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AHL Morning Skate: May 31

May 31, 2013


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 || Series Previews

Tonight's Previews

syr  wbs  
Game 4 - 7:05 ET, AHL Live, NHL Network Radio (Sirius 207, XM 92)
(SYR leads series, 2-1)

Syracuse took a 2-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 2-0 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday, setting the stage for tonight's Game 4 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza... Cedrick Desjardins (9-1, 2.02, .913) made 22 saves for his second shutout of the postseason and the Crunch improved its road playoff record to 4-0... Syracuse capitalized off a Wilkes-Barre turnover and Vladislav Namestnikov (1-2-3) scored 7:29 into the second period of Game 3 to provide the Crunch with all the offense they would need... Ondrej Palat (4-13-17) assisted on the goal to move into a tie for the AHL's playoff scoring lead... J.T. Brown (3-3-6) added an empty-netter with 4.8 seconds left in regulation for Syracuse... For the fifth time in his last seven starts, Brad Thiessen (6-3, 1.24, .958) allowed no more than one goal and finished the night with 20 saves in the loss... 18-year-old defenseman Olli Maatta, the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, made his professional debut for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton... The Penguins are 3-for-17 on the power play in the series; the Crunch are 2-for-12... Game 3 marked Syracuse's first shutout in a road playoff game since Corey Schwab blanked Hamilton, 2-0, on Apr. 15, 2000.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M”
3-Syracuse Crunch vs. 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Sat., May 25 – W-B/Scranton 4, SYRACUSE 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 26 – SYRACUSE 3, W-B/Scranton 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 29 – Syracuse 2, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 4 – Fri., May 31 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 5 – Sat., June 1 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 3 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., June 5 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern

gr  okc  
Game 4 - 8:00 ET, AHL Live
(OKC leads series, 2-1)

Oklahoma City scored three times in the first period -- the first two coming 71 seconds apart -- and took a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 4-1 win over Grand Rapids on Wednesday night... The Barons, who had also scored three times in the third period of Game 2, raced out to an early lead in Game 3 on goals by Ben Eager (1-2-3), Josh Green (4-8-12) and Philippe Cornet (2-7-9)... Eager's goal was his first in the American Hockey League since Mar. 31, 2006, when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phantoms... Yann Danis (9-4, 2.07, .934) made 20 saves on the night and saw his shutout bid spoiled by Chad Billins (2-4-6), who scored with 4:54 left in the third period and Petr Mrazek pulled for an extra attacker... Mrazek (8-6, 2.23, .911) finished with 29 stops... Jonathan Cheechoo (3-7-10) capped the Barons' scoring with an empty-netter... Mark Arcobello (10-7-17) was held without a point in Game 3, ending his nine-game scoring streak... Grand Rapids has lost consecutive games for the first time since a three-game slide from Apr. 10-13... Oklahoma City is 1-for-11 on the power play in the series; Grand Rapids is 0-for-9 this round and 0-for-its-last-12 overall.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
3-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 5-Oklahoma City Barons

Game 1 – Fri., May 24 – GRAND RAPIDS 2, Oklahoma City 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 25 – Oklahoma City 4, GRAND RAPIDS 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 29 – OKLAHOMA CITY 4, Grand Rapids 1
Game 4 – Fri., May 31 – Grand Rapids at Oklahoma City, 8:00
Game 5 – Sat., June 1 – Grand Rapids at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 4 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 5 – Oklahoma City at Grand Rapids, 7:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern

Series Synergies
The Pittsburgh-Boston conference final matchup in the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs comes one round after the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins faced the Providence Bruins in the Calder Cup conference semis, marking the 15th time since 1995 that NHL teams and their AHL affiliates met each other in the same postseason:

2013 - Pittsburgh vs. Boston... Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Providence
2013 - Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa... Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Binghamton
2011 - Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay... Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Norfolk
2009 - Pittsburgh vs. Washington... Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Hershey
2008 - Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia... Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs. Philadelphia
2003 - Ottawa vs. N.Y. Islanders... Binghamton vs. Bridgeport
2002 - Toronto vs. N.Y. Islanders... St. John's vs. Bridgeport
2001 - Buffalo vs. Philadelphia... Rochester vs. Philadelphia
1999 - Buffalo vs. Boston... Rochester vs. Providence
1999 - Colorado vs. San Jose... Hershey vs. Kentucky
1998 - Buffalo vs. Philadelphia... Rochester vs. Philadelphia
1997 - Colorado vs. Edmonton... Hershey vs. Hamilton
1995 - New Jersey vs. Detroit... Albany vs. Adirondack
1995 - New Jersey vs. Boston... Albany vs. Providence
1995 - N.Y. Rangers vs. Quebec... Binghamton vs. Cornwall

Road Warriors
AHL teams are 27-33 on the road this postseason, but all four conference finalists have records of .500 or better away from home:

1.000 - Syracuse (4-0)
.667 - Hershey (2-1)
.625 - W-B/Scranton (5-3)
.600 - Providence (3-2)
.571 - Oklahoma City (4-3)
.500 - Grand Rapids (3-3)
.500 - Toronto (2-2)
.500 - Charlotte (1-1)
.333 - Houston (1-2)
.250 - Springfield (1-3)
.200 - Texas (1-4)
.000 - Binghamton (0-1)
.000 - Manchester (0-2)
.000 - Milwaukee (0-2)
.000 - Portland (0-2)
.000 - Rochester (0-2)

Eastern Conference Finals History
The Richard F. Canning Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL's Eastern Conference... Either Syracuse or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will be the 10th consecutive conference champion to come out of the East Division... Here are the results of the Eastern Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

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... Either Grand Rapids or Oklahoma City will be the eighth different conference champion in the last eight years... Here are the results of the Western Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

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

Working Overtime
There have been 13 overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far... Road teams are 10-3:

Apr. 26 - Texas 3, MILWAUKEE 2 (Brett Ritchie, 11:44)
Apr. 26 - Charlotte 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (Brody Sutter, 3:06)
Apr. 27 - SPRINGFIELD 2, Manchester 1 (Cody Bass, 10:36)
Apr. 27 - W-B/Scranton 3, BINGHAMTON 2 (Chad Kolarik, 8:18)
Apr. 27 - SYRACUSE 4, Portland 3 (Richard Panik, 6:36)
Apr. 28 - Hershey 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jon DiSalvatore, 3:05)
Apr. 28 - SPRINGFIELD 3, Manchester 2 (Cody Bass, 18:44)
*May 1 - Toronto 3, ROCHESTER 2 (Will Acton, 5:14)
*May 2 - Syracuse 4, PORTLAND 3 (Ondrej Palat, 19:43)
*May 4 - Springfield 4, MANCHESTER 3 (Nick Drazenovic, 8:06)
May 9 - Oklahoma City 2, TEXAS 1 (Anton Lander, 1:28)
May 15 - Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (Carter Camper, 0:31)
May 20 - W-B/Scranton 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (Trevor Smith, 3:26)
  *indicates goal ended series

AHL Live
Don't miss a second on the road to the 2013 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts and highlights of every AHL game, as well as behind-the-scenes features and interviews in the Video On Demand section... Visit ahllive.com for details.