HARTFORD 3, PORTLAND 1
Hartford continued its late-season tear with a 3-1 road win over Portland on Friday. Patrick Rissmiller had a hand in all three goals for the Wolf Pack, scoring once and adding two assists.
The Wolf Pack have now won four of five (4-1-0-0) and are 12-2-1-0 in their last 15 contests, pushing their overall record to 39-25-3-3 (84 points). Hartford has moved one point up on Providence for first place in the Atlantic Division.
The Pirates grabbed the early 1-0 lead when rookie Nathan Gerbe scored on the power play for his 25th goal of the season 12:06 into the game.
Rissmiller tied it with an unassisted marker at 19:02, and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau gave Hartford the lead for good at 5:12 of the second. Rissmiller and Brendan Bell picked up assists on Parenteau’s 28th goal of the season.
SYRACUSE 5, ROCHESTER 2
Syracuse netted four goals in the third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 victory over Rochester on Friday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Alexandre Picard notched a hat trick for the Crunch, who matched a season high with their fourth straight victory and moved within four points of a playoff spot.
Rochester’s Randall Gelech scored the only goal of the first period, a power play tally. Picard matched it with a man-advantage marker of his own at 8:07 of the second, only to have Amerks rookie defenseman Jason Garrison regain the lead just 1:24 later.
Crunch defenseman Dan Spang tallied the equalizer 5:18 into the third frame, and Picard’s second of the night came at 8:20 to put the Crunch on top to stay.
Picard completed the hat trick with an unassisted tally at 14:09, and rookie Nikita Filatov added a power play scored with 3:01 to play.
Syracuse, which also won four straight from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1, is 7-2-1-0 in its last 10 contests and hosts Albany on Saturday to wrap up a five-game homestand.
BRIDGEPORT 2, WORCESTER 1
Bridgeport regained first place in the East Division with a 2-1 triumph over visiting Worcester at the Arena at Harbor Yard on Friday.
James Sixsmith broke a 1-1 tie at 6:17 of the third period for the Sound Tigers, who avoided what would have been a season-high third straight regulation loss.
Bridgeport’s Junior Lessard broke a scoreless tie 8:34 into the second period, but the Sharks’ Riley Armstrong tallied his team-leading 23rd goal of the season, on the power play, to tie it at 1:13 of the third.
Sound Tigers rookie goaltender Nathan Lawson held on for the victory, finishing with 37 saves on 38 shots.
The Sharks are now two points behind both Portland and Manchester, who are tied for third place in the Atlantic race.
GRAND RAPIDS 2, TORONTO 1 (SO)
Evan McGrath scored in the eighth round of a shootout to lift Grand Rapids past Toronto by a 2-1 count in front of a sellout crowd of 10,834 at Van Andel Arena.
Tim Stapleton and Jiri Tlusty lit the lamp on Toronto’s first two shootout tries, but Griffins goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped each of the next six tries. Jeremy Williams had the Marlies’ lone regulation marker.
Toronto is now four points up on Syracuse for the North Division’s final playoff spot.
LOWELL 2, HERSHEY 1
Lowell snapped a three-game losing skid with a 2-1 win over visiting Hershey on Friday at Tsongas Arena.
Lowell defenseman Olivier Magnan one-timed a feed from Barry Tallackson past Hershey goaltender Michal Neuvirth at 3:53 of the third period, and the Devils held on for just their second victory in the last 10 games (2-7-0-1).
Jay Beagle initially gave the Bears a 1-0 lead 13:59 into the contest, but the Bears could not scored the rest of the way and dropped to second place in the East Division, one point back of Bridgeport.
PHILADELPHIA 2, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 1
Rookie Jonathon Kalinski scored with 19.5 seconds left in regulation to give Philadelphia a critical 2-1 win over visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before 8,620 fans at the Wachovia Spectrum.
The Phantoms trailed 1-0 entering the final 20 minutes, but Jared Ross lit the lamp just 55 seconds into the third frame to tie it.
