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AHL Morning Skate: May 15

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 (HFD leads series, 3-2)

Chris Mueller‘s shorthanded goal 11:39 into overtime gave Hartford a 5-4 win over Hershey on Wednesday night and a 3-2 series lead heading into tonight’s Game 6 at the XL Center in downtown Hartford… It was the second goal of the night and fifth goal of the playoffs for Mueller (5-4-9); in addition to Wednesday’s game-winner, he has scored the game-tying goal in all three of the Wolf Pack’s overtime wins this postseason… Hartford rallied to win after being down 3-1 after the first period and 4-3 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation… Chris Bourque (4-7-11) tallied a goal and two assists in Game 5, giving the former Bear 3-5-8 in the series and 5-6-11 in five career playoff games as a visitor at Giant Center… With 89 career points, Bourque is now alone in 10th place on the AHL’s all-time playoff scoring list… Danny Kristo (2-3-5) and Conor Allen (1-0-1) also scored for the Wolf Pack on Wednesday, and Yann Danis (6-4, 1.88, .935) made 34 saves to become the 16th goaltender in AHL history with 25 career postseason victories… Joey Crabb (3-2-5) tallied an assist in Game 5 for Hartford; he has a point in all five games of the series after going scoreless in the first round vs. Providence… Garrett Mitchell (1-2-3) and Chandler Stephenson (1-4-5) each had a goal and an assist for Hershey in Game 5… Former Wolf Pack forward Kris Newbury (0-3-3) has been held scoreless in the series… Hershey has received forward Andre Burakovsky and defenseman Nate Schmidt back from Washington after the Capitals’ elimination by the N.Y. Rangers on Wednesday… Burakovsky had 3-4-7 in 13 games with the Bears during the regular season and tallied 2-1-3 in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Caps; Schmidt is Hershey’s leading scorer this postseason with 3-5-8 in seven games… The clubs have combined for six power-play goals and five shorthanded markers in the series… Hartford is 13-6 all-time with a chance to close out a series, including 10-4 at home… Since joining the AHL in 1938, Hershey is 61-53 when facing playoff elimination but just 15-36 away from home, including five straight losses since their last series-saving road win in 2000 (at Philadelphia)… Tonight’s game can be heard on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (Sirius 211, XM 218).

Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-Hershey Bears vs. 3-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – Hartford 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – HERSHEY 6, Hartford 4
Game 3 – Sun., May 10 – Hershey 2, HARTFORD 1
Game 4 – Mon., May 11 – HARTFORD 3, Hershey 1
Game 5 – Wed., May 13 – Hartford 5, HERSHEY 4 (OT)
Game 6 – Fri., May 15 – Hershey at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., May 17 – Hartford at Hershey, 5:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Last Night’s Recaps/Highlights
Bertuzzi lifts Griffins to Game 4 win
Comets head home with 3-2 series lead
Working Overtime
There have been 14 overtime games played in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Home teams are 7-7:

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

Quick Strikes
Tyler Bertuzzi‘s game-winning goal 13 seconds into overtime for Grand Rapids last night was the fourth-fastest OT winner in Calder Cup Playoff history:

0:08 – Dennis Kassian, Buffalo Bisons (Apr. 26, 1970 vs. Springfield)
0:10 – Shane Willis, Albany River Rats (Apr. 19, 2007 at Hershey)
0:12 – Jozef Balej, Hartford Wolf Pack (May 2, 2004 at Worcester)
0:13 – Tyler Bertuzzi, Grand Rapids Griffins (May 14, 2015 at Rockford)
0:14 – Brock Trotter, Hamilton Bulldogs (May 14, 2010 vs. Texas)
0:18 – Denis Metlyuk, Hershey Bears (Apr. 15, 1997 vs. Rochester)
0:19 – Jody Gage, Rochester Americans (Apr. 8, 1992 vs. Hershey)
0:20 – Bob Lachance, Worcester IceCats (Apr. 19, 1998 vs. Springfield)
0:20 – Alexandre Giroux, Hershey Bears (Apr. 23, 2008 vs. W-B/Scranton)
0:20 – Connor James, W-B/Scranton Penguins (May 23, 2008 vs. Portland)
0:21 – Todd Elik, New Haven Nighthawks (Apr. 12, 1989 vs. Sherbrooke)
0:23 – Jeff Rohlicek, Springfield Indians (May 18, 1990 vs. Rochester)
0:23 – Stephen Johns, Rockford IceHogs (Apr. 29, 2015 vs. Texas)

In Short Order
Chris Mueller‘s game-winner for Hartford on Wednesday night was just the fifth shorthanded overtime goal scored in the Calder Cup Playoffs since 1994:

May 13, 2015 – Chris Mueller, Hartford Wolf Pack (at Hershey)
Apr. 19, 2008 – Jeff Hoggan, Providence Bruins (at Manchester)
Apr. 23, 2007 – Matt Ellis, Grand Rapids Griffins (vs. Manitoba)
Apr. 16, 2004 – Derek MacKenzie, Chicago Wolves (at Grand Rapids)
May 8, 1999 – Jim Dowd, Hamilton Bulldogs (vs. Rochester)

Alumni Watch
In the quarterfinals of the 2015 IIHF World Championships yesterday, Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves as the United States defeated Switzerland, 3-1… Hellebuyck finished second in the AHL with 28 wins, first in minutes played and saves, and tied for third with six shutouts playing for the St. John’s IceCaps in 2014-15… 2008 Calder Cup champion Ondrej Pavelec made 19 saves in the Czech Republic’s 5-3 win over Finland.
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.