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AHL Morning Skate: 6.10.17

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s AHL Morning Skate.

Playoff Brackets | Today’s Scoreboard | League Stats


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Game 5 – 7:00 ET – AHL Live free-view, SiriusXM 91
(GR leads series, 3-1)
 

Syracuse hosts Grand Rapids in Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals tonight… The Griffins are one win away from the championship after last night’s 3-2 win… Dan Renouf (2-2-4) scored twice and Jared Coreau (14-3, 2.60, .917) made 31 saves in Game 4 as Grand Rapids handed the Crunch their first home loss of the postseason… Renouf, a rookie defenseman, entered Game 4 with one goal in his previous 54 contests with the Griffins… Ben Street (7-12-19) scored his third goal of the Finals and Eric Tangradi (2-17-19) recorded two assists for Grand Rapids, which built a 3-0 lead before Syracuse began storming back… Yanni Gourde (7-15-22) scored a goal for the Crunch to extend his scoring streak to seven games (4-8-12)… Michael Bournival (8-5-13) also scored, his fifth goal in the last seven contests… Mike McKenna (12-8, 2.70, .910) stopped 32 of 35 shots in Game 4… With an assist last night, Cory Conacher (11-14-25) is now one point shy of the Crunch franchise record for points in a single postseason, set by Ondrej Palat in 2013 (7-19-26)… Syracuse had won 13 consecutive home games (10 in the playoffs) and had not lost in regulation on home ice since Mar. 24 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Grand Rapids has still not lost back-to-back games since Apr. 8-9… The Griffins were 0-for-7 on the power play in Game 4, while the Crunch were 0-for-5… Syracuse has killed off 11 consecutive Griffins power plays after Grand Rapids started the series 4-for-11… Last night’s crowd of 6,523 fans was the largest for a Crunch game at the War Memorial Arena in more than 20 years, since Mar. 22, 1997 vs. Rochester (6,541)… Grand Rapids won the 2013 Calder Cup with a Game 6 victory in Syracuse; no AHL team has ever clinched multiple championships in the same road arena.

2017 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Syracuse Crunch | Finals Infographic
Game 1 – Fri., June 2 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Syracuse 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., June 3 – GRAND RAPIDS 6, Syracuse 5 (2OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., June 7 – SYRACUSE 5, Grand Rapids 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Fri., June 9 – Grand Rapids 3, SYRACUSE 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Sat., June 10 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 13 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 14 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


Uphill Climb
Grand Rapids is the 37th team in Calder Cup Finals history to hold a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven format; 33 of the previous 36 (91.7 percent) went on to win the championship… All three comebacks came during a four-year span in the late 1940s:

1949 – Providence Reds def. Hershey, 4-3
1947 – Hershey Bears def. Pittsburgh, 4-3
1946 – Buffalo Bisons def. Cleveland, 4-3


Cream of the Crop
Grand Rapids (14-3) is looking to secure a spot among the best-ever postseason records in the era of the AHL’s four-round playoff format:

.882 – 2016 Lake Erie Monsters (15-2)
.875 – 1993 Cape Breton Oilers (14-2)
.833 – 2012 Norfolk Admirals (15-3)
.789 – 2015 Manchester Monarchs (15-4)
.789 – 2001 Saint John Flames (15-4)
.789 – 1999 Providence Bruins (15-4)
.789 – 1996 Rochester Americans (15-4)


Packing Them In
Last night’s standing-room-only crowd made the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs the most-attended postseason on record (since 1962):

1. 440,359 (2017)
2. 436,437 (2016)
3. 427,123 (2005)
4. 423,831 (2009)
5. 419,801 (2011)
6. 415,712 (1997)


Reading List
Memorable game from Dan Renouf puts Griffins on brink of AHL crown (Grand Rapids Press)
Grand Rapids pays the price to deny Crunch, move within one win of Calder Cup (Syracuse.com)
Griffins, with big confidence boost, aim to hoist Calder Cup in Syracuse (Grand Rapids Press)
Craig retires to join Vegas coaching staff (theahl.com)


Working Overtime
There have been 18 overtime games played in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs so far:

