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AHL Morning Skate: May 13, 2007

Every morning, take a spin around the AHL ice with recaps and previews, news and notes, facts and figures, and the top headlines from around the American Hockey League.


SATURDAY’S SCORES:
Game 4 – Manitoba 3, HAMILTON 2 (Series tied, 2-2)
Game 5 – MANCHESTER 4, Providence 3 (MCH leads, 3-2)
Game 6 – CHICAGO 5, Iowa 1 (CHI wins, 4-2)


SATURDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Patrick O’Sullivan picks up two goals and an assist as Monarchs win a pivotal Game 5.

2. Darren Haydar moves into fourth place on the AHL’s all-time playoff scoring list with three points in Chicago’s series-clincher.

3. Former Bulldog J.J. Hunter notches a goal and an assist as Manitoba evens the North Division Final.


SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 5 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 3:00 (Series tied, 2-2)


2007 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Final – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Manchester Monarchs vs. A3-Providence Bruins || Preview
Game 1 – Tue., May 1 – Providence 6, MANCHESTER 3
Game 2 – Wed., May 2 – MANCHESTER 4, Providence 1
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – PROVIDENCE 2, Manchester 1
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – Manchester 3, PROVIDENCE 2
Game 5 – Sat., May 12 – MANCHESTER 4, Providence 3
Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 16 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

East Division Final – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. E2-W-B/Scranton Penguins || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., May 2 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3
Game 2 – Fri., May 4 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (2OT)
Game 3 – Sat., May 5 – Hershey 2, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Hershey 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 11 – HERSHEY 7, W-B/Scranton 6 (OT)

North Division Final – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs || Preview
Game 1 – Sat., May 5 – Hamilton 2, MANITOBA 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 6 – Hamilton 3, MANITOBA 2
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – Manitoba 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 4 – Sat., May 12 – Manitoba 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 5 – Sun., May 13 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 3:00
Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 16 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30

West Division Final – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W2-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Iowa Stars || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., May 2 – CHICAGO 7, Iowa 0
Game 2 – Fri., May 4 – Iowa 5, CHICAGO 4
Game 3 – Sun., May 6 – Chicago 5, IOWA 3
Game 4 – Tue., May 8 – Chicago 6, IOWA 1
Game 5 – Thu., May 10 – IOWA 5, Chicago 1
Game 6 – Sat., May 12 – CHICAGO 5, Iowa 1

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 5 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 3:00 (Series tied, 2-2)
J.J. Hunter scored a shorthanded goal and assisted on Prestin Ryan’s game-winner as Manitoba defeated Hamilton, 3-2, in last night’s Game 4… The road team has won each of the first four games of the series, each by one goal… Wade Flaherty started Game 4 in net for the Moose and stopped 27 of 29 shots… Dating back to Mar. 31, Manitoba had killed off 38 consecutive shorthanded situations on the road before ex-Moose Danny Groulx scored a power-play goal in the second period last night… Groulx now has three goals for the Bulldogs this postseason after going scoreless in 58 regular-season games… Through the first round, there had been 95 best-of-seven series that were tied 2-2 in Calder Cup Playoff history; the Game 5 winner went on to win the series 78.9 percent of the time (75 of 95)… After this afternoon’s contest, the teams head back to Winnipeg to play Game 6 tomorrow night.


MORNING HEADLINES:

MONARCHS PUSH P-BRUINS TO THE BRINK
Dan Hickling,
Providence Journal
It’s not where they want to be, but it’s where the Providence Bruins have been before and lived to tell about it. The P-Bruins find themselves a game away from elimination, as a result of last night’s 4-3 loss to the Manchester Monarchs. Providence trails the series, 3 games to 2, which is precisely where they were in the semifinal set with Hartford. The P-Bruins came back with two straight wins, both on enemy ice, to oust Hartford. Now they’ll have to pull off a similar feat, although the crucial Game Six will be played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center tomorrow night. “Obviously we’d rather not be in this position. We’d rather be up 3-2.” Said Providence coach Scott Gordon, “Just because you’ve done it before, that doesn’t make it easy.” … Link

WOLVES CLOSE IT OUT, AND IT ISN’T CLOSE
Bob Foltman, Chicago Tribune
Throughout their history, the Wolves have been very efficient when it comes to closing out playoff series. Whether it was as an independent in the International Hockey League or in their current incarnation as a full [American Hockey League] affiliate of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, the Wolves don’t squander many opportunities to move on. They let one slip away Thursday night at Iowa but took care of business Saturday night with a 5-1 victory at Allstate Arena to win their West Division final series four games to two. Saturday’s victory improved the Wolves to 23-9 in series-clinching games, 11-3 at Allstate. … Link

MONSTER GAME FOR MOOSE
Tim Campbell, Winnipeg Free Press

A monster game from their fourth line has given the Manitoba Moose a whole new lease on playoff life. “Our top couple of lines have carried us offensively all year long and whatever you want to call us, that’s fine,” said Moose centre J.J. Hunter, who clicked for a short-handed goal and later an assist on the third-period winner as the Moose edged the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 again to square their best-of-seven AHL North Division final 2-2. Hunter, Mike Brown and even rookie Michael Grabner, whose ice time has been very limited, gave their team a major lift by forechecking and pressuring the Bulldogs early in the third period until Prestin Ryan’s shot from the point found paydirt and stood up as the winner. … Link

SERIES ATTAINS CLASSIC STATUS
Tim Leone, Harrisburg Patriot-News
Typically, a playoff series has to go seven games before it can be deemed a classic. But the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins made a strong case for pantheon consideration with their East Division war, although Hershey advanced in just five games. One double-overtime game. Two overtime games. Four one-goal games. “I think it was pretty classic,” Bears head coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It was tough. There were some hits out there that were pretty tough.” It’s just the fourth time in Hershey’s 69-year AHL history that it played a series in which three games went beyond regulation. “We win in five, but when you see all the bumps and bruises, we feel like we won in seven games,” Bears winger Louis Robitaille said. “It’s a good feeling, though. … Link


ALUMNI WATCH:
Joe Corvo, a 2005 Calder Cup finalist with Chicago, scored at 4:58 of the second overtime to give Ottawa a 4-3 win over Buffalo and a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final last night.


BY THE NUMBERS:
12-3 – Chicago’s series record since joining the AHL in 2001-02… The Wolves are four wins away from their third trip to the Calder Cup Final in six years.


ON THIS DATE:
May 13, 2005
Jeff Carter scores two of Philadelphia‘s six goals in the final 11:23 of the game, turning a 4-1 deficit into a 7-4 victory and eliminating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 5 of their division final series.

May 13, 1995Steve Sullivan nets a goal and an assist as Albany advances to the Calder Cup Final with a 6-3 win over Providence.


ON THE AIR:
B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer, web-enabled cell phone or PDA throughout the Calder Cup Playoffs with live video webcasts of nearly every AHL game… Visit caldercup.com for details.