WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 6, SYRACUSE 0
Making his first appearance since Oct. 24, second-year pro Nick Johnson scored twice in a 1:18 span to spark a five-goal first period for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and the Penguins rolled to a 6-0 road win over Syracuse on Wednesday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Johnson, who missed the Penguins’ last 16 games with an ankle injury, scored at 6:11 and 7:29 of the opening period for his second and third goals of the campaign. Mark Letestu earned an assist on both markers.
Eric Tangradi and defenseman Chris Lee increased the Pens’ lead to 4-0 with power play goals, and leading scorer Dustin Jeffrey (4-21-25) added another marker to make it 5-0. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which entered having totaled just 17 first-period goals in 23 games, held a 12-3 shots advantage in the stanza.
After a scoreless second period, Pens captain Wyatt Smith registered a power play goal just 57 seconds into the third frame.
Johnson (2-1-3), Lee (1-1-2), Jeffrey (1-1-2), Tangradi (1-1-2), Letestu (0-2-2), and Robert Bortuzzo (0-2-2) all finished with multiple points for the Penguins, and goaltender Adam Berkhoel earned the shutout with 25 saves in his AHL season debut.
The Crunch lost in regulation at home for just the third time in 12 outings this season (7-3-1-1).
GRAND RAPIDS 4, SAN ANTONIO 2
Kris Newbury’s insurance goal at 13:39 of the third period turned out to be the game-winner as Grand Rapids took a 4-2 win over visiting San Antonio on Wednesday at Van Andel Arena.
After a scoreless first period, the Griffins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. Francis Pare converted a penalty shot at 10:18 for his first goal of the season, and Jeremy Williams made it a 2-0 game at 13:43 with his 10th of the year.
The Rampage finally got on the board 3:25 into the third period when Kevin Porter struck on the power play. Newbury then extended Grand Rapids’ lead to 3-1, a goal that would prove decisive when San Antonio’s Brett MacLean closed the gap at 16:53. Jan Mursak added an empty netter for the Griffins at the 19:23 mark.
San Antonio dropped the opener of its four-game road swing and fell to 3-11-1-1 in its last 16 contests overall.
Goaltender Daniel Larsson picked up the win with 29 saves for the Griffins, who captured their first win against San Antonio this season (1-2-0-0).
HAMILTON 5, ABBOTSFORD 1
Hamilton raced out to a 5-0 lead by the midpoint of the third period on its way to a 5-1 win over visiting Abbotsford at Copps Coliseum.
After a scoreless opening period, the Bulldogs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second as both Mikael Johansson and Grant Stevenson scored their first goals of the season. Brock Trotter then scored less than two minutes after Stevenson’s goal, giving the ‘Dogs a 3-0 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes.
PEORIA 5, TEXAS 1
Five different Peoria skaters found the back of the net as the Rivermen captured a 5-1 road win over Texas on Wednesday at the Cedar Park Center.
Barry Tallackson led the charge with a goal, and assist, and a plus-three showing for Peoria. Cam Paddock, Julian Talbot, Brett Sonne, and Adam Cracknell also scored in the victory. Cracknell’s goal, which came shorthanded in the third period, extended his points streak to six games (3-3-6).
Peoria finished 2-for-3 on the power play, and Rivermen goaltender Ben Bishop (8-4-1) made 18 saves to increase his personal winning streak to four games.
Greg Rallo notched his team-high 11th goal of the year for the Stars, whose three-game winning streak came to an end.