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AHL Morning Skate: May 29

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

stj  wbs
Game 4 – 7:05 ET – AHL Live (STJ leads series, 2-1)
The Eastern Conference Finals continue with Game 4 tonight after St. John’s took a 2-1 series lead with last night’s convincing 5-0 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The IceCaps got goals from five different skaters and Michael Hutchinson (9-4, 1.68, .945) made 30 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs… Patrice Cormier (1-2-3), Jason Jaffray (3-4-7), Eric O’Dell (8-2-10), Kael Mouillierat (3-3-6) and Zach Redmond (1-8-9) scored for St. John’s, which is outscoring the Penguins 8-1 over the last seven periods… O’Dell now has seven goals in his last seven games… Jaffray’s goal was the 30th of his Calder Cup playoff career, tying teammate Andrew Gordon for 23rd place all-time… Gordon (8-5-13) notched three assists in Game 3 and now has 7-6-13 in 15 career playoff games vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The Penguins’ Peter Mannino (8-6, 2.67, .899) allowed five goals on 24 shots in two periods of work last night; Matt Murray made his pro playoff debut in relief and stopped all eight shots he faced… The IceCaps were 2-for-5 on the power play in Game 3 after going 0-for-8 in the first two games of the series… The Penguins were 0-for-6 last night and are scoreless on their last 17 power-play chances, including all 14 in this series… Wilkes-Barre’s opponents have scored the last nine goals at Mohegan Sun Arena since the Penguins took a 5-0 lead in Game 7 vs. Providence… The Pens are 6-0 and have outscored their opponents 23-5 in their first game following a shutout loss this season, including a 3-0 win at St. John’s on Dec. 7 after a 5-0 defeat the night before.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
4-St. John’s IceCaps vs. 6-W-B/Scranton Penguins | Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Sat., May 24 – W-B/Scranton 3, ST. JOHN’S 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 25 – ST. JOHN’S 2, W-B/Scranton 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 28 – St. John’s 5, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 4 – Thu., May 29 – St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 5 – Sat., May 31 – St. John’s at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Tue., June 3 – W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 4 – W-B/Scranton at St. John’s, 6:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

tex  tor
Game 4 – 7:00 ET – AHL Live (TEX leads series, 2-1)
After not losing a game for nearly six weeks, the Toronto Marlies find themselves in need of a big win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at Ricoh Coliseum tonight… The Texas Stars took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with last night’s 3-2 victory in Game 3… Travis Morin (4-10-14) scored with 8:46 left in regulation to break a 2-2 tie and send the Stars to their second straight win in the series… Radek Faksa (3-0-3) and Kevin Henderson (1-3-4) also scored for the Stars, the first goal of the playoffs for each… T.J. Brennan (6-4-10) scored both Marlies goals in Game 3, giving him 31 goals this season in the regular season and playoffs combined… Cristopher Nilstorp (7-2, 2.06, .917) made 20 saves to earn the win, while Drew MacIntyre (8-2, 2.00, .943) turned aside 27 of 30 shots in the loss… Toronto’s Peter Holland (6-3-9) saw his goal-scoring streak end at six games, but his assist gives him points in all seven of his playoff games played… Chris Mueller (5-3-8) ran his scoring streak to five games with an assist for Texas… After firing 50-plus shots in each of the first two games of the series, the Stars owned a 30-22 advantage in Game 3, and have now outshot the Marlies by a 132-71 total… Toronto has scored the game’s first goal in all 10 of its playoff contests, but has been outshot in nine of the 10… The Marlies are outscoring their playoff opponents 14-3 in the first period… The Stars have an 18-5 scoring edge in the third period and overtime… Toronto has lost three straight games only once all season, from Nov. 9-14.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
1-Texas Stars vs. 3-Toronto Marlies
| Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Fri., May 23 – Toronto 5, TEXAS 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 26 – TEXAS 6, Toronto 3
Game 3 – Wed., May 28 – Texas 3, TORONTO 2
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
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Michal Handzus, an AHL All-Star in 1998, scored 2:04 into the second overtime period to give Chicago a 5-4 win over Los Angeles in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals… Handzus spent the 1997-98 season with the AHL’s Worcester IceCats, racking up 27 goals and 36 assists in 69 games… Brandon Saad, who appeared in 31 AHL games with Rockford in 2012-13, had a goal and two assists in the win for the Blackhawks… 2005 AHL All-Star Dustin Brown picked up a goal and an assist for the Kings… Tanner Pearson, who had 17-15-32 in 41 games for Manchester this season, netted his fourth goal of the playoffs for Los Angeles.

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)

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:

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 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.