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AHL Morning Skate: May 4

May 4, 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

pro  her
Game 3 - 7:00 ET, AHL Live (HER leads series, 2-0)
After dropping the first two games of the series on home ice, Providence has had five days off to prepare for a daunting task: two must-win games at Giant Center in Hershey this weekend, beginning with tonight's Game 3... The Bruins, the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy winners with the best regular-season record in the AHL (50-21-0-5, 105 points), have lost back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 29 and Jan. 2 (excluding shootouts)... Bears forward Peter LeBlanc (0-5-5) leads all scorers in the series... Jon DiSalvatore (2-0-2) scored the game-winning goal in both Game 1 and Game 2, including the overtime marker that gave the Bears a 2-0 series lead last Sunday... Philipp Grubauer (2-0, 2.93, .934) made 54 saves in Game 2... Hershey was 5-for-10 (50.0 percent) on the power play in the first two games... Carter Camper (1-2-3) leads Providence skaters in scoring... Bruins forwards Chris Bourque (1-0-1) and Graham Mink (2-0-2) are both former Calder Cup champions with Hershey, and Christian Hanson (1-0-1) played for the Bears in 2011-12... Nine times in AHL history has a team won a best-of-five series after trailing 0-2; the Bruins (1997 vs. Worcester, 2001 vs. Hartford) account for two of those nine comebacks... The last team to finish first overall in the regular season and then get swept out of the first round of the playoffs was the Buffalo Bisons in 1954.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
1-Providence Bruins vs. 8-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 26 – Hershey 5, PROVIDENCE 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 28 – Hershey 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Sat., May 4 – Providence at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 – Sun., May 5 – Providence at Hershey, 5:00
*Game 5 – Wed., May 8 – Hershey at Providence, 7:05
   *if necessary... All times Eastern


spr  mch
Game 4 - 7:00 ET, AHL Live (SPR leads series, 2-1)
Springfield takes another shot at closing out Manchester when the puck drops on Game 4 at the Verizon Wireless Arena tonight... Martin Jones (1-2, 1.72, .943) made 32 saves on Thursday as the Monarchs extended its season with a 2-1 win in Game 3... It was the first win in Manchester's franchise history when facing playoff elimination (1-10)... David Meckler (1-1-2) scored the game-winning goal and assisted on Nick Deslauriers' first-period strike... Deslauriers (2-1-3) has scored twice in the series after scoring four goals in 63 games during the regular season... David Savard (2-1-3) had the Falcons' goal in Game 3... Curtis McElhinney (2-1, 1.44, .950) stopped 26 of 28 shots in the Game 3 loss... After all three goals on Thursday were scored on the power play, Manchester is 3-for-11 (27.3 percent) in the series, while Springfield is 2-for-18 (11.1 percent).

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
2-Springfield Falcons vs. 7-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 27 – SPRINGFIELD 2, Manchester 1 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 28 – SPRINGFIELD 3, Manchester 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Thurs., May 2 – MANCHESTER 2, Springfield 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Sat., May 4 – Springfield at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 5 – Manchester at Springfield, 4:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern


hou  gr
Game 5 - 7:00 ET, AHL Live (Series tied, 2-2)
Houston forced a winner-take-all Game 5 with a 4-1 victory over Grand Rapids last night... Making his second straight start after Darcy Kuemper's recall to Minnesota earlier in the week, Mike Condon (1-1, 2.02, .950) stopped 41 of 42 shots to earn his first career playoff win... Mikael Granlund (1-1-2), Chad Rau (1-2-3), Steven Kampfer (1-1-2) and David McIntyre (2-1-3) scored for Houston, and Justin Fontaine (3-5-8) held onto a share of the AHL playoff scoring lead with three assists... Luke Glendening (2-1-3) scored shorthanded for Grand Rapids... Petr Mrazek (2-2, 2.29, .905) made 15 stops for the Griffins, who finished with a 42-19 advantage in shots... Grand Rapids has outshot Houston 151-97 for the series, but has been outscored 11-8... Houston is 4-for-13 (30.8 percent) on the power play in the series; Grand Rapids is 2-for-15 (13.3 percent)... The Aeros are 7-0 in their AHL history in winner-take-all playoff games, including a Game 7 win at Van Andel Arena to advance to the 2003 Calder Cup Finals; the Griffins are 1-3 in such games.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
3-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 6-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 26 – HOUSTON 3, Grand Rapids 0 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 28 – Grand Rapids 3, HOUSTON 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 1 – GRAND RAPIDS 4, Houston 2 | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., May 3 – Houston 4, GRAND RAPIDS 1 | Recap
Game 5 – Sat., May 4 – Houston at Grand Rapids, 7:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern


okc  cha
Game 5 - 7:00 ET, AHL Live (Series tied, 2-2)
After trading blowouts in Games 3 and 4, Charlotte and Oklahoma City meet one last time with a trip to the second round on the line... Fifteen different Barons picked up at least one point in last night's 8-1 win, with Josh Green (2-6-8), Teemu Hartikainen (2-3-5) and Martin Marincin (1-2-3) all notching a goal and two assists and Tyler Pitlick (2-1-3) scoring twice after he had three goals in 44 games during the regular season... Zach Boychuk (3-3-6) had the only goal for Charlotte, which suffered the most lopsided loss in the team's three-year AHL history... Yann Danis (2-2, 3.21, .893) stopped 24 of 25 shots in goal for the Barons... Rob Madore (2-2, 3.46, .898) allowed four goals on 17 shots before giving way to Mike Murphy, who allowed four more on 20 shots in his second AHL appearance of the season... Oklahoma City, 2-for-17 on the power play in the first three games of the series, was 3-for-5 in Game 4... This will be the first winner-take-all Calder Cup Playoff game for both teams.

