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AHL Morning Skate: Game 2 at Giant Center tonight


Every morning, take 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.


FRIDAY’S SCORES:
Game 1 – Hamilton 4, HERSHEY 0 (HAM leads, 1-0)


FRIDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Carey Price shines in his debut on the AHL’s biggest stage, making 46 saves in Hamilton’s Game 1 shutout win.

2. Corey Locke scores a pair of goals, including a highlight-reel end-to-end rush, to tie for the AHL lead (10).

3. Dan Jancevski records two assists and leads the Bulldogs’ defensive charge in Game 1.


SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 2 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00 (HAM leads, 1-0)


2007 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
2007 Calder Cup Final – Series "O" (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., June 1 – Hamilton 4, HERSHEY 0
Game 2 – Sat., June 2 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., June 4 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30
Game 4 – Wed., June 6 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 5 – Thu., June 7 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 6 – Tue., June 12 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Fri., June 15 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
PriceGame 2 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00 (HAM leads, 1-0)
TV: Cable 14 Hamilton with Derek Wills and Al Craig
Video Webcast: B2 Networks
Radio:
100.1 FM/960 AM (Hershey), 820 AM (Hamilton)
Official Media Notes (PDF – 402 KB)
Carey Price turned in a 46-save performance as Hamilton shut out Hershey, 4-0, in Game 1 of the 2007 Calder Cup Finals on Friday night… It was the Bulldogs’ fourth straight Game 1 win – all on the away from home… Hamilton’s road winning streak stands at seven games, two shy of the AHL playoff record… Price has stopped 148 of 153 shots (.967) over the Bulldogs’ last five games… Corey Locke scored twice and added an assist, and is now tied for first in the AHL in goals (10) and tied for second in points (19) this postseason… Matt D’Agostini and Mikhail Grabovski also scored and Dan Jancevski recorded two assists in Game 1… The road team has won five of the last seven Calder Cup Finals openers… Hershey lost in regulation for the first time this postseason… In their respective conference finals, the Bulldogs were 3-for-37 on the power play and the Bears were successful on 26 of 28 penalty kills; Hamilton went 3-for-7 with the man advantage in Game 1… Last night marked the first time since 1999 that Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals was decided by more than one goal… No team has ever won a Calder Cup Final series after losing the first two games at home.


MORNING HEADLINES:

UNDERDOGS PLAY LIKE SUPER DOGS
Garry McKay, Hamilton Spectator
One down, three to go. The Hamilton Bulldogs stunned the favoured Hershey Bears 4-0 last night at the Giant Center in the opening game of the Calder Cup finals. The Dogs, who have never won the American Hockey League Championship, have now stolen the home-ice advantage from the defending champions and are now three wins away from winning their first Calder Cup. It’s the fourth playoff series this year that Hamilton has opened with a win on the road. … Link

HAMILTON’S PRICE IS STEEP
Tim Leone, Harrisburg Patriot-News
Welcome to the Carey Price show. The 19-year-old Hamilton Bulldogs goalie, demonstrating precocious skill and cool, backstopped a 4-0 shutout of the Hershey Bears last night in Game 1 of the Calder Cup final at Giant Center. Price made 46 saves and was aided by his big defensemen, who put up a seeming concrete maze that limited Hershey to a lot of perimeter shots by making it tough for Bears forwards to get into tight shooting range. “[Price] looks so mature,” Bears head coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I don’t know if he even sweats out there. He was not overplaying anything. He was moving side to side so well. We looked at tape a lot on him this week and it didn’t seem to help. We’ll have to try to find some way to beat him.” … Link

BEARS GET BULLDOGGED
Dan Sernoffsky, Lebanon Daily News
The Price was right. Carey Price, the 19-year old wunderkind goalie of the Hamilton Bulldogs, weathered a storm, figuratively and literally, early, and wound up doing something that no goalie had managed this season. He shut out the Hershey Bears. Price turned away all 46 shots he faced to backstop the Bulldogs to a 4-0 victory over the Bears last night in front of a crowd of 10,257 at Giant Center, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup championship series, the fourth straight series opener the Bulldogs have won on the road in the 2007 playoffs. … Link

HOT BEARS DON’T FAZE BULLDOGS
Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette
The Hershey Bears have a lot of things going for them in the Calder Cup final against the Hamilton Bulldogs. They had the best record in the American Hockey League. They were the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference, averaging 3.81 goals a game. They are the defending Calder Cup champions. And the Bears definitely have the advantage when it comes to enthusiastic fans, although they went home disappointed last night after the Bulldogs opened the series with a 4-0 win. There wasn’t an unsold ticket for last night’s opening game at the 10,500-seat Giant Centre, although many fans missed the start of the game because a violent thunderstorm wreaked havoc with traffic. … Link

