Wolves oust Milwaukee, join IceHogs in division finals


Arturs Kulda netted his first professional goal for Chicago, and it proved to be all the offense the Wolves would need in posting a 3-0 road win over Milwaukee on Saturday at the Bradley Center.

Ondrej Pavelec registered a 30-save shutout performance for the Wolves, who captured the opening-round series, 4-2. Chicago will face Rockford in the West Division Finals.

Kulda opened the game’s scoring at 7:19 of the first period, with Bryan Little picking up the lone assist.

Boris Valabik made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal at 5:05 of the second period and then added an empty-net marker in the closing minute of the game.

This marks the second straight year that the Wolves have eliminated the Admirals in the opening round, as they recorded a four-game sweep last year.

Chicago will host Games 1 and 2 of the West Division Finals at Allstate Arena next Thursday and Saturday.

Derek MacKenzie lit the lamp 10:54 into overtime to lift Syracuse to a 3-2 win over Manitoba in Game 5 of their North Division semifinal in front of 7,599 fans at the MTS Centre.

The Crunch now lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2, and will have two chances to close out the Moose on home ice, beginning with Game 6 on Monday at the Onondaga County War Memorial.

After a scoreless opening period, Manitoba’s Jannik Hansen and Syracuse’s Nate DiCasmirro exchanged goals in the middle stanza.

The Moose took a 2-1 lead on a power play goal by Greg Classen 1:26 into the third, but Crunch rookie Derick Brassard netted the equalizer at the 10:28 mark, ultimately forcing overtime.

Brassard picked up the primary assist on MacKenzie’s game-winner in the extra session, with DiCasmirro earning the other helper.

Crunch goaltender Karl Goehring made 21 saves in the winning effort.

Four of the five games in this series have required overtime to settle, including all three Syracuse victories thus far.

Providence received goals from four different players and a 28-save shutout by rookie goaltender Tuukka Rask on its way to a 4-0 victory over Portland on Saturday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division finals.

Rask and the Bruins improved to 5-0 on the postseason and will host Game 2 of the series on Sunday afternoon.

The B’s got all the offense they would need at 14:57 of the first period when Pascal Pelletier brought the puck over the blue line, faked past a defender, and snapped a wrist shot from the left circle past Pirates goaltender Mike McKenna.

T.J. Trevelyan, Chris Collins, and captain Nate Thompson added goals for Providence, and Matt Lashoff chipped in a pair of assists.

The loss brought an end to Portland’s four-game playoff winning streak.