Wade Flaherty made 49 saves in his return to Milwaukee, but the Admirals scored three times on four attempts to pull out a 2-1 shootout victory over Manitoba.
Flaherty was the winner of the Jack Butterfield Trophy, given to the most valuable player of the Calder Cup Playoffs, after leading Milwaukee to the AHL championship in 2004.
Flaherty faced 41 shots over the first two periods, allowing only a 4-on-3 power-play goal to rookie defenseman Ryan Suter with 3:38 left in the second.
Brian Finley, Flaherty’s back-up during last year’s playoff run, turned aside 26 shots on the night. Justin Morrison spoiled his shutout bid with 4:12 remaining in regulation.
Former teammates Simon Gamache, Wyatt Smith and Tony Hrkac scored off Flaherty in the shootout.
ST. JOHN’S 4, CLEVELAND 2
Kyle Wellwood had a goal and an assist to lift St. John’s to a 4-2 win over visiting Cleveland on Tuesday night.
The win was the sixth in a row for the Maple Leafs, who moved into a tie for second place in the North Division.
David Ling also recorded a goal and an assist and Regan Kelly added two assists for the Leafs, who chased Barons goaltender Nolan Schaefer with three goals on their first nine shots.
Jeremy Williams and Brett Englehardt had the other goals for St. John’s. Aaron Gill and Tomas Plihal scored for Cleveland.