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O’Reilly strikes late as Milwaukee draws first blood


MILWAUKEE 3, ROCKFORD 1

Playing in his first game for Milwaukee since Mar. 23, Cal O’Reilly snapped a 1-1 tie with 2:52 to play in regulation and then added an empty-netter in the closing seconds to give the Admirals a 3-1 win over Rockford in Game 1 of their West Division semifinal on Thursday.

Milwaukee’s Patric Hornqvist and Rockford’s Akim Aliu exchanged first-period goals, after which neither side scored until O’Reilly’s game-winner.

O’Reilly, who entered with two career AHL playoff goals in 20 games, finished with a three-point night (2-1-3), while Hornqvist assisted on the decisive tally to also post a multiple-point showing (1-1-2).

The 22-year-old O’Reilly had spent the last three weeks of the regular-season with parent-club Nashville and registered his first five career NHL points (3-2-5).

Admirals goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who led the AHL with 34 victories during the regular season (34-15-4), made 31 saves on 32 shots in the winning effort on Thursday.

Milwaukee will host Game 2 of the series on Saturday.