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Morning Skate: Stars shooting to pull even

Every game day from now until the end of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the AHL Morning Skate takes 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.


THURSDAY’S SCORES:
Game 5 – Hershey 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT) (HER leads series, 3-2)


THURSDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Francois Bouchard scored 10:38 into overtime to lift Hershey to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Manchester and a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

2. Bears forward Chris Bourque notched the game-tying goal with 50.4 seconds left in the third period and then assisted on Bouchard’s overtime tally.

3. Rookie defenseman Jacob Muzzin notched his first professional goal for the Monarchs.


TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 4 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30 (HAM leads series, 2-1)


2010 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Complete Results II Scoring Leaders II Goaltending Leaders

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Wed., May 12 – HERSHEY 4, Manchester 2
Game 2 – Sat., May 15 – HERSHEY 3, Manchester 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., May 17 – MANCHESTER 3, Hershey 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., May 18 – MANCHESTER 1, Hershey 0
Game 5 – Thu., May 20 – Hershey 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT)
Game 6 – Sat., May 22 – Manchester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., May 23 – Manchester at Hershey, 5:00

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., May 14 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 16 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 1
Game 3 – Wed., May 19 – TEXAS 5, Hamilton 4 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., May 21 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
Game 5 – Sat., May 22 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 24 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 4 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30 (HAM leads series, 2-1)
Video Webcast: AHL Live
After pulling out a 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 on Wednesday, Texas looks to even up the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series tonight when it hosts Hamilton for Game 4 at the Cedar Park Center… The home team has won each of the first three games of this series – two of which have required overtime to decide – and Texas improved to 5-1 at the Cedar Park Center this postseason with Wednesday’s victory… Hamilton erased deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 in Game 3 before Ethan Graham’s first career Calder Cup Playoff goal won it for Texas 2:13 into the extra session… An unlikely hero, Graham is playing for his third AHL team this year, totaling seven points (2-5-7) in 32 regular-season games with Texas, Milwaukee and Norfolk… Former AHL defenseman of the year Andrew Hutchinson earned an assist on the game-winning marker, one of his three helpers on the night… Prior to Wednesday, Hutchinson had not recorded a three-point effort since putting up a goal and two assists in a 5-0 win at Hamilton on Feb. 16… Hutchinson now ranks second among AHL defensemen with 13 points (4-9-13) this postseason, trailing only the Bulldogs’ Andre Benoit (3-11-14)… The Stars went 3-for-4 on the power play in Game 3, receiving man-advantage markers from Perttu Lindgren (1-1-2), Jamie Benn (1-1-2) and Aaron Gagnon, and are now 5-for-12 in the series… Benn’s 11 goals in 14 playoff games are tied for the AHL lead along with Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux, and his 19 points rank third in the league… Warren Peters also scored for Texas on Wednesday, giving his club a 4-3 lead late in the third period before Hamilton’s Ryan Russell tied it up with 1:33 to play… Russell, who added an assist on the night, is now riding a three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) and has a point in six of his last seven contests (4-3-7)… Brock Trotter also posted a goal and an assist in the Game 3, extending his scoring streak to four contests (4-3-7)… With 16 points overall (8-8-16), Trotter continues to rank second on Hamilton in postseason scoring behind David Desharnais (7-11-18), who chipped in an assist on Wednesday to run his own points streak to five games (3-5-8)… Mike Glumac notched his team-best 10th goal of the postseason in Game 3, and Ryan White rounded out Hamilton’s offense… Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford had surrendered five goals on 100 shots (.950) through his first four playoff appearances – all wins – prior to allowing five goals on 34 shots (.853) in Wednesday’s loss… Hamilton’s penalty-killing unit has been successful only 18 times in 31 opportunities (58.1 percent) on the road during these playoffs, compared with an 32-for-36 showing (88.9 percent) at Copps Coliseum… The Game 3 defeat was the Bulldogs’ first playoff overtime loss since 2004, ending an eight-game OT winning streak.


ALL-TIME CALDER CUP PLAYOFF LEADERS

Points
1. Darren Haydar, 135
2. Willie Marshall, 119
3. Jason Krog, 118
4. Jody Gage, 110
5. Fred Glover, 104
6. Alexandre Giroux, 93

Goals
1. Darren Haydar, 59
2. Jody Gage, 51
3(t). Willie Marshall, 48
3(t). Fred Glover, 48
5. Alexandre Giroux, 47
6. Brad Smyth, 46
7(t). Jason Krog, 42

Assists
1(t). Darren Haydar, 76
1(t). Jason Krog, 76
3. Willie Marshall, 71
4. Mike Nykoluk, 62
5. Domenic Pittis, 61

7(t). Keith Aucoin, 56
7(t). Fred Glover, 56

Games Played
1. Bryan Helmer, 131
2. Ken Gernander, 123
3. Fred Glover, 120
4. Jody Gage, 115

11(t). Alexandre Giroux, 105
11(t).
Boyd Kane, 105
11(t). Darren Haydar, 105


MORNING HEADLINES:
STUNNING COMEBACK LIFTS HERSHEY TO GAME 5 VICTORY – Harrisburg Patriot-News

They’ve won a Calder Cup and set numerous team and AHL records the past two seasons. But what the Hershey Bears accomplished Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals at Verizon Wireless Arena stands as one of their finest moments.
http://blog.pennlive.com/patriotnewssports/2010/05/stunning_comeback_lifts_hershe.html

