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AHL Morning Skate: June 18

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest from around the American Hockey League in today’s Morning Skate.

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

Tonight’s Previews

syr  gr  
2013 Calder Cup Finals – Game 6 – 7:00 ET
(GR leads series, 3-2)
TV:
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (NY), WXSP-TV (Grand Rapids)
Satellite Radio: SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (Sirius 207, XM 92)
Webcast:
AHL Live (free offer)
Cedrick Desjardins made 40 saves and Ondrej Palat notched three points as Syracuse extended its season one more time with a 5-2 win in Grand Rapids on Saturday night… With a second straight victory — becoming the first team in AHL history to win two elimination games on the road during the Calder Cup Finals — the Crunch return home still trailing the Griffins 3-2 in the series but Games 6 and 7 both scheduled for the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena… Desjardins (13-4, 2.25, .910) made more saves in the first two periods of Game 5 (32) than he had in any of his previous 16 starts this postseason (28)… Palat (7-18-25) tallied a goal and two assists on Saturday… For the second night in a row, Richard Panik (8-5-13) broke a 2-2 tie in the second period with a goal that stood up as the eventual game-winner… Panik has scored a goal in four straight games… Tyler Johnson (10-11-21) registered a goal and an assist in Game 5, and Mark Barberio (3-12-15) picked up two assists… Triston Grant (2-1-3) and Tomas Tatar (14-5-19) scored for the Griffins, who are 8-11 in their AHL history — including 3-5 this postseason — with a chance to close out a series… Petr Mrazek (14-9, 2.32, .916) stopped 17 of 21 shots in Game 5, allowing four goals for the sixth time in these playoffs… Syracuse, 2-for-23 on the power play in the Finals over the first four games, went 2-for-5 in Game 5… Grand Rapids was 1-for-3 on Saturday and is 4-for-21 in the series… The Griffins are playing their 100th game of the 2012-13 season tonight… Grand Rapids has won seven of its last nine road games… This is the fifth Finals in the last six years to go six games; there has not been a seven-game championship series since 2003 (Houston vs. Hamilton)… Tonight (June 18) is the latest calendar date ever for an AHL game.

2013 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
E3-Syracuse Crunch vs. W3-Grand Rapids Griffins
Game 1 – Sat., June 8 – Grand Rapids 3, SYRACUSE 1
Game 2 – Sun., June 9 – Grand Rapids 6, SYRACUSE 4
Game 3 – Wed., June 12 – GRAND RAPIDS 4, Syracuse 2
Game 4 – Fri., June 14 – Syracuse 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Game 5 – Sat., June 15 – Syracuse 5, GRAND RAPIDS 2
*Game 6 – Tue., June 18 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 7 – Thu., June 20 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Alumni Watch

Former AHL All-Stars Tuukka Rask (28 saves), Patrice Bergeron (goal) and Zdeno Chara (assist) helped Boston to a 2-0 win over Chicago in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final last night… Bergeron, who was named the game’s first star, also took a game-high seven shots on goal and won 24 of 28 faceoffs… Ben Smith (27-20-47 with Rockford this season) made his first appearance of this postseason for Chicago.

Busy Bodies

With tonight’s faceoff, Grand Rapids (14-9) becomes the seventh team in AHL history to play as many as 24 games in a single postseason… The other six:

*25 – Chicago Wolves, 2002 (17-8)
24 – Houston Aeros, 2011 (14-10)
24 – Texas Stars, 2010 (14-10)
*24 – Chicago Wolves, 2008 (16-8)
24 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 2004 (12-12)
24 – Portland Pirates, 1996 (14-10)
  *won Calder Cup

Staying Alive
Of the 23 teams to lose the first three games of a best-of-seven Calder Cup Final series, Syracuse is just the seventh to avoid being swept, and the second to force a Game 6… The others:

2008 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Chicago Wolves (lost in 6)
1999 – Rochester Americans vs. Providence Bruins (lost in 5)
1974 – Providence Reds vs. Hershey Bears (lost in 5)
1973 – Nova Scotia Voyageurs vs. Cincinnati Swords (lost in 5)
1969 – Quebec Aces vs. Hershey Bears (lost in 5)
1962 – Buffalo Bisons vs. Springfield Indians (lost in 5)

Working Overtime
There have been 13 overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Road teams are 10-3:

Apr. 26 – Texas 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (Brett Ritchie, 11:44)
Apr. 26 – Charlotte 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (Brody Sutter, 3:06)
Apr. 27 – SPRINGFIELD 2, Manchester 1 (Cody Bass, 10:36)
Apr. 27 – W-B/Scranton 3, BINGHAMTON 2 (Chad Kolarik, 8:18)
Apr. 27 – SYRACUSE 4, Portland 3 (Richard Panik, 6:36)
Apr. 28 – Hershey 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jon DiSalvatore, 3:05)
Apr. 28 – SPRINGFIELD 3, Manchester 2 (Cody Bass, 18:44)
*May 1 – Toronto 3, ROCHESTER 2 (Will Acton, 5:14)
*May 2 – Syracuse 4, PORTLAND 3 (Ondrej Palat, 19:43)
*May 4 – Springfield 4, MANCHESTER 3 (Nick Drazenovic, 8:06)
May 9 – Oklahoma City 2, TEXAS 1 (Anton Lander, 1:28)
May 15 – Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (Carter Camper, 0:31)
May 20 – W-B/Scranton 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (Trevor Smith, 3:26)
  *indicates goal ended series

Watch the Calder Cup Finals Free on AHL Live
As a thank you to our fans, the American Hockey League and NeuLion are offering free streaming of the 2013 Calder Cup Finals on AHL Live… Visit ahllive.com for details.