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Monsters roll in playoff return

Back in the postseason for the first time in five years, the Lake Erie Monsters rolled to a 5-2 win over the Rockford IceHogs in Game 1 of the teams’ Central Division semifinal series on Wednesday night.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series is Thursday in Rockford.

Alex Broadhurst notched a goal and two assists for Lake Erie, Zach Werenski and Dean Kukan had a goal and an assist each, and Oliver Bjorkstrand and Michael Chaput notched two helpers apiece as the Monsters won their first postseason contest as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ top affiliate — the franchise’s first playoff win since Apr. 21, 2011.

Joonas Korpisalo made 28 saves for Lake Erie, taking a shutout bid into the final six minutes before Tyler Motte and Dennis Rasmussen scored late in the third.

The Monsters’ win was their first regulation victory in their last 13 tries at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford.

Central Division Semifinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
C2-Lake Erie Monsters vs. C3-Rockford IceHogs
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Lake Erie 5, ROCKFORD 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 21 – Lake Erie at Rockford, 8:00
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Rockford at Lake Erie, 7:00
*Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Rockford at Lake Erie, 7:00
*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Rockford at Lake Erie, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern