In the first winner-take-all game of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, Chicago rode a pair of early power-play goals to a 3-2 victory over Charlotte and a spot in the Central Division Finals.
The Wolves will meet the Grand Rapids Griffins in the second round beginning May 3.
The game began inauspiciously for the Checkers as they were assessed a bench minor after the game’s first shift for having iced an incorrect starting lineup. Kenny Agostino converted on the ensuing power play 1:50 into the game with his second goal of the series.
Adam Musil scored shorthanded early in the second period to give Chicago a 3-0 lead.
Charlotte began chipping away just over a minute later as Connor Brickley tallied his second goal of the series at 5:09. Phil Di Giuseppe made it a 3-2 game with 6:34 remaining in regulation but Chicago held on for the win to improve to 8-3 all-time in winner-take-all Calder Cup Playoff games, including 6-2 at home.
Ville Husso (3-2) made 32 saves in the win as Charlotte finished with a 34-19 advantage in shots on goal.
Central Division Semifinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C4-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 20 – CHARLOTTE 4, Chicago 0
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Chicago 3, CHARLOTTE 2
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 23 – Charlotte 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 25 – CHICAGO 5, Charlotte 1
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 26 – CHICAGO 3, Charlotte 2
— AHL (@TheAHL) April 27, 2017