7th heaven for Penguins

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have advanced to the Calder Cup 2004 Final with a 2-1 overtime win over the Hartford Wolf Pack in Saturday night’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference championship series.

The Penguins will face the Milwaukee Admirals beginning Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.

Matt Murley was credited with the winning goal 13:21 into overtime as Wilkes-Barre joined last season’s Houston Aeros as the only teams in AHL history to win two Game Sevens on the road in the same postseason. Murley scored on a deflection of a Colby Armstrong shot.

Wilkes-Barre also defeated Bridgeport, just an hour down the road from Hartford, in overtime of a Game 7 to win its first-round series. There have now been 13 overtime Game Sevens in Calder Cup Playoff history, including three this spring.

Rookie Andy Chiodo stopped 35 shots to improve his playoff record to 9-4. Jason LaBarbera suffered the loss despite 40 saves, including nine in overtime.

The game was scoreless until Eric Meloche scored for the Penguins on a power play at the 8:06 mark of the third period. Cory Larose answered on a Wolf Pack power play just 1:49 later.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, has won the Richard F. Canning Trophy and will play for the Calder Cup for the second time in the last four seasons. The Baby Penguins, led by head coach Michel Therrien, finished the regular season in third place in the East Division with a record of 34-28-10-8 before defeating Bridgeport (4-3) in the division semifinals, Philadelphia (4-2) in the division final and Hartford (4-3) in the conference final.

Established in 1990, the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship trophy honors Richard F. Canning, who served the AHL for more than 50 years during his career, including a term as league president from 1958-61. Mr. Canning is recognized as the author of the AHL’s constitution, by-laws and regulations.

Get your Penguins’ Eastern Conference Champions T-shirt now!

Calder Cup Final — Series O (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. E3-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Tue., June 1 – Wilkes-Barre at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 2 – Wed., June 2 – Wilkes-Barre at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 3 – Fri., June 4 – Milwaukee at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05
Game 4 – Sun., June 6 – Milwaukee at Wilkes-Barre, 5:05
*Game 5 – Mon., June 7 – Milwaukee at Wilkes-Barre, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., June 11 – Wilkes-Barre at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Sat., June 12 – Wilkes-Barre at Milwaukee, 8:00

*if necessary… All times Eastern