CALDER CUP UPDATE:
The Grand Rapids Griffins finished first in the AHL’s overall standings during the regular season, but face a daunting 0-2 deficit in the Western Conference Final as they visit the Bradley Center in Milwaukee for Game 3 tonight (7:00 CT)… The Admirals have extended their winning streak to seven games while outscoring the Griffins 6-1 in the series… Greg Classen has recorded seven assists and owns a plus-12 rating in those seven games… With his assist in Game 2, Darren Haydar now has 17 points (10g, 7a) in his last eight outings… Pekka Rinne is 6-0 (1.83, .942) in net for Milwaukee this postseason… The Admirals have scored six shorthanded goals in their last four games… Grand Rapids has scored just once since the four-goal outburst that eliminated Manitoba in Game 7 last round… Tomas Kopecky picked up the Griffins’ goal on Saturday night, ending a personal 10-game drought… Grand Rapids outshot the Admirals in each of the first two games of the series, including 42-25 in Saturday’s 2-1 loss… Grand Rapids has won five of six road games this postseason, and posted a record of 3-1-0 in four visits to Milwaukee in 2005-06.
Today is a much-needed day off in the Eastern Conference series, as the teams return to Portland to prepare for tomorrow’s Game 5 after playing four times in the last five days… Hershey grabbed a 3-1 series lead with a 4-0 win last night, riding the 38-save effort of Frederic Cassivi… All four Bears goals came from former first-round draft picks: Jakub Klepis (16th overall in 2002), Kris Beech (7th in 1999), Dave Steckel (30th in 2001) and Jonas Johansson (28th in 2002), who was making his professional playoff debut.
Eastern Conference Final — Series "M" (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. E2-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Wed., May 17 – Hershey 5, PORTLAND 0
Game 2 – Thu., May 18 – Hershey 2, PORTLAND 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Sat., May 20 – Portland 6, HERSHEY 5 (2OT)
Game 4 – Sun., May 21 – HERSHEY 4, Portland 0
Game 5 – Tue., May 23 – at Portland, 7:05
*Game 6 – Wed., May 24 – at Portland, 7:05
*Game 7 – Tue., May 30 – at Hershey, 7:00
Western Conference Final — Series "N" (best-of-7)
N1-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. W1-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Thu., May 18 – Milwaukee 4, GRAND RAPIDS 0
Game 2 – Sat., May 20 – Milwaukee 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1
Game 3 – Mon., May 22 – at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 24 – at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 26 – at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 27 – at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Mon., May 29 – at Grand Rapids, 7:00
All times Eastern… *if necessary
On Sunday, Fernando Pisani scored the winning goal late in the second period to lead Edmonton past Anaheim, 3-1, in Game 2 of the NHL’s Western Conference Final… Three years after posting a shutout in Game 7 of the Calder Cup Finals, Johan Holmqvist blanked the Czech Republic to lead Sweden to a 4-0 win and the gold medal at the 2006 World Championships… 2005 Eddie Shore Award winner Niklas Kronwall was named the tournament MVP… AHL alumni Olli Jokinen, Riku Hahl and Antti Miettinen were among the goal-scorers as Finland blanked Canada, 5-0, to win the bronze.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1 – Goals scored by Grand Rapids defensemen in 14 games during the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs: Bryan Helmer’s tally in Game 7 vs. Manitoba… The Griffins got 43 goals from their rearguards during the regular season, tied for third-most in the AHL.
ON THIS DATE (May 22):
2004 – Wade Flaherty stops 40 shots as Milwaukee earns a 2-1 overtime win over Rochester in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final… 2003 – Houston and Hamilton earn berths in the Calder Cup Final, the Aeros winning a Game 7 in Grand Rapids and the Bulldogs finishing off Binghamton in Game 5… 2002 – Raffi Torres breaks a scoreless tie with just 1:27 left in regulation and Rick DiPietro posts the fifth Game 7 shutout in AHL history as Bridgeport advances to the Calder Cup Final with a 3-0 win over Hamilton… 1998 – Mike Maneluk (3g, 1a) and Jim Montgomery (1g, 4a) lead Philadelphia to a 7-3 win over Albany and a 3-1 lead in their conference final series.
AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:
B2 Networks brings all the action of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs to your computer with live video webcasts of every game… Click here for details.