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Koltsov sends Pens to seventh heaven

Konstantin Koltsov scored off a Matt Hussey pass at 11:44 of overtime to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 3-2 win over Bridgeport in Game 7 on Sunday evening at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

The Penguins will face either Philadelphia or Norfolk in the East Division final.

Hussey picked up a loose puck at center ice, skated in on the right wing, and feathered a pass across to Koltsov, who slid a shot under Dieter Kochan for his second goal of the game, ending just 11th overtime Game 7 in AHL history.

The Pens are the 11th team in AHL history to successfuly come back from a 3-1 series deficit in a Calder Cup Playoff series, and the 14th to rally from 0-2 down.

It was also the fifth game of the series to require OT, an AHL record.

Wilkes-Barre’s Tom Kostopoulos and Bridgeport’s Jody Robinson traded first-period goals, and after Koltsov’s first goal of the night made it 2-1, Rob Collins scored early in the third to square the score again.

Andy Chiodo celebrated his 21st birthday with 32 saves and his third straight win.

Attendance was 4,050 at the Arena, thanks largely to a tremendous contingent of Penguins fans who roared loudly in support of the visiting club.

ROCHESTER 6, SYRACUSE 0
Rochester avoided elimination with a 6-0 win at Syracuse in Game 5, the Amerks’ second 6-0 shutout victory at the Onondaga County War Memorial in the series.

Jason Pominville scored twice and Paul Gaustad recorded a goal and two assists for Rochester, which still trails in the series, three games to two.

Tom Askey made his first start of the postseason and made 30 saves for the win.

CLEVELAND 4, HAMILTON 3 (OT)
Shane Joseph scored 5:03 into overtime to give Cleveland a 4-3 win in Hamilton, evening their North Division semifinal series at one game each.

Joseph and Tavis Hansen finished with a goal and an assist each on the night, and Christian Ehrhoff recorded three assists.

Chris Higgins scored twice for the Bulldogs.

HARTFORD 5, PORTLAND 3
Craig Weller scored twice during a four-goal first period as Hartford stormed to a 5-3 win in Portland, taking a 3-1 series lead in the process.

Dominic Moore and Alexandre Giroux also added a goal and an assist each, with Giroux’s goal coming on a penalty shot. The Wolf Pack scored four times on 11 shots in the first to chase starter Rastislav Stana.

Jason LaBarbera finished with 23 saves for Hartford.