Jozef Balej scored just 12 seconds into overtime to give Hartford a 4-3 win in Worcester on Sunday and a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Atlantic Division final series. It was Balej’s second overtime goal of the postseason and fourth game-winning score.
Balej found a loose puck in front of the IceCats net on the first shift of OT and buried it over Curtis Sanford to end the second-shortest overtime game in AHL playoff history.
The 22-year-old forward also had an assist, and has tallied a point in all eight of the Wolf Pack’s playoff games.
Hartford rallied three times in regulation to tie the score. Dominic Moore had a goal and an assist and Chad Wiseman scored a shorthanded tally, the Pack’s third this postseason.
Jason LaBarbera made 24 saves for his and the team’s seventh straight victory. The AHL’s regular-season MVP is 16-1-4 in his last 21 road decisions.
The road team has now won the last 11 overtime games in the Calder Cup 2004 Playoffs.
Game 4 is Wednesday night at the Hartford Civic Center, as the Wolf Pack look for the sweep.