AHL Morning Skate: 4.20.19

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s AHL Morning Skate.

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

Game 1 – Tonight, 7:05 ET, AHLTV

Charlotte and Providence begin their first-round series tonight at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center… The Checkers won their first Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the AHL’s regular-season champions in 2018-19, finishing with a record of 51-17-7-1 (110 points, .724)… Second Team AHL All-Star Andrew Poturalski (23-47-70) had 2-10-12 in his last seven regular-season games for Charlotte before missing the last four contests due to injury… Alex Nedeljkovic (34-9-5, 2.26, .916), who captured the Baz Bastien Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender, led the league in wins, goals-against average and minutes played in 2018-19… Re-acquired by Boston from Ottawa on Jan. 11, Paul Carey (27-33-60) registered 22-11-33 in 30 games with Providence, including 6-3-9 in his last four outings… The Checkers and Bruins split their eight regular-season meetings, with each team winning twice at home and twice on the road… Charlotte ranked second in the league in goals allowed per game (2.49); Providence was sixth (2.79)… The clubs were also two of the top three in penalty killing efficiency (Charlotte first, Providence third)… Providence is the only AHL team in the last 22 years to upset a Kilpatrick Trophy winner in the first round; the Bruins knocked off Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2017.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Charlotte at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 21 – Charlotte at Providence, 5:05
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 24 – Providence at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 26 – Providence at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 27 – Providence at Charlotte, 6:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

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Game 2 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHLTV
(BRI leads series, 1-0)

After a four-hour, double-overtime battle last night, Bridgeport and Hershey go right back at it in Game 2 tonight at Webster Bank Arena… Rookie Kieffer Bellows scored his second goal of the night 13:36 into the second OT to give the Sound Tigers a 3-2 win in Game 1… Bellows’ game-winner came after Bridgeport had erased a 2-0 deficit in regulation… Steve Bernier netted the tying goal with 2:08 left in the third period… Matt Lorito finished with a pair of assists for the Sound Tigers… Chris Bourque assisted on the OT winner, tying former Sound Tiger Jason Krog for third place on the AHL’s all-time playoff scoring list (118 points)… Chris McCarthy and Jayson Megna scored for the Bears… Megna’s goal came shorthanded; Hershey scored only one SHG on the road during the entire regular season… Christopher Gibson made 29 saves in net for Bridgeport to earn his first playoff win since 2015… Christopher Gibson made 29 saves in net for Bridgeport… Ilya Samsonov, in his Calder Cup Playoff debut, stopped 49 shots for Hershey… All three Sound Tigers goals in Game 1 came on the power play (3-for-8)… Bridgeport has the lead in a postseason series for the first time since being up three games to two on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2006.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
A2-Bridgeport Sound Tigers vs. A3-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 19 – BRIDGEPORT 3, Hershey 2 (2OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 25 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 27 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 2 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHLTV
(CLE leads series, 1-0)

After ending the regular season on an 8-3-2-1 roll, Cleveland upset North Division champion Syracuse in Game 1 last night to take the early series lead… Kevin Stenlund broke a 2-2 tie with 6:51 left in regulation, propelling the Monsters to a 5-3 victory… Cleveland opened up a 2-0 lead when Mark Letestu and Ryan MacInnis scored 2:11 apart midway through the second period… Stenlund and Zac Dalpe then scored in a 52-second span late in the third after the Crunch had pulled even… Brad Thiessen, who made 16 saves for the Monsters in Game 1, now has a 2.04 GAA and a .925 save percentage in 42 career Calder Cup Playoff appearances (20-20)… After leading the AHL in scoring during the regular season, Carter Verhaeghe notched a goal and two assists for Syracuse in Game 1… Cory Conacher added a goal and an assist, giving him 20-34-54 in 71 postseason games in his AHL career… Syracuse was 2-for-2 on the power play last night; Cleveland was 1-for-3.

