WORCESTER 3, HERSHEY 2
Reigning AHL All-Rookie goaltender Alex Stalock made a season-high 41 saves on 43 shots against the AHL’s second-ranked offense, and Worcester held on for a 3-2 road win over Hershey on Wednesday in front of 9,506 fans at the Giant Center.
The Sharks improved to 7-2-0-2 in their last 11 games overall this season and 2-2-0-1 lifetime in Hershey.
Stalock, who has appeared in 15 of Worcester’s first 18 contests, improved to 8-6-1 for the year. He helped the Sharks withstand a third-period in which they were outshot 15-4 and stopped all six shots on the night by Bears forward Andrew Gordon, who is tied for second in the league with 12 goals.
Dan DaSilva and Tommy Wingels staked Worcester to a 2-0 opening period lead with a pair of goals just 1:43 apart. Bears forward Mathieu Perreault cut his team’s deficit in half at 11:43 of the second, but Worcester defenseman Sean Sullivan scored what would turn out to be the game-winning goal with 51 seconds left in the frame.
Jay Beagle notched a power play goal early in the third period to once again bring the Bears within one score, but they were unable to tie it and fell to 1-3-0-0 in their last four games. The Bears entered the night averaging 3.83 goals per game, second only to Norfolk’s 3.94.
Hershey, which went a remarkable 34-4-0-2 on home ice last season, is just 5-5-0-0 through 10 games at the Giant Center in 2010-11.
CHARLOTTE 4, NORFOLK 3
Rookie Zac Dalpe completed a three-point night by scoring 11 seconds apart in the final minute of regulation, turning a 3-2 Charlotte deficit into a dramatic 4-3 road win over Norfolk on Wednesday at the Scope.
The Checkers appeared headed for a regulation loss before Dalpe notched is eighth goal of the year at 19:07 of the third period to tie it. On the very next shift, at 19:18, Dalpe scored again to provide the winning margin.
Dalpe assisted on an earlier goal by defenseman Bryan Rodney and has now racked up 13 points (9-5-14) in just 12 games for the Checkers this season.
With the win, Charlotte (11-8-1-2, 25 points) jumped one point ahead of Norfolk for second place in the East Division, although the Admirals have played three fewer games.
HAMILTON 3, ADIRONDACK 2
Third-year pro Max Pacioretty stayed hot with two more goals, and Andrew Conboy netted the eventual game-winner as Hamilton edged host Adirondack by a 3-2 count at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Pacioretty, who netted his first career hat trick on Saturday at Toronto and scored again on Sunday against the Marlies, now shows six goals and seven points in his last three contests.
The former first-round pick now has 23 points (10-13-23) on the season, tied with David Desharnais (6-17-23) – who assisted on his first goal in this contest – for the Bulldogs team lead.
Hamilton goaltender Curtis Sanford improved to 7-1-0 on the year with 39 saves in net, helping the Bulldogs extend their points streak to five games (4-0-0-1).
Rookie Luke Pither notched his first professional goal for the Phantoms, and defenseman Danny Syvret scored in his return to the Adirondack lineup after arriving by trade from the Anaheim organization.
The Phantoms dropped to 0-4-1-0 in their last five games and 3-15-2-0 for the season.
PROVIDENCE 2, BRIDGEPORT 1 (OT)
Jamie Arniel scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season 3:06 into overtime, propelling Providence to a 2-1 road win over Bridgeport at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Wednesday.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, veteran David Ling scored on the power play 1:13 into the second frame for his first goal in a Providence uniform. Defenseman Jon Landry answered for the Sound Tigers at 12:14, also a man-advantage marker.
Bruins rookie goaltender Michael Hutchinson (6-2-0) emerged with the victory after making 27 saves on 28 shots.
Bridgeport failed in its attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time since Oct. 29 and Nov. 3.
TORONTO 3, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Toronto goaltender Jussi Rynnas turned 26 of 27 shots against him as the Marlies continued Grand Rapids’ struggles with a 3-1 win over the visiting Griffins in matinee action before 7,124 fans at Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday.
Rynnas (4-5-2), who has now allowed two or fewer goals in nine straight appearances, was bidding for his second shutout of the season before Grand Rapids forward Jan Mursak buried a power play goal at 10:06 of the first period.
The Griffins have now lost four straight games and totaled two goals in that span, never scoring more than once in any contest. Grand Rapids has managed two goals in a game just once in its last seven outings (1-5-0-1), a 2-1 win at Hamilton on Nov. 14.
This rough-and-tumble tilt featured a combined 216 penalty minutes between the teams.
MANCHESTER 3, SPRINGFIELD 2
Richard Clune broke a 2-2 deadlock with a shorthanded goal at 18:14 of the third period, and Manchester went on to a come-from-behind 3-2 road win over Springfield at the MassMutual Center on Wednesday.
Marc-Andre Cliche picked up the second of his two assists on the night on the goal by Clune, which was just his second tally of the season.
Justin Azevedo also scored for the Monarchs, who overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to come away with their fifth win in five games overall (4-1-0-0) and third in four tries against Springfield this season (3-1-0-0).
Monarchs rookie Martin Jones came away with the victory after making 24 saves on 26 shots in net.
Nick Tarnasky and Brett Regner tallied goals for the Falcons, who dropped to 4-6-0-0 on home ice this season, compared to a 6-3-0-1 road mark.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3, ALBANY 0
John Curry made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season – and ninth of his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton career – as the Penguins topped visiting Albany by a 3-0 count at Mohegan Sun Arena on Wednesday.
Curry, the AHL’s All-Rookie goaltender and a Calder Cup finalist in 2007-08, made 15 of his 29 saves during a first period in which his club was outshot 15-8.
The Penguins turned two of those eight first-period shots into goals, though, as top offensive threats Brett Sterling (power play) and Dustin Jeffrey (shorthanded) each scored on special teams to provide all the offense Curry would need.
Chris Collins tacked on a third-period goal to seal the first-place Penguins’ 15th win in 18 tries this season (15-3-0-0).
The Devils, who suffered their second shutout in six games, suffered just their third road defeat on the year (6-3-0-0).
LAKE ERIE 4, ROCKFORD 2
Lake Erie scored twice apiece in the first and second periods and went on to double up host Rockford by a 4-2 final on Wednesday at the MetroCentre.
The Monsters wrapped up a four-game road swing at an even 2-2-0-0 and moved back over .500 for the season at 10-9-1-2.
Lake Erie forward Ryan Stoa scored twice for his first multiple-goal game of the campaign, while Patrick Rissmiller and Mike Carman also found the back of the net. Rissmiller, who was reassigned from the Chicago Wolves on Saturday, scored for the first time in a Monsters uniform.
Monsters goaltender Jason Bacashihua turned aside 28 of 30 shots between the pipes, improving to 7-5-2 on the year.
TEXAS 5, HOUSTON 3
Aaron Gagnon scored twice as part of a three-goal third period for Texas, and the Stars went on to post a 5-3 win over visiting Houston on Wednesday, defeating the Aeros for the first time in four tries this season (1-3-0-0).
Houston goaltender Anton Khudobin, who entered the night having surrendered five goals in his first three appearances against Texas this year (3-0-0-0), was chased from the game after allowing three scores in the game’s first 16:46.
Rookie Ondrej Roman began the onslaught on the power play at 9:29, and Gagnon then followed with his pair of goals to make it a 3-0 game.
Goaltender Richard Bachman turned aside 25 of 28 shots for the Stars to run his personal winning streak to four games. Texas is 5-1-0-0 in its last six contests overall.