BRIDGEPORT 6, SPRINGFIELD 5 (SO)
Bridgeport coughed up leads of 3-0 and 5-3 in regulation but ultimately captured a 6-5 shootout win over visiting Springfield on Wednesday afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
The five regulation goals marked a season high for the Sound Tigers (4-5-0-0), who have now put together back-to-back victories for the first time on the young campaign.
Loaned to the Sound Tigers by the parent N.Y. Islanders on Tuesday, Jon Sim tallied a hat trick in his AHL season debut, scoring twice in the opening period and once more in the second frame. The 2005 Calder Cup champion with Philadelphia had not suited up in the AHL since playing for Bridgeport in the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs.
The Falcons climbed out of their early 3-0 hole on the strength of goals by Matt Calvert (shorthanded), Maksim Mayorov, and former AHL All-Star Michael Ryan, who nabbed his first in a Springfield uniform.
Mayorov and Ryan scored 32 seconds apart in the second period, but a couple minutes later Ullstrom and Sim potted two goals in a 39-second span to make it 5-3. Then in the third period, Calvert connected for a power play goal at 11:15 and Springfield’s Steven Goertzen followed 1:15 later to tie the game back up.
Rakhshani and Sim tallied shootout goals for the Sound Tigers, and goaltender Nathan Lawson turned aside four of Springfield’s five tries after making 30 saves through regulation and overtime.
The Falcons earned at least a point for the fifth time in their last six outings (4-1-0-1).
MANCHESTER 4, HARTFORD 1
Manchester played to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes before blitzing Hartford for 23 shots and a pair of goals in the second period en route to a 4-1 road win over the Wolf Pack on Wednesday at the XL Center.
Second-year pro Andrei Loktionov scored just 2:13 into his AHL season debut for the Monarchs, but Hartford’s Justin Soryal also struck for his first goal of the season to make it 1-1 heading into the first intermission.
The Wolf Pack slid to 0-5-0-2 in their last seven contests, and the AHL’s lowest-scoring team has managed just one or zero goals in six of those seven setbacks.
CHARLOTTE 5, PORTLAND 4
Charlotte overcame a 2-0 first-intermission deficit to knock off red-hot Portland by a 5-4 count on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena, earning a split of the teams’ two-game midweek set.
The Checkers received goals from five different skaters – Oskar Osala, Nick Dodge, Riley Nash, Jerome Samson, and Chris Terry, whose sixth tally of the year at 15:07 of the third period proved to be the game-winner.
Defenseman Bryan Rodney chipped in two assists for Charlotte, and 13 members of the Checkers lineup recorded at least one point on the night.
Checkers goaltender Justin Pogge stopped 25 of 29 shots in the winning effort, including 20 of 22 over the final two periods. Charlotte has now earned a point in four straight outings (2-0-1-1).
The Pirates saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.
HAMILTON 5, MANITOBA 4 (SO)
Hamilton converted three of its four shootout attempts and earned a sweep of its two-game midweek set vs. Manitoba with a 5-4 win over the Moose at Copps Coliseum on Wednesday.
Aaron Palushaj, Ryan Russell, and rookie Alexander Avtsin netted shootout goals for the Bulldogs, and rookie goaltender Robert Mayer turned aside three of Manitoba’s four tries. Marco Rosa notched the Moose’s lone shootout marker.
Rearguard Frederic St. Denis contributed a pair of assists on the night for the Bulldogs, who took over sole possession of first place in the North Division at 6-1-1-2 (15 points) overall.
Manitoba rookie Bill Sweatt, who entered the night showing three points (1-2-3) in his first 10 games, matched that total in this one with two goals and an assist. Tommy Maxwell and captain Nolan Baumgartner also scored for the Moose, who are now winless in four straight games (0-3-0-1).
After battling four times in the season’s first four-plus weeks, these North Division rivals will not tangle again until Jan. 26 in Hamilton.
TORONTO 6, SAN ANTONIO 1
After totaling five goals during a three-game losing skid, Toronto erupted for a season-best six tallies on Wednesday en route to a decisive 6-1 win over San Antonio at the AT&T Center.
It marked the opener of a massive 10-game road swing for the Marlies, who collected just their third victory of the young season (3-6-0-0) and second away from home.
The Marlies used a balanced attack, as six different skaters found the back of the net. Forwards Alex Foster and Jerry D’Amigo joined defenseman Josh Engel in recording a goal and an assist, while Justin Hodgman, Jay Rosehill, and rearguard Keith Aulie also scored.
Defenseman Matt Lashoff contributed two assists in the victory. Goaltender James Reimer stopped 11 of 12 shots in the first period before being relieved by Jussi Rynnas, who stopped all 24 shots he faced the rest of the way.
Defenseman Garrett Stafford scored for the Rampage, whose six-game winning streak came to a crashing halt.
ROCKFORD 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (SO)
Rockford rallied for a pair of third-period goals and then went 4-for-5 on shootout attempts to steal a 3-2 road win from Milwaukee on Wednesday at the Bradley Center.
Trailing 2-0 entering the third period, the IceHogs received goals from rookie Kyle Beach (5:05, power play) and veteran Jeff Taffe (18:51) to send the game to overtime. That duo also converted in the shootout, and they were joined by Brandon Pirri and defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy.
Vishnevskiy also assisted on both regulation goals for Rockford, which moved above .500 on the season at 5-4-0-1. IceHogs goaltender Hannu Toivonen stopped 23 of 25 shots through the first 65 minutes before surviving a shootout in which he allowed three goals on five tries.
Jamie Lundmark and defenseman Aaron Johnson initially staked Milwaukee to a 2-0 first-period lead. Lundmark, Roman Josi, and Mark Van Guilder nabbed shootout goals for the Admirals, who fell to 0-2 in shootouts this season.