With the win, the Phantoms closed to within seven points of Binghamton for the East Division’s final playoff spot and host the Senators on Saturday night.
Janne Pesonen netted a first-period power play goal for the Penguins, who lost for just the second time in their last seven games (5-2-0-0).
NORFOLK 4, BINGHAMTON 2
Norfolk captain Zenon Konopka netted a pair of goals as the Admirals doubled up Binghamton by a 4-2 count at the Scope.
ALBANY 1, PROVIDENCE 0 (SO)
Albany emerged from a defensive battle with a 1-0 shootout win over Providence on Friday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Albany goaltender Justin Peters allowed a score to Martin St. Pierre in the opening round before stopping the next five tries. Peters made stopped all 47 shots he faced through the first 65 minutes, and Bruins counterpart Tuukka Rask made 29 saves.
The River Rats’ three-game losing streak and the Bruins’ four-game winning streak each came to an end.
SPRINGFIELD 4, MANCHESTER 3 (SO)
Springfield went to its fourth consecutive shootout and emerged with a 4-3 win over visiting Manchester at the MassMutual Center on Friday.
Ryan Potulny scored twice in regulation and added the winning shootout goal for the Falcons, who are 2-0-0-2 in the last four contests and 7-4 in shootouts for the season.
Falcons goaltender Devan Dubnyk stopped 32 shots through the first 65 minutes and denied four of five in the tiebreaker.
Defenseman Tom Preissing paced the Monarchs with a goal and two assists in regulation, and Scott Parse had the club’s lone shootout score. Manchester moved into a third-place tie with Portland in the Atlantic Division, two points up on Worcester.
LAKE ERIE 2, MILWAUKEE 0
2009 AHL All-Star goaltender Tyler Weiman made 25 saves for his seventh shutout of the season as Lake Erie dropped Milwaukee by a 2-0 count at the Bradley Center.
Per Ledin had a goal and an assist for the Monsters, and defenseman Nigel Williams also found the back of the net. Lake Erie, making its first-ever visit to Milwaukee, avenged a 2-1 overtime loss to the Admirals on Wednesday in Cleveland.
The Admirals had not been blanked since a 4-0 loss at Manitoba on Jan. 14.
Despite the loss, Milwaukee still became the first AHL team to clinch a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs when Chicago lost to Manitoba later in the evening.
IOWA 3, ROCKFORD 2
Iowa grabbed a 3-0 lead before the game was 14 minutes old and held on for a 3-2 win over visiting Rockford at Wells Fargo Arena.
But Iowa goaltender David LeNeveu held on for the victory, finishing with 33 saves on the evening. The Chops moved one point back of Rockford for fifth place in the West and three behind Chicago for the fourth and final guaranteed playoff berth.
QUAD CITY 2, HAMILTON 1 (OT)
Quad City defenseman Anders Eriksson’s third goal of the season came 49 seconds into overtime to lift the Flames to a 2-1 win over Hamilton on Friday at the I Wireless Center.
Hamilton’s Sergei Kostitsyn gave his team the early lead with a goal midway through the first period. The Bulldogs seemed poised for a regulation win until Kris Chucko scored on the power play for the Flames at 19:01 of the third frame.
Chucko then picked up one of the helpers on Eriksson’s game-winner, with David Van der Gulik earning the other.
Flames goaltender Leland Irving picked up the win with 28 saves on 29 shots, as Quad City moved within five points of a playoff spot in the tight West Division.
MANITOBA 6, CHICAGO 3
Manitoba scored four unanswered goals over the game’s final 26 minutes to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 road win over Chicago on Friday at Allstate Arena.
Rallo finished with a pair of goals, Mark Cullen also scored, and Grabner grabbed his team-leading seventh game-winner of the campaign.
Fresh off his first NHL stint, rookie Spencer Machacek netted a pair of goals for the Wolves, and defenseman Clay Wilson posted a goal and a helper in the loss. Chicago is still just one point up on Rockford and now only three ahead of Iowa for fourth place in the West Division.