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the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s Morning Skate.
Complete Schedule|| Playoff Brackets || Today’s Scoreboard || League Leaders
Nearly eight months after the season opened on Oct. 9, the 2016 Calder Cup Finals get underway tonight with the Eastern Conference champion Hershey Bears hosting the Western Conference champion Lake Erie Monsters in Game 1… It is the 23rd Finals appearance for the Bears, and their fifth in 11 seasons since becoming the top affiliate of the Washington Capitals in 2005-06… The Monsters are in the Finals for the first time in franchise history, and it is also the first Finals trip ever for a Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate… Hershey and Lake Erie did not meet in the 2015-16 regular season; the Bears were 15-3-2-2 against Columbus’s affiliates in Springfield and Syracuse from 2005-15… Both teams are coming off series victories against their conference’s regular-season champions, Hershey defeating Toronto in five games and Lake Erie sweeping Ontario in four straight… Carter Camper, who finished the 2013-14 AHL season in the Blue Jackets’ system, leads the Bears in scoring and ranks second in the AHL with 6-9-15… Jakub Vrana (7-6-13) leads Hershey in goals and plus/minus (+10)… Justin Peters (11-5, 1.95, .929) enters Game 1 with five straight home victories in net for the Bears… Lukas Sedlak (8-5-13) leads the Monsters in goals, points and plus/minus (+11) this postseason, and has 18 goals in his last 23 games after scoring 18 times in his first 153 career AHL contests (regular season and playoffs)… Anton Forsberg (5-0, 1.30, .955) has stopped 149 of 156 shots in his six playoff appearances this spring… Lake Erie captain Ryan Craig (3-7-10) skated in 61 games for Hershey as a rookie in 2003-04… The Monsters, 20-4 in their last 24 games overall, have won 13 of their last 15 road games including six of seven this postseason… Lake Erie is 3-0 in Game 1’s this postseason; Hershey is 1-2.
2016 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
In a fitting end to the AHL’s 80th-anniversary season, the Calder Cup Finals are taking place in two of the league’s most historic cities… The Hershey Bears are playing in their 23rd Finals, while Cleveland is hosting the championship series for the first time in 50 years, since the last of the Cleveland Barons’ 14 trips to the Finals in 1966… The Barons and Bears met in the Finals three times, with Cleveland winning all three series (1941, 1945, 1954).
The American Hockey League has named the on-ice officials for the 2016 Calder Cup Finals… Referees working the series will be Tom Chmielewski (second Finals), Terry Koharski (ninth), Jon McIsaac (first), Kendrick Nicholson (first) and Garrett Rank (second)… Linesmen will be Shandor Alphonso, Devin Berg, Ryan Daisy, Brandon Gawryletz, John Grandt and Jud Ritter.
The home team (higher seed) is 7-8 in the opening game of the Calder Cup Finals since 1993:
2015 – MANCHESTER MONARCHS 3, Utica Comets 2 (OT)
Hershey’s Chris Bourque is the ninth consecutive regular-season MVP to reach the Calder Cup Finals in the same season… Seven of the last eight won the Calder Cup as well:
2016 – Chris Bourque, Hershey Bears
*May 26 – LAKE ERIE 2, Ontario 1 (Lukas Sedlak, 26:25)
|Calder Cup Finals History|
Results of the last 25 Calder Cup Finals series:
2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Utica Comets 1
|About the Calder Cup|
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.) 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 AHL.
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 59 champions are on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The entire trophy now stands 24 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. The bowl, made of sterling silver, is 12 inches high and eight inches in diameter; the base is made of Brazilian mahogany.
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, Nick Bonino scored with 2:33 left in regulation to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 win over San Jose… Bonino played 69 AHL games with Syracuse over the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons… Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary, both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier in the season, also scored for Pittsburgh, and 2015-16 Second Team AHL All-Star Matt Murray stopped 24 shots in the win… 2011 AHL All-Star Martin Jones made 38 saves for the Sharks.
Calder Cup Finals on AHL Live