AHL Morning Skate: 4.21.18

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

Game 2 – Tonight, 7:05 ET, AHL Live
(LV leads series, 1-0)

Providence looks to pull even in its Atlantic Division semifinal series when it hosts Lehigh Valley in Game 2 this evening… The Phantoms grabbed the early series lead with a 3-2 victory in Game 1 last night… Danick Martel scored a pair of goals and Alex Lyon made 39 saves for his first career playoff victory… Martel, who scored a career-high 25 goals in the regular season, now has four goals in his last two contests… Greg Carey also scored in Game 1 after leading the Phantoms with 31 goals in the the regular season… T.J. Brennan notched two assists, setting up both of Lehigh Valley’s power-play goals 41 seconds apart to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead late in the second period… Lyon made 15 of his 39 saves in the third period as the Bruins outshot the Phantoms 15-2 in the final frame and 41-24 overall… Ryan Fitzgerald scored both of Providence’s goals in Game 1, and Austin Czarnik picked up a pair of assists… Zane McIntyre stopped 21 shots in the loss… Lehigh Valley, 2-for-5 on the power play in Game 1, is now 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) against Providence this season.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Lehigh Valley 3, PROVIDENCE 2 | Recap
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

@ button_cha200 
Game 2 – Tonight, 6:00 ET, AHL Live
(CHA leads series, 1-0)

Lucas Wallmark‘s goal 3:18 into overtime capped Charlotte’s Game 1 comeback and gave the Checkers a 3-2 victory and a 1-0 series lead into tonight’s Game 2 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Wallmark tipped home Brenden Kichton‘s point shot for the game-winning goal, which came at the end of a 78-second stretch spent entirely in the offensive zone… Aleksi Saarela and Valentin Zykov scored third-period goals to help Charlotte erase a 2-0 deficit… Former Penguin Greg McKegg recorded two assists for the Checkers in Game 1… Andrey Pedan and Daniel Sprong scored for the Penguins, who were 29-1-1-0 in the regular season when leading after two periods… Sprong’s goal was his 12th in his last 16 games for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… Alex Nedeljkovic, whose 31 wins in the regular season tied for most in the AHL, stopped 25 shots for the Checkers in his Calder Cup Playoff debut… Tristan Jarry made 35 saves in the loss… Charlotte enters Game 2 having won 15 of its last 18 home contests.

Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
A2-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. A3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – CHARLOTTE 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (OT) | Recap
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

Game 1 – Today, 4:00 ET, AHL Live

The regular-season champion Toronto Marlies host the Utica Comets as their North Division semifinal series opens at Ricoh Coliseum this afternoon… The Marlies went 15-2-1-1 over the last quarter of 2017-18 to finish 54-18-2-2 (.737), the seventh-best record in AHL history… Toronto was also first in the league in defense, allowing 2.24 goals per game behind Garret Sparks (31-9-2, 1.79, .936) and Calvin Pickard (21-9-2, 2.31, .918)… Second Team AHL All-Star Ben Smith, who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, led the Marlies in scoring with 27-32-59 in the regular season… Utica is without its leading regular-season scorer Reid Boucher (25-21-46), who was injured earlier this month while playing in Vancouver… Comets goaltender Thatcher Demko (25-13-7, 2.44, .922) was 3-2-0 (2.37, .933) in five games against Toronto this season… Utica’s Michael Chaput (17-25-42) and Jaime Sifers (0-5-5) were teammates on Lake Erie’s Calder Cup championship team in 2016, while Patrick Wiercioch (10-27-37) won a title with Binghamton in 2011… The Marlies were 5-0 at home last postseason; the Comets have lost four straight road playoff games.

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

Game 2 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHL Live
(SYR leads series, 1-0)

Syracuse takes a 1-0 series lead into tonight’s Game 2 against visiting Rochester after breaking away for a 6-2 win in the opener last night… Dominik Masin, who did not score in 22 games during the 2017 postseason, broke a 2-2 tie early in the second period of Game 1 to give the Crunch the lead for good… After missing the last five games of the regular season, Gabriel Dumont returned to the Syracuse lineup last night and registered a hat trick, the third of his AHL career… Jamie McBain registered a goal and two assists for the Crunch, his first three postseason points since 2010 when he was with the AHL’s Albany River Rats… Eddie Pasquale made his first playoff start since 2012 and made 28 saves for Syracuse… Zach Redmond and Kyle Criscuolo, both former teammates of Pasquale’s with St. John’s and Grand Rapids, respectively, scored the only goals for the Amerks in Game 1… Seth Griffith notched a pair of assists, and now has 9-21-30 in 32 career Calder Cup Playoff games… Rochester was 1-for-5 on the power play last night; Syracuse was 1-for-4.

