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AHL Morning Skate: June 13

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 5 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live
Monarchs lead series, 3-1
Infographic: Series Snapshot | Game 5 Media Kit

The Manchester Monarchs are on the brink of their first Calder Cup championship after last night’s 6-3 win to take a 3-1 series lead… Game 5 tonight is also the last game of the season at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, where the Comets will host their 40th sellout of the year (27 regular season, 13 playoffs)… In Game 4, Nic Dowd (7-5-12) scored twice and Nick Shore (4-13-17) added a goal and two assists to spark the Monarchs’ offense… Shore leads all scorers with 1-5-6 in the series… Sean Backman (5-12-17) and Colin Miller (2-8-10) each notched a goal and an assist last night… Miller’s goal was just the third by a Monarchs defenseman all postseason; Manchester blueliners accounted for 23.8 percent of the team’s non-shootout goals in the regular season (57 of 239)… Michael Mersch (13-9-22), Jordan Weal (10-12-22) and Brian O’Neill (10-10-20) all returned to the scoresheet with an assist apiece… Adrian Kempe (7-1-8) picked up his third goal in two games, and Patrik Bartosak (1-1, 2.72, .907) made 22 saves in his first playoff start… Kempe has now scored goals in five consecutive road games… Frank Corrado (1-0-1), Sven Baertschi (8-7-15) and Will Acton (1-2-3) scored for the Comets in Game 4, and Bobby Sanguinetti (3-10-13) recorded two assists… Corrado’s goal was his first point in 19 career Calder Cup Playoff games… Jacob Markstrom (12-10, 2.11, .926), who had allowed seven goals on 110 shots in the first three games of the series, gave up six on 33 shots in Game 4 before turning the crease over to Joacim Eriksson early in the third period… Manchester improved to 14-0 this postseason when scoring the game’s first goal; they are 0-4 when allowing the first goal… The Monarchs never trailed in 13 of their 14 playoff wins to date; their only come-from-behind victory was Game 2 vs. Hartford (trailed 3-2, won 7-4)… Utica is 2-0 when facing elimination, winning Game 5 vs. Chicago and Game 7 vs. Oklahoma City… The Comets are 8-1 following a loss this postseason, with Markstrom allowing just 12 goals on 286 shots (1.29, .958)… The Monarchs are 4-for-18 on the power play in the series; the Comets are 2-for-14.

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 – UTICA 3, Manchester 2 | Recap/highlights
Game 4 – Fri., June 12 – Manchester 6, UTICA 3 | Recap/highlights
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

Down 3-1
This is the 36th time in AHL history that a best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals series has been 3-1 through four games… The previous outcomes:

Leading team won series in 5 — 19 times (last: Texas Stars in 2014)
Leading team won series in 6 — 13 times (last: Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013)
Leading team won series in 7 — 0 times
Trailing team won series in 7 — 3 times (last: Providence Reds in 1949)

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

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 58 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
Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final is tonight, with Tampa Bay and Chicago even at two games apiece… In Chicago’s 2-1 win in Game 4 on Wednesday, 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.