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AHL Morning Skate: May 27

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 4 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (MCH leads series, 3-0)

The Manchester Monarchs are closer than they have ever been to playing for the Calder Cup, up 3-0 in the Eastern Conference championship series after last night’s 5-3 win in Hartford… The teams go at it again in Game 4 tonight with the Monarchs looking to wrap up the series and advance to the league Finals for the first time in the franchise’s 14-year history… Nick Shore (3-8-11) and Zach O’Brien (2-4-6) notched a goal and an assist each in Game 3 as the Monarchs won for the 10th time in 13 postseason outings… Brian O’Neill (8-8-16), Adrian Kempe (3-1-4) and Sean Backman (4-8-12) also scored last night, and Jean-Francois Berube (10-3, 2.48, .890) made 17 saves in net… Chad Nehring (2-1-3) and Danny Kristo (3-3-6) netted power-play goals for the Wolf Pack in Game 3, and Joey Crabb (6-4-10) scored with one-tenth of a second remaining to extend his point-scoring streak to nine games… Mackenzie Skapski (0-1, 5.43, .821) made his first career playoff start for Hartford and finished the night with 29 saves… Manchester has scored 15 goals on 88 shots in the series (17.0 percent); Hartford has nine goals on 64 shots (14.1 percent)… The Monarchs have swept a best-of-seven series once in their history, vs. Portland in 2010… The Wolf Pack have only been swept in a best-of-seven once, a second-round loss to Providence in 1999.

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 5, HARTFORD 3
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

Eastern Conference Finals History
The Richard F. Canning Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL’s Eastern Conference… Here are the results of the Eastern Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

2014 – St. John’s IceCaps 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
2013 – Syracuse Crunch 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
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
Dylan Larkin scored his first two professional goals in Grand Rapids’ 4-2 win over Utica in Game 2 on Monday night (recap/highlights)… Game 3 is Thursday in Grand Rapids.

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 4, UTICA 2
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

Spreading the Wealth
Manchester has gotten offensive contributions from 15 different players in the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals:

Michael Mersch – 5-0-5
Brian O’Neill – 2-3-5
Sean Backman – 3-1-4
Jordan Weal – 0-4-4
Nic Dowd – 2-1-3
Nick Shore – 1-2-3
Andrew Bodnarchuk – 0-3-3
Kevin Gravel – 0-3-3
Zach O’Brien – 1-1-2
Colin Miller – 0-2-2
Adrian Kempe – 1-0-1
Andrew Crescenzi – 0-1-1
Vincent LoVerde – 0-1-1
Jeff Schultz – 0-1-1
David Van der Gulik – 0-1-1

Streaking
Joey Crabb has points in nine consecutive games for Hartford, tied for the longest postseason scoring streak in the AHL in the last five years:

12 – Keith Aucoin, Hershey (2010)
10 – Bud Holloway, Manchester (2010)
9 – David Desharnais, Hamilton (2010)
9 – Mark Arcobello, Oklahoma City (2013)
9 – Joey Crabb, Hartford (2015)

Climbing the Charts
Hartford’s Chris Bourque has moved into seventh place on the AHL’s all-time postseason scoring list, and is now fifth all-time in playoff assists:

Career Calder Cup Playoff Scoring Leaders Pts
1. Darren Haydar 143
2. Willie Marshall 119
3. Jason Krog 118
4. Jody Gage 110
5. Fred Glover 104
6. Alexandre Giroux 103
7. Chris Bourque 95
8. Bob Solinger 92
T-9. Gordie Clark 90
T-9. Glenn Merkosky 90
   
Career Calder Cup Playoff Assist Leaders A
1. Darren Haydar 80
2. Jason Krog 76
3. Keith Aucoin 72
4. Willie Marshall 71
5. Chris Bourque 70
6. Mike Nykoluk 62
7. Domenic Pittis 61
8. Jody Gage 59
9. Fred Glover 56
T-10. Fred Thurier 53
T-10. Bob Solinger 53
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
Derick Brassard tallied three goals and two assists, 2013 AHL All-Star J.T. Miller recorded four points including his first career NHL playoff goal and 2007 AHL All-Star Keith Yandle added a goal and an assist as the N.Y. Rangers staved off elimination with a 7-3 win over Tampa Bay in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final last night… Nikita Kucherov scored twice for Tampa Bay and Ryan Callahan, an AHL All-Star in 2007, scored his first playoff goal as a member of the Lightning.
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.