North Division Semifinals – Series “D” (best-of-5)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 20 – SYRACUSE 6, Rochester 2 | Recap
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 – Tonight, 8:00 ET, AHL Live

In-state rivals Chicago and Rockford meet in the postseason for the first time since 2008 as their Central Division semifinal series gets underway at Allstate Arena tonight… The Wolves and IceHogs have met 124 times in the regular season with each team winning 62 games, including a split of their 12 meetings in 2017-18… Chicago’s Teemu Pulkkinen (29-36-65) enters the playoffs on an 11-game scoring streak… Pulkkinen tallied 9-5-14 in 12 games vs. the IceHogs in 2017-18 and has 22-12-34 in 40 career AHL playoff outings… T.J. Tynan (15-45-60), the Wolves’ second-leading scorer in the regular season, won a Calder Cup with Lake Erie in 2016… Chicago’s Brandon Pirri (29-23-52), who won an AHL scoring title with Rockford in 2012-13, is making the first postseason trip of his eight-year pro career… Rockford’s top three scorers in the regular season were rookies Anthony Louis (14-30-44), Matthew Highmore (24-19-43) and Tyler Sikura (23-16-39)… Chris DiDomenico tallied 8-15-23 in 22 games with the IceHogs in the regular season… Rockford led the AHL with 33.8 shots on goal per game in 2017-18.

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

Game 1 – Today, 3:00 ET, AHL Live

The defending Calder Cup champions open the 2018 postseason in Winnipeg this afternoon as the Central Division semifinal between Grand Rapids and Manitoba gets underway… The Griffins won six of eight meetings with the Moose in 2017-18, including all four visits to Bell MTS Place… Grand Rapids’ 2018 playoff roster features 13 players who were in the lineup for Game 6 of last year’s Finals, including this season’s team scoring leaders Ben Street (21-44-65) and Eric Tangradi (31-33-64)… Jared Coreau (21-10-5, 2.52, .913) backstopped the Griffins to a 15-4 record last spring en route to the Calder Cup… Manitoba’s roster features 2017-18 AHL outstanding rookie Mason Appleton (22-44-66) and outstanding defenseman Sami Niku (16-38-54)… 2017-18 Second Team AHL All-Star goaltender Michael Hutchinson (17-5-4, 2.08, .935) posted a 1.95 GAA and a .935 save percentage in 21 games during the 2014 postseason, helping St. John’s reach the Finals… Both Niku (scratched) Hutchinson (backup) were with the parent Winnipeg Jets for their series-clinching win over Minnesota last night… Grand Rapids ranked fourth in the AHL on the power play (20.3 percent) and fourth in penalty killing (84.5 percent) during the regular season, joining Hartford as the only teams to crack the top 10 in both… Manitoba finished fourth in the league in scoring (3.33 goals per game) and fifth in defense (2.61 goals allowed per game).

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

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

Following a day off, Tucson and San Jose resume their Pacific Division semifinal series with Game 2 tonight… Lane Pederson‘s goal with 1:15 left in regulation snapped a 2-2 tie and send the Roadrunners to a 4-2 victory in Game 1 on Thursday… Dakota Mermis, Ryan MacInnis and Dylan Strome also scored for the Roadrunners… All told, 11 players in Tucson’s Game 1 lineup were making their professional playoff debuts, including all four goal-scorers and netminder Adin Hill, who stopped 36 shots for the win… San Jose never led in Game 1, but erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits on goals by Alexander True and Alexander Chmelevski… True now has 4-4-8 in his last six games for the Barracuda, and Chmelevski has 4-1-5 in seven games since joining San Jose from Ottawa (OHL)… Tim Heed and Adam Helewka each assisted on both Barracuda goals in Game 1… San Jose has lost the opener of a playoff series three times previously, and came back to win Game 2 each time.

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 | Recap
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 3 – Sunday, 6:00 ET, AHL Live
(Series tied, 1-1)

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) | Recap
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 20 – Ontario 5, TEXAS 1 | Recap
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, Andrew Hammond, 9-6-2 in 19 AHL appearances between Belleville and San Antonio this season, finished with 44 saves as Colorado staved off elimination with a 2-1 win in Nashville… 2015 AHL All-Star Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for his second consecutive shutout, backstopping Winnipeg to a series-clinching 5-0 win over Minnesota… 2006 AHL All-Star Valtteri Filppula recorded a goal and two assists in Philadelphia’s 4-2 win at Pittsburgh.

On This Date
April 21, 2017 – Nathan Walker scores 7:38 into overtime to break a scoreless tie and send Hershey to a 1-0 win over Lehigh Valley in their first-round series opener.

April 21, 2010 – P.K. Subban scores at 6:05 of the second overtime to give Hamilton a 5-4 victory over Manitoba in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series.

April 21, 2006Jiri Hudler’s goal 2:21 into the third overtime period gives Grand Rapids a 6-5 win over Toronto in Game 1.

April 21, 1951 – Behind the goaltending of Johnny Bower, the Cleveland Barons win the Calder Cup with a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh in Game 7.

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.