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AHL Morning Skate: April 21

April 21, 2011

Every game day from now until the end of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the AHL Morning Skate takes a spin around the AHL ice with recaps and previews, news and notes, facts and figures, and the top headlines from around the American Hockey League.

For Immediate Release
April 21, 2011


WEDNESDAY’S SCORES:
Game 5 – BINGHAMTON 5, Manchester 4 (OT) (MCH leads series, 3-2)
Game 4 – W-B/Scranton 4, NORFOLK 2 (Series tied, 2-2)
Game 4 – CHARLOTTE 3, Hershey 2 (Series tied, 2-2)
Game 4 – OKLAHOMA CITY 5, Hamilton 2 (Series tied, 2-2)
Game 4 – Milwaukee 3, TEXAS 2 (Series tied, 2-2)


WEDNESDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Kaspars Daugavins scored on a power play with 6:38 gone in overtime as Binghamton staved off elimination with a 5-4 victory over Manchester in Game 5.

2. Mike Murphy’s 35-save effort led Charlotte to a 3-2 win over Hershey and a 2-2 tie in their division semifinal series.

3. Eighth-year pro Ryan Craig scored his first career playoff goal, and it stood as the game-winner as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defeated Norfolk in Game 4, 4-2, to pull even in their series.


TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 5 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00 (Series tied, 2-2)
Game 4 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30 (LE leads series, 2-1)


2011 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. A3-Connecticut Whale || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – PORTLAND 3, Connecticut 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – PORTLAND 3, Connecticut 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 17 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 21 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Portland at Connecticut, 7:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Manchester Monarchs vs. E5-Binghamton Senators || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – MANCHESTER 2, Binghamton 1
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 15 – Binghamton 4, MANCHESTER 3 (OT)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 17 – Manchester 5, BINGHAMTON 4 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Manchester 6, BINGHAMTON 3
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 20 – BINGHAMTON 5, Manchester 4 (OT)
Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E4-Norfolk Admirals || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 15 – Norfolk 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – Norfolk 2, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – W-B/Scranton 2, NORFOLK 1
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – W-B/Scranton 4, NORFOLK 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:30
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)
E2-Hershey Bears vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – Charlotte 5, HERSHEY 4
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 17 – HERSHEY 4, Charlotte 2
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Hershey 3, CHARLOTTE 2
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – CHARLOTTE 3, Hershey 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Charlotte at Hershey, 5:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00

North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W5-Oklahoma City Barons || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – HAMILTON 5, Oklahoma City 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – HAMILTON 2, Oklahoma City 1
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – OKLAHOMA CITY 2, Hamilton 0
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – OKLAHOMA CITY 5, Hamilton 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Hamilton at Oklahoma City, 8:05
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Oklahoma City at Hamilton, 4:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Oklahoma City at Hamilton, 7:30

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Lake Erie Monsters vs. N3-Manitoba Moose || Preview
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 16 – LAKE ERIE 6, Manitoba 4
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 17 – Manitoba 3, LAKE ERIE 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Lake Erie 2, MANITOBA 1
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 21 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Manitoba at Lake Erie, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 26 – Manitoba at Lake Erie, 7:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “G” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W4-Texas Stars || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – MILWAUKEE 5, Texas 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – Texas 3, MILWAUKEE 1
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – TEXAS 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Milwaukee 3, TEXAS 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Milwaukee at Texas, 8:30
Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Texas at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 26 – Texas at Milwaukee, 8:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Houston Aeros vs. W3-Peoria Rivermen || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 13 – HOUSTON 4, Peoria 1
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 15 – HOUSTON 3, Peoria 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 18 – Houston 5, PEORIA 3
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Houston 2, PEORIA 1

