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AHL Morning Skate: Playoffs get underway tonight

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.


SUNDAY’S SCORES:


SUNDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Duvie Westcott posted a game-high four points (1-3-4) as Syracuse finished the regular season with its 15th straight win, a 7-1 decision over Hamilton.

2. Darren Haydar netted the game-winning goal and added two assists as Chicago clinched the regular season Western Conference by dropping Peoria, 5-3.

3. Worcester’s Tom Cavanagh tallied a pair of goals as the Sharks doubled up Springfield, 4-2, to end the year on a three-game winning streak.


WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

Game 1 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00

Game 1 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

Game 1 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00

Game 1 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05

Game 1 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30

Game 1 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00


2008 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)

A1-Providence Bruins vs. A4-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05

Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05

Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 21 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05

*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05

*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

 

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. A3-Portland Pirates

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 17 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Hartford at Portland, 7:05

Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Hartford at Portland, 6:05

*Game 5 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

*Game 6 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Hartford at Portland, 7:05

*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

 

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E4-Hershey Bears

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00

Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 5:05

Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00

*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00

*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 27 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 5:05

 

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)

E2-Philadelphia Phantoms vs. E3-Albany River Rats
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00

Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Albany at Philadelphia, 7:05 (WC)

Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Albany at Philadelphia, 5:05 (WC)

Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00

*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00

*Game 6 – TBA – Albany at Philadelphia (WC)

*Game 7 – TBA – Albany at Philadelphia (WC)

     (WC) at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia

 

North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. W5-San Antonio Rampage

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30

Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30

Game 3 – TBA – Toronto at San Antonio

Game 4 – TBA – Toronto at San Antonio

*Game 5 – TBA – Toronto at San Antonio

*Game 6 – TBA – San Antonio at Toronto

*Game 7 – TBA – San Antonio at Toronto

 

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Manitoba Moose

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:30

Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:30

Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30

Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30

*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30

*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00

*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 29 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00

 

West Division Semifinal – Series “G” (best-of-7)

W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Milwaukee Admirals

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:30

Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 6:00

Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00

*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:30

*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

 

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Rockford IceHogs vs. W3-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Houston at Rockford, 8:30

Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Houston at Rockford, 8:05

Game 3 – TBA – Rockford at Houston

Game 4 – TBA – Rockford at Houston

*Game 5 – TBA – Rockford at Houston

*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 27 – Houston at Rockford, 5:05

*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Houston at Rockford, 8:05

 

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00
Philadelphia suits up for its first playoff game since winning the 2005 Calder Cup title tonight when it visits Albany to begin their East Division semifinal… It’s the first playoff meeting between the teams since 1998, when the Phantoms downed the River Rats in the conference finals in route to their first Calder Cup victory… Rookie Kyle Greentree paced the Phantoms with 24 regular-season goals, while Jared Ross finished with a team-high 62 points (23-39-62) in 67 games… Ryan Potulny (21), Jonathan Matsumoto (20), and Pete Zingoni (20) all reached the 20-goal plateau for Philadelphia as well… 2007-08 “Baz” Bastien Award winner Michael Leighton went 28-25-4 for the River Rats, finishing second in the league in both GAA (2.10) and minutes played (3,451), and first in save percentage (.931) and shutouts (seven)… Jamie Johnson paced Albany with 58 points (21-37-58) in 79 games… This will be the first Calder Cup Playoff game at the Times Union Center since Apr. 17, 2000.

Portland at Hartford, 7:00
Hartford and Portland kick off their Atlantic Division Semifinal series tonight at the XL Center… This series features the AHL’s top two scoring defensemen – the Wolf Pack’s Andrew Hutchinson (18-46-64) and the Pirates’ Brian Salcido (11-42-53)… Hartford racked up a franchise-record 110 points (50-20-2-8) in the regular season… Former Pirate Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau led the Wolf Pack with 34 goals, 47 assists and 81 points in 75 games… Lauri Korpikoski finished the regular season on a four-game scoring streak (2-4-6)… Second-year pro Andrew Ebbett paced the Pirates in scoring during the regular season with 72 points (18-54-72) in 74 games… Geoff Platt tallied a career-high 32 goals (32-33-65), including six in eight games against Hartford… First-year Hartford head coach Ken Gernander played in a league-record 123 Calder Cup Playoff games in his career.

W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
Intra-state rivals Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey, meeting in the playoffs for the third time in as many years, play Game 1 of their East Division Semifinal tonight at the Giant Center… The Bears eliminated the Penguins in the division final round in 2006 and 2007 en route to consecutive appearances in the Calder Cup Finals… Third-year Bear Chris Bourque had a seven-game scoring streak (8-7-15) to close the regular season and totaled a team-high 15 points (5-10-15) in nine games against the Penguins… Alexandre Giroux, who had a pair of overtime goals against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in last year’s playoffs, posted 27 points (14-13-27) in 24 games after rejoining the Bears at the trade deadline… Penguins goaltender John Curry led all AHL rookies and ranked fifth overall with a 2.23 GAA (24-12-3), but he was just 1-4-0 against the Bears.

Manchester at Providence, 7:05
Manchester and Providence square off in the playoffs for the second year in a row and third out of the last four as they begin their first-round series tonight at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center… The Bruins were atop the AHL standings nearly all season and finished with 55 wins and 117 points, including a 27-9-1-3 mark on home ice… First-team AHL All-Star Pascal Pelletier led the Bruins’ offense with 37 goals and 75 points in 73 games… Matt Hendricks, a Calder Cup finalist with Hershey last season, had a team-high five goals and eight points in just six regular-season games against the Monarchs… Manchester’s Teddy Purcell (25-58-83) and Brian Boyle (31-31-62) finished first and second in the AHL’s rookie scoring race, the first teammates to do so since 1989… Purcell, the AHL’s Dudley “Red” Garrett Award winner, had a point in 10 of his last 11 games (7-10-17) down the stretch… The Monarchs boast the league’s top-ranked power play at 23.8 percent.

San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30 (Leafs TV)
San Antonio will make its first postseason appearance since 2003 when it takes the ice against North Division champion Toronto, back in the playoffs after a last-place finish in 2006-07… Matt Murley, a Calder Cup finalist with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2004, paced the Rampage in the regular season with 62 points (21-41-62) and a plus-20 rating, while second-year pro Bill Thomas showed a team-high 24-goals (24-28-52)… San Antonio totaled six 20-goal scorers, including 2006 Calder Cup champion Joey Tenute (21-28-49) and third-year forward David Spina (21-29-50), who is making his first playoff appearance… Marlies rookie Jiri Tlusty, a first-round draft pick in 2006, had 10 points (4-6-10) in four games to end the regular season after rejoining the team from the parent Maple Leafs… John Mitchell (20-31-51) was Toronto’s only 20-goal scorer… Toronto had the league’s best regular-season penalty-kill rate at 87.4%… The Marlies were 0-3 at home during their only previous postseason appearance, a first-round loss to Grand Rapids in 2006.

Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
Old rivals Milwaukee and Chicago tangle in the division semifinals for the second time in as many years, beginning tonight at Allstate Arena… The Wolves captured a four-game sweep over the Admirals last spring… Chicago center