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AHL Morning Skate: May 3

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 5 – 5:00 ET, AHL Live, Leafs TV (Series tied, 2-2)
@TorontoMarlies | @GriffinsHockey | #GRvsTOR

The conference quarterfinal round of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs comes to a close this evening with Game 5 of the Western Conference series between Grand Rapids and Toronto at Van Andel Arena… The home team has won every game of the series to date, with the #2-seed Griffins coming back from an 0-2 deficit… Last night’s Game 4 ended in a 5-4 Grand Rapids victory, with the home team sparked by a pair of goals from Tomas Nosek… Nosek (2-2-4) scored twice 4:23 apart, once shorthanded and once on a power play, to turn an early 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Griffins lead… Andreas Athanasiou (3-0-3) broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period, and Teemu Pulkkinen (6-0-6) added his league-leading sixth goal of the series and 29th goal in his last 25 AHL games… Mark Zengerle (0-5-5) and Andy Miele (2-4-6) recorded two assists each for Grand Rapids, joining Pulkkinen with points in all four games of the series… Tyler Bertuzzi (2-1-3) scored for the second time in as many games after sitting out Games 1 and 2… Defensemen Brendan Mikkelson (2-0-2) and T.J. Brennan (3-4-7) scored extra-attacker goals for Toronto, but the Griffins held on for the win… Brennan had a goal and two assists in Game 4, his second three-point effort of the series… Matt Frattin (3-2-5) added a goal and an assist for the Marlies… Tom McCollum (2-1, 4.03, .871) made 28 saves to earn the win; Christopher Gibson (2-2, 3.90, .866) stopped 22 shots in the loss… Grand Rapids was 2-for-4 on the power play in Game 4, improving to 6-for-16 (37.5 percent) in the series… Toronto, 0-for-5 last night, dropped to 3-for-19 (15.8 percent)… A Griffins win sets up a meeting with Rockford in the second round; the Marlies would meet Utica with a victory.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 7-Toronto Marlies

Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 25 – TORONTO 7, Grand Rapids 4
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 26 – TORONTO 5, Grand Rapids 2
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Toronto 2
Game 4 – Sat., May 2 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Toronto 4
Game 5 – Sun., May 3 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 5:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Last Night’s Recaps
Gaunce leads Comets to series win
Monarchs bounce back, dispatch Pirates
Griffins hang on, force Game 5
Eastern Conference Semifinals Set
The AHL last night announced the schedules for the Eastern Conference semifinals:

Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
1-Manchester Monarchs vs. 4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – W-B/Scranton at Manchester, 7:00
Game 2 – Thu., May 7 – W-B/Scranton at Manchester, 7:00
Game 3 – Sat., May 9 – Manchester at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Mon., May 11 – Manchester at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May 12 – Manchester at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May 15 – W-B/Scranton at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., May 16 – W-B/Scranton at Manchester, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-Hershey Bears vs. 3-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – Hartford at Hershey, 7:00
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – Hartford at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., May 10 – Hershey vs. Hartford, 3:00 (at Worcester, Mass.)
Game 4 – Mon., May 11 – Hershey vs. Hartford, 7:00 (at Worcester, Mass.)
*Game 5 – Wed., May 13 – Hartford at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Fri., May 15 – Hershey at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., May 17 – Hartford at Hershey, 5:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Winner-Take-All
Grand Rapids and Toronto are playing the 162nd winner-take-all games in Calder Cup Playoff history, and the 50th Game 5 in a best-of-five series… Home teams are 98-63, including 3-0 this year… Grand Rapids is 3-3 all-time in winner-take-all playoff games, including two victories during their run to the Calder Cup in 2013… Toronto is 2-1, but 0-1 on the road.

Grand Rapids Griffins (3-3)
2013, Game 7 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Oklahoma City 4
2013, Game 5 – GRAND RAPIDS 7, Houston 0
2007, Game 7 – MANITOBA 4, Grand Rapids 1
2006, Game 7 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Manitoba 4
2003, Game 7 – Houston 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1
2002, Game 5 – Chicago 4, GRAND RAPIDS 2

Toronto Marlies (2-1)
2014, Game 7 – TEXAS 6, Toronto 2
2008, Game 7 – TORONTO 3, Syracuse 2
2008, Game 7 – TORONTO 2, San Antonio 1

Alumni Watch
AHL grads Chris Kreider, Dan Boyle and Derick Brassard scored to lead the N.Y. Rangers to a 3-2 victory over Washington in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series yesterday afternoon… At the IIHF World Championships, Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves for his second consecutive win, backstopping the United States to a 2-1 victory over Norway… Charlotte Checkers captain Michal Jordan scored a goal in the Czech Republic’s 4-2 win over Latvia.  
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.