Joakim Kemell scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Devin Cooley made 28 saves in his first appearance this postseason, helping Milwaukee to a 3-1 win over Coachella Valley in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Monday evening.
The Firebirds still hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 4 on Thursday.
After a scoreless opening period, Coachella Valley struck first for the third consecutive time in the series as Shane Wright knocked home a loose puck for his second goal of the playoffs at 4:08 of the second frame.
Marc Del Gaizo tied it up at 1-1 just over three minutes later with a drive that beat Joey Daccord, and Kemell scored what would be his third game-winning goal this postseason with 3:52 before intermission.
Keaton Thompson, who assisted on Kemell’s goal, then scored 5:39 into the third to provide the final margin of victory. The two points were Thompson’s first since Feb. 25.
Cooley picked up the win and was named the game’s first star in his first action since Apr. 14.
Daccord stopped 34 shots for the Firebirds in the loss.
(Coachella Valley leads series, 2-1)
Game 1 – Thu., May 25 – COACHELLA VALLEY 6, Milwaukee 4 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., May 27 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Milwaukee 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Mon., May 29 – MILWAUKEE 3, Coachella Valley 1
Game 4 – Thu., June 1 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 5 – Sat., June 3 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 5 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 7 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern