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AHL Morning Skate: May 26

May 26, 2013


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 || Series Previews

Tonight's Previews

wbs  syr
Game 2 - 7:00 ET, AHL Live (WBS leads series, 1-0)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which had won four elimination games in the eight days prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, carried that momentum into last night's series opener and grabbed a 4-2 win over the Syracuse Crunch at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter... It was the first loss of the postseason for the Crunch, who had been idle since finishing a four-game sweep of Springfield on May 17... Defenseman Alex Grant (2-1-3) scored his first two goals of these playoffs, firing the opening salvo 1:55 into the game and providing a big insurance marker with 55.8 seconds left in the second period... Christiaan Minella's unassisted goal off a defensive-zone turnover midway through the second proved to be the game-winner, and was the first career AHL goal for Minella (1-0-1)... Trevor Smith (5-8-13) recorded a goal and an assist for the fourth consecutive game... Derek Nesbitt (0-6-6) delivered two assists, giving him 0-5-5 in the Penguins' last four contests... Brad Thiessen (6-1, 1.04, .965) stopped 24 of 26 shots for the game but needed just five saves in the third period as Wilkes-Barre's defense kept Syracuse's offense at bay... The Penguins were 2-for-7 on the power play in Game 1, improving to 8-for-29 (27.6 percent) during their five-game winning streak... Brendan Mikkelson (1-0-1) and Tyler Johnson (8-7-15) scored for the Crunch last night... Johnson's goal, his eighth in eight playoff games, also snapped Wilkes-Barre's string of 21 consecutive successful penalty kills... Cedrick Desjardins (7-1, 2.27, .905) took his first loss of the postseason, making 19 saves... The Penguins are 7-1 all-time in best-of-seven series after winning Game 1; the only loss was the 2001 Calder Cup Finals vs. Saint John... The Crunch are 1-2 in best-of-sevens after losing Game 1... Tonight marks the latest calendar date ever for a Syracuse Crunch game; the team was eliminated from the 1996 postseason on May 25.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M”
3-Syracuse Crunch vs. 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Sat., May 25 – W-B/Scranton 4, SYRACUSE 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 26 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 29 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., May 31 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., June 1 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 3 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., June 5 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern

About Last Night...
In the AHL's Western Conference Finals last night, Mark Arcobello's league-leading 10th goal and 17th point of the playoffs snapped a third-period tie and propelled Oklahoma City to a 4-2 win over Grand Rapids, evening the best-of-seven series at a game apiece... Teemu Hartikainen scored twice for the Barons, C.J. Stretch had a goal and Toni Rajala notched two assists... Yann Danis made 20 saves in the win... Tomas Tatar and Mitch Callahan scored for the Griffins, who were outshot (37-22) in a game for the first time this postseason... Petr Mrazek matched a personal season-high with 33 saves... Game 3 of the series is Wednesday in Oklahoma City... In the Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, Providence Bruins call-up Torey Krug scored his fourth goal of the series and Gregory Campbell scored twice as Boston eliminated the N.Y. Rangers with a 3-1 victory in Game 5... Andrew Shaw, who played 28 AHL games with the Rockford IceHogs this season, picked up a pair of goals in Chicago's 4-1 victory over Detroit, forcing a Game 6 in that series.

United For A Cause
The American Hockey League and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Barons, have announced that all ticket revenue from the Barons’ game against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday will be removed from the league revenue-sharing program and instead will be donated to the United Way’s OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund.

Road Warriors
AHL teams are 26-31 on the road this postseason, but all four conference finalists have winning records away from home:

1.000 - Syracuse (3-0)
.714 - W-B/Scranton (5-2)

.667 - Hershey (2-1)
.600 - Grand Rapids (3-2)
.600 - Providence (3-2)
.571 - Oklahoma City (4-3)
.500 - Toronto (2-2)
.500 - Charlotte (1-1)
.333 - Houston (1-2)
.250 - Springfield (1-3)
.200 - Texas (1-4)
.000 - Binghamton (0-1)
.000 - Manchester (0-2)
.000 - Milwaukee (0-2)
.000 - Portland (0-2)
.000 - Rochester (0-2)

Eastern Conference Finals History
The Richard F. Canning Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL's Eastern Conference... Either Syracuse or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will be the 10th consecutive conference champion to come out of the East Division... Here are the results of the Eastern Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

2012 - Norfolk Admirals 4, St. John's IceCaps 0
2011 - Binghamton Senators 4, Charlotte Checkers 0
2010 - Hershey Bears 4, Manchester Monarchs 2
2009 - Hershey Bears 4, Providence Bruins 1
2008 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Portland Pirates 3
2007 - Hershey Bears 4, Manchester Monarchs 0
2006 - Hershey Bears 4, Portland Pirates 3
2005 - Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Providence Bruins 2
2004 - W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3
2003 - Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Binghamton Senators 1
2002 - Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2001 - Saint John Flames 4, Providence Bruins 1
2000 - Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Providence Bruins 3
1999 - Providence Bruins 4, Fredericton Canadiens 2
1998 - Saint John Flames 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
*1997 - Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Albany River Rats 1
*1996 - Portland Pirates 4, Saint John Flames 3
  *known as Northern Conference

Western Conference Finals History
The Robert W. Clarke Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL's Western Conference... Either Grand Rapids or Oklahoma City will be the eighth different conference champion in the last eight years... Here are the results of the Western Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

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

Working Overtime
There have been 13 overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far... Road teams are 10-3:

Apr. 26 - Texas 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (Brett Ritchie, 11:44)
Apr. 26 - Charlotte 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (Brody Sutter, 3:06)
Apr. 27 - SPRINGFIELD 2, Manchester 1 (Cody Bass, 10:36)
Apr. 27 - W-B/Scranton 3, BINGHAMTON 2 (Chad Kolarik, 8:18)
Apr. 27 - SYRACUSE 4, Portland 3 (Richard Panik, 6:36)
Apr. 28 - Hershey 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jon DiSalvatore, 3:05)
Apr. 28 - SPRINGFIELD 3, Manchester 2 (Cody Bass, 18:44)
*May 1 - Toronto 3, ROCHESTER 2 (Will Acton, 5:14)
*May 2 - Syracuse 4, PORTLAND 3 (Ondrej Palat, 19:43)
*May 4 - Springfield 4, MANCHESTER 3 (Nick Drazenovic, 8:06)
May 9 - Oklahoma City 2, TEXAS 1 (Anton Lander, 1:28)
May 15 - Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (Carter Camper, 0:31)
May 20 - W-B/Scranton 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (Trevor Smith, 3:26)
  *indicates goal ended series

AHL Live
Don't miss a second on the road to the 2013 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts and highlights of every AHL game, as well as behind-the-scenes features and interviews in the Video On Demand section... Visit ahllive.com for details.