Oklahoma City Barons (EDM) vs Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Games 1 through 4-Round one.
The series started off strictly in Hamilton’s favor who were able to capitalize on the Barons penalty mistakes. The Bulldogs took both games at home, winning game 1 5-2 and game 2 with a closer tally of 2-1.
Nigel Dawes, Olivier Fortier and Ryan Russell all scored in the first period of game 1 on Thursday. OKC’s netminder Martin Gerber replaced starter Jeff Deslauriers to begin the second period, but still could not completely shut down the Bulldogs. Barons’ Ben Ondrus finally put them on the board at 7:23 in the second. Hamilton would answer back with two more goals, Aaron Palushaj and Joe Stejskal each scoring off power play chances. It was Stejskal’s first professional goal. Oklahoma City would get one more for the board at 7:00 of the third period by Bryan Helmer. Gerber would end with 21 saves, Drew MacIntyre with 24.
Game 2 proved to be slower paced, with OKC”s Brad Moran scoring the Barons’ lone goal at 17:18 of the first period. Hamilton would score with 3 seconds remaining in the first period with a goal from Andreas Engqvist. At the start of the second period, Nigel Dawes scored the eventual game winner for the Bulldogs while on the power play. Gerber again would make 21 stops in goal, MacIntyre stopping 38.
Game 3 would be played down in Oklahoma City for the first Barons home playoff game. The date was also momentous, being the sixteenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, a moment of silence performed before the match. Gerber was solid in net for the Barons, stopping all 26 shots he faced, earning his fourth shut out of the year in the 2-0 win. The game proved to be a complete turn around for the Barons, grinding Hamilton down the entire 60 minutes. Gerber also got into the hard hitting action in the second period, leveling Hamilton’s Gabriel Dumont with an open ice hit near the blue line while playing the puck. Although the Barons led in shots 26-16 through two periods of play, no puck got through either tender until 8:38 of the third period with a goal from Colin McDonald. Alex Giroux would later score on a heroic chance, falling down on a breakaway, he crawled back up and dished the puck past MacIntyre at 15:59. MacIntyre ended the night with 44 stops on Barons shots.
Game 4 Wednesday night did not slow down the Barons comeback, coming out with loaded energy and continuing their hard hits, taking the 5-2 revenge win from Thursday. The Barons’ Hunter Tremblay scored the games first goal and his first goal as a Baron just 3:06 into the first period. Hamilton would tie it at 10:29 with a goal from Ian Schultz. Zach Stortini cotinued the scoring for the Barons at 5:40 in the second, Hamilton’s Paul Zanette scoring and tying the game yet again. After going 0-16 on the power play in the playoffs so far, Barons’ Mark Arcobello ended the drought with his first goal of the postseason at the end of the second period. Hamilton was shut down going into the third period, only OKC scoring. Linus Omark, fresh from his stint with the NHL Oilers, scored the insurance goal at 11:26 in the third period, Chris VandeVelde added another with an empty netter at 19:20. Gerber would take the win making 29 saves, Hamilton’s MacIntyre making 23.
Game 5 will be in Oklahoma City on Friday, 6 and 7 in Hamilton on Sunday and Monday.
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH) vs Texas Stars (DAL)
Games 1 through4-Round one
In a more back and forth series, the Admirals and Stars sit after four game tied as well, 2-2. Game 1 belonged to the Admirals, who took a strong 5-2 win on Thursday. Milwaukee’s netminder Jeremy Smith made his playoff debut, giving a 22 save performance. Texas goalie Richard Bachman made 13 saves in two periods of work, before being pulled in favor of Tyler Beskorowany who would stop 7 shots. Texas would score first with a power-play goal at 9:48 of the first period by center Aaron Gagnon. Milwaukee would come back at 14:22 with a goal from Gabriel Bourque, his first goal of the playoffs. Chris Mueller would also get his goal on a power play chance a few minutes later. In the second period, Milwaukee would take control of the rest of the game with goals from Ryan Thang and another from Bourque. The Stars cut the Ad’s lead at 6:59 of the final frame with a goal from Mathieu Tousignant, but it would not be the end for Milwaukee. Milwaukee’s Mueller later scored his second of the night at 9:26 of the third period with Bourque picking up his fifth point of the night off another assist.
Game 2 brought Texas back into the series, taking a 3-1 win in Milwaukee. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 29 shots for his first career playoff victory. Milwaukee goalie Jeremy Smith made 26 saves in the loss. Milwaukee was on the board first off a two-man advantage power-play goal from defensemen Teemu Laakso at 11:17 in the first period, their lone goal. The Stars would scoretwo goals in less than three minutes in the second period, strating with defenseman Philip Larsen with first career playoff goal. Aaron Gagnon would put it in the net a couple mintues later for the game winner. Travis Moran would score for Texas again at 4:03 with a power-play goal.
Game 3 saw the teams move to Texas, where the Stars were able to pull out a 3-2 overtime win. Chris Mueller had the Admirals on the board first at 3:36 of the first period. It took until the third period before the action really started, beginning with an Admirals goal just 33 seconds into the period from Gabriel Bourque. Philip Larsen would break the shut out with the first goal for Texas at 15:51 while on the power play. Defenseman Brad Lukowich would go on to score the game-tying goal with just 21 seconds left in the period, to forcing overtime. Travis Morin scored the game-winning goal for Texas 8:44 into overtime. Texas goalie Richard Bachman stopped 21 shots for the win, Milwaukee’s Jeremy Smith making 37 saves.
Game 4 would end up tying the series, with Milwaukee taking the 3-2 win in Texas on Wednesday. For the third straight game, the Ad’s scored the first goal, Gabriel Bourque netting his fourth goal of the playoffs at 14:03 in the first. Texas would tie it up with a goal from forward Scott Glennie at 6:25 in the second off a rebound chance for his first professional goal. Milwaukee would come back ahead at 12:47 on the power play with a goal from Taylor Beck, his first pro goal. Mark Van Guilder put Milwaukee up by 2 at 3:13 of the third, scoring his first of the playoffs after tripping in front of the net. The Stars would get one more, Greg Rallo one-timing one in at 8:45 of the third off a five-on-three, power-play chance. Jeremy Smith made 30 saves to take the win, Bachman with 20.
Game 5 will be in Texas on Friday, to Milwaukee for 6 and 7 on Monday and Tuesday.