HUGE WIN FOR BULLDOGS
Scott Radley, Hamilton Spectator
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Yes, last night was certainly huge for the Bulldogs. Going into any team’s rink and not only winning the first game of a playoff series, but shutting out the home team is a massive step in the right direction, as well as a confidence booster. Especially against a team as strong and as hot as the Bears have been. But before anyone in town starts planning a parade route, it’s important to remember that these two teams actually match up pretty evenly. … Link

BULLDOGS’ GOALIE HITTING FULL STRIDE
Bob Flounders, Harrisburg Patriot-News
It wasn’t so much the Hamilton power play or the Bulldogs’ intimidating size on the blue line (no lie, you could easily land a small aircraft between the shoulder blades of 6-6, 230-pound Mathieu Biron) that proved to be the Hershey Bears’ undoing last night at Giant Center. Nope, it was a 19-year-old kid who didn’t seem to realize he was in his first Calder Cup final game. Or maybe he didn’t care about the size of the stage. Nothing rattled Carey Price. Hamilton’s rookie goalie keyed the Bulldogs’ convincing 4-0 victory over defending champion Hershey in front of a subdued crowd of 10,257, almost effortlessly turning aside 46 shots. … Link

SWEET TIMES IN CHOCOLATETOWN
Patrick Williams, Slam Sports
Truth be told, it has been a something of a guilty indulgence this week for many Canadians to read the numerous media missives out of Southern California chronicling that area’s lack of hockey knowledge and to sit back, roll the eyes and have a chuckle at the neighbours to the south. The numerous bumps and bruises that Canadians have suffered during the NHL’s long quest for widespread growth south of the border no doubt have inspired such a reaction, particularly with the Stanley Cup a possibility to land in sunny Anaheim after earlier stops with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes. But Hamilton Bulldogs fans who make the seven-hour trek southward to Hershey, Pa. or who from back home in the Golden Horseshoe tune into the Calder Cup final with the Hershey Bears will be hard-pressed to find a hockey-ignorant populace in the rolling hills of Central Pennsylvania. … Link

OPERATION CALDER CUP
Manny Almela, Canadiens.com
Is there any stopping the Bulldogs? The Hershey Bears sure hope so as they look to win their second straight Calder Cup crown. But Carey Price and company have other plans. After wrapping up their third conference title in their 11-year existence by eliminating the Chicago Wolves in five games, the Bulldogs will now look to win their first-ever AHL championship. Should Don Lever’s squad go all the way, the ‘Dogs would also become the first Canadiens affiliate to do so in over two decades. The last group of Baby Habs to turn the trick was the Sherbrooke Canadiens in 1984-85. That year, the storyline bore a striking resemblance to the script being written by the Bulldogs in 2007, with each team having an unproven rookie leading the way between the pipes. … Link

ON BIGGEST STAGE, SPEZZA BEING CALLED ON TO LEAD THE CHARGE
Scott Burnside, ESPN.com
It was during the NHL lockout season, 2004-05, that Jason Spezza truly emerged as an elite player. Instead of playing in Europe as many NHLers did, Spezza called John Paddock during the summer and said he wanted to come back to Binghamton. The style there would more closely parallel that of the NHL and the competition would be keen with other young stars in the mix. It proved a perfect tonic for a young man who yearned to get better. He led the AHL in scoring with 117 points in 80 games and was the league’s most valuable player. Last season, Spezza showed that performance was no fluke by registering 90 points in his second full NHL season and being named an alternate to Canada’s Olympic team. … Link


FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:

The 2007 Stanley Cup Finals continue tonight with Game 3 from Ottawa… More than 75 percent of the participants in the series are graduates of the American Hockey League.


BY THE NUMBERS:
316 – National Hockey League games played this season by players on the rosters of this year’s Calder Cup finalists… Nine Bears and five Bulldogs saw NHL action in 2006-07.


ON THIS DATE:
June 2, 2006 Scottie Upshall and Darren Haydar score and Pekka Rinne makes 36 saves as Milwaukee defeats Hershey, 2-1, in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 2, 2005 Mike Richards scores and Antero Niittymaki stops 27 shots as Philadelphia opens the Calder Cup Finals with a 1-0 win in Chicago.

June 2, 2004 Andrew Hutchinson scores twice and Darren Haydar records three assists as Milwaukee doubles up Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 8-4, in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 2, 2000 J.F. Labbe‘s 40-save shutout leads Hartford to a 3-0 win over Rochester and a 3-2 series lead in the Calder Cup Finals.

June 2, 1996Steve Shields makes 29 saves as Rochester grabs a 2-0 lead in the Calder Cup Finals with a 5-1 win over Portland.


ON THE AIR:
B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer, web-enabled cell phone or PDA throughout the Calder Cup Playoffs with live video webcasts of every AHL game… Visit caldercup.com for details.