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AHL Morning Skate: May 8

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 2 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (HFD leads series, 1-0)
@WolfPackAHL | @TheHersheyBears | #HERvsHFD

It’s Game 2 at Giant Center tonight after Hartford grabbed the early series lead in its Eastern Conference semifinal with a 2-1 overtime victory over Hershey on Wednesday… Former Bears star Chris Bourque scored 16:47 into OT in Game 1 to give the Wolf Pack the series lead… It was the second career playoff overtime goal for Bourque (2-2-4), who now has 23-59-82 in 91 career Calder Cup Playoff games, tied with AHL Hall of Famer Tim Tookey for 14th all-time… Chris Mueller (3-1-4) also scored for Hartford in Game 1, his third goal in the last two games… Yann Danis (4-2, 1.28, .958) made 36 saves and allowed two goals or fewer for the sixth straight game to start the postseason… Chris Conner (2-2-4) netted the only Bears goal in Game 1, and Philipp Grubauer (1-1, 2.06, .938) stopped 41 of 43 shots… Hartford outshot Hershey 43-37 for the game, including 12-3 in overtime… The Bears’ power play, 7-for-20 (35.0 percent) in the first round vs. Worcester, was 0-for-2 in Game 1… Hartford has played five consecutive one-goal games since opening the postseason with a 3-1 win over Providence, a game that included an empty-net goal.

Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
2-Hershey Bears vs. 3-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – Hartford 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
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

   
Game 2 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (OKC leads series, 1-0)
@OKCBarons | @UticaComets | #UTIvsOKC

Curtis Hamilton‘s goal 16 seconds into the fourth overtime last night gave Oklahoma City a 2-1 win in Game 1 of its Western Conference semifinal series with Utica… The puck drops for Game 2 at 7 p.m. ET tonight, less than 19 hours after yesterday’s five-hour, 12-minute marathon ended… It was the sixth-longest game in AHL history, and just the third quadruple-overtime contest in the last 33 years… Kent Huskins (1-1-2) scored 17:10 into the first period for the Comets, his first postseason goal since 2006 when he was with the Portland Pirates… Kellen Jones (2-0-2) answered for the Barons at 4:13 of the second, and the teams then played 96:03 of scoreless hockey before Hamilton (1-0-1) got the game-winner… Richard Bachman (3-0, 0.54, .982) finished the night with 56 saves, and has now allowed two goals on 109 shots this postseason… Jacob Markstrom (3-3, 1.71, .935) made 65 saves as he went to overtime for the ninth time in 14 career Calder Cup Playoff starts… Oklahoma City is 3-0 in playoff overtime games after setting an AHL record with 14 OT wins in the regular season… The teams were a combined 0-for-8 on the power play in Game 1, including 0-for-5 during overtime.

Western Conference Semifinals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
1-Utica Comets vs. 6-Oklahoma City Barons

Game 1 – Thu., May 7 – Oklahoma City 2, UTICA 1 (4OT)
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., May 11 – Utica at Oklahoma City, 8:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 13 – Utica at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 5 – Thu., May 14 – Utica at Oklahoma City, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 18 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 20 – Oklahoma City at Utica, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

   
Game 2 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live (GR leads series, 1-0)
@GoIceHogs | @GriffinsHockey | #GRvsRFD

Grand Rapids brings a four-game winning streak into tonight’s Game 2 against Rockford, thanks to a 5-3 victory in the series opener on Wednesday… Teemu Pulkkinen‘s third goal of the game broke a 3-3 tie with 2:46 left in regulation and capped his third hat trick of 2014-15… Pulkkinen (9-0-9), who also scored twice in a span of 3:23 earlier in the game, has a league-best nine goals in six playoff games and 32 goals in his last 27 AHL contests overall… Kevin Porter (1-1-2) scored the first playoff goal of his seven-year pro career, and Louis-Marc Aubry (3-0-3) added a late empty-netter for the Griffins, who have scored at least five goals in seven of their last 13 home outings… Tyler Bertuzzi (2-3-5) and Andy Miele (2-6-8) each had two assists in Game 1 and Tom McCollum (4-1, 3.21, .904) made 34 saves… Rockford, which has lost only seven of its last 27 games — four of those at the hands of the Griffins — got Game 1 goals from Mark McNeill (1-1-2), Stephen Johns (2-3-5) and Garret Ross (2-1-3), and erased a two-goal third-period deficit before falling late… Michael Leighton (3-1, 2.26, .935) stopped 23 shots for the IceHogs, but ended a personal streak of 13 consecutive Calder Cup Playoff starts allowing no more than two regulation goals… Rockford has been outscored 14-5 in its last three visits to Van Andel Arena.

