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Amerks strike early, often to even series

The Rochester Americans scored twice in the opening two minutes of the game, setting the tone for a 7-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves on Friday night to force their Western Conference quarterfinal series to a fifth and deciding game.

The teams will meet one more time on Sunday afternoon for the right to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Rookie Joel Armia, a first-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, opened the scoring 1:31 into the game with the first of his four points on the night (2g, 2a), and Nick Crawford made it 2-0 in favor of the Americans just eight seconds later.

By the end of the opening period, Rochester had opened up a 4-1 lead and was well on its way to snapping a six-game road losing streak in postseason play.

Brayden Irwin also scored twice for the Amerks, Frederick Roy and Johan Larsson added single goals and Kevin Porter tallied three assists as Rochester became the first team in Chicago’s AHL playoff history (124 games) to score seven goals in a postseason game against the Wolves.

Nathan Longpre and Christian Hanson scored for the Wolves.

Andrey Makarov stopped 28 of 30 shots to pick up the win for Rochester. Jake Allen allowed five goals on 17 shots before giving way to Matt Climie, who stopped 13 of 15 shots in relief.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
2-Chicago Wolves vs. 7-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Chicago 4, ROCHESTER 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 26 – ROCHESTER 3. Chicago 2
Game 3 – Thu., May 1 – CHICAGO 4, Rochester 0
Game 4 – Fri., May 2 – Rochester 7, CHICAGO 2
Game 5 – Sun., May 4 – Rochester at Chicago, 4:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern