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AHL Morning Skate: April 15

WEDNESDAY’S SCORES:
ALBANY 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (ALB leads series, 1-0)
Lowell 3, WORCESTER 2 (LOW leads series, 1-0)
HERSHEY 4, Bridgeport 3 (OT) (HER leads series, 1-0)
CHICAGO 6, Milwaukee 5 (CHI leads series, 1-0)


WEDNESDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Nick Dodge’s second goal of the night with 50.4 seconds left in regulation gave Albany a 4-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 1.

2. Alexander Vasyunov picked up a goal and two assists to lead Lowell past Worcester, 3-2.

3. Joey Crabb had a pair of goals as Chicago held off Milwaukee, 6-5, in Game 1.


TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 1 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05
Game 2 – Lowell at Worcester, 7:05 (LOW leads series, 1-0)
Game 1 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30


2010 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Worcester Sharks vs. A4-Lowell Devils

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – Lowell 3, WORCESTER 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 15 – Lowell at Worcester, 7:05
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 20 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Lowell at Worcester, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Lowell at Worcester, 5:05

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Portland Pirates vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 16 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 20 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 22 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. A5-Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – HERSHEY 4, Bridgeport 3
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00
Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 18 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 3:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)
E2-Albany River Rats vs. E3-W-B/Scranton Penguins

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – ALBANY 4, W-B/Scranton 3
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – W-B/Scranton at Albany, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 18 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 3:05
Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – W-B/Scranton at Albany, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 25 – W-B/Scranton at Albany, 5:00

North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. N4-Manitoba Moose

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 15 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 2:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Rochester Americans vs. N3-Abbotsford Heat

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 15 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 5:05
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05

West Division Semifinal – Series “G” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Milwaukee Admirals

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – CHICAGO 6, Milwaukee 5
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:30
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 26 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Texas Stars vs. W3-Rockford IceHogs

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 16 – Rockford at Texas, 8:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Texas at Rockford, 8:05
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Texas at Rockford, 8:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Texas at Rockford, 8:05
*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 26 – Rockford at Texas, 8:30
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Rockford at Texas, 8:30

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 1 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05
Rochester plays a Calder Cup Playoff game for the first time since Apr. 28, 2007, when it hosts Abbotsford in Game 1 of the North Division semifinals tonight… The six-time AHL champion Americans, who missed the playoffs each of the last two springs, hold home-ice advantage in this series by virtue of finishing one point ahead of the Heat in the regular-season standings… Rochester went 1-3-0-0 against Abbotsford this year and dropped a pair of one-goal contests at Blue Cross Arena… Jamie Johnson tallied a goal in three of his last four regular-season games (3-2-5) for the Amerks and led the club with an AHL career-high 71 points (27-55-71) while playing all 80 contests… Rochester forward Michal Repik put up 11 points (1-10-11) in his last nine games, and veteran Chris Taylor had nine (3-6-9) points in eight games to close the regular season… Abbotsford went 21-15-1-3 on the road during the regular season, including 10-2-1-1 in their last 14 and 14-6-1-1 in the Eastern time zone… 2009 Calder Cup finalist Jason Jaffray paced the Heat in goals (25), assists (29), points (54) and plus/minus (+24) in 72 games… Cam Cunning and Brett Sutter each recorded three goals and an assist in four games against Rochester… Abbotsford goaltender David Shantz, who played 28 games for Rochester over the previous three seasons, went 4-0-1 in his last five regular-season outings.

Game 2 – Lowell at Worcester, 7:05 (LOW leads series, 1-0)
Coming off a 3-2 win last night, Lowell looks to take a 2-0 series lead over Atlantic Division champion Worcester tonight… Alexander Vasyunov, who ended the regular season on a five-game scoring run (2-3-5) for the Devils, registered a goal and two assists in Game 1… Brad Mills had a goal and a helper, Ben Walter also scored, and Nick Palmieri contributed a pair of assists… Lowell, which went 30-0-1-2 during the regular season when leading after two periods, protected a slim 3-2 lead throughout the final 20 minutes last night… The victory moved the Devils to 4-2-0-0 at the DCU Center this year, including the regular season… Devils goaltender Mike McKenna stopped 34 of 36 shots in net, improving his lifetime Calder Cup Playoff record to 3-4-0… The Sharks are looking to avoid falling into a 2-0 series hole for the fourth time in as many playoff series all-time; Worcester is a combined 0-7 in Games 1 and 2 of series… Dan DaSilva, who recorded 10 points (3-7-10) for Worcester in last year’s postseason, registered a goal and an assist in Wednesday’s loss… Sharks rookie John McCarthy also tallied a goal as Worcester rebounded from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits… Not counting shootouts, the Sharks have not dropped consecutive home games since losing five in a row from Nov. 7-18, part of a season-high seven-game skid overall.

