CHICAGO 6, MILWAUKEE 5
Chicago built a 3-0 lead before Milwaukee even took a shot on net, but the Wolves had to hold on for a 6-5 win at Allstate Arena on Wednesday in Game 1 of their West Division semifinal.
Joey Crabb scored twice for the Wolves, and Anthony Stewart, Jason Krog, Kevin Doell, and defenseman Arturs Kulda (1-1-2) registered one goal apiece. Matt Anderson (0-3-3) and Nathan Oystrick (0-2-2) each chipped in multiple assists.
The Admirals took a too-many-men penalty only 17 seconds into the game, and Stewart made them pay with a power play goal at 2:07. Crabb notched another power play goal at the 6:53 mark, and Krog made it 3-0 at 11:08.
Kulda and Milwaukee’s Jonathon Blum traded goals in the second period, making it a 4-3 contest heading into the third.
Crabb and Kevin Doell scored to give Chicago a 6-3 cushion by the 3:42 mark of the third frame, but Santorelli (14:30) and Ben Guite (18:39) tallied late markers for the Admirals to make it interesting.
Milwaukee could not come all the way back, though, and will look to even the series when Game 2 faces off on Friday night.
LOWELL 3, WORCESTER 2
Alexander Vasyunov recorded a goal and two assists as Lowell eked out a 3-2 road win over Worcester in Game 1 of their Atlantic Division semifinal on Wednesday at the DCU Center.
The teams will be right back at it for Game 2 on Wednesday.
It didn’t stay tied for long, though, as Lowell’s Ben Walter tucked home a rebound only 1:34 later with his team enjoying a 5-on-3 power play. But less than five minutes after that, Sharks rookie John McCarthy made it 2-2 by firing home a wrist shot from the left boards.
Vasyunov, who assisted on the Devils’ first two goals, tallied the eventual game-winner from the slot with 1:27 left in the second period, with Nick Palmieri picked up his second assist of the contest.
Neither side scored in the third, as Lowell goaltender Mike McKenna stood tall in the face of a frantic attempt by the Sharks to tie the score in the closing minutes. McKenna finished with 34 saves on 36 shots in the winning effort.
ALBANY 4, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3
Nick Dodge broke a 3-3 tie with only 51 seconds left in the third period, and Albany went on to post a 4-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Times Union Center in the opener of their East Division semifinal.
Dodge, who did not register a multiple-goal game during the entire regular season, also notched a second-period goal for the River Rats, and Chris Terry assisted on both markers.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will look to even up the series when the teams clash for Game 2 in Albany on Friday night.
HERSHEY 4, BRIDGEPORT 3 (OT)
Hershey rallied from a two-goal deficit late in the third period and ultimately pulled out a 4-3 overtime win over Bridgeport before 6,774 fans at the Giant Center to open their first-round playoff series.
AHL goal-scoring champion Alexandre Giroux scored his first of the playoffs for Hershey early in the second frame, but Sound Tigers defenseman Andy MacDonald answered with just one second left in the period.
Game 2 is Friday night in Hershey.