Hamilton find itself in the driver’s seat as the American Hockey League’s Western Conference final returns home. Michael Lambert’s goal at the 3:18 mark of overtime on Sunday gave Hamilton the 3-2 win and a 2-0 lead in the Calder Cup semifinal best-of-seven series with the Chicago Wolves.
Both games have gone intro overtime, with Hamilton winning the opener 6-5, in double OT on Friday night in Chicago.
Duncan Milroy scored his first goal of the playoffs at 2:07 of the first period to open the scoring for the Bulldogs on Sunday. Milroy banged in a loose puck after Wolves netminder Fred Brathwaite stopped Matt D’Agostini’s initial shot.
Chicago evened the score six minutes later when Jordan LaVallee scored his sixth post-season goal.
Matt D’Agostini restored the Bulldogs lead with his second post-season effort just two and a half minutes into the sandwich frame.
That was all the scoring until 1:27 of the third period when Chicago found itself on a 5-on-3 power play at 1:27.
Milton’s Darren Haydar evened the score again for the Wolves with his league-leading 10th playoff marker.
In the overtime, Lambert tipped in Ryan O’Byrne’s point shot.
Carey Price made 19 saves on 20 shots and picked up the win while Brathwaite turned aside 27 of 30 shots.
Attendance in Chicago was 3,815.
The series resumes at Copps Coliseum for Games 3, 4 and 5 beginning Wednesday (May 23) at 7:30 p.m. Game 4 is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 5 will go Saturday at 7 p.m. (if necessary).
1. HAM – Duncan Milroy-1 (Matt D’Agostini) – 2:07
2. CHI – Jordan LaVallee-6 (Niko Dimitrakos) – 9:14
3. HAM – Matt D’Agostini-2 (Duncan Milroy, Mikhail Grabovski) – 2:32
4. CHI – Darren Haydar-10 (Brett Sterling, Andy Delmore) – 1:27 (pp)
5. HAM – Michael Lambert-1 (Ryan O’Byrne, Eric Manlow) – 3:18