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AHL Morning Skate: May 1

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

Tonight’s Previews

   
Game 4 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (HER leads series, 2-1)
@WorcesterSharks | @TheHersheyBears | #HERvsWOR

Worcester visits Hershey in Game 4 of their series tonight after the Sharks fought off elimination with a 4-1 win on Wednesday… The Sharks, who have won seven of their last nine visits to Giant Center, fell behind Game 3 early before rookies Chris Tierney (1-1-2) and Ryan Carpenter (1-1-2) scored their first career playoff goals 2:54 apart early in the second period… Taylor Fedun (1-0-1) added a goal in the third and Micheal Haley (2-1-3) tacked on an empty-netter for insurance… Troy Grosenick, making his professional playoff debut, stopped 27 of 28 Bears shots for the win… Worcester was 2-for-6 on the power play in Game 3, improving to 3-for-13 in the series… Hershey was 0-for-4 with the man advantage on Wednesday after going 3-for-7 over the first two games… Liam O’Brien scored the only Bears goal in Game 3, and is now Hershey’s leading scorer in the series with three points (1-2-3)… Pheonix Copley (2-1, 1.68, .954) made 29 saves but lost in regulation for just the second time in his last 21 decisions (16-2-3).

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “B” (best-of-5) 
2-Hershey Bears vs. 7-Worcester Sharks
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Hershey 4, WORCESTER 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Hershey 3, WORCESTER 1
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Worcester 4, HERSHEY 1
Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Worcester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 3 – Worcester at Hershey, 5:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

   
Game 5 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (Series tied, 2-2)
@AHLBruins | @WolfPackAHL | #HFDvsPRO

For the fourth consecutive time, Hartford and Providence go the distance in their playoff series as the Wolf Pack host the decisive Game 5 tonight… In 2000, 2001 and 2007, the team that forced the winner-take-all game with a victory in the next-to-last game wound up coming all the way back to win the series (see below)… Yann Danis (2-2, 1.28, .956) made 28 saves to backstop Hartford to a Game 4 win on Tuesday, the Wolf Pack’s first victory in a potential elimination game since 2006… Mat Bodie (1-0-1) and Tyler Brown (1-1-2) scored for the Wolf Pack, the first career playoff goal for both… Hartford’s Chris Bourque, who entered the postseason with 21-57-78 in 85 career AHL playoff games, has been held to 1-0-1 through four games of the series… Seth Griffith (2-1-3) potted the Bruins’ only goal in Game 4… Griffith, Alexander Khokhlachev (2-1-3) and Ryan Spooner (0-3-3) are tied for the Providence team scoring lead… Malcolm Subban (1-1, 1.12, .953) stopped 15 of 17 shots in the loss… Danis, Subban and Jeremy Smith (1-1, 1.52, .933) have combined to allow just 12 goals on 244 shots (.951 save percentage) in the series… Thirteen goals (including one empty-netter) have been scored by the Wolf Pack and Bruins through four games; the AHL record for fewest combined goals in a five-game playoff series is 17, set by Hershey and Cleveland in 1965… This is Hartford’s ninth winner-take-all game in franchise history; all nine have been played at home (5-3)… Providence is 7-3 in winner-take-all games, including 6-2 on the road and 2-1 at the XL Center… The Bruins are playing their fifth consecutive series that has gone the limit; they won Game 5’s in the first round vs. Hershey in 2013 and vs. Springfield in 2014.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “C” (best-of-5) 
3-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. 6-Providence Bruins

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – HARTFORD 3, Providence 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Providence 2, HARTFORD 1
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 26 – PROVIDENCE 2, Hartford 1 (3OT)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 28 – Hartford 2, PROVIDENCE 1
Game 5 – Fri., May 1 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

   
Game 4 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (UTI leads series, 2-1)
@Chicago_Wolves | @UticaComets | #UTIvsCHI

