AHL Morning Skate: 5.14.22

Photo: Vitor Munhoz/NHLI via Getty Images

A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A6-Bridgeport Islanders
Game 3 – Today, 4:00 ET, AHLTV
(Charlotte leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 – Charlotte 3, BRIDGEPORT 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Charlotte 7, BRIDGEPORT 6 (2OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Sat., May 14 – Bridgeport at Charlotte, 4:00
*Game 4 – Mon., May 16 – Bridgeport at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 5 – Wed., May 18 – Bridgeport at Charlotte, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Home for the first time in more than a month, the Charlotte Checkers can advance with a win over Bridgeport in Game 3 of their series this afternoon... The Checkers have not played at Bojangles’ Coliseum since Apr. 10, finishing their regular-season schedule with five road games and then having a 17-day break before opening their postseason on the road this week... Charlotte grabbed a 2-0 series lead with a wild 7-6 double-overtime win on Thursday evening... Zac Dalpe (3-0-3) completed a hat trick with 3:36 gone in the second OT period, giving the Checkers the victory in a game that saw the Islanders come back from 4-0, 5-3 and 6-5 deficits... Cole Schwindt (1-1-2) had a goal and an assist for Charlotte, as 12 different skaters recorded at least one point... Austin Czarnik (3-5-8) led Bridgeport with a goal and three assists in Game 2, tying a franchise record for points in a playoff game... Chris Terry (1-3-4) added a goal and two assists, and Simon Holmstrom (1-1-2) recorded a goal and an assist... Jakub Skarek (0-1, 2.54, .912) made his Calder Cup Playoff debut and stopped 31 of 34 shots in nearly 71 minutes of relief work on Thursday... Each team scored once on the power play and once while shorthanded in Game 2... The Checkers were 12-0-3-0 in their final 15 home games of the regular season, the longest home points streak in the AHL this season.

A2-Springfield Thunderbirds vs. A4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 3 – Sunday, 5:05 ET, AHLTV
(Springfield leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 – SPRINGFIELD 4, W-B/Scranton 1 | Recap
Game 2 – SPRINGFIELD 6, W-B/Scranton 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Sun., May 15 – Springfield at W-B/Scranton, 5:05
*Game 4 – Mon., May 16 – Springfield at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Wed., May 18 – W-B/Scranton at Springfield, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern

N1-Utica Comets vs. N5-Rochester Americans
Game 2 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHLTV
(Utica leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – UTICA 6, Rochester 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 14 – Rochester at Utica, 7:00
Game 3 – Sun., May 15 – Utica at Rochester, 5:05
*Game 4 – Tue., May 17 – Utica at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Thu., May 19 – Rochester at Utica, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Utica hosts Rochester in Game 2 of their North Division semifinal series tonight... The Comets got things started on Tuesday with a 6-3 victory, scoring the final four goals of the contest after trailing 2-0 and 3-2... A.J. Greer (2-1-3) scored his first two career playoff goals and added an assist in Game 1... Greer has 9-9-18 in 12 games vs. Rochester this season... Tyce Thompson and Robbie Russo scored 59 seconds apart in the second period after the Amerks had taken a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes... Arttu Ruotsalainen (5-2-7) scored twice for Rochester, giving him a league-high five postseason goals... Amerks forward and Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award winner Jack Quinn is still looking for his first point of the playoffs; he has gone scoreless in three consecutive games for the first time all season... The Comets owned a 40-22 advantage in shots on goal in Game 1, including 35-13 over the final two periods when they outscored Rochester 6-1.

N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Laval Rocket
Game 4 – Today, 3:00 ET, AHLTV
(Laval leads series, 2-1)

Game 1 – SYRACUSE 5, Laval 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Laval 3, SYRACUSE 2 | Recap
Game 3 – LAVAL 4, Syracuse 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Sat., May 14 – Syracuse at Laval, 3:00
*Game 5 – Tue., May 17 – Laval at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Laval hosts Syracuse in Game 4 of their North Division semifinal this afternoon looking to secure a spot in the next round... Backed by a raucous capacity crowd on Thursday night, the Rocket posted a 4-1 win to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series... Former Crunch forwards Danick Martel (1-1-2) and Cédric Paquette (1-1-2) scored power-play goals for Laval in Game 3... Jean-Sébastien Dea (1-2-3) and Louis Belpedio (1-2-3) added empty-net insurance goals, and Cayden Primeau (2-0, 1.50, .952) made 22 saves in net... Sami Niku (0-4-4) picked up an assist in Game 3 for his team-leading fourth point of the series... Remi Elie (2-0-2) scored for the Crunch, who have lost back-to-back games for the first time since Mar. 4-5... Max Lagace (1-2, 2.72, .905) stopped 23 of 25 shots... Syracuse is 1-10 in its last 11 postseason games played in Canada.