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
4-Charlotte Checkers vs. 5-Oklahoma City Barons
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 26 – Charlotte 4, OKLAHOMA CITY 3 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 27 – OKLAHOMA CITY 5, Charlotte 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 1 – CHARLOTTE 6, Oklahoma City 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., May 3 – Oklahoma City 8, CHARLOTTE 1 | Recap
Game 5 – Sat., May 4 – Oklahoma City at Charlotte, 7:00
   *if necessary... All times Eastern


About Last Night...
Matt Fraser and Alex Chiasson scored and Cristopher Nilstorp made 34 saves as Texas held on for a 2-1 win over Milwaukee to wrap up their Western Conference quarterfinal series, three games to one... Nilstorp stopped 103 of 107 Admirals shots in the series, good for a 0.96 GAA and a .963 save percentage... With its 8-1 romp over Charlotte, Oklahoma City became the first team to score eight goals in a Calder Cup Playoff game since Hamilton's 8-1 win over Houston in 2011, and the first to do so on the road since Rochester's 8-4 victory at Abbotsford in 2010... Included in Mike Condon's 41-save effort in Houston's 4-1 win at Grand Rapids was an 18-for-18 effort in the third period when the Griffins outshot the Aeros, 18-4.

Winner Take All
Tonight's Grand Rapids-Houston and Charlotte-Oklahoma City battles will be the 148th and 149th winner-take-all games in Calder Cup Playoff history... Road teams own a 75-72 edge all-time (.510), and are 9-6 over the last three postseasons... Today is the 11th day in Calder Cup Playoff history with two winner-take-all games, and the first since Apr. 29, 2006:

May 4, 2013
Game 5 - Houston at Grand Rapids
Game 5 - Oklahoma City at Charlotte

Apr. 29, 2006
Game 7 - Hartford 2, Manchester 1
Game 7 - W-B/Scranton 5, Bridgeport 4

May 1, 2004
Game 7 - Rochester 4, Syracuse 3 (OT)
Game 7 - Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 1

Apr. 13, 2003
Game 3 - Milwaukee 6, Rochester 1
Game 3 - Manitoba 6, Portland 3

Apr. 20, 2002
Game 5 - Hartford 3, Manchester 2 (2OT)
Game 5 - Houston 3, Utah 2

Apr. 11, 2002
Game 3 - Manitoba 3, Worcester 2 (2OT)
Game 3 - Chicago 3, Cincinnati 2

Apr. 18, 2001
Game 5 - W-B/Scranton 6, Syracuse 2
Game 5 - Providence 2, Hartford 1

May 1, 1999
Game 5 - Hamilton 3, Albany 2 (2OT)
Game 5 - Fredericton 3, St. John's 2

May 14, 1997
Game 7 - Albany 6, Rochester 2
Game 7 - Hershey 3, Philadelphia 2

Apr. 17, 1984
Game 7 - Maine 5, Adirondack 3
Game 7 - Rochester 4, St. Catharines 2

Apr. 15, 1982
Game 5 - Binghamton 9, Hershey 3
Game 5 - New Brunswick 6, Adirondack 3

0-2 Comebacks
Entering this postseason, 70 of the 79 teams to take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five Calder Cup Playoff series have gone on to win the series. The nine who came back:

2002, St. John's Maple Leafs def. Lowell Lock Monsters
2001, Providence Bruins def. Hartford Wolf Pack
1997, Springfield Falcons def. Portland Pirates
1997, Providence Bruins def. Worcester IceCats
1969, Quebec Aces def. Cleveland Barons
1967, Rochester Americans def. Cleveland Barons (lost first two at home)
1965, Hershey Bears def. Baltimore Clippers
1954, Hershey Bears def. Pittsburgh Hornets (lost first two at home)
1952, Providence Reds def. Cleveland Barons

Working Overtime
There have been nine overtime games played in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs so far:

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)

Second-Round Scenarios
Brackets are re-drawn after the first round so that the highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed and the two middle seeds play each other in each conference's semifinals... Texas, Toronto, Syracuse and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are into the second round, but their opponents are still to be determined:

Texas - will play Charlotte, Oklahoma City or Houston
Toronto - will play Grand Rapids, Charlotte or Oklahoma City
Syracuse - will play Springfield, W-B/Scranton or Hershey
W-B/Scranton - will play Providence, Syracuse or Manchester

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.