WORCESTER 8, SPRINGFIELD 4
Defenseman Danny Groulx registered two goals and two assists as Worcester doubled up Springfield by an 8-4 count on Wednesday at the MassMutual Center.
The Sharks, who are 22-4-2-1 since Nov. 21, moved within a point of Manchester for first place in the Atlantic Division and still hold three games in hand on the Monarchs.
Worcester set a franchise record with the eight goals while extending its current points streak to seven games (6-0-1-0).
The four points marked a season high for Groulx, who extended his scoring streak to seven games (3-10-13). Groulx now ranks second among AHL defensemen with 38 points (7-31-38) in 48 games this season.
Rookie forward Dennis McCauley registered a hat trick for the Sharks after entering the night having totaled three goals and four points in his first 29 games of the season.
Fellow rookie Benn Ferriero posted three points (1-2-3), while T.J. Trevelyan (1-1-2) and first-year defenseman Nick Petrecki rounded out Worcester’s scoring. Steven Zalewski and Kevin Henderson each chipped in a pair of assists.
Sharks rookie goaltender Alex Stalock surrendered four second-period goals but made 25 saves en route to picking up his league-leading 27th win of the season (27-11-1).
SYRACUSE 5, ALBANY 3
Five different Syracuse skaters found the back of the net as the Crunch collected a 5-3 road win over Albany at the Times Union Center on Wednesday.
It marked the second straight game in which the Crunch tallied five regulation goals, and Syracuse improved its winning streak to four games and moved to 9-4-0-1 in its last 14 contests.
LAKE ERIE 3, ROCHESTER 2
Lake Erie rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a trio of second-period goals and held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Rochester at Quicken Loans Arena.
But the Monsters responded with three goals in the first 5:18 of the second frame. Darren Haydar began the comeback with his 17th marker of the season at 1:54, and captain Brian Willsie scored on the power play at the 4:32.
Philippe Dupuis then notched the eventual game-winner – also on the power play – just 48 seconds after Willsie’s goal.
Goaltender Tyler Weiman made 36 saves in net for the Monsters, who halted a brief two-game losing skid and moved a point ahead of Abbotsford for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division.
HARTFORD 3, LOWELL 2 (OT)
Brodie Dupont notched his second goal of the night with 19.9 seconds left in overtime to give Hartford a 3-2 win over Lowell at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., home of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
Dupont also gave the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead with a power play goal midway through the third period, but Devils rookie Nathan Perkovich tallied the equalizer with just 1:07 to play in regulation.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 5, ADIRONDACK 4 (SO)
Wyatt Smith’s third-round shootout conversion proved to be the difference as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton escaped a back-and-forth tilt with a 5-4 win over visiting Adirondack at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Two nights after scoring his first career NHL goal, Mark Letestu also scored in the shootout for the Penguins, who have put together back-to-back wins for the first time since a four-game run from Dec. 26-30.
The Phantoms’ Patrick Maroon and the Penguins’ Chris Conner traded second-period goals, and Wilkes-Barre went back ahead on a goal by defenseman Chris Lee 12:31 into the third frame. But Jason Ward tied it for the Phantoms once more with 2:48 to play in the game.
Pens goaltender John Curry emerged with the victory after making 20 saves and stopping four of five in the shootout.
HERSHEY 3, NORFOLK 2 (SO)
Hershey did not light up the scoreboard but still found a way to win, collecting a 3-2 road shootout win over Norfolk at the Scope on Wednesday.
The Bears extended their winning streak to nine games and moved to 21-1-0-0 in their last 22 games, the lone loss coming in Norfolk on Jan. 13.
Mitch Fadden and defenseman Matt Lashoff potted regulation markers for the Admirals, and Juraj Simek scored in the shootout. Despite the shootout loss, Norfolk extended its points streak to eight games (6-0-1-1).
HAMILTON 4, SAN ANTONIO 0
Goaltender Curtis Sanford pitched a 22-save shutout as Hamilton extended its winning streak to five games with a 4-0 triumph over visiting San Antonio at Copps Coliseum.
Sanford (13-9-2), who previously blanked the Rampage on 23 shots in San Antonio on Oct. 23, picked up his fourth shutout of the season and the Bulldogs’ league-leading ninth overall.
David Desharnais registered a goal and two assists for the Bulldogs to extend his scoring streak to 12 games (2-16-18). Brock Trotter notched his team-leading 25th goal and added three assists for a game-high four points, while Mike Glumac and defenseman P.K. Subban also scored.
Hamilton finished 3-for-8 on the power play in the contest.
San Antonio saw its six-game points streak (3-0-0-3) come to an end, as the Rampage head to Manitoba for a two-game set with the Moose this weekend.
ROCKFORD 5, GRAND RAPIDS 3
In a match-up of two teams headed in different directions, Rockford stayed hot and kept Grand Rapids reeling with a 5-3 win over the Griffins at the MetroCentre on Wednesday.
The IceHogs, who improved to 6-0-0-1 against Grand Rapids this season, won their third straight overall and moved to 9-1-0-1 since Jan. 10. The Griffins, meanwhile, suffered a seventh straight loss and fell to 3-16-0-0 in their last 19 outings.
Rockford goaltender Corey Crawford earned the victory with 24 saves on 27 shots between the pipes.
HOUSTON 4, PEORIA 1
Houston continued its recent surge with a 4-1 triumph over visiting Peoria on Wednesday at the Toyota Center.
The Aeros collected their third straight victory and moved to 6-2-0-0 in their last eight contests. Houston now sits just two points back of idle Chicago for the West Division’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Four different Aeros tallied goals on the night, with defenseman Ryan Gunderson leading the way with a goal and an assist. Fellow rearguard Justin Falk also scored, as did forwards Petr Kalus and Danny Irmen. Brandon Buck chipped in two assists.
Houston goaltender Barry Brust secured the win with 25 saves on 26 shots in net.
Cam Paddock notched a power play goal for the Rivermen, who are now winless in a season-high four straight games (0-2-0-2).