Dan Jancevski’s shot from the left point found its way into the back of the net with 6:50 gone in the second overtime period, giving Hamilton a 6-5 win over Chicago in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at Allstate Arena on Friday night.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Kyle Chipchura tallied two goals and two assists to lead the Bulldogs, who won their third Game 1 on the road this postseason.
Both teams squandered two-goal leads in the game. Hamilton raced out to a 2-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old, but Chicago struck for four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead into the third period.
Bulldogs forwards Jonathan Ferland and Eric Manlow scored 2:10 apart midway through the third to tie the score, but Brett Sterling put the Wolves back in front on his seventh postseason goal with 7:51 remaining.
Chipchura then made a terrific individual effort to allow Hamilton to pull back even with 4:13 left.
After a scoreless first overtime, the Bulldogs dominated the second OT period, finishing with a 9-1 edge in shots. Jancevski’s winning goal came eight seconds after Brian Fahey was whistled off for a hooking minor.
Yann Danis stopped 17 of 18 shots in relief for Hamilton, earning the win in his first game action this postseason.
The Wolves scored at least five goals in a game for the fifth time in their last seven contests.
Western Conference Final – Series "N" (best-of-7)
W2-Chicago Wolves vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs
Game 1 – Fri., May 18 – Hamilton 6, CHICAGO 5 (2OT)
Game 2 – Sun., May 20 – Hamilton at Chicago, 4:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 23 – Chicago at Hamilton, 7:30
Game 4 – Fri., May 25 – Chicago at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 5 – Sat., May 26 – Chicago at Hamilton, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 28 – Hamilton at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 30 – Hamilton at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern