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First-round playoff schedules set

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has released the following schedules for the conference quarterfinal round of the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Unless building availability dictates otherwise, the best-of-five first-round series are in either a 2-2-1 format or a 2-3 format; in the 2-3 format, the higher seed has the option of playing the first two games or the last three games at home.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
1-Manchester Monarchs vs. 8-Portland Pirates
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 23 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 26 – Manchester at Portland, 5:00
*Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 30 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
2-Hershey Bears vs. 7-Worcester Sharks
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Hershey at Worcester, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Hershey at Worcester, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Worcester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Worcester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 3 – Worcester at Hershey, 5:00

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
3-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. 6-Providence Bruins

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 26 – Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 28 – Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*Game 5 – Fri., May 1 – Providence at Hartford, 7:00

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “D” (best-of-5)
4-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. 5-Syracuse Crunch

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 30 – W-B/Scranton at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Syracuse at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
1-Utica Comets vs. 8-Chicago Wolves
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 22 – Utica at Chicago, 8:00
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Utica at Chicago, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Chicago at Utica, 7:00

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 7-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 3:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 26 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 3:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 4 – Sat., May 2 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 3 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 5:00

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
3-San Antonio Rampage vs. 6-Oklahoma City Barons
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 23 – San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 8:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – San Antonio at Oklahoma City, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:30
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Oklahoma City at San Antonio, 8:00

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
4-Rockford IceHogs vs. 5-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Rockford at Texas, 8:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00

   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Eight teams in each conference qualify for the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs. The three division winners in each conference are seeded first through third (in order of regular-season points) and the next five best teams (in order of regular-season points) are seeded fourth through eighth.

Home ice advantage in the conference quarterfinals is granted to those teams seeded first through fourth in each conference.

In the conference semifinals and conference finals, teams will be reseeded according to the same criteria as the conference quarterfinals (division leaders will be seeded first and granted home ice advantage while remaining teams will be seeded in order of regular-season points).

Home ice advantage in the Calder Cup Finals will be determined by the higher number of points in the final standings at the end of the regular season.

The conference quarterfinals will be best-of-five series. All other series are in a best-of-seven format.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sixteen clubs will continue to vie for the league’s coveted championship trophy when the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs get underway on Wednesday.