The West Division was in the spotlight Tuesday, as Toby Petersen’s goal with 17.6 seconds left in overtime gave Iowa a 5-4 win over Chicago, moving the Stars to within one point of clinching fourth place while eliminating the Wolves from playoff contention... Omaha’s hopes were dealt a major blow with a 4-1 loss to Houston... Peoria stayed within reach of second place by defeating San Antonio, 3-2.
Two spots remain unclaimed with the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs just a week away, and one can be wrapped up on Wednesday unless Binghamton can continue its frantic finish with a win in Norfolk (7:15 ET)... The Senators have already won four in a row, but they need to earn at least seven points in their final four games – while Bridgeport stumbles – to avoid finishing out of the money in the East Division... The Sens have dropped six of eight meetings with the Admirals this season... Denis Hamel has scored a goal in seven straight games against Norfolk (12g)... Michael Blunden, a second-round draft pick by Chicago in 2005, has recorded a goal and four assists in nine games since joining the Admirals from Erie (OHL).
Third place in the Atlantic Division is still up for grabs as well, with Providence entering its visit to Manchester on Wednesday (7:05 ET) trailing the Monarchs by one point... The season series is even at 10 points apiece, meaning Wednesday’s winner would get the edge in the event the clubs finish tied in points and wins... Tyler Redenbach has six goals and an assist in his last five games for the Bruins, including a hat trick in Sunday’s 6-1 win over Springfield... Matt Lashoff, Boston’s first-round draft pick in 2005, made his pro debut with the P-Bruins in three games over the weekend... Alexandre Daigle has recorded 12 points in 13 games for the Monarchs... Adam Hauser made 35 saves in Manchester’s 2-0 shutout of Albany on Saturday.
Syracuse can move closer to securing home-ice advantage in its opening-round series with Manitoba if the Crunch can down Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday (7:00 ET)... Syracuse is on a 17-5-3-2 tear since Feb. 8, and is one win away from the franchise’s first 100-point season... In 13 games since leading scorer Mark Hartigan was recalled by Columbus on Mar. 9, Joe Motzko has picked up 19 points (10g, 9a) and rookie Geoff Platt has added 16 points (8g, 8a)... Also on Mar. 9, Wilkes-Barre added Krys Kolanos and Petr Taticek in deadline deals; since then, Kolanos has 16 points (9g, 7a) in 15 games, Taticek has four goals and three assists and the Penguins are 9-2-2-2.
On Tuesday, Donald MacLean scored in his NHL season debut, helping Detroit clinch the President’s Trophy with a 2-0 win over Edmonton... Josh Harding made 27 saves for his first NHL shutout as Minnesota blanked Chicago, 2-0... 2005 Calder Cup champion Josh Gratton scored his first NHL goal in Phoenix’s 6-4 loss to Colorado... Brian Gionta scored 28 seconds into overtime as New Jersey clinched a playoff berth with a 4-3 win over Carolina... On Monday, 2001 AHL All-Star Jonathan Cheechoo scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season as San Jose beat Phoenix, 3-2.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1972 – Howie Menard sets a Calder Cup Playoff record with seven points in Baltimore’s 10-1 win over Cleveland in Game 5 of their Western Division semifinal series... 1938 – The Providence Reds win the Calder Cup championship with a 4-1 victory over the Syracuse Stars.