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AHL Morning Skate: June 2

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 6 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio
UTI leads series, 3-2

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)
1-Utica Comets vs. 2-Grand Rapids Griffins

Game 1 – Sun., May 24 – UTICA 2, Grand Rapids 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 25 – Grand Rapids 4, UTICA 2
Game 3 – Thu., May 28 – Utica 4, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Game 4 – Fri., May 29 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Utica 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Sun., May 31 – Utica 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Game 6 – Tue., June 2 – Grand Rapids at Utica, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 3 – Grand Rapids at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

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
2013 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Oklahoma City Barons 3
2012 – Toronto Marlies 4, Oklahoma City Barons 1
2011 – Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2010 – Texas Stars 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2009 – Manitoba Moose 4, Houston Aeros 2
2008 – Chicago Wolves 4, Toronto Marlies 1
2007 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Chicago Wolves 1
2006 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 0
2005 – Chicago Wolves 4, Manitoba Moose 0
2004 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, Rochester Americans 1
2003 – Houston Aeros 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 3
2002 – Chicago Wolves 4, Houston Aeros 1
2001 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hershey Bears 0
2000 – Rochester Americans 4, Hershey Bears 0
1999 – Rochester Americans 4, Philadelphia Phantoms 2
1998 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Albany River Rats 2
*1997 – Hershey Bears 4, Springfield Falcons 3
*1996 – Rochester Americans 4, Syracuse Crunch 1
  *known as Southern Conference

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)
E1-Manchester Monarchs vs. Utica/Grand Rapids winner

Game 1 – Sat., June 6 – Utica/Grand Rapids at Manchester, 6:00
Game 2 – Sun., June 7 – Utica/Grand Rapids at Manchester, 5:00
Game 3 – Wed., June 10 – Manchester at Utica/Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., June 12 – Manchester at Utica/Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 13 – Manchester at Utica/Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 16 – Utica/Grand Rapids at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 17 – Utica/Grand Rapids at Manchester, 7:00
    *if necessary… All times Eastern

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
2014 – St. John’s IceCaps 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
2013 – Syracuse Crunch 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
2012 – Norfolk Admirals 4, St. John’s IceCaps 0
2011 – Binghamton Senators 4, Charlotte Checkers 0
2010 – Hershey Bears 4, Manchester Monarchs 2
2009 – Hershey Bears 4, Providence Bruins 1
2008 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Portland Pirates 3
2007 – Hershey Bears 4, Manchester Monarchs 0
2006 – Hershey Bears 4, Portland Pirates 3
2005 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Providence Bruins 2
2004 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3
2003 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Binghamton Senators 1
2002 – Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2001 – Saint John Flames 4, Providence Bruins 1
2000 – Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Providence Bruins 3
1999 – Providence Bruins 4, Fredericton Canadiens 2
1998 – Saint John Flames 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
*1997 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Albany River Rats 1
*1996 – Portland Pirates 4, Saint John Flames 3
  *known as Northern Conference

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)
18 – Darren Haydar, Milwaukee Admirals (2006)
16 – Tomas Tatar, Grand Rapids Griffins (2013)
15 – Alexandre Giroux, Hershey Bears (2009)
15 – Sergei Varlamov, Saint John Flames (2001)
15 – Martin Gendron, Portland Pirates (1996)

Working Overtime
There have been 15 overtime games played in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Home teams are 8-7:

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

Alumni Watch
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 BarberioBen BishopBrian BoyleJ.T. BrownRyan CallahanMatt CarleBraydon CoburnJonathan DrouinValtteri FilppulaJason GarrisonTyler JohnsonAlex KillornNikita KucherovJonathan MarchessaultVladislav NamestnikovNikita NesterovOndrej PalatCedric PaquetteAnton StralmanAndrej 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 BickellDaniel CarcilloCorey CrawfordKyle CumiskeyPhillip DanaultScott DarlingAndrew DesjardinsRyan HartmanNiklas HjalmarssonDuncan KeithMarcus KrugerJoakim NordstromVille PokkaAntti RaantaDavid RundbladBrandon SaadPatrick SharpAndrew ShawBrent SeabrookViktor SvedbergTeuvo TeravainenTrevor van RiemsdykAntoine Vermette and Kris Versteeg).

AHL Live
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.