|Penguins forward Jake Guentzel continues to score at will while in the AHL. Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Shootouts and comebacks a plenty featured in Friday night's AHL Atlantic Division action, as teams trending upward continued to find ways to win - some more dramatic than others.
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms are back at it tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET at home against the Providence Bruins. We'll have full coverage of tonight's game on Highland Park Hockey, so stay tuned here and on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock.
After the jump, a look around the Atlantic Division as well as a look ahead to Saturday's games.
Atlantic Division Standings (through 12/16's games)
1. W-B/Scranton Penguins, 26 games played, 17-5-3-0 = 39 points (0.750 PCT)
2. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, 27 games played, 19-7-1-0 = 39 points (0.722 PCT)
3. Hershey Bears, 26 games played, 15-5-4-2 = 36 points (0.692 PCT)
4. Providence Bruins, 26 games played, 13-6-4-3 = 33 points (0.635 PCT)7. Hartford Wolf Pack, 26 games played, 8-14-3-1 = 20 points (0.385 PCT)
6. Springfield Thunderbirds, 25 games played, 11-9-3-2 = 27 points (0.540 PCT)
5. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 26 games played, 16-10-0-0 = 32 points (0.615 PCT)
Hershey - 2 at Lehigh Valley - 3 (SO)
Allentown, PA - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms haven't held back from the dramatics so far this week, and it continued Friday night against rival Hershey in front of 7,081 fans at the PPL Center.
The Phantoms needed to play catch up, but evened the score late in the second period and battled all the way through to their first shootout of the season thanks to an incredible point blank save by Alex Lyon in the final seconds of overtime.
In the shootout, Andy Miele was able to convert for the only goal in the three rounds of breakaways to secure the two points and give the Phantoms a perfect 4-0 record on their current season-high six game home stand with one more game Saturday night against Providence before the team goes on an extended break for the holidays.
Rochester - 1 at W-B/Scranton - 4
Wilkes-Barre, PA - The Penguins jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back Friday night against Rochester in another win for the Atlantic Division's first place team.
Jake Guentzel, David Warsofsky and Lukas Bengtsson tallied a goal and an assist each for the Pens in the win while Kyle Bonis ended Casey DeSmith's shutout bid with 1:22 left in regulation.
The Penguins remain home to host Springfield Saturday while Rochester returns home to host the St. John's IceCaps.
Binghamton - 1 at Springfield - 3
Springfield, MA - After a scoreless first 33:12 of hockey, the Thunderbirds tallied a pair of late second period goals and held on for the win Friday night at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, MA.
Jared McCann and Greg McKegg gave the Thunderbirds a 2-0 lead heading to the final frame, and although BSens forward Kyle Flanagan made it a one-goal game with 4:29 left to play the Thunderbirds were able to hold on for the two points and McKegg tallied his second of the night on the empty net in the final seconds of the contest.
The Thunderbirds head to Wilkes-Barre for a matchup with the first place Penguins while Binghamton returns home to Floyd L Maines Veterans Memorial Arena to host the Utica Comets.
Bridgeport - 2 at Providence - 3
Providence, RI - The Sound Tigers took a 2-0 lead into the final five minutes of regulation, but a thrilling three-goal outburst by Providence saw them steal the game in regulation with a 3-2 win to extend their unbeaten streak to an impressive 13 games.
Ben Holmstrom and Tanner Fritz gave Bridgeport the lead, but three goals in a span of 2:04 from Tommy Cross, Frank Vatrano and Peter Cehlarik gave the home fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center something to cheer about.
Bridgeport heads home to host the Syracuse Crunch, while the PBruins put their 13-game unbeaten streak to the test against a very talented Lehigh Valley Phantoms squad at the PPL Center Saturday night.
Syracuse - 1 at Hartford - 2 (SO)
Hartford, CT - The last place team in the Atlantic Division gave the top team in the North Division all they could handle and then some, as the Hartford WolfPack defeated Syracuse in a shootout Friday night at the XL Center in downtown Hartford, CT.
It appeared the game would be a high-scoring affair when the two teams traded goals 15 seconds apart less than three minutes into the game. Brian Hart got his first of the season to give the Crunch a 1-0 lead but Hartford's Adam Tambellini responded on the next shift for the home team.
Those were the only goals scored in regulation as goaltenders Adam Wilcox and Brandon Halverson shut the door and engaged in quite the goaltender's duel.
Tambellini and Nicklas Jensen scored for Hartford in the shootout while Halverson stopped both of the Crunch's shooters to get the win.
Syracuse continues on their weekend road trip Saturday with a visit to Webster Bank Arena to face Bridgeport, while Hartford heads to Hershey for a Saturday night matchup with the Bears at Giant Center.
Other AHL Scores
Iowa - 2 at Cleveland - 1 (SO)
St. John's - 3 at Utica - 0
Tucson - 5 at San Antonio - 4 (OT)
Milwaukee - 4 at Texas - 3
Bakersfield - 2 at Ontario - 3
Stockton - 5 at San Diego - 3
Saturday's AHL Schedule
Albany at Toronto - 1:30 p.m. ET
Grand Rapids at Charlotte - 6:00 p.m. ET
Syracuse at Bridgeport - 7:00 p.m. ET
Hartford at Hershey - 7:00 p.m. ET
Utica at Binghamton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Providence at Lehigh Valley - 7:05 p.m. ET
St. John's at Rochester - 7:05 p.m. ET
Springfield at W-B/Scranton - 7:05 p.m. ET
Cleveland at Chicago - 8:00 p.m. ET
Manitoba at Rockford - 8:00 p.m. ET
Tucson at San Antonio - 8:00 p.m. ET
Milwaukee at Texas - 8:00 p.m. ET
Bakersfield at San Jose - 9:00 p.m. ET
Bakersfield at San Jose - 9:00 p.m. ET
Stockton at San Diego - 10:00 p.m. ET