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AHL Morning Skate: May 23

May 23, 2014



Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest from around the American Hockey League in today's Morning Skate.

Complete Schedule || Playoff Brackets || Today's Scoreboard || League Leaders

Tonight's Previews

tor  tex
Game 1 - 8:30 ET - Leafs TV, NHL Network Radio (Sirius 207, XM 211), AHL Live
The best-of-seven series to determine the winner of the Robert W. Clarke Trophy as Western Conference champions begins tonight in Cedar Park as the Texas Stars host the Toronto Marlies in Game 1... The Stars owned the best record in the AHL during the regular season and are 7-2 during the playoffs, while the Marlies won the North Division for the third season in a row before sweeping both Milwaukee and Chicago to get here... Travis Morin (2-8-10) leads the Stars in postseason scoring through nine games... Mike Hedden (5-4-9) enters the third round with a seven-game scoring streak (3-4-7)... Brendan Ranford (7-1-8) and Dustin Jeffrey (5-1-6) both scored five goals in the Stars' six-game triumph over Grand Rapids in the conference semifinals... Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp (5-1, 1.68, .934) is 17-2-2 with a 1.74 GAA and a .940 save percentage in his last 21 decisions... Jerry D'Amigo (4-8-12) has found the scoresheet in all seven of Toronto's playoff games, and also leads the AHL in plus/minus with a plus-11 rating... Peter Holland (4-2-6) scored a goal in all four games of Toronto's second-round sweep of Chicago after having missed the Marlies' previous five games due to injury... All three goals scored by Greg McKegg (3-2-5) this postseason have been game-winners... Drew MacIntyre (7-0, 1.56, .949) has allowed 11 goals on 217 shots this postseason... These clubs met four times in the regular season, with each winning twice on home ice... Texas dropped a 4-1 decision in Toronto on Feb. 17, but has gone 25-4-0-3 since... The Marlies, who have never won more than six straight games in the regular season, are the 11th team in AHL history to begin a Calder Cup Playoffs with at least seven wins in a row (see below)... Toronto has never trailed in any of its seven playoff contests; the Marlies have played with the lead 68.8 percent of the time, and have been tied the other 31.2 percent... Road teams are 10-2 in Game 1's this postseason... Tonight's game will air live on Leafs TV and will also be heard on NHL Network Radio (Sirius 207, XM 211).

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
1-Texas Stars vs. 3-Toronto Marlies

Game 1 – Fri., May 23 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
Game 2 – Mon., May 26 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
Game 3 – Wed., May 28 – Texas at Toronto, 7:00
Game 4 – Thu., May 29 – Texas at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 31 – Texas at Toronto, 3:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 2 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
*Game 7 – Tue., June 3 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
   *if necessary... All times Eastern

Alumni Watch
Dustin Tokarski made 35 saves and earned his first career Stanley Cup Playoff victory in Montreal's 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers last night... The 2012 Calder Cup champion and 2014 AHL All-Star has spent the last five seasons primarily in the American Hockey League, where he has compiled a regular-season record of 124-88-14 with 18 shutouts while winning at least 20 games each year... Chris Kreider, who began the 2013-14 season in the AHL with Hartford, forced overtime by scoring the tying goal with 28.1 seconds left in regulation.

Stellar Starts
Toronto is the 11th team in AHL history to begin a postseason with at least seven consecutive wins:

2014 - Toronto Marlies (7-0)
2013 - Syracuse Crunch (8-0), lost Finals
2006 - Hershey Bears (10-0), won Calder Cup
2000 - Providence Bruins (7-0), lost conference finals
1996 - Rochester Americans (9-0), won Calder Cup
1988 - Hershey Bears (12-0), won Calder Cup*
1973 - Nova Scotia Voyageurs (8-0), lost Finals
1964 - Cleveland Barons (9-0), won Calder Cup*
1961 - Springfield Indians (8-0), won Calder Cup*
1951 - Pittsburgh Hornets (7-0), lost Finals
1950 - Indianapolis Capitals (8-0), won Calder Cup*
   *finished postseason undefeated

Working Overtime
There have been 15 overtime games played in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs so far:

Apr. 23 - Springfield 3, PROVIDENCE 2 (Andrew Joudrey, 2:21)
Apr. 23 - Texas 3, OKLAHOMA CITY 2 (Mike Hedden, 5:35)
Apr. 25 - Providence 2, SPRINGFIELD 1 (Matt Fraser, 3:54)
Apr. 25 - W-B/Scranton 3, BINGHAMTON 2 (Anton Zlobin, 8:40)
Apr. 25 - Chicago 4, ROCHESTER 3 (Dmitrij Jaskin, 1:06)
Apr. 25 - Grand Rapids 2, ABBOTSFORD 1 (Ryan Sproul, 39:26)
Apr. 26 - BINGHAMTON 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (Stephane Da Costa, 11:07)
Apr. 26 - Texas 3, OKLAHOMA CITY 2 (Brendan Ranford, 15:04)
Apr. 30 - W-B/SCRANTON 3, Binghamton 2 (Chuck Kobasew, 7:32)
Apr. 30 - NORFOLK 1, Manchester 0 (Maxime Sauve, 14:51)
May 13 - NORFOLK 3, St. John's 2 (Andre Petersson, 13:10)
May 14 - W-B/Scranton 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Simon Despres, 26:32)
May 14 - TORONTO 4, Chicago 3 (Jerry D'Amigo, 3:28)
May 16 - PROVIDENCE 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (Cory Kane, 6:31)
May 16 - Texas 3, GRAND RAPIDS 2 (Chris Mueller, 3:18)

Western Conference Finals History
The Robert W. Clarke Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL's Western Conference... There have been eight different conference champions in the last eight years; either Texas (2010) or Toronto (2012) will end that streak... Here are the results of the Western Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

2013 - Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Oklahoma City Barons 3
2012 - Toronto Marlies 4, Oklahoma City Barons 1
2011 - Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2010 - Texas Stars 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2009 - Manitoba Moose 4, Houston Aeros 2
2008 - Chicago Wolves 4, Toronto Marlies 1
2007 - Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Chicago Wolves 1
2006 - Milwaukee Admirals 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 0
2005 - Chicago Wolves 4, Manitoba Moose 0
2004 - Milwaukee Admirals 4, Rochester Americans 1
2003 - Houston Aeros 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 3
2002 - Chicago Wolves 4, Houston Aeros 1
2001 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hershey Bears 0
2000 - Rochester Americans 4, Hershey Bears 0
1999 - Rochester Americans 4, Philadelphia Phantoms 2
1998 - Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Albany River Rats 2
*1997 - Hershey Bears 4, Springfield Falcons 3
*1996 - Rochester Americans 4, Syracuse Crunch 1
  *known as Southern Conference

AHL Live
Don't miss a second on the road to the 2014 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.