*if necessary... All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 5 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00 (Series tied, 2-2)
With the home team having won each of the first four games of the series, Portland and Connecticut return to the Cumberland County Civic Center for a pivotal Game 5 tonight... The Whale evened the series with a pair of 3-1 wins in Hartford, and now looks to snap a seven-game losing streak in road playoff games... Chad Kolarik and Mats Zuccarello returned to the Connecticut lineup on Tuesday night and recorded a goal and an assist each... Kolarik, who had 21-20-41 in 49 regular-season games between Connecticut and Springfield, had been out of the Whale lineup since Mar. 12, while Zuccarello began the postseason with the parent New York Rangers... John Mitchell (3-1-4) extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with the game-winning goal in the second period... Dov Grumet-Morris made 19 saves for the Whale in Game 4, and has now stopped 101 of 109 shots in the series (1.91, .927)... Mark Voakes scored Portland’s only goal on Tuesday night, his second goal and team-best fourth point of the series... The team that has scored first has won all four games of the series... The Pirates scored two power-play goals in the first period of Game 1, but Connecticut has killed off 24 consecutive chances since... In Calder Cup Playoff history, there have been 115 best-of-seven series tied at 2-2; the Game 5 winner has won the series 91 times (79.1 percent).

Game 4 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30 (LE leads series, 2-1)
Manitoba looks to pull back even in its first-round series with Lake Erie as the puck drops on Game 4 at the MTS Centre tonight... The Monsters retook the series lead with a 2-1 win in Game 3 on Tuesday behind 39 saves by John Grahame, who has stopped 79 of 83 shots in his two starts (1-1, 1.87, .952)... Sergei Shirokov gave the Moose a lead 1:09 into Game 3, but David van der Gulik and Ben Walter scored 2:25 apart early in the second period and the Monsters held on from there despite being outshot 40-19 for the game... Lake Erie was 8-for-8 on the penalty kill on Tuesday to remain perfect against Manitoba in 2010-11, killing off all 15 Moose power plays in this series and all 32 chances in seven meetings including the regular season... Tyler Weiman made 17 saves for Manitoba in Game 3, his second consecutive start after relieving Eddie Lack late in Game 1... Marco Rosa was held off the scoresheet on Tuesday, but still leads the Moose with 3-2-5 in the series... Shirokov’s goal gives him a point in each of the first three games... Defenseman Stefan Elliott, Colorado’s second-round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, made his professional debut with Lake Erie in Game 3... Going back to the regular season, the Monsters have won 10 of their last 11 road games.


MORNING HEADLINES:

AS ONE CAREER FINISHES, ANOTHER IS JUST BEGINNING – Portland Press Herald

The puck that was in front of him suddenly wasn’t. Just like that. Less than 30 seconds into his first game as a professional goalie, John Muse allowed an opponent to score. What was he thinking? “I put it behind me,” Muse said, speaking figuratively. “I was ready for the next shot.” Muse didn’t rattle that day in Albany. Getting his first – and to this moment his only – start in goal for the Portland Pirates, he made his debut a success.
http://bit.ly/gNdXso

SENATORS STAVE OFF ELIMINATION, BEAT MONARCHS IN OT – New Hampshire Union Leader
The Binghamton Senators got an overtime power play goal from Kaspars Daugavins in overtime to defeat the Manchester Monarchs, 5-4, in Game 5 of their AHL playoff series Wednesday night. Manchester leads the series 3-2. Game 6 will be Friday night at 7 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena.
http://bit.ly/fpv2Vl

SENATORS EXTEND THEIR SEASON – Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
The Binghamton Senators’ season is still alive. Kaspars Daugavins scored on a power play 6:38 into overtime to give the B-Sens a 5-4 victory in Game 5 of their first-round Calder Cup playoff series against the Manchester Monarchs on Wednesday at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. They fought off their first brush with elimination. “It keeps us alive, just another day surviving,” Daugavins said.
http://bit.ly/ePnzTf

ALL EVEN: PENGUINS WIN SECOND STRAIGHT IN NORFOLK – Citizens’ Voice
Ryan Craig has an impressive resume in professional hockey. He’s played more than 200 games in the NHL, sometimes alongside all-stars like Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis. He’s captained the last three AHL teams he’s played for too. But before Wednesday night, he’d never scored a professional playoff goal. That changed at an advantageous time for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
http://bit.ly/hkU0LA

PENS TIE SERIES – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Three Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins scored the first AHL playoff goal of their careers during Wednesday’s Game 4 matchup against the Norfolk Admirals. But none was bigger than Ryan Craig’s. The Penguins captain tallied his goal at 18:17 of the second period. It gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead and, more importantly, a win. After dropping the first two games, the Penguins have won two in a row to even the series up at two games each.
http://bit.ly/eFtPfX

