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AHL Morning Skate: June 10

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

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

   
Game 3 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
Monarchs lead series, 2-0
Infographic: Series Snapshot | Game 3 Media Kit

A second consecutive overtime win on Sunday gave Manchester a 2-0 series lead as the Calder Cup Finals shift to the Utica Memorial Auditorium for Game 3 tonight… Nic Dowd scored the winning goal at 5:36 of OT to give the Monarchs a 2-1 victory in Game 2, their eighth straight win overall and 15th in a row on home ice… Dowd (5-5-10) also recorded an assist, giving him 4-2-6 in the last six games… Zach O’Brien (3-4-7) also scored for the Monarchs on Sunday, and was credited with a game-high six shots on goal… Jean-Francois Berube (13-3, 2.25, .898) stopped 24 of 25 shots in the victory… Manchester’s line of Michael Mersch (13-8-21), Jordan Weal (10-11-21) and Brian O’Neill (10-9-19) was held scoreless after they had combined for 11-11-22 in the Monarchs’ previous five games… Nicklas Jensen (3-1-4) returned to the Utica lineup after sitting out three straight games and scored the Comets’ only goal in Game 2… Jacob Markstrom (11-9, 1.91, .931) made 37 saves, allowing two goals or fewer for the 15th time in 20 playoff starts… The Monarchs were 1-for-5 on the power play in Game 2, going to 2-for-9 in the series; Utica was 0-for-4, dropping to 1-for-7 in the series… Sunday’s loss was the Comets’ first following a loss this postseason (7-1); Markstrom has allowed a total of 10 goals in those eight games (1.20, .960)… Manchester improved to 13-0 this postseason when scoring the game’s first goal… Fourteen of Utica’s 20 playoff matches have been one-goal games (7-7)… Each of the last five Calder Cup Finals games have now gone to overtime; Texas won the final three games of last year’s championship series over St. John’s in OT… Only three teams have ever won the Calder Cup after losing the first two games of the Finals: the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1972 (vs. Baltimore), the Springfield Indians in 1991 (vs. Rochester) and the Hershey Bears in 2010 (vs. Texas).

2015 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
E1-Manchester Monarchs vs. W1-Utica Comets
Game 1 – Sat., June 6 – MANCHESTER 3, Utica 2 (OT) | Recap/highlights
Game 2 – Sun., June 7 – MANCHESTER 2, Utica 1 (OT) | Recap/highlights
Game 3 – Wed., June 10 – Manchester at Utica, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., June 12 – Manchester at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 13 – Manchester at Utica, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 16 – Utica at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 17 – Utica at Manchester, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Extra Credit
For just the fourth time in AHL history, the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals have both required overtime:

2015 Game 1 – MANCHESTER 3, Utica 2 (OT)
2015 Game 2 – MANCHESTER 2, Utica 1 (OT)

1998 Game 1 – PHILADELPHIA 3, Saint John 2 (2OT)
1998 Game 2 – Saint John 3, PHILADELPHIA 2 (OT)
1998 Game 3 – Philadelphia 4, SAINT JOHN 3 (OT)

1957 Game 1 – CLEVELAND 2, Rochester 1 (OT)
1957 Game 2 – ROCHESTER 5, Cleveland 2 (OT)

1938 Game 1 – PROVIDENCE 5, Syracuse 4 (OT)
1938 Game 2 – PROVIDENCE 2, Syracuse 1 (OT)

Working Overtime
There have been 17 overtime games played in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Utica is 3-5 in overtime; Manchester is 3-0… Home teams are 10-7:

