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Lock Monsters, Bruins take 3-2 series leads

Cam Ward made 37 saves to backstop Lowell to a 3-2 road win over Hartford on Thursday night in Game 5 of their Atlantic Division semifinal series.

The Lock Monsters will take a 3-2 series lead back home for Game 6 on Saturday night.

Defenseman Bruno St. Jacques assisted on all three Lowell goals, including scores by Richie Regehr and Mike Zigomanis 17 seconds apart late in the second period.

Eric Staal also scored for the Lock Monsters. Regehr finished with a goal and an assist, and Chad Larose added two assists.

Ward, the AHL’s All-Rookie goaltender for 2004-05, made 14 stops in the third period with the Wolf Pack pressing to come back. Jeff Hamilton scored with Hartford skating 6-on-4 with 1:15 left in regulation, but Ward and the Lock Monsters held on.

Jason LaBarbera (1-2) made 29 saves in net for the Wolf Pack.

In the other Atlantic Division semi, Providence got a tie-breaking goal from Kevin Dallman 1:23 into the third period, then held on for a 4-2 victory over Manchester at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

The Bruins, up 3-2 in the series, can eliminate the Monarchs at home on Satuday night.

Andy Hilbert recorded four assists and Keith Aucoin finished with a goal and two assists for Providence, which sent Manchester to its eighth loss in 10 home playoff games all-time.

Hannu Toivonen made 27 saves for the B’s, allowing only a pair of goals to Dustin Brown.