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Bullfrogs Beat San Jose to Win Series : Roller hockey: Anaheim wins, 7-6, and starts thinking of the rest of the playoffs. The Blades are next.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

There was only mild celebration after the Bullfrogs defeated the San Jose Rhinos, 7-6, to win Game 2 and clinch their first-round Roller Hockey International playoff series Friday at The Pond.

“We’ll savor tonight’s victory for a little while, but we’re only one quarter the way there,” Bullfrogs Coach Grant Sonier said. “This is just step one.”

Victor Gervais had two goals and two assists and Rob Laurie provided solid goaltending again, recording 40 saves in front of a crowd of 8,130.

Since Anaheim defeated San Jose, 8-5, in Game 1 Thursday, the Bullfrogs won the series two games to none and advanced to the Pacific Division finals. There, the Bullfrogs will meet the Blades, who finished the regular season with the best record in the Western Conference.

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Game 1 of the Pacific Division finals is Tuesday at The Pond with Game 2 Wednesday at the Forum. If the teams split the two games, a 12-minute mini-game will follow the second game to decide the series.

The Bullfrogs’ advancement into the next round was never a sure thing. San Jose pulled its goaltender in the final 1 1/2 minutes to try to erase the one-goal lead, but Laurie made 12 saves in the fourth quarter and the Bullfrogs shut out the Rhinos in the final period.

“I’d hate to single people out tonight because it was really a total team effort,” Sonier said.

Kevin Kerr had one goal and two assists filling in for Brad McCaughey, who sat out the game with a hip injury.

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Darren Langdon, who scored only three goals in the regular season, scored his third goal of the playoffs. He knocked in a rebound for the Bullfrogs’ second power-play goal of the game and a 4-2 Anaheim lead with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter.

Langdon’s goal came after Gervais scored two first-half goals, both one-time shots from near the right faceoff circle. His second goal came with 9:28 remaining in the second quarter, gave the Bullfrogs a 3-2 lead.

Gervais led a productive power play that produced four goals for the Bullfrogs.

The Bullfrogs gave themselves some breathing room in the third quarter, breaking a 4-4 tie by capitalizing on a double-minor roughing penalty to San Jose’s Carl LeBlanc.

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Bobby McKillop scored his first goal of the playoffs off assists from Gervais and Steve Beadle, who had three assists. Kerr scored off of assists from Jim Brown and Joe Cook to push the lead to two with 2:50 remaining.

After San Jose’s Mark Woolf scored to cut the lead to one, Rick Judson scored on a breakaway for Anaheim to make it 7-5 with 1:25 left in the third.


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