Monarchs, Stars take 1-0 series leads

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Manchester rallied for a pair of third-period goals and took a 2-1 road win over Portland on Friday at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division semifinals.

The teams will be right back at it for Game 2 on Saturday night.

Pirates forward Derek Whitmore cashed in a power play opportunity 6:18 into the contest, giving his club a 1-0 lead off assists by Kyle Wanvig and defenseman T.J. Brennan.

Goaltender J.P. Lamoureux stopped all 20 shots sent his way through the first two periods, but the third stanza would prove to be a different story.

John Zeiler brought the Monarchs even just 2:22 into the period, with assistant captain Gabe Gauthier picking up the lone helper. A little more than two minutes later, Bud Holloway notched a power play goal to put Manchester on top for good.

Holloway, who was assisted on the play by Corey Elkins and Justin Azevedo, led the Monarchs during the regular season with 48 points (19-28-47), including three goals and three assists against Portland.

Baz Bastien Award winner Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 of 23 shots in the winning effort for Manchester, which snapped an eight-game playoff losing skid dating back to 2007.

Texas took a 2-0 lead into the third period and held on for a 2-1 win over Rockford on Friday at the Cedar Park Center in its first-ever Calder Cup Playoff game.

Rookie Jamie Benn, who played all 82 regular-season games for parent-club Dallas prior to being assigned to Texas for the playoffs, tallied an unassisted first-period goal in his AHL debut.

Raymond Sawada, a 2009 Calder Cup finalist with Manitoba, extended the Stars’ lead to 2-0 with just nine seconds remaining in the second period. Defenseman Garrett Stafford picked up the lone assist on Sawada’s power play goal.

IceHogs forward Rob Klinkhammer cut his team’s deficit in half 7:56 into the third period, but Rockford could not find the equalizer and dropped its seventh straight playoff game dating back to 2008.

Goaltender Brent Krahn turned aside 27 of 28 shots in net for the Stars, who will host Game 2 on Saturday night.

Attendance on Friday was 5,826.