SHORTHANDED ADMIRALS DROP PLAYOFF GAME – Virginian-Pilot
Just when it looked as though finesse had taken a holiday, there was Brett Sterling, skating alone, sending the puck to Bryan Lerg, who was in open ice when he passed to Ryan Craig, who tipped the puck into the net. It was a tic-tac-toe power-play goal for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, done the way it was drawn up in training camp just after Labor Day. Seven months later, on Wednesday at Scope, it decided Game 4 of the AHL’s East Division semifinals.
http://bit.ly/fOKQzL

CHECKERS EVEN SERIES WITH WIN OVER BEARS – Harrisburg Patriot-News
Since a rough first period in Game 3 of the East Division semifinals, Charlotte Checkers goalie Mike Murphy has turned into a difficult obstacle for the Hershey Bears. Murphy, who made 35 saves, was the prime difference in Charlotte’s 3-2 Game 4 victory over Hershey Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.
http://bit.ly/hah9u7

DODGE SHOT GAME-WINNING GOAL – Charlotte Observer
Hounding the puck and driving the net, the Charlotte Checkers turned up the intensity of their play Wednesday night to defeat the Hershey Bears at Time Warner Cable Arena 3-2 and tie the American Hockey League East Division series at two games each. Checker goalie Mike Murphy savored his first playoff win by stopping 35 shots behind a defense that for most of the game stymied repeated Hershey scoring attempts.
http://bit.ly/fiDmDh

TO CATCH THE EYES OF THE HURRICANES – Raleigh News & Observer
Sensing some of his Charlotte Checkers teammates were having fun with it, Zac Dalpe started up his own Twitter account in early March. The forward has tweeted about rough plane rides and tough hockey games. He has tweeted his apologies to Checkers fans at times for poor play. He also has tweeted on how much he has enjoyed living and playing in Charlotte this season. Not that Dalpe wants to be back living and playing in Charlotte next season. “I wouldn’t mind Raleigh,” he said this week, smiling.
http://bit.ly/fdbbL1

BARONS EVEN PLAYOFF SERIES, WHIP HAMILTON 5-2 – The Daily Oklahoman
With five players coming back from the NHL for the start of the playoffs, the Oklahoma City Barons chemistry was a little shaken up at the start of their American Hockey League first-round playoff series against Hamilton. Things seem to be clicking now for the Barons. Wednesday night, the Barons beat the Bulldogs 5-2 at the Cox Center. With the series now tied 2-2, the teams will play again here Friday.
http://bit.ly/eAj2XQ

DOGS LOSE SECOND IN A ROW, SERIES TIED AT 2-2 – Hamilton Spectator
The Hamilton Bulldogs had better hope that history is not repeating itself from last year. After opening the AHL playoffs with two straight wins over the Oklahoma City Barons, the Dogs have lost two in a row including a 5-2 decision Wednesday night at the Cox Convention Center. In their playoff history, the Bulldogs have taken 2-0 series leads nine times previously and only once did they lose. That loss, however, was last year in the Western Conference Final against Texas.
http://bit.ly/gvhiVi

MOOSE MIX IT UP – Winnipeg Sun
Claude Noel is ready to go to the bullpen, but he wasn’t set to unveil who might be entering the Manitoba Moose lineup on Thursday. Other than the end result and a few breakdowns, the head coach of the Manitoba Moose wasn’t displeased in how his team played in a 2-1 loss to the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday night that left them down 2-1 in the best-of-7 North Division semifinal that resumes Thursday at the MTS Centre.
http://bit.ly/fUp4gR

GOALIE HAS SEEN BEST OF TIMES, WORST OF TIMES – Winnipeg Free Press
If Charles Dickens was a hockey fan, he would have invented John Grahame. At age 35, the Lake Erie Monsters goalie has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. Hey, so does his mother. He’s risen to the heights of the game, and been banished to the minor leagues. He’s played for his country in the Olympics. And he’s seen a young teammate die before his eyes, in Siberia, the place of his worst professional nightmares.
http://bit.ly/hG21S0

