SYRACUSE 6, ADIRONDACK 5
Trailing 5-3 entering the third period, Syracuse erupted for a trio of goals to stun host Adirondack by a 6-5 count on Wednesday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Maksim Mayorov scored twice – including the game-winner – for the Crunch, who improved to 9-3-0-0 in their last 12 road contests.
Mayorov, who had not registered a multiple-goal game all season, completed Syracuse’s comeback by scoring shorthanded with 2:49 to play in regulation. Crunch captain Derek MacKenzie, who had notched the tying goal less than two minutes earlier, earned the lone assist.
Syracuse handed its Adirondack its first regulation loss of the season when leading after two periods (16-1-0-1) and moved into a tie with the Phantoms for fifth place in the East Division.
Crunch goaltender Kevin Lalande emerged with the victory after making 20 saves between the pipes.
Adirondack has now dropped three straight games in regulation, its longest such skid since losing three straight from Nov. 21-27.
WORCESTER 3, PORTLAND 1
Appearing in his first game since Dec. 19 due to injury, Worcester captain Ryan Vesce tallied a pair of goals to propel his club to a 3-1 win over visiting Portland at the DCU Center.
The victory ended Portland’s 13-game points streak (12-0-0-1) and lifted the Sharks back into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division, two points up on the Pirates.
After Marc-Andre Gragnani gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead with a power play goal 2:07 into the second period, Vesce notched a power play marker of his own at 7:23 to tie it up.
A two-time AHL All-Star, Vesce put the Sharks on top to stay just 5:01 later with his eighth goal of the season. Dan DaSilva registered an insurance goal for Worcester early in the third frame.
Sharks rookie goaltender Alex Stalock picked up an assist on Vesce’s game-winning goal and earned his league-leading 32nd victory of the season (32-13-1) with 31 saves on 32 shots in net.
MANCHESTER 5, SPRINGFIELD 2
David Meckler scored twice – including the eventual game-winning goal – and poured a game-high 11 shots on net as Manchester dumped visiting Springfield by a 5-2 count at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Chris Minard and Charles Linglet scored to cut the Falcons’ deficit in half with most of the third period still to play, but Monarchs rookie Corey Elkins notched a power play marker 3:41 into the frame to restore a three-goal lead for his club.
All-Star goaltender Jonathan Bernier turned aside 38 of 40 shots in net for the Monarchs, who have taken six straight meetings from Springfield since a 4-1 loss in the teams’ first clash of the season on Oct. 16.
Springfield is now winless in four straight contests (0-3-0-1).
SAN ANTONIO 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2
A three-goal second period proved to be enough as San Antonio concluded its marathon 14-game road trip with a 3-2 win over Grand Rapids at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday.
Rampage goaltender Josh Tordjman secured the win with 22 saves between the pipes.
San Antonio halted a four-game losing skid and finished 7-5-0-2 on its 14-game journey. The Rampage will play their first home contest since Jan. 24 on Friday when they host Manitoba in the first of a two-game weekend set.
HERSHEY 3, LAKE ERIE 2 (SO)
Hershey rallied back from a 2-0 first-period deficit and eventually prevailed over Lake Erie by a 3-2 shootout final on Wednesday before a school-day crowd of 9,650 fans at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Tom Preissing tallied an unassisted power play goal just 1:57 into the game to put the Monsters on top, and Philippe Dupuis’s unassisted marker with just five seconds to play in the opening period made it a 2-0 contest.
The Bears cut their deficit in half late in the second period when defenseman Greg Amadio scored shorthanded for his second goal of the season and first since Dec. 27 vs. Norfolk.
It remained a 2-1 lead for the Admirals until Hershey forward Chris Bourque tied it up on the power play 7:39 into the third frame, with defenseman John Carlson and AHL scoring leader Keith Aucoin earning helpers.
Bears netminder Jason Bacashihua, who suited up for Lake Erie the past two seasons, beat his former team for the second time in five days. Bacashihua (14-2-1) made 24 saves through regulation and overtime before turning aside all five Lake Erie attempts in the shootout.
The league-leading Bears extended their winning streak to three games, while the Monsters’ still earned a point and moved within three points of idle Manitoba for the North Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
ABBOTSFORD 3, BRIDGEPORT 2
Abbotsford defenseman Keith Seabrook broke a 2-2 tie with a power play goal 11:51 into the third period, and the Heat held on for a 3-2 road win over Bridgeport at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
Goaltender David Shantz made 32 saves on 34 shots for the Heat, who captured their third straight win and improved to 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 outings. Abbotsford will conclude its nine-game road trip with a two-game set in Worcester this weekend.
NORFOLK 4, BINGHAMTON 3
Defenseman Vladimir Mihalik buried a slap shot with 2:32 left in regulation, breaking a 3-3 tie and sending red-hot Norfolk to a 4-3 win over Binghamton in the opener of a five-game road trip.
The Admirals earned their fourth straight win and improved to 14-2-1-1 since the AHL All-Star break.
Zach Smith scored twice and Jim O’Brien once for the Senators, whose losing skid now stands at four games. All four defeats have been by a one-goal margin.
HAMILTON 3, TORONTO 1
Max Pacioretty put up a goal and two assists to lead Hamilton past visiting Toronto by a 3-1 count at Copps Coliseum on Wednesday.
Pacioretty, returning to the Bulldogs’ lineup after a four-game absence, began the night’s scoring with an unassisted goal just 42 seconds into the second period.
Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford earned the win with 22 saves in net, helping his club to its third straight victory.