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AHL Morning Skate: June 1

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from
the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s Morning Skate.

Complete Schedule || Playoff Brackets || Today’s Scoreboard || League Leaders

   
Game 1 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
Infographic: Series Snapshot
  

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)
A1-Hershey Bears vs. C2-Lake Erie Monsters
Game 1 – Wed., June 1 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
Game 2 – Fri., June 3 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., June 6 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 7:00
Game 4 – Sat., June 11 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., June 12 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 6:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 14 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Fri., June 17 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Historical Rivals
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).
Official Business
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.
First Impressions
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)
2014 – TEXAS STARS 6, St. John’s IceCaps 3
2013 – Grand Rapids Griffins 3, SYRACUSE CRUNCH 1
2012 – NORFOLK ADMIRALS 3, Toronto Marlies 1
2011 – HOUSTON AEROS 3, Binghamton Senators 1
2010 – Texas Stars 2, HERSHEY BEARS 1
2009 – Hershey Bears 5, MANITOBA MOOSE 4 (OT)
2008 – CHICAGO WOLVES 5, W-B/Scranton Penguins 4
2007 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, HERSHEY BEARS 0
2006 – MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS 2, Hershey Bears 1
2005 – Philadelphia Phantoms 1, CHICAGO WOLVES 0
2004 – MILWAUKEE ADMIRALS 2, W-B/Scranton Penguins 1 (OT)
2003 – Houston Aeros 2, HAMILTON BULLDOGS 1
2002 – Chicago Wolves 5, BRIDGEPORT SOUND TIGERS 4 (OT)
2001 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, SAINT JOHN FLAMES 3

MVP Effort
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
2015 – Brian O’Neill, Manchester Monarchs
2014 – Travis Morin, Texas Stars
2013 – Tyler Johnson, Syracuse Crunch
2012 – Cory Conacher, Norfolk Admirals
2011 – Corey Locke, Binghamton Senators
2010 – Keith Aucoin, Hershey Bears
2009 – Alexandre Giroux, Hershey Bears
2008 – Jason Krog, Chicago Wolves

Working Overtime
There have been 14 overtime games played in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Home teams are 9-5: 

*May 26 – LAKE ERIE 2, Ontario 1 (Lukas Sedlak, 26:25)
May 21 – HERSHEY 3, Toronto 2 (Carter Camper, 9:09)
*May 16 – Lake Erie 4, GRAND RAPIDS 3 (Zach Werenski, 12:32)
*May 15 – HERSHEY 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (Travis Boyd, 10:57)
May 13 – Ontario 4, SAN DIEGO 3 (Mike Amadio, 6:29)
May 9 – W-B/SCRANTON 2, Hershey 1 (Kael Mouillierat, 2:31)
May 8 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 2 (Nick Lappin, 18:40)
May 7 – Ontario 2, SAN DIEGO 1 (Justin Auger, 11:55)
May 5 – LAKE ERIE 3, Grand Rapids 2 (Oliver Bjorkstrand, 12:23)
Apr. 28 – Portland 2, HERSHEY 1 (Rob Flick, 43:10)
Apr. 26 – UTICA 2, Albany 1 (Alexandre Grenier, 9:13)
*Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jake Guentzel, 33:52)
Apr. 21 – W-B/SCRANTON 4, Providence 3 (Daniel Sprong, 5:13) 
Apr. 20 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Providence 2 (Carter Rowney, 1:09)
  *series clincher

Calder Cup Finals History
Results of the last 25 Calder Cup Finals series:

2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Utica Comets 1
2014 – Texas Stars 4, St. John’s IceCaps 1
2013 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Syracuse Crunch 2
2012 – Norfolk Admirals 4, Toronto Marlies 0
2011 – Binghamton Senators 4, Houston Aeros 2
2010 – Hershey Bears 4, Texas Stars 2
2009 – Hershey Bears 4, Manitoba Moose 2
2008 – Chicago Wolves 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 2
2007 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Hershey Bears 1
2006 – Hershey Bears 4, Milwaukee Admirals 2
2005 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Chicago Wolves 0
2004 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 0
2003 – Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2002 – Chicago Wolves 4, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1
2001 – Saint John Flames 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 2
2000 – Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Rochester Americans 2
1999 – Providence Bruins 4, Rochester Americans 1
1998 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Saint John Flames 2
1997 – Hershey Bears 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 1
1996 – Rochester Americans 4, Portland Pirates 3
1995 – Albany River Rats 4, Fredericton Canadiens 0
1994 – Portland Pirates 4, Moncton Hawks 2
1993 – Cape Breton Oilers 4, Rochester Americans 1
1992 – Adirondack Red Wings 4, St. John’s Maple Leafs 3
1991 – Springfield Indians 4, Rochester Americans 2

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.

Alumni Watch
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
As a thanks to the AHL’s loyal and dedicated fans, the American Hockey League and NeuLion, Inc., are making video streaming of all seven games of the 2016 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 CALDERCUP2016 to access all of the action of the AHL’s championship series featuring the calls of the Bears’ Scott Stuccio and the Monsters’ Tony Brown… 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.