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AHL Morning Skate: 4.20.18

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s AHL Morning Skate.

Playoff Brackets | Today’s Scoreboard | League Stats | Series Infographics


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Game 1 – Tonight, 7:05 ET, AHL Live

The Atlantic Division produced four of the top seven teams in the AHL during the regular season, setting up a pair of heavyweight first-round playoff matches… Coming off the franchise’s first division title since 2004, Lehigh Valley heads to Providence for Game 1 tonight… The teams met five times over the last month of the regular season as a prelude to this series, with the Phantoms winning three of the five — two via Dustin Tokarski shutout… Tokarski (20-8-7, 2.65, .915), a Calder Cup champion with Norfolk in 2012, has a 1.63 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in 22 career postseason appearances in the AHL… Phantoms forward Phil Varone, the AHL MVP for 2017-18, finished second in the league in scoring with 23-47-70; Providence’s Austin Czarnik (25-44-69) was one point back in third… The Bruins’ goaltending tandem features Zane McIntyre (26-15-4, 2.52, .914), who led the AHL with seven shutouts this season, and Jordan Binnington (17-9-1, 2.05, .926), who ranked second in GAA and fourth in save percentage… Lehigh Valley ranked second in the league in scoring during the regular season (3.42 goals per game), while Providence was second in goals allowed (2.46)… These clubs last met in the postseason in the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals; Bruins head coach Jay Leach was a defenseman on that team, and Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon was Providence’s bench boss.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Lehigh Valley at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Lehigh Valley at Providence, 7:05
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 27 – Providence at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 4 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Providence at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 30 – Providence at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHL Live

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Charlotte collide in the other Atlantic Division semifinal series with Game 1 set for Bojangles’ Coliseum tonight… The Checkers have not won a postseason series since their run to the conference finals in 2011, which included a second-round upset of the regular-season champion Penguins… Charlotte finished its 2017-18 schedule with seven straight wins — outscoring its opponents 32-11 — and a 15-2-1-0 mark over its last 18 games… Checkers forward Valentin Zykov (33-21-54) led the AHL with 33 goals during the regular season, more than double the 16 he scored in three more games (66) last year… Lucas Wallmark‘s 1.22 points-per-game average (17-38-55 in 45gp) was the highest in the AHL among qualified skaters… Alex Nedeljkovic (31-12-3, 2.55, .903) tied for the league lead in wins… Daniel Sprong (32-33-65) was the Penguins’ leader in goals, assists, points, power-play goals (11), game-winners (7) and shots on goal (214), earning a spot on the AHL All-Rookie Team… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton captain Tom Kostopoulos has 23-51-74 in 97 career Calder Cup Playoff games.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
A2-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. A3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 6:00
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 26 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 4 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 29 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 3:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – Saturday, 4:00 ET, AHL Live

North Division Semifinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N4-Utica Comets
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Utica at Toronto, 4:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Utica at Toronto, 4:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Toronto at Utica, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – Toronto at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 29 – Utica at Toronto, 4:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHL Live

In-state rivals Syracuse and Rochester meet in the postseason for the first time since 2004 when Game 1 gets underway tonight… These teams have played each other 273 times in the regular season and playoffs since the Crunch joined the AHL in 1994, with the Americans holding a 141-119 advantage (13 ties)… Syracuse rebounded from a 4-9-1-2 start and finished the 2017-18 regular season with the best record in the franchise’s 24-year history, going 46-22-3-5 (.658)… Four of the Crunch’s top six scorers this season were rookies, led by Mathieu Joseph (15-38-53)… Alexander Volkov, a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in last June’s NHL Draft, scored a team-high 23 goals… Second Team AHL All-Star defenseman Zach Redmond (15-32-47) was Rochester’s leading scorer during the regular season… The Amerks’ Nathan Paetsch and Kyle Criscuolo were members of the Grand Rapids team that defeated Syracuse in last year’s Calder Cup Finals… Amerks head coach Chris Taylor played for Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx in 2009-10, Groulx’s second and final season as Rochester’s coach.

North Division Semifinals – Series “D” (best-of-5)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Rochester at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Rochester at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – Syracuse at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – Rochester at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – Saturday, 8:00 ET, AHL Live

Central Division Semifinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C4-Rockford IceHogs
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Chicago at Rockford, 5:00
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 26 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 29 – Chicago at Rockford, 5:00
*Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 30 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 1 – Saturday, 3:00 ET, AHL Live

Central Division Semifinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
C2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. C3-Manitoba Moose
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 3:00
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 3:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 26 – Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 30 – Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


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Game 2 – Saturday, 10:00 ET, AHL Live
(TUC leads series, 1-0)

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
P1-Tucson Roadrunners vs. P4-San Jose Barracuda
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – Tucson 4, SAN JOSE 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 21 – Tucson at San Jose, 10:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 25 – San Jose at Tucson, 10:05
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 27 – San Jose at Tucson, 10:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 28 – San Jose at Tucson, 10:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern


 
Game 2 – Tonight, 8:00 ET, AHL Live
(TEX leads series, 1-0)

Brian Flynn scored 1:55 into overtime to give Texas a 4-3 win in a back-and-forth Game 1 against Ontario last night… The teams go right back at it in Game 2 this evening, with the Reign looking to pull even before returning to California… Flynn, who scored two of the Stars’ league-leading 11 overtime goals in the regular season, got the winner after Ontario had forced OT on Matt Moulson‘s goal with 1:16 left in regulation…  Sheldon Dries, Denis Gurianov and Travis Morin also scored for Texas, and Roope Hintz recorded a pair of assists… Justin Auger and Jonny Brodzinski scored less than three minutes apart during the second period to give the Reign its only lead at 2-1… In his first appearance of the season against Ontario, Mike McKenna made 38 saves to pick up his 21st career postseason win in the AHL… Last night’s win was the Stars’ first playoff OT victory on home ice in exactly seven years, since a 3-2 win over Milwaukee on Apr. 19, 2011… Texas is 14-7 all-time in postseason overtime games; Ontario fell to 2-2.

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
P2-Texas Stars vs. P3-Ontario Reign
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 19 – TEXAS 4, Ontario 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Ontario at Texas, 8:00
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 22 – Texas at Ontario, 6:00
*Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 24 – Texas at Ontario, 10:00
*Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 30 – Ontario at Texas, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


Alumni Watch
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, AHL alumni Torey Krug, Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk scored to lift Boston to a 3-1 win over Toronto and a 3-1 lead in their first-round series… Krug, Marchand and DeBrusk were three of 14 former Providence Bruins in Boston’s lineup last night… Two-time AHL All-Star Tomas Plekanec scored the only goal for the Maple Leafs… 2011 AHL All-Star Braden Holtby made 23 saves and Washington evened its series with a 4-1 win in Columbus.


On This Date
April 20, 2016 – Carter Rowney scores 1:09 into overtime to give Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 3-2 win over Providence in Game 1 of their first-round series.

April 20, 2010 – Led by two goals from Trevor Lewis and 44 saves from Jonathan Bernier, Manchester completes a four-game sweep of Portland with a 7-2 victory.

April 20, 2000 – Chris Kenady scores four goals and assists on two others as Hartford posts a 7-2 win over Springfield in a winner-take-all Game 5.

April 20, 1994 – Yanic Perreault records four goals and an assist to lead St. John’s to an 8-2 win at Cape Breton in Game 4 of their first-round series.

April 20, 1952 – A sudden-death overtime goal by Ray Hannigan gives the Pittsburgh Hornets the Calder Cup championship with a 3-2 win over the Providence Reds.


AHL Live
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2018 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet all season long with live video webcasts and free highlights of every AHL game… Visit ahllive.com for details.