A second overtime win in the series has put Utica up two games to one with a chance to close out Chicago in Game 4 tonight… Darren Archibald (1-1-2) scored the game-winner 10:58 into the extra frame on Wednesday night to give the Comets a 2-1 victory in front of a capacity crowd in the first Calder Cup Playoff game at the Aud since 1993… Adam Clendening (1-0-1) scored the tying goal with 13:02 left in regulation, Utica’s only power-play goal in 16 tries this postseason (6.3 percent)… Jacob Markstrom (2-1, 1.41, .938) finished with 26 saves and improved to 4-3 all-time in playoff OT games — including 4-0 vs. Chicago… Colin Fraser scored the Wolves’ only goal in Game 3, his first postseason goal since Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final with Los Angeles… Jordan Binnington (1-2, 1.69, .952) made 50 saves on Wednesday night, and has already stopped 120 shots (out of 126) through three games of the series… Chicago’s .682 winning percentage (15-7) when facing Calder Cup Playoff elimination is the best all-time (see below).

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “E” (best-of-5) 
1-Utica Comets vs. 8-Chicago Wolves

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – Utica 3, CHICAGO 2 (2OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 24 – CHICAGO 2, Utica 1
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – UTICA 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Last Night’s Recaps
Pirates romp, push Monarchs to Game 5
Winner-Take-All
Hartford and Providence meet tonight in the 159th winner-take-all game in Calder Cup Playoff history, and the 47th Game 5 in a best-of-five series… Home teams are 95-63… This is Hartford’s ninth winner-take-all game in franchise history (5-3); all nine have been played at home… Providence is 7-3 in winner-take-all games, including 6-2 on the road and 2-1 at the XL Center.

Hartford Wolf Pack (5-3)
2007, Game 7 – Providence 5, HARTFORD 4
2006, Game 7 – HARTFORD 2, Manchester 1
2004, Game 7 – W-B/Scranton 2, HARTFORD 1 (OT)
2002, Game 5 – HARTFORD 3, Manchester 2 (2OT)
2001, Game 5 – Providence 2, HARTFORD 1
2000, Game 7 – HARTFORD 3, Providence 2 (OT)
2000, Game 5 – HARTFORD 7, Springfield 2
1998, Game 7 – HARTFORD 8, Worcester 2

Providence Bruins (7-3)
2014, Game 7 – W-B/SCRANTON 5, Providence 4
2014, Game 5 – Providence 6, SPRINGFIELD 3
2013, Game 7 – W-B/Scranton 5, PROVIDENCE 0
2013, Game 5 – PROVIDENCE 3, Hershey 2
2007, Game 7 – Providence 5, HARTFORD 4
2001, Game 7 – Providence 3, WORCESTER 2 (OT)
2001, Game 5 – Providence 2, HARTFORD 1
2000, Game 7 – HARTFORD 3, Providence 2 (OT)
1997, Game 5 – Providence 3, WORCESTER 2
1995, Game 7 – Providence 6, PORTLAND 3

To the Limit
Hartford and Providence are playing a winner-take-all game for the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the teams… In each of the previous three, it took a late-series comeback to advance:

> 2007 Atlantic Division Semifinal
Hartford led series, 3-2
Providence won series, 4-3

> 2001 New England Division Semifinal
Hartford led series, 2-0
Providence won series, 3-2

> 2000 Eastern Conference Finals
Providence led series, 3-1
Hartford won series, 4-3

Pushing Back
Chicago’s .682 winning percentage when facing elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs is the highest all-time among teams with at least five such games played:

.682 — Chicago Wolves (15-7)
.639 — Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (23-13)
.610 — Providence Bruins (25-16)
.609 — Manitoba Moose (14-9)
.600 — several teams tied (3-2)

Alumni Watch
Former Portland Pirates teammates Corey Perry (2g, 2a) and Ryan Getzlaf (1g, 3a) recorded four points each and Frederik Andersen stopped 23 shots as Anaheim opened its Western Conference Second Round series with a 6-1 win over Calgary last night… Joel Ward, who played three seasons with the AHL’s Houston Aeros from 2005-08, scored with 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation to give Washington a 2-1 victory over the N.Y. Rangers in Game 1 of their series.
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.