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AHL Morning Skate: May 5, 2007


AHL Quick Hits is now the Morning Skate… Every morning, take a spin around the AHL ice with recaps and previews, news and notes, facts and figures, and the top headlines from around the American Hockey League.


FRIDAY’S SCORES:
Game 2 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (2OT) (HER leads, 2-0)
Game 2 – Iowa 5, CHICAGO 4 (Series tied, 1-1)


FRIDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Hershey forward Alexandre Giroux ties Game 2 in the third period, wins it in double overtime.

2. Paul Szczechura nets a pair of goals to help Iowa pull even with Chicago.

3. Dave Steckel‘s three-point night keys Bears’ comeback over Penguins.


SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 3 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 (HER leads, 2-0)
Game 1 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30


2007 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Final – Series "I" (best-of-7)
A1-Manchester Monarchs vs. A3-Providence Bruins || Preview

Game 1 – Tue., May 1 – Providence 6, MANCHESTER 3
Game 2 – Wed., May 2 – MANCHESTER 4, Providence 1
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
Game 5 – Sat., May 12 – Providence at Manchester, 7:35
*Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 16 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

East Division Final – Series "J" (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. E2-W-B/Scranton Penguins || Preview

Game 1 – Wed., May 2 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3
Game 2 – Fri., May 4 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (2OT)
Game 3 – Sat., May 5 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Fri., May 11 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 12 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., May 14 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00

North Division Final – Series "K" (best-of-7)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs || Preview
Game 1 – Sat., May 5 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 2 – Sun., May 6 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30
Game 4 – Sat., May 12 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 13 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 3:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 16 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30

West Division Final – Series "L" (best-of-7)
W2-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Iowa Stars || Preview

Game 1 – Wed., May 2 – CHICAGO 7, Iowa 0
Game 2 – Fri., May 4 – Iowa 5, CHICAGO 4
Game 3 – Sun., May 6 – Chicago at Iowa, 6:05
Game 4 – Tue., May 8 – Chicago at Iowa, 8:05
Game 5 – Thu., May 10 – Chicago at Iowa, 8:05
*Game 6 – Sat., May 12 – Iowa at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 7 – Mon., May 14 – Iowa at Chicago, 8:00

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 3 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 (HER leads, 2-0)
Hershey took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven East Division Finals last night, rallying from three goals down to grab a 4-3 double-overtime victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Alexandre Giroux tied the game with 7:29 left in regulation before winning it 5:57 into the second OT… Dave Steckel extended his scoring streak to four games with a goal and two assists… Robert Nilsson had a pair of assists for the Penguins, his fourth straight multiple-point game (1g, 8a)… Nolan Schaefer made 50 saves in the loss, a league high this postseason… It was the Bears’ first win in four playoff overtime games vs. the Penguins all-time… This is the seventh time in its last eight series that Wilkes-Barre has fallen behind 0-2; the Pens have rallied to win three times… Hershey has won five straight postseason road games, going back to last year’s Calder Cup Finals.

Game 1 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
The North Division Finals open in Winnipeg with Manitoba hosting Hamilton tonight… Each team won four times and each scored 22 goals during their eight-game regular-season series… Manitoba rode goaltender Drew MacIntyre and his AHL-best 1.65 GAA and .942 save percentage to a seven-game win over Grand Rapids in the first round… Jason Jaffray has scored a goal in four straight games for the Moose (6g), including his Game 7 hat trick vs. the Griffins… Carey Price stopped 166 of 181 shots (4-2, 2.39, .917) in the Bulldogs’ triumph over Rochester… Bulldogs forward Mikhail Grabovski led all scorers in the season series with nine points (1g, 8a) in seven games vs. Manitoba.


MORNING HEADLINES:

MOOSE GET A BOOST
Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun
Bring on the reinforcements. When the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night, the Manitoba Moose immediately got a shot in the arm. The official word came down yesterday afternoon, that Nathan Smith, Jannik Hansen and Brandon Reid, who assisted on Vancouver’s lone goal in Game 5, will be in uniform tonight as the Moose face the Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 1 of the AHL North Division final at the MTS Centre. "It’s really exciting," said Moose forward Jason Jaffray. "That’s an extra 100 points in your lineup right there. It’s good to have that extra offence in your lineup and it gives everybody else is a bit of a jump." … Link

BOYLE: CENTER STAGE AGAIN
Mike Loftus, Patriot Ledger
Mark Morris is one of the people in charge of preparing prospects to play for the Los Angeles Kings. As head coach of the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, N.H., he’s also charged with winning hockey games. In order to accomplish the latter, Morris is going to send Brian Boyle to LA’s development and training camps as a center. What the Kings do with the Hingham-bred prospect after that is up to them. Boyle’s position was never an issue until the last year or so, when rumors circulated that Los Angeles, which drafted Boyle in the first round (No. 26 overall) in 2003, was thinking of converting him to defense. … Link

STECKEL BRINGS WORKER’S ETHIC TO BEARS’ WIN
Michael Bullock, Harrisburg Patriot-News
Had the hockey gods had their way, Dave Steckel would have been on the Giant Center ice late last night when the Hershey Bears finally brought a dramatic end to Game 2 of their East Division championship series. Whether mucking it out in the corners with opposing defensemen, killing a penalty, winning a draw deep in his club’s defensive end or even finding the back of the net with his own shot, Steckel’s one of those guys who just comes to play. And, last night, the 6-5, 225-pounder with the impressive wingspan played a starring role in a 4-3 victory that went undecided until the second overtime. When it finally ended, the Bears owned a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set. … Link


ALUMNI WATCH:
2000 Calder Cup finalist Maxim Afinogenov scored 4:39 into overtime to give Buffalo a 2-1 win over the N.Y. Rangers in Game 5 of their conference semifinal series last night.

Today at the 2007 World Championships in Russia, 1999 Calder Cup champion John Grahame made 23 saves as the United States shut out Germany, 3-0… Worcester Sharks goaltender Dimitri Patzold made 20 stops in the loss.


BY THE NUMBERS:
2
– Career Calder Cup Playoff overtime goals by Iowa’s Marty Wilford and Manitoba’s Mike Keane, most among players still active in the 2007 postseason.


ON THIS DATE:
May 5, 2004Hartford completes a four-game sweep of Worcester with a 4-3 victory in Game 4, clinching the series on Ken Gernander’s goal at 7:49 of the third overtime period.

May 5, 2003Ray Emery makes 34 saves as Binghamton advances to the conference finals with a 2-1 win over Bridgeport in Game 6.

May 5, 2000J.P. Dumont scores twice and Mika Noronen makes 32 saves for his record sixth shutout of the postseason as Rochester moves into the conference finals with a 3-0 win over Hamilton.

May 5, 1993Bill McDougall ties an AHL playoff record with five goals and adds an assist in Cape Breton’s 8-2 win over St. John’s, completing a four-game sweep of the Maple Leafs.


ON THE AIR:
B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer, web-enabled cell phone or PDA throughout the Calder Cup Playoffs with live video webcasts of nearly every AHL game… Visit caldercup.com for details.