Jeff Taffe, 32, and has played in the American Hockey League for all or parts of 11 seasons.

And the ex-Gopher reached a milestone Saturday night in his 605th AHL game. He got his 500th point. Only four other AHL players have done that.

Taffe reached that milestone with an assist in the Bears' 4-2 loss to Binghamton. He has 203 goals and 297 asssists in the AHL. He also has played in 180 NHL games and has 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 more points.

This season he is the second in the AHL in scoring with 18 goals and 53 assists for 71 points in 72 games.

That puts him four points behind Brandon Pirri of the Rockford Ice Hogs (22-53--75). The Ice Hogs don't have any regular-season games left.

The Bears finish their regular season at 4 p.m. Sunday with a home game agaist Manchester. Currently, they are tied for eighth place -- the final playoff spot -- in the Western Conference with Connecticut and Norfolk. All have 79 points.

Taffe also could wrest the scoring title away from Pirri -- or tie him -- with a big game. Taffe has had three four-point game since early March.

“Jeff's been consistent in a season that there hasn't been a lot of consistency within our lineup,” Bears head coach Mark French is quoted as saying in a recent story in The Patriot-News of Cental PA. “Within our lineup in general, he's been a guy who's been a mainstay for us on the power play.

“He's been a guy that, even when we were struggling offensively as a group, he was a consistent guy that would produce offense for us. He's been very valuable to us because of his excellence throughout the entire season.”

* One of Taffe's new teammates is ex-Gophers defenseman Nate Schmidt. Schmitty had three shots on goal and was a minus-1 last night.

* Another Gopher defenseman new to the AHL is Mark Alt. He had a goal and a game-high six shots on net in Adirondack's 3-2 loss to Springfield on Saturday. Last week he also had a game-winning shootout goal. ... All of that is interesting because Alt did not a score a goal this past season at the U of M.