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Wed. roundup: Keller’s trick paces Norfolk

Wednesday’s AHL Boxscores

NORFOLK 5, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3
Former AHL All-Star Justin Keller continued his recent hot play with a hat trick on Wednesday as Norfolk took a 5-3 win over visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Scope, improving to 8-1-1-1 in its last 11 games.

The Admirals maintained their two-point edge on Adirondack for the East Division’s third and final guaranteed playoff spot.

Keller tallied a pair of first-period goals and completed his hat trick with an empty-netter in the game’s closing minute. The 2008 AHL All-Star now shows eight points (6-2-8) in his last six games for Norfolk after totaling nine points (6-3-9) in his first 42 outings of the season.

Juraj Simek posted a goal and an assist for Norfolk, and Matt Fornataro also found the back of the net. Mark Parrish, Paul Szczechura, and defenseman Matt Lashoff each contributed a pair of assists.

Admirals goaltender Dustin Tokarski earned the victory with 19 saves between the pipes.

Defenseman Nate Guenin scored twice and felloe rearguard Chris Lee once for the struggling Penguins, who dropped to 3-10-0-0 in their last 14 contests.

ADIRONDACK 3, ROCHESTER 1
Adirondack held on for a 3-1 win over visiting Rochester on Wednesday at the Glens Falls Civic Center, collecting their first win in three clashes with the Americans this season (1-2-0-0).

Jonathon Kalinski, Jason Ward, and defenseman Sean Curry notched goals for the Phantoms, with Ward’s power play marker early in the second period standing up as the game-winner. Curry’s goal also came on the man advantage.

Phantoms goaltender Johan Backlund (16-10-2) stopped 25 of 26 shots to pick up the victory, surrendering just one goal for a second consecutive appearance.

Michal Repik notched the Amerks’ lone goal of the night, his 17th tally of the campaign.

LAKE ERIE 3, MILWAUKEE 0
Lake Erie struck for three goals in the final 10 minutes of the second period and cruised to a 3-0 win over visiting Milwaukee at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.

Josh Aspenlind provided all the offense the Monsters would need 10:38 into the second frame, and he was followed by Ray Macias (13:04) and T.J. Hensick (19:32), who scored on the power play.

Hensick added an assist on the night and now shows 42 points (13-29-42) in just 32 games since joining the Monsters from parent-club Colorado in late November.

Lake Erie goaltender Tyler Weiman (19-14-3) only had to make 15 saves on the night to earn his third shutout of the season.

With 54 points, the Monsters moved back into a tie with Abbotsford for fourth place in the North Division. That duo sits just two points shy of Manitoba for the third spot.

The Admirals were shut out for the first time since a 2-0 loss to Abbotsford on Oct. 28.

BINGHAMTON 4, ALBANY 3 (SO)
Albany rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force overtime, but Binghamton went 3-for-4 in a shootout to claim a 4-3 win over the visiting River Rats at the Broome County Arena on Wednesday.

The Senators improved to 4-0-0-0 against the River Rats this season.

Sens forwards Josh Hennessy and Ryan Keller lit the lamp just 1:02 apart in the first period, with Keller’s goal coming on the power play, to make it a 2-0 contest. Defenseman Brian Lee extended the lead to 2-0 with another power play strike 5:22 into the second.

But Albany got on the board just 47 seconds after Lee’s goal, as Drayson Bowman converted a man advantage opportunity to make it 3-1.

Jiri Tlusty cut the Rats’ deficit to a single goal 7:42 into the third frame, and Nick Dodge tallied the equalizer less than six minutes later.

Binghamton controlled the shootout, as Kaspars Daugavins, Keller, and Hennessy converted on the first three attempts against Rats goaltender Mike Morrison.

Sens netminder Mike Brodeur, who made 38 saves through the first 65 minutes, stopped three of Albany’s four attempts.

The River Rats fell to 1-3-0-1 in their last five contests and will host first-place Hershey on Friday.