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AHL Morning Skate: May 29

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
Utica leads 2-1

Utica took the 2-1 series edge with a 4-1 win in Game 3 last night… Sven Baertschi (6-6–12) led the way for the Comets, scoring a natural hat trick in 8:36 in the second period to open up the first three-goal lead for the Comets in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs… The hat trick was also the first of its kind in Baertschi’s professional playoff career, and gives him four goals in his last two games… Six different players recorded assists on the three Baertschi goals: Will Acton (0-1–1), Wacey Hamilton (1-2–3), Alex Friesen (3-6–9), Cal O’Reilly (0-13–13), Bobby Sanguinetti (2-7–9), and Jake Virtanen (0-1–1)… The Virtanen assist was the rookie’s first professional point in his fifth professional game with the Comets after being drafted sixth overall in 2014 by Vancouver… Jacob Markstrom (9-6-0, 1.91, .930) shined in net, posting 40 saves after being pulled in favor of Joacim Eriksson in Game 2… Cory Conacher (2-1–3) scored his second of the playoffs to make the final 4-1, getting assists from Peter Andersson (1-3–4) and Markstrom… The Comets will play just their third-ever game without Brandon DeFazio, as he sits out the second game of his two-game suspension tonight… Marek Tvrdon (2-4–6) converted on the power play early in the third period to get the Griffins on the board with his second of the postseason… Jeff Hoggan (2-5–7) and Dylan Larkin (2-1–3) picked up the assists… The 16th overall pick in 2014 by Detroit, Larkin now has three points in three games after signing an ATO with the Griffins on May 21… Tom McCollum (8-4-0, 2.69, .913) stopped 21-of-25 in net… The loss was the Griffins’ first at home in the playoffs this year after going 5-0 against Toronto and Rockford.

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 4, GRAND RAPIDS 1
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
Game 7 of the NHL’s Western Conference Final between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks 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.