Game 1 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30
North Division champion Hamilton kicks off its playoff run tonight against Manitoba, which won the North last season en route to its first Calder Cup Finals appearance… Each team posted a 4-3-1-0 record during the regular-season series, and they split four meetings at Copps Coliseum… The Bulldogs set franchise records for wins (52) and points (115) during the regular season and will be looking to capture a playoff series for the first time since winning the Calder Cup in 2007… Hamilton features two of the AHL’s top six scorers in David Desharnais (27-51-78) and Brock Trotter (36-41-77); the league’s top-scoring rookie defenseman in First Team AHL All-Star P.K. Subban (18-35-53, plus-46); and its goals-against-average leader in Second Team AHL All-Star Cedrick Desjardins (29-9-4, 2.00, .919)… Manitoba is solid between the pipes as well with last season’s Baz Bastien Award winner Cory Schneider (35-23-2, 2.51, .919), who led all AHL goaltenders with 3,557 minutes played and whose 35 wins placed second during the regular season… Marco Rosa notched AHL career highs in goals (22), assists (33) and points (55) while playing all 80 games for the Moose… Dan Sexton rejoins Manitoba after posting 19 points (9-10-19) in 41 NHL games for Anaheim this season; Sexton had 5-7-12 in 13 games for Manitoba during the regular year.


MORNING HEADLINES:
RATS CHEW UP PENS’ LATE RALLY – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

Despite scoring two goals in the first game of the playoff series against the Albany River Rats, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Nick Johnson stood in the locker room and shook his head. Moments earlier, Johnson scored with less than two minutes remaining in the third period to tie the game at 3-3, only to see the River Rats race down the ice 31 seconds later to put a puck in the net and win.
http://www.timesleader.com/sports/Rats_chew_up_Pens_rsquo__late_rally_04-14-2010.html

FINAL-MINUTE BLUES – The Citizens’ Voice
Nothing like opening the playoffs with a soul-crushing, last-minute loss. That’s what the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton did Wednesday night, rallying from a two-goal third-period deficit to tie the score on a Nick Johnson goal with 1:22 left, then losing 4-3 on a Nick Dodge goal with 50.4 seconds to go. Game 2 of the East Division semifinal series is Friday night in Albany.
http://citizensvoice.com/sports/final-minute-blues-1.730877

RATS WIN A THRILLER – Albany Times-Union
Overtime can be a verboten word when it comes to Albany River Rats home playoff games. Their last one, nearly two years ago, wound up as the longest game in American Hockey League history. The Rats were able to change that direction Wednesday night before their game with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins got to that point.
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=921851&category=SPORTS

SHARKS BEDEVILED IN PLAYOFF OPENER – Worcester Telegram & Gazette
For the first time in their playoff lives, the Sharks have home-ice advantage for a Calder Cup series. Make that had home-ice advantage, not have. It disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived when Worcester lost Game 1 of its first-round series to the Lowell Devils here last night, 3-2.
http://www.telegram.com/article/20100415/NEWS/4150695/1009/sports

BEARS WIN GAME 1 AGAINST BRIDGEPORT – Harrisburg Patriot-News
Listed at 5-8, Mathieu Perreault isn’t typically associated with the word high. But that was definitely the case Wednesday night at Giant Center as the Hershey Bears took a controversial 4-3 overtime victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Game 1 of the East Division semifinals. Hershey completed a rally from a 3-1 second-intermission deficit on a goal by Perreault at 18:52 of the third period with Bears goalie Braden Holtby pulled for an extra attacker.
http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2010/04/hershey_bears_win_a_controvers.html

SOUND TIGERS WELCOME BACK ISLANDERS – Connecticut Post
Dylan Reese left as the new kid on the block, but he comes back with 19 NHL games under his belt. Dustin Kohn left in January after establishing himself as a top AHL defenseman. He comes back with NHL confidence. Andrew MacDonald left after a great AHL start. He comes back with a four-year NHL contract. They all come back as possible X-factors for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in a playoff series with the first-place Hershey Bears.
http://www.ctpost.com/hockey/article/Sound-Tigers-welcome-back-Islanders-446733.php

