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Wed. roundup: Whale continue on tear

Wednesday’s AHL Boxscores

CONNECTICUT 6, ADIRONDACK 4
Tim Kennedy scored his first goal in nearly a month and added a pair of assists – including one on the game-winning goal – as Connecticut feasted on Adirondack and continued its winning ways with a 6-4 road win over the Phantoms on Wednesday at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

The Whale extended their season-high winning streak to five games, the franchise’s longest since the Hartford Wolf Pack won seven in a row from Feb. 20 to Mar. 4, 2009.

Connecticut is 7-0-0-1 since becoming the Whale on Nov. 27 and has lifted itself into fourth place and a playoff position in the Atlantic Division at 13-11-2-4 overall.

Kennedy, a member of the AHL’s All-Rookie team in 2008-09, matched his season high with the three-point effort. He assisted on a Kris Newbury goal early in the second period and then teamed with Wade Redden to score two goals in an 11-seconds span later in the frame as Connecticut built a 3-0 lead.

Kennedy, who had not registered a goal since Nov. 20 at Binghamton, later helped out on a third-period power play strike by Dale Weise, which turned out to be the game-winning marker.

Newbury also finished with a goal and two helpers on the night, and rookie Mats Zuccarello capped off the Whale’s scoring with a late empty-netter.

Connecticut rookie goaltender Cameron Talbot improved to 5-2-1 for the season with 16 saves on 20 shots.

Rookie Ben Holmstrom had a team-high three points (1-2-3) for the Phantoms, who also received goals from Denis Hamel (1-1-2) and defenseman Danny Syvret (1-1-2) in the losing effort.

Adirondack has now lost three straight games and 13 of its last 14 (1-12-1-0).

GRAND RAPIDS 5, HOUSTON 2
Grand Rapids built a 3-0 lead and then held off a third-period Houston rally to earn a 5-2 win over the visiting Aeros on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.

Francis Pare (even strength), Jordan Owens (shorthanded), and defenseman Jakub Kindl (power play) all scored goals at varying strengths for the Griffins in period one to make it a 3-0 contest.

Grand Rapids maintained that lead through the second period and into the third, and Jamie Johnson, who had assisted on two of the prior goals, extended the lead to 4-0 with a goal of his own at the 4:27 mark.

Houston attempted a comeback on scores by Cody Almond and Colton Gillies – with defenseman Maxim Noreau assisting on both – but Brent Raedeke sealed the Griffins’ victory with a late empty-netter.

Pare joined Johnson with a goal and two helpers for the Griffins; captain Jamie Tardif had two assists; and goaltender Joey MacDonald earned the win with 17 saves between the pipes.

Coupled with Sunday’s 4-2 win over Texas, Grand Rapids now has back-to-back victories for the first time since beating Chicago and Lake Erie on Nov. 6 and 7.

Houston fell to 1-2-0-0 on its five-game road trip, which concludes with a pair of tilts at Manitoba this weekend.

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2, ABBOTSFORD 1 (OT)
Nick Johsnon scored 1:50 overtime to lift Wilkes-Barre/Scranton past visiting Abbotsford by a 2-1 count at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Wednesday.

The Penguins (22-6-0-0) halted a season-worst two-game losing skid and increased their lead atop the East Division race to five points over second-place Norfolk.

Keven Veilleux put Wilkes-Barre on top just 3:43 into the game, and that lead held until there was just 1:43 left in regulation, when Heat defenseman Brent Seabrook tallied the equalizer for his fourth goal of the season.

Johnson’s overtime winner – his seventh marker of the year and second game-winner – was assisted by Steve Wagner and Ryan Craig.

Penguins goaltender John Curry collected the victory with 29 saves in net, while Abbotsford’s Matt Keetley made 20 stops in the losing effort.

CHICAGO 4, ROCKFORD 2
Chicago snapped a 2-2 deadlock with a pair of goals 1:49 apart early in the third period and went on to double up host Rockford by a 4-2 count on Wednesday at the MetroCentre.

Wolves rookie forward Ryan Garbutt scored the eventual game-winning goal at the 2:05 mark, and defenseman Arturs Kulda followed with his first marker of the season at 3:54.

Nigel Dawes initially gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead with a first-period power play goal, but Rockford came back to take a 2-1 advantage on strikes by Peter LeBlanc and Jeff Taffe in the first and second frames, respectively.

Rookie Michael Davies tied it back up for Chicago late in the second frame, setting the stage for the Wolves’ third-period heroics.

Chicago goaltender Peter Mannino earned the win with 30 saves in net, as the Wolves improved to 9-3-1-0 in their last 13 games and moved back to the .500 mark at 14-14-2-0 (30 points) overall, five points back of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Rockford is now winless in its last three outings (0-1-1-1) and will seek revenge when it hosts the Wolves again on Friday night.