C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C4-Rockford IceHogs
Game 2 – Tonight, 8:00 ET, AHLTV
(Chicago leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – CHICAGO 6, Rockford 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 14 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:00
Game 3 – Sun., May 15 – Chicago at Rockford, 5:00
*Game 4 – Tue., May 17 – Chicago at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 5 – Thu., May 19 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

Chicago and Rockford collide in Game 2 of their Central Division semifinal tonight after the Wolves’ 6-2 win in the series opener on Thursday... Coming off a 13-day layoff, Chicago fell behind 1-0 before scoring six consecutive goals, beginning with strikes from Cavan Fitzgerald and Stefan Noesen in the final minute of the opening period... Stelio Mattheos, Jack Drury and David Gust broke the game open with goals in the second period, and Noesen added his second goal of the night early in the third... Making his first playoff start in four years, Alex Lyon turned aside 18 shots in the win... Lukas Reichel (2-0-2) and Evan Barratt (1-0-1) scored for the IceHogs, who have totaled five goals in their first three postseason games after averaging 3.10 goals per game in the regular season... Arvid Soderblom (2-1, 2.24, .938) stopped 22 of 27 shots in two periods of work before Cale Morris (10 saves) played the third period in relief.

C2-Manitoba Moose vs. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 5 – Sunday, 3:00 ET, , AHLTV
(Series tied, 2-2)

Game 1 – MILWAUKEE 3, Manitoba 2 | Recap
Game 2 – MILWAUKEE 2, Manitoba 1 | Recap
Game 3 – MANITOBA 5, Milwaukee 2 | Recap
Game 4 – MANITOBA 7, Milwaukee 3 | Recap
Game 5 – Sun., May 15 – Milwaukee at Manitoba, 3:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

P1-Stockton Heat vs. P4-Bakersfield Condors
(Stockton wins series, 3-0)

Game 1 – STOCKTON 3, Bakersfield 1 | Recap
Game 2 – STOCKTON 3, Bakersfield 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Stockton 6, BAKERSFIELD 4 | Recap

P2-Ontario Reign vs. P3-Colorado Eagles
Game 3 – Sunday, 11:00 ET, AHLTV
(Colorado leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 – COLORADO 10, Ontario 1 | Recap
Game 2 – COLORADO 5, Ontario 4 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Sun., May 15 – Colorado at Ontario, 11:00
*Game 4 – Tue., May 17 – Colorado at Ontario, 10:00
*Game 5 – Wed., May 18 – Colorado at Ontario, 10:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern


The Moose were loose, and even goaltender Connor Ingram could not slow them down last night.

Ingram, just back from an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Nashville Predators, found himself under barrage as the Milwaukee Admirals fell to Manitoba, 7-3, in Game 4 of the teams’ Central Division semifinal series. The teams will play a deciding Game 5 on Sunday afternoon at Canada Life Centre.

Manitoba has averaged 41.3 shots per game through four games against Milwaukee. Ingram saw 44 shots, including 18 in the second period when three Moose goals broke open the game. A key issue for Milwaukee is Manitoba’s forward depth that forces continuous offensive opportunities. Moose head coach Mark Morrison can roll four strong lines for an entire 60 minutes without concern, all reliable lines that can play on both sides of the puck. Of Manitoba’s 15 goals in four games, they have come from 10 different players. In Friday’s win, 11 Manitoba skaters had at least one point, and six skaters finished with multi-point nights.

“The lineup is so deep that it’s pretty wild that on any given night we can have guys anywhere produce,” said Moose forward Morgan Barron, whose goal and two assists helped to lead the Manitoba offense. “That’s been the strength of the team ever since I got here.”

Explained Morrison, “The depth is important for a couple of reasons. The biggest one for me is the match-ups are hard [for opponents]. Who are they going to check? We’ve got someone on every line that might score.

“The other thing is it builds a lot of confidence on your bench. You’re not looking at one or two lines to lead the scoring. Every line that goes out feels that they can add something to it.”

Admirals head coach Karl Taylor is not panicking.

