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AHL Morning Skate: May 18

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 (UTI leads series, 3-2)

Utica returns home with two chances to move on to the Western Conference Finals, beginning with tonight’s Game 6 vs. Oklahoma City… The Comets took two of three in OKC to bring a 3-2 series lead back to the Mohawk Valley, where the teams split a pair of overtime games to begin the series… Utica forward Alexandre Grenier (3-6-9) leads all scorers with 3-3-6 in the series, and enters tonight’s contest riding a four-game scoring streak… Jacob Markstrom (6-4, 1.99, .924) made 33 saves in Utica’s 3-1 win in Game 5, allowing two goals or fewer for the eighth time in 10 starts this postseason… Brad Hunt (2-6-8), who scored the Barons’ only goal in Game 5, has recorded a team-high 2-3-5 in the series, and seven of his eight playoff points have come on the power play… Richard Bachman (4-3, 1.69, .948) stopped 29 of 31 shots in the Game 5 loss… Matthew Ford (2-7-9) was held without a point in Game 5, ending his seven-game scoring streak… The Barons lead the league in overall power-play efficiency this postseason (11-for-34, 32.4 percent), but are 0-for-8 on the road… Oklahoma City is also first on the penalty kill (29-for-31, 93.5 percent), including a perfect 10-for-10 on the road… Oklahoma City is 3-4 all-time when facing playoff elimination… In Calder Cup history, 130 previous best-of-seven series have been tied 2-2; the Game 5 winner has won the series 106 times (81.5 percent).

Western Conference Semifinals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
1-Utica Comets vs. 6-Oklahoma City Barons

Game 1 – Thu., May 7 – Oklahoma City 2, UTICA 1 (4OT)
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – UTICA 2, Oklahoma City 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., May 11 – Utica 3, OKLAHOMA CITY 2
Game 4 – Wed., May 13 – OKLAHOMA CITY 7, Utica 4
Game 5 – Thu., May 14 – Utica 3, OKLAHOMA CITY 1
Game 6 – Mon., May 18 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 20 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Last Night’s Recaps/Highlights
Griffins finish off IceHogs in five
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

Fury Road
Oklahoma City is bidding to become the ninth team in AHL history to win Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series on the road:

2013 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (vs. Providence)
2011 – Manitoba Moose (vs. Lake Erie)
2011 – Binghamton Senators (vs. Manchester)
2010 – Texas Stars (vs. Hamilton)
2010 – Abbotsford Heat (vs. Rochester)
2007 – Providence Bruins (vs. Hartford)
1996 – Portland Pirates (vs. Saint John)
1983 – Maine Mariners (vs. Nova Scotia)

Alumni Watch
Two-time AHL All-Star Kyle Palmieri scored the game-winning goal as Anaheim defeated Chicago, 4-1, in Game 1 of the NHL’s Western Conference final yesterday… Hampus Lindholm and Nate Thompson had a goal and an assist each and Frederik Andersen, who ranked second in the AHL in save percentage (.929) in 2012-13, made 32 saves… At the IIHF World Championships, 2010 AHL Rookie of the Year Tyler Ennis and 2010 Calder Cup champion Cody Eakin had a goal and an assist each as Canada earned the gold medal with a 6-1 win over Russia… 2015 AHL All-Star Connor Hellebuyck stopped 39 shots as the United States shut out the Czech Republic, 3-0, to win bronze… 2005 AHL MVP Jason Spezza was named Best Forward, two-time AHL All-Star Pekka Rinne was named Best Goaltender and AHL grad Brent Burns was named Best Defenseman by the tournament directorate.
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.