal with 7:45 remaining in regulation.

Aaron Johnson and Brian Gornick recorded a goal and an assist apiece for the Crunch (1-1-0-1).

PORTLAND 6, PROVIDENCE 2
Carlyle Lewis scored three times to lift Portland to a 6-2 win over Providence at the Boss Arena on the campus of the University of Rhode Island on Wednesday.

Lewis, who has two goals in 153 career regular-season AHL games with Albany (1999-2002), struck once in each period, capping his hat trick with 26 seconds to go in the game.

Jared Aulin had a goal and an assist for the Pirates (3-0-0-0). Brad Boyes recorded a goal and an assist for the Bruins (0-1-0-0).

BRIDGEPORT 3, LOWELL 0
John Morlang scored twice and David Cann and Wade Dubielewicz combined on a 21-save shutout as Bridgeport blanked Lowell, 3-0.

The Sound Tigers remained perfect on the preseason (3-0-0-0), while the Lock Monsters dropped to 1-2-0-0.

HARTFORD 2, WORCESTER 1 (OT)
Blair Betts scored 67 seconds into overtime to give Hartford a 2-1 win over Worcester in Cromwell, Conn.

Betts, who won a Calder Cup as a rookie with Saint John in 2000-01, has missed most of the last two seasons with shoulder injuries. He was a 20-goal scorer in the AHL in 2001-02.

Steve Valiquette and reigning AHL MVP Jason LaBarbera combined for 33 saves for the Wolf Pack (1-0-0-0). Alexei Shkotov, a second-round pick in the 2002 NHL draft, had the only goal for the IceCats (1-0-1-1).