Chris Bourque scored 16:47 into overtime to give the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack a 2-1 win over the Hershey Bears in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Wednesday night.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven is set for Friday.
Bourque, who won three Calder Cup championships with the Bears earlier in his career, one-timed a pass from Oscar Lindberg past Philipp Grubauer from in close for his second goal of this postseason. The MVP of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs now has 82 points in 91 career AHL playoff games.
Chris Conner opened the scoring for the Bears with 53.5 seconds left in the first period as his wraparound attempt banked off a skate and behind Wolf Pack goaltender Yann Danis for his second goal of the playoffs.
Hartford pulled even on a power play at 5:28 of the second period as Chris Mueller cleaned up the rebound of a Marek Hrivik shot, lifting it over a fallen Grubauer for his third goal in the last two games.
Danis (4-2) stopped 36 of 37 shots on the night, allowing two goals or fewer for the sixth time in as many starts this postseason.
Grubauer (1-1) finished with 41 saves in the loss.
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-Hershey Bears vs. 3-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – Hartford 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – Hartford at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., May 10 – Hershey vs. Hartford, 3:00 (at Worcester, Mass.)
Game 4 – Mon., May 11 – Hershey vs. Hartford, 7:00 (at Worcester, Mass.)
*Game 5 – Wed., May 13 – Hartford at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Fri., May 15 – Hershey at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., May 17 – Hartford at Hershey, 5:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern