Saturday's Morning Skate 3/8

Saturday, March 8, 2014
The East Division race got even more compact after last night's action. The difference between 4th place Hershey and first place Binghamton is three points. The difference in the conference is Binghamton sits in third, while Hershey is not in the playoffs if they started today in 9th place.

Friday Night Around The East Division

Utica - 2, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton - 1 (SO)

A storybook ending in a St. Patrick's themed night in Utica as the Comets stun the Penguins with a game tying goal in the final seconds of regulation and an eventual shootout winning goal from former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Cal O'Reilly.

Peter Mannino stopped 20 of 21 and stopped four of five shooters in the shootout, but was out dueled by Joacim Eriksson who stopped 32 of 33 in regulation and overtime and all five WBS shooters in the shootout.

Ex WBS forward Brandon DeFazio tied the game at 1-1 with 7.2 seconds left in regulation on a goal mouth scrum with the extra attacker on the ice, sending the sold out crowd at the Utica Memorial Auditorium into a frenzy. After an 0-7-1-1 start to the season for the first year AHL franchise, the Comets have turned things around and have moved within striking distance on a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Hershey - 3, Norfolk - 2

In Norfolk for a two-game set with the Admirals, the Hershey Bears snapped a six-game losing skid and tighten the East Division to a four-team race. Michael Latta and Dane Byers each tallied a goal and an assist in the win for the Bears.

Norfolk jumped out in front on Devante Smith-Pelly's 21st of the season in the first period, but the Admirals surrendered three straight goals before making it a one goal game in the waning seconds. The two teams rematch at the Norfolk Scope again tonight.

Rochester - 4, Syracuse - 1

The Rochester Americans jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back, handing Kirsters Gudlevskis and the Syracuse Crunch a loss to start the weekend. Four different Amerks tallied goals in the win. Joel Armia (1G-1A) and Chad Ruhwedel (0G-2A) each finished with a game-high two points in a well-balanced offensive attack from the home team.

Other Eastern Conference Scores (3/7)

St. John's - 3, Bridgeport - 2
Hartford - 6, Springfield - 2
Manchester - 4, Adirondack - 2
Albany - 4, Portland - 3 (SO)
Worcester - 5, Providence - 4 (SO)

Saturday's Schedule

Providence @ Manchester at 3:00 p.m. ET
Bridgeport @ St. John's at 6:00 p.m. ET
WBS Penguins @ Hamilton at 7:00 p.m. ET
Springfield @ Adirondack at 7:00 p.m. ET
Albany @ Hartford at 7:00 p.m. ET
Rochester @ Syracuse at 7:00 p.m. ET
Portland @ Worcester at 7:00 p.m. ET
Utica @ Binghamton at 7:05 p.m. ET
Hershey @ Norfolk at 7:15 p.m. ET

East Division Standings (Conference Position)

1. Binghamton (3rd) - 20 games remaining, 70 points
2. Norfolk (5th) - 18 games remaining, 70 points 
3. Penguins (8th) - 18 games remaining, 68 points
4. Hershey (9th) - 18 games remaining, 67 points
5. Syracuse (13th) - 20 games remaining, 53 points


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