North Division Semifinals – Series “C” (best-of-5)
N1-Syracuse Crunch vs. N4-Cleveland Monsters
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 19 – Cleveland 5, SYRACUSE 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Cleveland at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Syracuse at Cleveland, 7:30
*Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 27 – Cleveland at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 2 – Sunday, 3:05 ET, AHLTV
(TOR leads series, 1-0)

North Division Semifinals – Series “D” (best-of-5)
N2-Rochester Americans vs. N3-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 19 – Toronto 4, ROCHESTER 1 | Recap
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 21 – Toronto at Rochester, 3:05
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 24 – Rochester at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 26 – Rochester at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 28 – Toronto at Rochester, 5:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 2 – Tonight, 8:00 ET, AHLTV
(GR leads series, 1-0)

After limping into the postseason on a nine-game losing streak, Grand Rapids erupted for five unanswered goals last night and handed Chicago a 5-1 defeat in Game 1 of their Central Division semifinal series… The Wolves host Game 2 tonight having lost consecutive contests (excluding shootouts) for the first time since Feb. 13-15… The Griffins spotted Chicago a 1-0 lead on Tye McGinn‘s goal at 8:28 of the opening period before Colin CampbellMatt Puempel, Dominic Turgeon, Turner Elson and Dominik Shine provided the Grand Rapids offense… Harri Sateri turned aside 29 shots for the Griffins to pick up the victory in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut… The Wolves have now lost seven straight playoff games going back to 2017, as well as five straight series openers since 2014… The Griffins are 4-2 in best-of-five series after taking a 1-0 lead, including 2-1 when winning Game 1 on the road.

Central Division Semifinals – Series “E” (best-of-5)
C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C4-Grand Rapids Griffins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 19 – Grand Rapids 5, CHICAGO 1 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Grand Rapids at Chicago, 8:00
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Chicago at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 24 – Chicago at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 28 – Grand Rapids at Chicago, 4:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 1 – Sunday, 5:00 ET, AHLTV

Central Division Semifinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
C2-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C3-Iowa Wild
Game 1 – Sun., Apr. 21 – Milwaukee at Iowa, 5:00
Game 2 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Milwaukee at Iowa, 8:00
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 25 – Iowa at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 26 – Iowa at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Mon., Apr. 29 – Iowa at Milwaukee, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 2 – Tonight, 9:05 ET, AHLTV
(BAK leads series, 1-0)

Colorado hosts Bakersfield in Game 2 tonight after the Condors’ hard-fought 3-2 victory in last night’s series opener… Four of the five goals in Game 1 came from defensemen, including the winner by Logan Day with 6:33 gone in the third period… Brad Malone and William Lagesson had a goal and an assist each for the Condors… Malone’s marker was the first playoff goal of his eight-year pro career… AHL All-Rookie Team goaltender Shane Starrett made 26 saves to pick up the victory in net for Bakersfield… Veteran blueliners Mark Alt and David Warsofsky scored for the Eagles, who erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits… A.J. Greer registered two assists in his playoff debut for Colorado… Pavel Francouz turned aside 20 shots in the loss… Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play in Game 1.

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “G” (best-of-5)
P1-Bakersfield Condors vs. P4-Colorado Eagles
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 19 – Bakersfield 3, COLORADO 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 20 – Bakersfield at Colorado, 9:05
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 23 – Colorado at Bakersfield, 10:00
*Game 4 – Sat., Apr. 27 – Colorado at Bakersfield, 10:00
*Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 28 – Colorado at Bakersfield, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Game 3 – Monday, 10:00 ET, AHLTV
(Series tied, 1-1)

Pacific Division Semifinals – Series “H” (best-of-5)
P2-San Jose Barracuda vs. P3-San Diego Gulls
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 17 – SAN DIEGO 6, San Jose 5 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 18 – San Jose 5, SAN DIEGO 3 | Recap
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 22 – San Diego at San Jose, 10:00
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 24 – San Diego at San Jose, 10:00
*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 25 – San Diego at San Jose, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Alumni Watch
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, 2016 AHL rookie of the year co-winner Mikko Rantanen scored two more goals, Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves and Colorado eliminated Calgary with a 5-1 victory in Game 5… Kasperi Kapanen notched a goal and an assist to help Toronto past Boston, 2-1.

Watch the Calder Cup Playoffs on AHLTV
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2019 Calder Cup championship. AHLTV features live streaming of every AHL game in high definition on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices, as well as OTT platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. A subscription is just $24.99 for the entire postseason, or just $7.99 for a day pass. Visit theahl.com/AHLTV for details.