HUH? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? – Winnipeg Free Press
When Manitoba Moose GM Craig Heisinger decided on Claude Noel as his coach this season, Wednesday was exactly what he had in mind for Noel’s particular brand of talent and insight. Any number of coaches, armchair quarterbacks and expert pundits could make most of the run-of-the-mill decisions throughout the seasons, but the day after Game 3 of the Moose-Lake Erie Monsters playoff series called for a higher pay grade.
http://bit.ly/hzorTj

VICTORY IN TEXAS EVENS PLAYOFF SERIES – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Less than 24 hours after blowing a two-goal lead in the final 5 minutes, the Milwaukee Admirals found themselves facing the same possibility Wednesday. This time, they held on. Milwaukee defeated Texas, 3-2, to even the West Division best-of-seven semifinal series at two games apiece in front of 5,323 people at the Cedar Park Center. Game 5 is also in Texas on Friday.
http://bit.ly/hcFlL7

MILWAUKEE TOPS STARS TO EVEN PLAYOFF SERIES – Austin American-Statesman
The Texas Stars and Milwaukee Admirals gave the Cedar Park Center more of the same in Game 4 of their West Division Semifinal series. There was plenty of hitting, emotion and the Stars playing from behind. The only thing missing from Tuesday was the dramatic finish. The Stars couldn’t pull another miracle out of nowhere and fell 3-2. The series is now tied, 2-2, entering Friday’s Game 5, also at the Cedar Park Center.
http://bit.ly/gw5aGT

COUNT ON IT: STARS SERIES WILL GO SEVEN – Austin American-Statesman
This series is going seven games. As sure as a hockey puck between the eyes would drastically change your appearance, this tug-of-war will go the distance. Mark down this date: Tuesday, April 26. Milwaukee. That will be the site of Game 7, the final chapter in an evenly matched series.
http://bit.ly/hvuxo9

YEO PEGS SWEEP ON UNSELFISH PLAY – Houston Chronicle
The last time Mike Yeo was with the Aeros on a playoff run, he was the team’s captain and they needed the maximum number of games to win their first championship. Fast-forward 11 years, and Yeo is now the head coach. On Tuesday, his Aeros finished off a stunning four-game sweep of the Peoria Rivermen, who at least until mid-January, looked like the team to beat in the AHL. While it may look like the Aeros dominated the first round, they really didn’t.
http://bit.ly/g3GHFM


FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Jason Chimera, who played three full seasons (1999-2002) with the Hamilton Bulldogs, scored at 12:36 of the second overtime to give Washington a 4-3 win over the N.Y. Rangers... James Neal scored the game-winner in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 double-OT win over Tampa Bay... 2005 Baz Bastien Award winner Ryan Miller made 32 saves as Buffalo shut out Philadelphia, 1-0... Brandon McMillan, who played 16 AHL games with Syracuse this season, had a goal and an assist in Anaheim’s 6-3 win over Nashville... Daniel Cleary recorded a goal and two assists as Detroit finished off a sweep of Phoenix, 6-3.


BY THE NUMBERS:
18
– Consecutive road games played by Milwaukee without losing in regulation, including Games 3 and 4 of their first-round series with Texas... The Admirals finished the regular season by setting an AHL record with a point in 16 consecutive road outings (10-0-4-2).


ON THIS DATE:
April 21, 2010 – Hershey allows a total of seven shots on goal in a 4-1 win over Bridgeport, eliminating the Sound Tigers in five games... P.K. Subban scores at 6:05 of the second overtime to give Hamilton a 5-4 victory over Manitoba in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series.

April 21, 2009 – Led by Mike Santorelli with three goals and an assist, Milwaukee finishes off a four-game sweep of Rockford with a 4-1 win.

April 21, 2006Jiri Hudler’s goal 2:21 into the third overtime period gives Grand Rapids a 6-5 win over Toronto in Game 1, while Jeff Giuliano scores 1:46 into the second OT to lift Manchester past Hartford, 6-5, in Game 3.

April 21, 1995 – The Hershey Bears (186) and Cornwall Aces (149) combine for 335 penalty minutes, then an AHL playoff record, but the Bears’ 6-3 win extends the series to a Game 6.

April 21, 1965 – Gerry Ehman scores at 14:39 of overtime to give Rochester a 2-1 win over Hershey in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals.

April 21, 1951 – Behind the goaltending of Johnny Bower, the Cleveland Barons win the Calder Cup with a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Hornets in Game 7.


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