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AHL Morning Skate: May 20

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 7 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (Series tied, 3-3)

A series that started with a seventh period ends with a seventh game as Utica hosts Oklahoma City tonight for the right to advance to the Western Conference Finals… The Barons pushed the series to the limit with a 2-1 win in Game 6 on Monday night, as Brad Hunt and Ryan Hamilton scored and Richard Bachman made 33 saves… Bachman (5-3, 1.61, .950) has a .943 save percentage in the series, allowing 13 goals on 230 shots… Hunt (3-7-10) has 3-4-7 in the last three games after going scoreless over the first three of the series… Three of the five goals scored by Hamilton (5-0-5) this postseason have been game-winners… Alex Friesen (3-5-8) scored the Comets’ only goal in Game 6, extending his scoring streak to four games (3-2-5)… Jake Virtanen, Vancouver’s first-round pick (sixth overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, made his pro debut with Utica in Game 6… Jacob Markstrom (6-5, 2.00, .922) stopped 19 of 21 shots in Game 6, and has now allowed two goals or fewer in nine of his 11 starts this postseason… In games following a loss in these playoffs, Markstrom is 4-0 with a 1.18 GAA and a .951 save percentage… The Barons lead the league in overall power-play efficiency this postseason (11-for-36, 30.6 percent), but are 0-for-10 on the road… Oklahoma City is also first on the penalty kill (30-for-32, 93.8 percent), including 20-for-21 (95.2 percent) in the series vs. Utica… This is ninth game played by Oklahoma City all-time when facing playoff elimination; all nine have been played on the road (4-4)… The Barons have played one previous Game 7, a 5-4 loss at Grand Rapids in the Western Conference Finals in 2013… The Comets were pushed to the limit in their opening-round series as well, defeating Chicago in Game 5 back on May 2… Tonight’s contest will be the first Calder Cup Playoffs Game 7 ever played at the Aud… Grand Rapids awaits the winner of tonight’s game.

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 2, UTICA 1
Game 7 – Wed., May 20 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Wednesday’s Recaps/Highlights
Barons push back, force Game 7
Game 7 History
Utica and Oklahoma City meet tonight in the 163rd winner-take-all game and the 90th Game 7 in Calder Cup Playoff history… Home teams are 49-40 (.551) all-time in Game 7’s… Since 1992, teams are 47-13 (.783) in Game 7’s when scoring first… Seventeen Game 7’s have gone to overtime, the last being Hamilton’s triple-overtime win over Manitoba in 2011… This is the 25th consecutive postseason with at least one Game 7.
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

Road Warriors
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)

East Finals Set
The Eastern Conference Finals get underway tomorrow night with the Manchester Monarchs hosting the Hartford Wolf Pack in Game 1.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
1-Manchester Monarchs vs. 3-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Thu., May 21 – Hartford at Manchester, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 23 – Hartford at Manchester, 7:00
Game 3 – Tue., May 26 – Manchester at Hartford, 7:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 27 – Manchester at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 30 – Hartford at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sun., May 31 – Manchester at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 7 – Tue., June 2 – Hartford at Manchester, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Alumni Watch
Marcus Kruger, one of eight former Rockford IceHogs in the game for Chicago, scored 16:12 into the third overtime period to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 win over Anaheim in Game 2 of the NHL’s Western Conference Final last night… Corey Crawford made 60 saves in the win… Francois Beauchemin, who played a 4OT game with the Hamilton Bulldogs during the 2003 Calder Cup Finals, led all Anaheim skaters in ice time (46:29).
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.