|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
Manchester and Utica continue their hard-fought Calder Cup Finals matchup with Game 4 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium tonight… The Comets held on for a 3-2 win in Game 3 on Wednesday, but the Monarchs still hold a 2-1 series lead… Cal O’Reilly (1-17-18) and Alexandre Grenier (6-9-15) recorded a goal and an assist apiece for Utica in Game 3, and Jacob Markstrom (12-9, 1.92, .932) made 32 saves in the victory… For O’Reilly, it was his first goal since Apr. 7, ending a 26-game drought… Markstrom has allowed seven goals on 110 shots in the series (.936); opposing goalies had an .887 save percentage against Manchester in the first three rounds… Nicklas Jensen (4-1-5) netted the game-winning goal on Wednesday, his second goal in as many games after sitting out the previous three… Adrian Kempe (6-1-7) picked up both Monarchs goals in Game 3; Los Angeles’ first-round pick in the 2014 draft has six goals in 15 playoff games with Manchester after scoring five goals in 50 games with Modo (SHL) in the regular season… Nick Shore (3-11-14) tallied two assists in Game 3, and led all skaters with seven shots on goal… Patrik Bartosak (0-1, 2.36, .931) stopped 27 of 29 shots in relief of Jean-Francois Berube (13-3, 2.30, .898), who left Game 3 at the 7:51 mark of the first period… Wednesday was Bartosak’s first action since the regular-season finale on Apr. 19; he was 13-8-5 this season, ranking sixth in the AHL with a 2.14 goals-against average to go with a .919 save percentage… The Monarchs also played most of Game 3 without AHL MVP Brian O’Neill (10-9-19), who left early in the first period and did not return… O’Neill, Michael Mersch (13-8-21) and Jordan Weal (10-11-21) were held scoreless for a second consecutive game after combining for 11-11-22 in the Monarchs’ previous five contests… Manchester dropped to 0-4 this postseason when allowing the game’s first goal; they are 13-0 when scoring first… Fifteen of Utica’s 21 playoff outings have been one-goal games (8-7)… The Monarchs are 2-for-12 on the power play in the series; the Comets are 1-for-8… Tonight will mark the 12th sellout in as many Comets home games at the Aud this postseason… Since 2003, the Calder Cup Finals have been 2-1 on seven occasions; the Game 4 winner has gone on to win the series all seven times, and four of those times it was the team that had been trailing (Houston in 2003, Hershey in 2006 and 2010, Binghamton in 2011).
2015 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
|Keeping It Close
For the first time in 10 years and just the eighth time in AHL history, the first three games of the Calder Cup Finals have all ended in one-goal margins:
2015 Game 1 – MANCHESTER 3, Utica 2 (OT)
2005 Game 1 – Philadelphia 1, CHICAGO 0
1998 Game 1 – PHILADELPHIA 3, Saint John 2 (2OT)
1981 Game 1 – MAINE 3, Adirondack 2
1974 Game 1 – HERSHEY 4, Providence 3 (OT)
1942 Game 1 – INDIANAPOLIS 5, Hershey 4
1940 Game 1 – PROVIDENCE 4, Pittsburgh 3
1938 Game 1 – PROVIDENCE 5, Syracuse 4 (OT)
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)
|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)
|Calder Cup Finals History
Results of the last 25 Calder Cup Finals series:
2014 – Texas Stars 4, St. John’s IceCaps 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 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.
In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, Chicago evened the series with a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay… Brandon Saad scored the game-winning goal for the Blackhawks and Corey Crawford finished with 24 saves… Andrei Vasilevskiy, 14-6-5 with a 2.45 GAA and a .917 save percentage in 25 AHL appearances with Syracuse this season, got his first career NHL playoff start for the Lightning and made 17 saves… Alex Killorn, a Calder Cup champion with Norfolk in 2012, scored his ninth goal of the postseason for Tampa Bay.
|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.