PHILADELPHIA 2, ALBANY 0
Stefan Ruzicka scored just 22 seconds into the game, and goaltender Scott Munroe made it stand up as Philadelphia took a 2-0 win over Albany in Game 7 of their East Division semifinal on Tuesday before 6,567 fans at the Wachovia Center.
Munroe posted a 21-save shutout for the Phantoms, who will take on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the division finals.
After a scoreless middle stanza, the Phantoms picked up an insurance goal off the stick of Ryan Potulny with 1:27 to go in regulation. Potulny, the hero of the five-overtime marathon in Game 5, notched his second marker of postseason play.
Munroe picked up his second shutout of the series, and he concluded the first round by allowing just one goal in his last 235:22 of play, good for a 0.25 GAA over that span.
River Rats goaltender Michael Leighton finished with 28 saves on 30 shots in the losing effort.
All told, the series between Albany and Philadelphia featured four shutouts, the most since the River Rats and Rochester Americans combined for that many in a 2000 first-round series.
Both clubs broke the AHL’s all-time record for fewest goals scored in a seven-game series by a single team. The old record was 13 goals, and Albany scored a total of 12 in this series while Philadelphia netted 11.
The Phantoms will play Game 1 of the East Division finals at intra-state rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Thursday, followed by Game 2 on Saturday.