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Bulldogs, Heat take 1-0 leads in North semis

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HAMILTON 2, MANITOBA 0
Second Team AHL All-Star Cedrick Desjardins recorded a 21-save shutout in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut as Hamilton took a 2-0 win over visiting Manitoba in Game 1 of their North Division semifinal at Copps Coliseum on Thursday.

Mike Glumac gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead early in the first period with his sixth career AHL playoff goal, with Ryan White and defenseman P.K. Subban earning the assists.

Hamilton nursed that slim advantage through the second period and into the third until Ryan Russell tallied an insurance goal at 3:37 of the third frame. White also assisted on that tally, as did rearguard Andre Benoit.

Desjardins, who ranked second in the AHL with six shutouts during the regular season, turned aside six shots in the first period, eight in the second, and seven in the third.

Goaltender Cory Schneider took the loss in net with 16 saves for the Moose, who registered the AHL’s fourth-worst offense in the regular year, averaging 2.55 goals per contest.

Game 2 of the series is a Saturday afternoon matinee in Hamilton.

ABBOTSFORD 3, ROCHESTER 2
Defenseman Keith Seabrook tallied a pair of goals – including the eventual game-winner – as Abbotsford edged host Rochester by a 3-2 count on Thursday in the opener of their North Division semifinal.

Seabrook, a rookie who hadn’t registered a multiple-goal game during the entire regular season, scored just 35 seconds after the opening face-off to put the Heat on top. Shawn Wellar notched as power play goal at 8:16, giving Abbotsford a 2-0 edge after 20 minutes.

Amerks defenseman Jordan Henry made it a 2-1 contest on the power play at 15:32 of the second period, but Seabrook came back with his second of the night, also on the power play, with only 1:43 to play in the second frame.

Seabrook’s goal proved decisive when veteran Americans forward Mike York connected on a power play in the game’s closing minute. Graham Mink picked up his second assist of the night on the play.

Defenseman Staffan Kronwall earned two assists for the Heat, and ex-Amerks goaltender David Shantz picked up the win with 30 saves on 32 shots.

Game 2 is set for Saturday night in Rochester.