The Iowa Wild held on for a 2-1 win over Milwaukee in the deciding Game 5 of their Central Division semifinal series on Monday night.
The Wild advance to meet the Chicago Wolves in the second round; that series begins Wednesday evening.
Louie Belpedio broke a 1-1 tie with 10:36 left in regulation when his wrist shot from the left point caromed off the end boards and banked in off the back of the leg of Admirals goaltender Troy Grosenick.
The Wild, who had dropped Games 3 and 4 after racing out to a 2-0 series lead, fended off Milwaukee the rest of the way with Andrew Hammond (3-2) finishing with 26 saves.
Iowa got on the board first with a power-play marker 4:19 into the game, as captain Cal O’Reilly wristed a shot over the shoulder of Grosenick (22 saves) for his third goal of the series.
Milwaukee ended an 0-for-19 skid with its first power-play goal of the series at 11:35 of the second period, as Anthony Richard beat Hammond short-side from the right circle during an Admirals 5-on-3 advantage.
With Iowa’s victory, the third-place finishers in all four divisions won their first-round series.
Central Division Semifinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
C2-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C3-Iowa Wild
Game 1 – Sun., Apr. 21 – IOWA 7, Milwaukee 0 | Recap
Game 2 – Tue., Apr. 23 – IOWA 6, Milwaukee 1 | Recap
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 25 – MILWAUKEE 3, Iowa 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 26 – MILWAUKEE 5, Iowa 4 (OT) | Recap
Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 29 – Iowa 2, MILWAUKEE 1