June 7 – MANCHESTER 2, Utica 1 (Nic Dowd, 5:36)
June 6 – MANCHESTER 3, Utica 2 (Michael Mersch, 4:10)
May 29 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Utica 2 (Andreas Athanasiou, 5:05)
May 14 – Grand Rapids 2, ROCKFORD 1 (Tyler Bertuzzi, 0:13)
May 13 – Hartford 5, HERSHEY 4 (Chris Mueller, 11:39)
May 8 – UTICA 2, Oklahoma City 1 (Alexandre Grenier, 3:32)
May 7 – Oklahoma City 2, UTICA 1 (Curtis Hamilton, 60:16)
May 6 – MANCHESTER 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (Zach O’Brien, 44:13)
May 6 – Hartford 2, HERSHEY 1 (Chris Bourque, 16:47)
May 1 – Chicago 4, UTICA 3 (Joel Edmundson, 2:19)
*May 1 – HARTFORD 3, Providence 2 (Tommy Hughes, 4:35)
*Apr. 29 – ROCKFORD 3, Texas 2 (Stephen Johns, 0:23)
*Apr. 29 – Oklahoma City 2, SAN ANTONIO 1 (Jujhar Khaira, 5:01)
Apr. 29 – UTICA 2, Chicago 1 (Darren Archibald, 10:58)
Apr. 26 – PROVIDENCE 2, Hartford 1 (Seth Griffith, 42:00)
Apr. 25 – OKLAHOMA CITY 4, San Antonio 3 (Connor Jones, 4:01)
Apr. 22 – Utica 3, CHICAGO 2 (Bobby Sanguinetti, 23:10)
  *series clincher

Fit to be Tied
Through the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals, the score has been tied for 95.3 percent of the 129 minutes and 46 seconds of hockey that have been played:

Game 1
Manchester lead – 4:02
Utica lead – 0:00
Tied – 60:08

Game 2
Manchester lead – 2:07
Utica lead – 0:00
Tied – 63:29

Bouncing Back
Even with Sunday’s loss in Game 2, Utica goaltender Jacob Markstrom is 7-1 with a 1.20 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage following a loss this postseason:

Game 2 at Manchester – 37/39 (L, 1-2 OT)
Game 5 at Grand Rapids – 32/34 (W, 3-2)
Game 3 at Grand Rapids – 40/41 (W, 4-1)
Game 7 vs. Oklahoma City – 35/35 (W, 1-0)
Game 5 at Oklahoma City – 33/34 (W, 3-1)
Game 2 vs. Oklahoma City – 22/23 (W, 2-1 OT)
Game 5 vs. Chicago – 17/19 (W, 4-2)
Game 3 vs. Chicago – 26/27 (W, 2-1 OT)

1 vs. 2
Manchester and Utica had the top two records in the American Hockey League during the regular season, making this the first playoff meeting since 2007 — and the first Calder Cup Finals since 2000 — pitting the AHL’s top two regular-season teams… It is also just the sixth such postseason series since 1992:

2015 Calder Cup Finals – Manchester Monarchs (#1) vs. Utica Comets (#2)
2007 Eastern Conference Finals – Hershey Bears (#1) def. Manchester Monarchs (#2), 4-0
2000 Calder Cup Finals – Hartford Wolf Pack (#1) def. Rochester Americans (#2), 4-2
1999 Calder Cup Finals – Providence Bruins (#1) def. Rochester Americans (#2), 4-1
1998 Western Conference Finals – Philadelphia Phantoms (#1) def. Albany River Rats (#2), 4-2
1997 Mid-Atlantic Division Finals – Hershey Bears (#2) def. Philadelphia Phantoms (#1), 4-3

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

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
1990 – 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 56 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 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, Cedric Paquette scored the winning goal with 3:11 remaining in regulation to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 win over Chicago and a 2-1 series lead… Ryan Callahan and Ondrej Palat also scored for the Lightning, while Ben Bishop made 36 saves… On Tuesday morning, Jeff Blashill was named head coach of the Detroit Red Wings… In three seasons with Grand Rapids, Blashill led the Griffins to a record of 134-83-11 and won two division titles, the 2013 Calder Cup championship and the 2014 Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach… Blashill also sent 24 players on to the NHL during his time in Grand Rapids.
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 2015 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 CALDERCUP to access all of the action of the AHL’s championship series featuring the calls of the Monarchs’ Ken Cail and the Comets’ Brendan Burke… 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.