We’ve reached the end of the line.
The 192nd and final day of the American Hockey League’s 2018-19 regular season will feature nine games, and the final pieces of the Calder Cup Playoff puzzle are ready to fall into place.
Sunday’s complete AHL Playoff Primer is here, but all that’s left to determine is the final playoff berth in the North Division and the order of finish in the Central, as well as the league’s scoring races.
A Saturday that began with seemingly countless possibilities and permutations saw five postseason berths and two division titles secured.
In the Atlantic Division, the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy-winning Charlotte Checkers will take on the fourth-place Providence Bruins, while the second-place Bridgeport Sound Tigers will meet the third-place Hershey Bears.
In the North Division, the Syracuse Crunch won their second division title in the last three years and will meet either Belleville or Cleveland in the first round. The second-place Rochester Americans draw the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies.
In the Central Division, the Chicago Wolves won their third straight division championship, and will be joined in the postseason by the Iowa Wild, Milwaukee Admirals and Grand Rapids Griffins, who all clinched playoff berths on Saturday. Their order of finish will be determined by the result of the Admirals’ game against Rockford on Sunday.
And the Colorado Eagles secured the final playoff invitation from the Pacific Division late on Saturday, edging out Tucson to earn a first-round date with the division champion Bakersfield Condors. The San Jose Barracuda have locked up second place, and will battle the third-place San Diego Gulls.
The race for the AHL scoring title comes down to the wire today also. Syracuse’s Carter Verhaeghe enters the final game of the season with 81 points, two ahead of Toronto’s Jeremy Bracco in the race for the John B. Sollenberger Trophy.
Verhaeghe is also in the running for the Willie Marshall Award as the AHL’s leading goal-scorer. He is currently tied with Crunch teammate Alex Barre-Boulet at 34 goals apiece. Toronto’s Chris Mueller has 33 goals, and Cleveland’s Zac Dalpe enters the Monsters’ finale with 32.
Full playoff schedules will be announced no later than at the conclusion of play tonight. The first round of the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs will be a best-of-5 series, in either a 2-2-1 or a 2-3 format and pending building availability. (If 2-3, the higher seed has the option of playing the first two or the last three games at home). Stay tuned to theahl.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates all day long.
Don’t get left out — Catch all of today’s climactic action on AHLTV, with coverage beginning with the first puck drop at 2 p.m. ET.