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Amerks, Wolves advance to Round 2

Another night, another rally, another victory for the Rochester Americans.

Derek Roy broke a 3-3 tie with 3:01 left in regulation and Rochester went on to a 5-4 win over Hamilton on Tuesday night, completing a four-game sweeep of the Bulldogs in their North Division semifinal series.

The Amerks, who trailed 3-2 early in the third period of Game 4, came from behind to win all four games. They swept Hamilton out of the postseason for the second straight spring, and are now 16-4 in 20 all-time postseason games against the Bulldogs.

Tomas Plekanec scored twice as Hamilton made the first comeback of the night, erasing a 2-0 deficit and taking the lead on Jason Ward‘s goal 4:31 into the third period. But Chris Taylor tied the score 75 seconds later, and Roy put Rochester back in front at the 16:59 mark.

Thomas Vanek‘s empty-net goal with 1:06 remaining seemed to seal the win, but Ron Hainsey got the ‘Dogs back within a goal at 19:31.

Roy finished with two goals and an assist, Taylor had a goal and two assists and Vanek recorded a goal and an assist for the Amerks, who won four straight from the Bulldogs after losing eight of their last 11 regular-season matches.

Ryan Miller made 28 saves for the win; Yann Danis stopped 30 shots in the loss.

Rochester now awaits either Manitoba or St. John’s for the North Division final.

CHICAGO 5, HOUSTON 3
Brian Maloney scored with 1:50 left in regulation, snapping a 3-3 tie and propelling Chicago into the West Division finals with a 5-3 victory in Houston.

The Wolves won the series, four games to one, by winning three straight at the Toyota Center.

Tommi Santala and Cory Larose had a goal and an assist each for the Wolves, and Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves for his 19th win in his last 22 starts.

Zbynek Michalek had a goal and an assist for the Aeros, who are 0-5 in home playoff games over the past two postseasons.

Chicago will face either Milwaukee or Cincinnati in the next round.

LOWELL 3, HARTFORD 2
Two goals from Mike Zigomanis 1:47 apart late in the first period were enough to lead Lowell to a 3-2 win over Hartford in Game 4 of their Atlantic Division semifinal series on Tuesday.

The series is tied at 2-2 heading back to Hartford for Game 5 on Thursday.

Gordie Dwyer‘s goal early in the second period would prove to be the game-winner. Ryan Bayda had two assists and Cam Ward made 21 saves for the Lock Monsters.

Jeff Hamilton and Jamie Lundmark scored for the Wolf Pack, with Alexandre Giroux recording two assists. That trio has combined for eight goals and 16 points in the series.