June 3 – GRAND RAPIDS 6, Syracuse 5 (Ben Street, 27:02)
May 21 – PROVIDENCE 2, Syracuse 1 (Jordan Szwarz, 8:28)
May 14 – Hershey 3, PROVIDENCE 2 (Madison Bowey, 1:58)
May 11 – Hershey 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (Chris Bourque, 7:14)
May 10 – San Jose 4, SAN DIEGO 3 (Timo Meier, 17:40)
May 7 – HERSHEY 3, Providence 2 (Travis Boyd, 5:44)
May 5 – San Diego 3, SAN JOSE 2 (Kevin Roy, 0:38)
*May 2 – SAN JOSE 2, Stockton 1 (Ryan Carpenter, 8:52)
*Apr. 28 – TORONTO 2, Albany 1 (Justin Holl, 46:43)
*Apr. 28 – SYRACUSE 2, St. John’s 1 (Gabriel Dumont, 2:18)
*Apr. 26 – Grand Rapids 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (Kyle Criscuolo, 10:03)
Apr. 26 – TORONTO 3, Albany 2 (Colin Greening, 0:45)
Apr. 26 – Lehigh Valley 2, HERSHEY 1 (Chris Conner, 1:49)
Apr. 23 – Charlotte 4, CHICAGO 3 (Connor Brickley, 9:28)
Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton 6, PROVIDENCE 5 (Derrick Pouliot, 7:49)
Apr. 22 – Syracuse 4, ST. JOHN’S 3 (Tye McGinn, 30:37)
Apr. 21 – GRAND RAPIDS 4, Milwaukee 3 (Tomas Nosek, 9:32)
Apr. 21 – Hershey 1, LEHIGH VALLEY 0 (Nathan Walker, 7:38)
*clinched series


About the Calder Cup
The Calder Cup is named for Frank Calder, the first president of the NHL (1917-43) and one of the driving forces behind the formation of the American Hockey League.

While the AHL’s history dates back to the fall of 1936, the Calder Cup trophy was first awarded in 1938 to the Providence Reds for winning the second International-American Hockey League championship. (In 1996, George Parsons of the Syracuse Stars was presented the Calder Cup in a ceremony at the Onondaga County War Memorial; it is believed the Stars never received a trophy for their 1937 championship.)

In 2001, the trophy’s base was changed to include two tiers of plaques, which feature the rosters of each of the last 20 Calder Cup champions; the plaques from the first 60 champions are on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The entire trophy now stands 24 inches tall and weighs 28 pounds. The bowl, made of sterling silver, is 12 inches high and eight inches in diameter; the base is made of Brazilian mahogany.


Alumni Watch
In Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night, Pittsburgh defeated Nashville, 6-0, to take a 3-2 series lead… 2015 AHL Rookie of Year and Goaltender of the Year Matt Murray made 24 saves to join Patrick Roy and Cam Ward as the only rookie goalies ever to record a shutout in the Stanley Cup Final… 2002 AHL All-Star and 2003 Calder Cup finalist Ron Hainsey recorded a goal and an assist for the Penguins… 2013 Eddie Shore Award winner Justin Schultz scored what would be the game-winning goal… 2017 AHL All-Rookie forward Jake Guentzel (13-8-21) tied the NHL record for points by a rookie in a single postseason, matching Dino Ciccarelli and Ville Leino.


On This Date
June 10, 2015 – Jacob Markstrom makes 32 saves as Utica defeats Manchester, 3-2, in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 10, 2008 – Jason Krog records a hat trick and Chicago claims its second Calder Cup championship with a 5-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

June 10, 2006 – Pekka Rinne stops 21 shots as Milwaukee blanks Hershey, 2-0, to take a 2-1 series lead in the Calder Cup Finals.

June 10, 2005 – In front of an AHL playoff record 20,103 fans at the Wachovia Center, the Philadelphia Phantoms capture the Calder Cup with a 5-2 win over Chicago.

June 10, 1998 – A capacity crowd at the Spectrum (17,380) sees Philadelphia defeat Saint John, 6-1, to win the franchise’s first Calder Cup.


Calder Cup Finals on AHL Live
The American Hockey League and NeuLion, Inc., are making video streaming of all seven games of the 2017 Calder Cup Finals available for viewing at no charge from AHL Live via desktop, laptop, mobile device or tablet… To watch free on AHL Live, simply visit ahllive.com from any desktop computer, log in with your AHL Live account (or create a new one), select the Finals All-Access Pass and enter the promo code FINALS17 to access all of the action of the AHL’s championship series featuring the calls of the Griffins’ Bob Kaser and the Crunch’s Dan D’Uva… You can watch on your desktop or laptop through ahllive.com, or download the official AHL Live app from iTunes or Google Play to watch on your mobile device or tablet.