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Penguins, IceHogs advance to division finals


Friday’s Boxscores

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 7, HERSHEY 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton broke a 3-3 tie with four unanswered goals in the third period and took a 7-3 victory over Hershey on Friday at the Wachovia Arena, capturing their East Division semifinal series, 4-1.

2008 AHL All-Rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski posted two goals and an assist for the Penguins, who won the best-of-7 series, 4-1. The Pens advance to take on either Philadelphia or Albany in the division finals.

Tim Brent, Goligoski, Nathan Smith, and Dennis Bonvie netted goals as part of the third-period outburst. Bonvie’s goal came in his 100th career Calder Cup Playoff game.

Brent finished with a game-high four points (1-3-4), and the Penguins also received goals from Luca Caputi – his first as a professional – and Chris Minard.

Penguins goaltender John Curry, also a member of the AHL All-Rookie Team, turned aside 30 saves to secure the victory.

Alexandre Giroux and Eric Fehr had a goal and an assist apiece for the Bears, and Maxime Lacroix also scored.

The Bears are eliminated from postseason play after winning the Calder Cup in 2006 and reaching the Finals again in 2007.


ROCKFORD 5, HOUSTON 2
Five different players netted goals as Rockford advanced to the West Division finals with a 5-2 road win over Houston at the Toyota Center.

The IceHogs took the best-of-7 opening-round series over the Aeros, 4-1, winning three straight games on Houston’s home ice.

Kris Versteeg, Michael Blunden, Bryan Bickell, Jake Dowell, and Derek Nesbitt all scored for Rockford. All goals except for Blunden’s came unassisted.

IceHogs goaltender Corey Crawford earned the victory with 28 saves, helping Rockford move on to a date with either Chicago or Milwaukee in the next round.

The Aeros’ six combined goals tied an AHL record for fewest goals scored in a five-game series.


TORONTO 2, SAN ANTONIO 1
Toronto netted a pair of second-period goals to rally for a 2-1 road win over San Antonio in Game 5 of their North Division semifinal before 7,022 fans at the AT&T Center.

The Marlies now lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2, and can close out the Rampage at Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday.

Jon DiSalvatore initially gave San Antonio a 1-0 lead at the 18:08 mark of the first period.

Toronto defenseman Andy Wozniewski netted the equalizer 3:35 into the middle stanza, and John Mitchell scored the game-winner at 8:50. Neither team lit the lamp in the third period.

Marlies goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped 26 of 27 shots in the victory.


MANITOBA 5, SYRACUSE 2
Jason Jaffray posted a goal and an assist in his first game since Mar. 16 as Manitoba cruised to a 5-2 win over visiting Syracuse before 8,800 fans at the MTS Centre, evening their North Division semifinal at two games apiece.

After Syracuse’s Joakim Lindstrom scored to make it a 1-0 game, the Moose received goals from Danny Groulx, Alexandre Bolduc, Jaffray, and Michael Grabner to take a 4-1 lead.

Crunch forward Derek MacKenzie scored a shorthanded goal late in the second period to cut into the lead, but Manitoba’s Mike Brown finished the game off with an empty-netter with 1:02 to go.

Manitoba goaltender Cory Schneider made 29 saves for his first career playoff victory.

The teams are right back on the MTS Centre for a pivotal Game 5 on Saturday night.