BEARS EDGE MONARCHS IN OT, NOW ONE WIN FROM FINALS – New Hampshire Union Leader
Hershey took a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals with a 3-2 overtime win over the Monarchs at Verizon Wireless Arena last night. Francois Bouchard scored the game-winner at 10:38 of overtime. “We got a little out of sorts in overtime and got out of position and they made a great play,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “We had some real close calls. You can’t fault the effort but we certainly showed our youth there at the tail end.”
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=e06e1bf6-fd60-4c42-98a7-dbb50b78a8ee

BEARS RALLY AGAIN, WIN IN OT – Lebanon Daily News
Patience, poise, and a large dose of desperation. All were factors that enabled the Hershey Bears to sneak past the Manchester Monarchs with a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference finals series. Francois Bouchard’s goal at 10:38 of the extra session settled the matter, and now Hershey can close out the pesky Monarchs in Game 6, set for Saturday at the Giant Center.
http://www.ldnews.com/sports/ci_15129802

STARS HOPE TO EVEN PLAYOFF SERIES IN GAME 4 – Austin American-Statesman
They may be a bunch of conservatives, but the Texas Stars know when to loosen their ties. Admittedly unadventurous on offense through the first two games of their AHL Western Conference finals against Hamilton, the Stars traded their conventional style in favor of a swarming offense that led to a 5-4 overtime victory Wednesday. Tonight, the Stars, who averaged 22 shots in the first two games against the Bulldogs before a series-high 35 on Wednesday, hope to even the best-of-seven series at the Cedar Park Center.
http://www.statesman.com/sports/pro/stars-hope-to-even-playoff-series-in-game-700473.html

COACH GROWLING AT DOGS’ BAD PLAY – Hamilton Spectator
Brock Trotter can’t explain it. How, he was asked, could the Hamilton Bulldogs be as good as they were in the first two games of the AHL Western Conference final against the Texas Stars and as bad as they were in Game 3’s 5-4 overtime loss Wednesday night?
http://www.thespec.com/Sports/article/772992

GAGNON MAKING PROGRESS IN AHL THIS SEASON – DallasStars.com
He may not have started the 2009-10 season very prominently on the Dallas Stars’ radar, but after excelling all year with the AHL Texas Stars, center Aaron Gagnon has served notice that he is determined to be a part of the parent squad’s future. Gagnon’s impressive performance even prompted a couple of call-ups to the big club.
http://stars.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=529734

POSTSEASON COMING-OUT PARTY FOR SUBBAN – Montreal Gazette
P.K. Subban’s former Hamilton Bulldogs teammates lead the Texas Stars 2-1 in the AHL’s best-of-seven Western Conference final. “We had a great family down there. Not a team, a family,” Subban said. “Sort of like what it’s like up here. It’s everybody’s dream to play in the NHL and fortunately I have that opportunity. But definitely I miss the guys down there. I’m glad they’re doing well. I hope they keep going. And I hope we keep going, too.”
http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Postseason+coming+party+Subban/3054201/story.html

STEP BACK FOR SCHNEIDER? OR STEP FORWARD? – New England Hockey Journal
Want to find the fast track to the NHL? Then don’t bother taking up goaltending as a trade. You might turn in a boffo performance in the AHL one year, as Cory Schneider did last season, and then find yourself right back in Manitoba wearing a big old Moose on your mask. The thing is, the former Boston College star didn’t mind another year’s apprenticeship in the AHL, even after being acclaimed the league’s best goaltender in 2008-09.
http://www.hockeyjournal.com/news/2010/05/21_stepback.php

AMERKS LEGENDS TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARRON – Amerks.com
On June 21, Rochester Americans hockey legends past and present will team up with current National Hockey League players to raise money for Amerks Hall of Famer Craig Charron and his battle against stomach cancer. ESPN hockey analyst and 15-year NHL veteran Matthew Barnaby will headline the event, and fans can also meet past Amerks including Randy Cunneyworth, Scott Metcalfe, Jody Gage, Rory Fitzpatrick and Jason Cipolla.
http://amerks.com/news/index.html?article_id=666


BY THE NUMBERS:
5-0 – Postseason record for both Hamilton and Texas in games where they lead after the first period.

6-0 – Postseason record for both Hamilton and Texas in games where they lead after the second period.


ON THIS DATE:
May 21, 2008Justin Pogge stops 30 shots as Toronto avoids a sweep with a 6-1 win over Chicago in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.

May 21, 2005 – Rookies Jeff Carter, R.J. Umberger and Mike Richards score for Philadelphia in a 3-0 win over Providence in Game 2 of their conference final.

May 21, 2000Terry Virtue, who had won a Calder Cup with Providence a year earlier, gets the overtime winner as Hartford eliminates the Bruins, 3-2, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

May 21, 1997 – Down 2-0 in the series and 3-1 late in the third period, Hershey rallies for a 4-3 OT win over Springfield in Game 3 of their conference final.

May 21, 1993 – Rochester opens the Calder Cup Finals by beating Cape Breton, 5-4 in overtime, and ending the Oilers’ 10-game winning streak.

May 21, 1986 – The Adirondack Red Wings win their second Calder Cup with a 7-3 win over Hershey.


AHL LIVE:
Don’t miss a step on the road to the 2010 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 theahl.com or ahllive.com for details.