|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
The Western Conference Finals return to the Mohawk Valley, where the Utica Comets will have two chances to close out the Grand Rapids Griffins — beginning with tonight’s Game 6… The Comets won two of three on the road to bring a 3-2 series lead back to the Utica Memorial Auditorium… Sven Baertschi (6-7-13) has scored four goals in the series for Utica, including a hat trick in Game 3, and Cal O’Reilly (0-14-14) has five assists in five games vs. Grand Rapids… Bobby Sanguinetti (3-7-10) scored the game-winning goal in the Comets’ 3-2 victory in Game 5 on Sunday, ending a 12-game goal drought… Jacob Markstrom (10-7, 1.97, .928) stopped 32 of 34 shots in Game 5 as the Comets improved to 7-0 this postseason following a loss… Dylan Larkin (3-2-5) scored for the Griffins on Sunday, his fifth point in as many games since making his pro debut in Game 1 of the series… Tom McCollum (9-5, 2.65, .913), who made 18 saves in Game 5, has not lost consecutive decisions since Feb. 7-13… Teemu Pulkkinen (14-4-18) has gone three games without a goal for the Griffins, his longest drought in the AHL since Dec. 10-13… Grand Rapids has scored 11 goals in five games this series after averging 3.70 goals per game over the first two rounds… The Griffins are 7-for-21 (33.3 percent) on the power play in the series, while the Comets are 4-for-17 (23.5 percent)… Utica is 5-4 on home ice this postseason, including losses in potential series clinchers vs. Chicago (Game 4) and Oklahoma City (Game 6)… The Griffins are 3-0 in elimination games this spring, having rallied from 0-2 down to defeat Toronto in the first round… Grand Rapids has not successfully staved off elimination with a road win since 2003 (at Houston).
Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
|Western Conference Finals History
The Robert W. Clarke Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL’s Western Conference… Here are the results of the Western Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:
2014 – Texas Stars 4, Toronto Marlies 3
|Eastern Conference Finals
The Manchester Monarchs clinched their first-ever Eastern Conference championship with a 3-1 win over Hartford last Wednesday… The Monarchs will host Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Finals on Saturday evening:
2015 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
|Eastern Conference Finals History
The Richard F. Canning Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL’s Eastern Conference… Here are the results of the Eastern Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:
2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 0
|Firing the Pul-cannon
Teemu Pulkkinen has tallied 14 goals for Grand Rapids so far this postseason… Only six players in AHL history have scored more:
26 – Bill McDougall, Cape Breton Oilers (1993)
May 29 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Utica 2 (Andreas Athanasiou, 5:05)
The 2015 Stanley Cup Final begins Wednesday between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks… The Lightning have 21 AHL alumni on their roster (Mark Barberio, Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle, J.T. Brown, Ryan Callahan, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Jonathan Drouin, Valtteri Filppula, Jason Garrison, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Marchessault, Vladislav Namestnikov, Nikita Nesterov, Ondrej Palat, Cedric Paquette, Anton Stralman, Andrej Sustr and Andrei Vasilevskiy)… Bolts head coach Jon Cooper won a Calder Cup championship with Norfolk in 2012 and was the recipient of the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach that season.
The Blackhawks have 24 AHL alumni on their playoff roster (Bryan Bickell, Daniel Carcillo, Corey Crawford, Kyle Cumiskey, Phillip Danault, Scott Darling, Andrew Desjardins, Ryan Hartman, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Marcus Kruger, Joakim Nordstrom, Ville Pokka, Antti Raanta, David Rundblad, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw, Brent Seabrook, Viktor Svedberg, Teuvo Teravainen, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Antoine Vermette and Kris Versteeg).
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2015 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet all season long with live video webcasts and free highlights of every AHL game… Visit ahllive.com for details.