WIN POWERED BY FAST START FOR WOLVES – Chicago Sun-Times
Wolves coach Don Lever left Wednesday night’s 6-5 victory still looking for his team to play a “good, strong” 60 minutes of hockey. But the first 16 minutes of the playoff opener against the Milwaukee Admirals had to be to his liking as the Wolves roared to a 3-0 lead thanks to a 13-0 edge in shots.
http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hockey/wolves/2161324,CST-SPT-wolves15.article

AMERKS GIRD FOR START OF PLAYOFFS TONIGHT – Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Something strange happened at Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial this week. The Rochester Americans kept practicing, even though the American Hockey League’s regular season came to an end. After two consecutive playoff misses — a streak of epic proportions for this franchise — the Amerks are back in the Calder Cup tournament. And they can’t wait for the puck to drop.
http://rocnow.com/article/amerks-sabres/20104150334

MOOSE UNDERDOGS ON PAPER, BUT BULLDOGS BEATABLE – Winnipeg Free Press
On paper, it’s a battle of hockey’s David and Goliath. The Manitoba Moose have struggled through a turbulent season, plagued by injuries and call-ups at a rate not even veteran observers can recall seeing before. Goals have come sparingly, special teams have been awful and the occasional flash of brilliance has almost always been followed by a maddening return to bare mediocrity. Those are the Davids, to be sure.
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/hockey/moose/bulldogs-beatable-90919464.html

DOGGONE IT, WE’RE NOT THE FAVORITES – Hamilton Spectator
Mention that his team is the favorite in the opening round of the Calder Cup playoffs and you can almost feel Guy Boucher bristle. First of all, the Hamilton Bulldogs head coach really doesn’t think his team should be favored in the best-of-seven North Division playoff series with the Manitoba Moose that opens tonight at Copps Coliseum. And secondly, even if he did, he certainly doesn’t want you, his players or the Moose to know that.
http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/753578

BANE OF BULLDOGS – Winnipeg Sun
No Manitoba Moose player has seen his stock rise higher over the past season than Travis Ramsey. The towering 6-foot-5, 225-pound defenceman from Lakewood, Calif., took some of those strides during the course of his rookie campaign — including a solid run during the Calder Cup playoffs last spring — but his game found another level as the Moose blue-line was ravaged by injury in 2009-10.
http://www.winnipegsun.com/sports/hockey/2010/04/14/13589571.html

STARS HAVE HEALTH, HISTORY ON THEIR SIDE – Austin American-Statesman
There is power in healing. The Texas Stars know as much. Haunted by a feckless February that featured a third of the their total losses, and scarred by a plague of injuries over the final two months of the season, the Stars have done more than their share of mending. “We’re healed and ready,” said defenseman Andrew Hutchinson. “The regular season is over and behind us. This is a whole new level.”
http://www.statesman.com/sports/pro/stars-have-health-history-on-their-side-vs-565817.html


FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
Chris Stewart’s goal with 49.3 seconds left in regulation gave Colorado a 2-1 win in San Jose in Game 1 of their conference quarterfinal last night… Former Binghamton Senators captain Chris Kelly had a goal and two assists in Ottawa’s 5-4 decision over Pittsburgh… Brian Boucher made 23 saves in Philadelphia’s 2-1 win over New Jersey… Keith Yandle had a goal and an assist and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 38 shots as Phoenix beat Detroit, 3-2.


BY THE NUMBERS:
21 – Teams in AHL history, including Hershey (123) and Hamilton (115) this season, that have compiled at least 110 points in the regular season

4 – 110-plus-point teams that have gone on to win the Calder Cup: the 1972-73 Cincinnati Swords (113), the 1976-77 Nova Scotia Voyageurs (110), the 1998-99 Providence Bruins (120) and the 2007-08 Chicago Wolves (111)


ON THIS DATE:
April 15, 2004 – Alexander Semin tallies a goal and two assists to help Portland to a 7-1 win at Providence in Game 1 of their best-of-3 Atlantic Division qualifying series.

April 15, 2001 – Chris Clark’s goal at 2:06 of the third overtime period gives the Saint John Flames a 3-2 win at Portland and a three-game sweep of the teams’ first-round playoff series.

April 15, 1966 – Bob Courcy scores twice as Cleveland runs its postseason winning streak to 11 games – then the longest in AHL history – with a 6-2 win over Pittsburgh.

April 15, 1961 – The Springfield Indians complete a four-game sweep and wrap up their second consecutive Calder Cup championship with a 3-0 win at Hershey.

April 15, 1947 – Behind Gord Henry’s third shutout of the series, the Hershey Bears capture their first Calder Cup with a 5-0 win over Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the Finals.


AHL LIVE:

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