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AHL Morning Skate: May 31

May 31, 2014



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

tex  tor
Game 5 - 3:00 ET (Series tied, 2-2)
AHL Live

Toronto hosts Texas this afternoon in a crucial Game 5 for both teams as the Western Conference Finals stand tied at two wins apiece... In Calder Cup playoff history, when a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the Game 5 winner has gone on to win the series 81.1 percent of the time (103 of 127)... The Marlies squared the series on Thursday night with a 4-1 victory, ending a two-game slide... 2013-14 Second Team AHL All-Star Spencer Abbott (3-5-8) scored three power-play goals -- his first goals since Mar. 25 -- to lift the Marlies in Game 4... T.J. Brennan (6-7-13) recorded three assists for Toronto and now has 3-3-6 through four games of the series... Peter Holland (6-6-12) notched two assists, extending his scoring streak to eight games... Jerry D'Amigo (6-8-14) scored his third empty-net goal of these playoffs; in the regular season, six of his 20 goals were empty-netters... Drew MacIntyre (9-2, 1.91, .944) made 27 saves to get back in the win column... Radek Faksa (4-0-4) scored the Stars' only goal of Game 4, his second of the series... Cristopher Nilstorp (7-3, 2.17, .914) stopped 24 of 27 shots in the loss... The Marlies were 3-for-6 on the power play in Game 4, improving to 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) in the series and 14-for-52 (26.9 percent) in the postseason... The Stars went 0-for-5 and are 2-for-21 (9.5 percent) in the series... Toronto has allowed one power-play goal in 18 chances on home ice this postseason (94.4 percent)... The Marlies have scored first in all 11 of their playoff games (see below), outscoring opponents 16-3 in the first period... Texas is 4-3 on the road in the playoffs, including three overtime wins.

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 – TORONTO 4, Texas 1
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

stj  wbs
Game 5 - 7:05 ET (STJ leads series, 3-1)
AHL Live
, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (Sirius 207, XM 211)
The St. John's IceCaps are one win away from the Calder Cup Finals as they take on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game 5 tonight... The IceCaps took a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference championship series with a 2-1 victory on Thursday night... This is the second series in a row in which St. John's lost Game 1 and then won the next three; the IceCaps lost Game 5 to Norfolk before finishing the series in six... Will O'Neill (1-10-11) and Josh Lunden (1-0-1) scored power-play goals to lift St. John's in Game 4... It was the first playoff goal for both... O'Neill now has points in three straight games (1-3-4)... With Lunden's goal in Game 4, every one of the 21 IceCaps to appear in a game this postseason has recorded at least one point -- including goaltender Michael Hutchinson, who has two assists... Hutchinson (10-4, 1.63, .945) stopped 17 of 18 shots on Thursday, allowing no more than one goal for the eighth time in 14 playoff starts... Brian Dumoulin (3-9-12) scored at 6:48 of the third period in Game 4, ending the Penguins' goal-less streak at 107 minutes and 52 seconds... Peter Mannino (8-7, 2.63, .902) made 29 saves in the loss... The IceCaps are 4-for-14 on the power play in the last two games after starting the series 0-for-8... Wilkes-Barre was 0-for-6 on the man advantage in Game 4 and is scoreless on 23 straight opportunities, including all 20 in this series... In their 2012 second-round meeting with Wilkes-Barre, the IceCaps led 3-1 but lost Games 5 and 6 before finally winning the series in seven... The Penguins are 22-12 (.647) all-time when facing postseason elimination, including a 14-4 mark at home and 8-2 in their last 10... St. John's is 4-3 all-time with a chance to close out a series, but 0-2 on the road.

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 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1
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

Quick Strikes
Toronto has scored the game's first goal in all 11 of its playoff contests... In the last seven, that goal has come within the first 10 minutes of the game:

Game 1 at Milwaukee - 17:46, 1st
Game 2 at Milwaukee - 18:51, 1st
Game 3 vs. Milwaukee - 17:31, 2nd
Game 1 at Chicago - 10:54, 1st
Game 2 at Chicago - 1:04, 1st
Game 3 vs. Chicago - 5:26, 1st
Game 4 vs. Chicago - 7:51, 1st
Game 1 at Texas - 3:11, 1st
Game 2 at Texas - 4:22, 1st
Game 3 vs. Texas - 9:16, 1st
Game 4 vs. Texas - 1:36, 1st

The 3-1 Hole

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is trying to join 18 other teams in AHL history who have come back to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-1... The Penguins are already on the list twice:

2013 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins def. Providence Bruins (trailed 3-0)
2011 - Manitoba Moose def. Lake Erie Monsters
2011 - Binghamton Senators def. Manchester Monarchs
2010 - Abbotsford Heat def. Rochester Americans
2008 - Toronto Marlies def. Syracuse Crunch
2005 - Cincinnati Mighty Ducks def. Milwaukee Admirals
2004 - Rochester Americans def. Syracuse Crunch
2004 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins def. Bridgeport Sound Tigers
2000 - Hartford Wolf Pack def. Providence Bruins
1997 - Hershey Bears def. Springfield Falcons
1992 - Rochcester Americans def. Binghamton Rangers
1991 - Springfield Indians def. Fredericton Canadiens
1989 - Adirondack Red Wings def. Hershey Bears (trailed 3-0)
1973 - Virginia Wings def. Hershey Bears
1960 - Rochester Americans def. Cleveland Barons (trailed 3-0)
1949 - Providence Reds def. Hershey Bears
1947 - Hershey Bears def. Pittsburgh Hornets
1946 - Buffalo Bisons def. Cleveland Barons

Comeback Kings
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has a .647 winning percentage all-time when facing playoff elimination, the second-best mark in AHL history among teams with at least five postseason appearances:

.682 - Chicago Wolves (15-7)
.647 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (22-12)
.610 - Providence Bruins (25-16)
.609 - Manitoba Moose (14-9)
.583 - Moncton Hawks (7-5)

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)

Alumni Watch

In Stanley Cup action last night, Duncan Keith and Ben Smith had goals and Brent Seabrook tallied two assists to help Chicago to a 4-3 win over Los Angeles in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals... Dwight King and Alec Martinez scored goals for the Kings... The winner of Sunday's Game 7 will meet the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Finals after Dominic Moore's goal gave New York a series-clinching 1-0 win over Montreal on Thursday.

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.