Chiodo, Pens take it to the limit

Matt Hussey scored twice in his first appearance of the series, and Andy Chiodo stopped 23 shots for the shutout as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton dominated Bridgeport on Friday night, 5-0, to square their East Division semifinal series at three games apiece.

The deciding Game 7 will be Sunday afternoon at Bridgeport’s Arena at Harbor Yard.

Konstantin Koltsov recorded a goal and an assist and Tom Kostopoulos added two assists as the Penguins continued to have offensive success against a Sound Tigers defense that allowed a league-record 140 goals in 80 regular-season games. The Pens have scored 20 goals in the first six games of the series.

Wilkes-Barre is looking to become the 11th team in AHL history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win a best-of-seven, and the first since Hartford defeated Providence in 2000.

Chiodo, who saved the Penguins’ season with an overtime win in Game 5 on Thursday, has stopped 41 of 42 shots in two games and lowered his postseason GAA to 0.45.

Chicago put an emphatic end to Grand Rapids’ season with an 8-2 pounding of the Griffins at Allstate Arena, capping a four-game sweep of their arch-rivals and advancing to the West Division final against either Milwaukee or Cincinnati.

Derek MacKenzie led the Wolves’ offensive onslaught with a hat trick, Stephen Baby had a goal and two assists and Zdenek Blatny recorded three assists. Trailing by a goal in the final minute of Game 1, Chicago went on to outscore the Griffins by a 15-3 count.

Kari Lehtonen was less than five minutes away from his second shutout of the series before Jiri Hudler and Travis Richards scored late power play goals for Grand Rapids.

Brian Maloney and Mike Weaver recorded a goal and an assist each for the Wolves, who avenged their own four-game ouster at the hands of the Griffins in last spring’s Calder Cup Playoffs.

Quintin Laing scored 9:51 into overtime to give Norfolk a 2-1 win at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

The series is even at one game apiece, with the scene shifting to Norfolk’s Scope for the next three games.

The Admirals took just 16 shots on goal in the contest, but got 28 saves from Craig Anderson in his first appearance of the 2004 postseason.

Ian MacNeil opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal for the Phantoms. Ajay Baines answered for Norfolk in the second period.

Game 3 is Tuesday night.

Brad Moran‘s second straight two-goal game lifted Syracuse to a 3-2 win in Rochester and gave the Crunch a 3-1 series lead.

Moran scored two power-play goals less than four minutes apart in the second period after assisting on Jeremy Reich‘s goal earlier in the frame.

Donald MacLean added two assists and Karl Goehring made 32 saves for the Crunch, who can wrap up the series with a Game 5 victory on Sunday.

Jozef Balej scored on a power play with 8:28 gone in the second overtime period, giving Hartford a 2-1 win over Portland in Game 3.

Balej, who has three of the Wolf Pack’s four goals in the series, potted the winner following a high-sticking major call against the Pirates’ Jakub Cutta.

Cutta and Benoit Dusablon scored 26 seconds apart late in the first period, providing all of the offense in regulation.

Jason LaBarbera made 43 saves for the Pack, who have a 2-1 series lead heading into Sunday’s Game 4. Maxime Ouellet took the loss with 30 stops.

Darren Haydar and Scottie Upshall each scored two of Milwaukee’s five power-play goals as the Admirals routed Cincinnati, 6-0, in Game 2 of their West Division semifinal.

Upshall wound up with a hat trick, and Haydar added two assists for a four-point night. The series is now even at one game apiece, with Game 3 set for Cincinnati Gardens on Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, Milwaukee began its assault with four goals in the second. Tony Hrkac added a goal and an assist, and Wade Flaherty earned the shutout with 22 saves.

The Admirals finished the night 5-for-11 on the power play. The Mighty Ducks were 0-for-10.