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AHL Morning Skate: May 25

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 2 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (UTI leads series, 1-0)

Utica and Grand Rapids go right back at it in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at the Utica Memorial Auditorium… The series opened last night with the Comets taking a 2-1 victory in Game 1 (recap/highlights)… Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves in support of two early Utica goals as the Comets held the league’s top-ranked offense to one goal on 26 shots… Utica’s Nicklas Jensen (2-1-3) opened the scoring just 35 seconds into the game and Brandon DeFazio (2-3-5) netted what would be the game-winner at 11:06 of the first period… Mark Zengerle (1-8-9) recorded the Griffins’ only goal of Game 1 on a power play with 3:57 left in the first… Markstrom (8-5, 1.79, .932), who has given up one goal in his last 130:31 of work, has surrendered two goals or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts this postseason… Tom McCollum (7-3, 2.61, .915) finished the night with 29 saves for the Griffins, losing for just the second time in his last nine decisions… Grand Rapids was 1-for-2 on the power play in Game 1, improving to 10-for-43 in these playoffs (23.3 percent)… Utica, 0-for-3 last night, is 1-for-26 in its last eight games and 6-for-50 (12.0 percent) for the postseason… The Aud will be sold out tonight for the ninth consecutive time this postseason; the Comets are 5-3 at home.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
1-Utica Comets vs. 2-Grand Rapids Griffins

Game 1 – Sun., May 24 – UTICA 2, Grand Rapids 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 25 – Grand Rapids at Utica, 7:00
Game 3 – Thu., May 28 – Utica at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., May 29 – Utica at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 31 – Utica at Grand Rapids, 5:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 2 – Grand Rapids at Utica, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 3 – Grand Rapids at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Eastern Conference Picture
Manchester took a 2-0 series lead with a 7-4 win over Hartford on Saturday night (recap/highlights)… Game 3 is Tuesday in Hartford.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
1-Manchester Monarchs vs. 3-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Thu., May 21 – MANCHESTER 3, Hartford 2
Game 2 – Sat., May 23 – MANCHESTER 7, Hartford 4
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

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

Alumni Watch
Ben Bishop, a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2011-12, made 26 saves for his second shutout of the postseason as Tampa Bay defeated the N.Y. Rangers, 2-0, in Game 5 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Final last night… Valtteri Filppula, an AHL All-Star in 2006, scored the game-winning goal for the Lightning, who lead the series three games to two.
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.