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AHL Morning Skate: May 28

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 3 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live, NHL Network Radio (Sirius 211, XM 218)
Series tied, 1-1

The Western Conference Finals resume with Game 3 tonight at Van Andel Arena after Utica and Grand Rapids split the first two games back in Central New York… It’s the first home game in 20 days for the Griffins, who are 5-0 on home ice this postseason… In his second game with the team, Dylan Larkin, Detroit’s first-round pick (15th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, scored his first two professional goals to help Grand Rapids to a 4-2 win in Game 2 on Monday night… Teemu Pulkkinen (14-4-18) and Tyler Bertuzzi (7-4-11) each recorded a goal and an assist, and Tom McCollum (8-3, 2.56, .918) stopped 32 of 34 shots to earn the victory in net… Utica was mired in a 1-for-28 slump on the power play before Brendan Gaunce (4-3-7) and Sven Baertschi (3-6-9) scored with the man advantage late in Game 2… Jacob Markstrom (8-6, 1.97, .925) stopped 12 of 16 shots in two periods of work on Monday before yielding to Joacim Eriksson, who made his Calder Cup Playoff debut in relief… The Comets will be without forward Brandon DeFazio, who received a two-game AHL suspension following an interference incident in Game 2… The Griffins were 2-for-5 on the power play in Game 2, improving to 12-for-48 (25.0 percent) on the postseason… In Calder Cup Playoff history, there have been 191 best-of-seven series that were tied at 1-1; the Game 3 winner has gone on to win the series 136 times (71.2 percent)… Tonight’s game will air on NHL Network Radio (Sirius 211, XM 218).

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

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

2014 – Texas Stars 4, Toronto Marlies 3
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

Eastern Conference Finals
The Manchester Monarchs clinched their first-ever Eastern Conference championship with a 3-1 win over Hartford last night (recap)… The Monarchs will host Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Finals on Sat., June 6.

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 3, HARTFORD 1

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:

2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 0
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

Firing the Pul-cannon
Teemu Pulkkinen has tallied 14 goals for Grand Rapids so far this postseason… Only six players in AHL history have scored more:

26 – Bill McDougall, Cape Breton Oilers (1993)
18 – Darren Haydar, Milwaukee Admirals (2006)
16 – Tomas Tatar, Grand Rapids Griffins (2013)
15 – Alexandre Giroux, Hershey Bears (2009)
15 – Sergei Varlamov, Saint John Flames (2001)
15 – Martin Gendron, Portland Pirates (1996)

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
In Game 6 of the NHL’s Western Conference Final last night, Andrew Shaw scored twice and Duncan Keith recorded three assists as Chicago defeated Anaheim, 5-2, to even the series at three games apiece… Corey Crawford made 30 saves in the win… Game 7 is Saturday night in Anaheim, exactly nine years to the day after Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau led the Hershey Bears to a Game 7 win over Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and the Portland Pirates to advance to the 2006 Calder Cup Finals.
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.