After losing a 2-0 series lead against Manitoba and going into a winner-take-all game Sunday, an optimist might frame Milwaukee’s situation as a developmental opportunity for the team’s young prospects. The game will present the pressure and intensity that they will need to bring with them to future NHL roles, after all. Taylor would be one of those optimists.

“As a group, it’s a situation where these are fun moments,” Taylor told the Admirals website after Game 4. “Now we’re in a series in which it’s one-game-take-all. For both teams, that’s an exciting opportunity.”

Of course, Admirals fans may have preferred fewer fun moments, but the high-and-low nature of the Calder Cup Playoffs means that nearly every team will face precarious situations like an elimination game against a division rival.

So, Game 5 it shall be for Taylor and his Admirals.

“I like our odds on Sunday,” Taylor said. “We’re going to regroup, and we’re going to play our best game of the year.”

Another team facing elimination is the Syracuse Crunch, who trail their best-of-five North Division semifinal series with the Laval Rocket, 2-1.

The teams stage Game 4 this afternoon at Place Bell (3 ET, AHLTV, RDS) after a 4-1 Laval victory in Game 3. If necessary, Game 5 would be Tuesday at Syracuse.

In Game 4, the Crunch surrendered seven Laval power-play opportunities, including four in the opening 14:57 at sold-out Place Bell. The Rocket are 4-for-13 on the power play in the series. Part of the development process for NHL prospects in the Calder Cup Playoffs involves learning how to maintain composure even in a difficult environment, something that the Crunch must learn to manage to extend the series.

“I don’t think we deserved to win this game at all,” always-blunt Syracuse head coach Ben Groulx told the team website after the loss. “Too many penalties. Undisciplined. You’ve got to control your emotion. I don’t think we did it.”

But Crunch captain Gabriel Dumont expects a different team this afternoon.

“I don’t see that group quitting,” Dumont told the team website. “I don’t think [the team’s leaders are] going to have to say much.”

Help may be on the way for the Rochester Americans and their blue line as their North Division semifinal battle with the Utica Comets resumes tonight.

After a series-opening 6-3 victory for the Comets, Game 2 is tonight at Utica. Amerks head coach Seth Appert provided updates after Friday’s practice on injured defensemen Brandon Davidson and Mattias Samuelsson.

The 22-year-old Samuelsson was in and out of the lineup with the parent Buffalo Sabres while dealing with an injury over the final few weeks of the regular season. The second-year pro ended up playing 42 games for the Sabres this season and had 10 assists. He also appeared in 23 games with the Amerks and added 13 points (three goals, 10 assists).

“I still say day-to-day,” Appert said of Samuelsson’s status. “Kind of just seeing how every day he wakes up and how he feels.”

Davidson has been out of action since March 18 and was limited to 23 games this season with a goal and five assists. But the 30-year-old has 180 games of NHL experience and would be a significant addition to the Rochester lineup. Appert sounded more optimistic about Davidson’s chances for tonight.

“I think Brandon Davidson is more likely,” Appert said.

Sunday the teams will play Game 3 in Rochester, where the Amerks are expecting a large crowd at Blue Cross Arena. After facing the Comets’ always-intense home environment, Appert’s players will have a chance to experience that kind of home support.

“They know what’s awaiting them on Sunday when we get back here,” Appert said. “Our guys have earned that opportunity to play in front of packed buildings. Whether it’s in Utica, whether it’s at home, they’ve earned that with the work we’ve put in.

“It’s nice that our fans are rallying behind that, [and] it’s nice that we can give that to our fans as well.”

Patrick Williams

In Stanley Cup Playoff action last night, 2018-19 AHL scoring champion Carter Verhaeghe scored the series-clinching goal in overtime as Florida eliminated Washington with a 4-3 victory... Mika Zibanejad recorded two goals and two assists and Chris Kreider scored twice as the New York Rangers defeated Pittsburgh, 5-3... Roope Hintz tallied a goal and an assist and Jake Oettinger made 36 saves as Dallas beat Calgary, 4-2.

In action at the 2022 IIHF World Championship yesterday, Riley Barber, who had 53 points in 49 games for Grand Rapids this season, scored for the United States in a 4-1 win over Latvia... 2020-21 AHL Goaltender of the Year Logan Thompson made 18 saves in Canada’s 5-3 win over Germany... 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Tomas Tatar scored for Slovakia in a 4-2 win over France... Toni Rajala recorded a goal and two assists as Finland defeated Norway, 5-0.

Watch the Calder Cup Playoffs on AHLTV
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2022 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 $29.99 for the entire postseason, or just $8.99 for a day pass. Visit AHLTV.com for details.