Western Conference Semifinals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 4-Rockford IceHogs

Game 1 – Wed., May 6 – GRAND RAPIDS 5, Rockford 3
Game 2 – Fri., May 8 – Rockford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 13 – Grand Rapids at Rockford, 8:00
Game 4 – Thu., May 14 – Grand Rapids at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 17 – Grand Rapids at Rockford, 5:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 19 – Rockford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 20 – Rockford at Grand Rapids, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Last Night’s Recaps/Highlights
Barons win opener in quadruple OT
Monarchs take down Penguins in Game 2
Midnight Special
Last night’s Game 1 between Utica and Oklahoma City — which actually ended this morning, at 12:14 a.m. ET — was the sixth-longest game in AHL history:

1. April 24, 2008 – Philadelphia Phantoms 3, ALBANY RIVER RATS 2 (5OT, 82:58)
2. May 30, 2003 – HAMILTON BULLDOGS 2, Houston Aeros 1 (4OT, 74:56)
3. April 10, 1982 – NEW HAVEN NIGHTHAWKS 3, Rochester Americans 2 (4OT, 74:08)
4. April 4, 1938 – Syracuse Stars 3, CLEVELAND BARONS 2 (4OT, 62:42)
5. April 14, 1953 – PITTSBURGH HORNETS 3, Cleveland Barons 2 (4OT, 61:46)
6. May 7, 2015 – Oklahoma City Barons 2, UTICA COMETS 1 (4OT, 60:16)
7. March 28, 1939 – CLEVELAND BARONS 3, Pittsburgh Hornets 2 (3OT, 59:47)
8. April 28, 2004 – Philadelphia Phantoms 2, NORFOLK ADMIRALS 1 (3OT, 53:02)
9. April 25, 2005 – W-B/SCRANTON PENGUINS 3, Binghamton Senators 2 (3OT, 52:26)
10. April 4, 1962 – Cleveland Barons 4, SPRINGFIELD INDIANS 3 (3OT, 50:16)

Working Overtime
There have been 11 overtime games played in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Home teams are 6-5:

May 7 – Oklahoma City 2, UTICA 1 (Curtis Hamilton, 60:16)
May 6 – MANCHESTER 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (Zach O’Brien, 44:13)
May 6 – Hartford 2, HERSHEY 1 (Chris Bourque, 16:47)
May 1 – Chicago 4, UTICA 3 (Joel Edmundson, 2:19)
*May 1 – HARTFORD 3, Providence 2 (Tommy Hughes, 4:35)
*Apr. 29 – ROCKFORD 3, Texas 2 (Stephen Johns, 0:23)
*Apr. 29 – Oklahoma City 2, SAN ANTONIO 1 (Jujhar Khaira, 5:01)
Apr. 29 – UTICA 2, Chicago 1 (Darren Archibald, 10:58)
Apr. 26 – PROVIDENCE 2, Hartford 1 (Seth Griffith, 42:00)
Apr. 25 – OKLAHOMA CITY 4, San Antonio 3 (Connor Jones, 4:01)
Apr. 22 – Utica 3, CHICAGO 2 (Bobby Sanguinetti, 23:10)
  *series clincher

Alumni Watch
Corey Crawford made 34 saves to backstop Chicago to a 4-3 win over Minnesota last night, completing a four-game sweep and advancing to the Western Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs… AHL alumni accounted for all six Montreal goals in a 6-2 win at Tampa Bay last night, with Max Pacioretty leading the way with a goal and two assists.
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.