AHL Morning Skate: 5.20.22

Photo: Jeff Pexton

A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A6-Bridgeport Islanders
(Charlotte wins series, 3-1)

Game 1 – Charlotte 3, BRIDGEPORT 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Charlotte 7, BRIDGEPORT 6 (2OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Bridgeport 3, CHARLOTTE 2 | Recap
Game 4 – CHARLOTTE 4, Bridgeport 0 | Recap

A2-Springfield Thunderbirds vs. A4-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
(Springfield wins series, 3-0)

Game 1 – SPRINGFIELD 4, W-B/Scranton 1 | Recap
Game 2 – SPRINGFIELD 6, W-B/Scranton 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Springfield 7, W-B/SCRANTON 6 | Recap

A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A2-Springfield Thunderbirds
Game 1 – Sunday, 3:05 ET, AHLTV

Game 1 – Sun., May 22 – Charlotte at Springfield, 3:05
Game 2 – Wed., May 25 – Charlotte at Springfield, 7:05
Game 3 – Sat., May 28 – Springfield at Charlotte, 6:00
*Game 4 – Sun., May 29 – Springfield at Charlotte, 6:00
*Game 5 – Tue., May 31 – Springfield at Charlotte, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

N1-Utica Comets vs. N5-Rochester Americans
(Rochester wins series, 3-2)

Game 1 – UTICA 6, Rochester 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Rochester 4, UTICA 3 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – ROCHESTER 4, Utica 3 (OT) | Recap
Game 4 – Utica 4, ROCHESTER 2 | Recap
Game 5 – Rochester 4, UTICA 2 | Recap

N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Laval Rocket
(Laval wins series, 3-2)

Game 1 – SYRACUSE 5, Laval 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Laval 3, SYRACUSE 2 | Recap
Game 3 – LAVAL 4, Syracuse 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Syracuse 3, LAVAL 0 | Recap
Game 5 – Laval 3, SYRACUSE 2 (OT) | Recap

N3-Laval Rocket vs. N5-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Sunday, 7:00 ET, AHLTV

Game 1 – Sun., May 22 – Rochester at Laval, 7:00
Game 2 – Mon., May 23 – Rochester at Laval, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Laval at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 – Fri., May 27 – Laval at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sun., May 29 – Rochester at Laval, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C4-Rockford IceHogs
(Chicago wins series, 3-0)

Game 1 – CHICAGO 6, Rockford 2 | Recap
Game 2 – CHICAGO 4, Rockford 1 | Recap
Game 3 – Chicago 4, ROCKFORD 1 | Recap

C2-Manitoba Moose vs. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
(Milwaukee wins series, 3-2)

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 – Milwaukee 2, MANITOBA 1 | Recap

C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Saturday, 8:00 ET, AHLTV

Game 1 – Sat., May 21 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
Game 2 – Sun., May 22 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 4:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 25 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 27 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 29 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 4:00
*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
(Colorado wins series, 3-0)

Game 1 – COLORADO 10, Ontario 1 | Recap
Game 2 – COLORADO 5, Ontario 4 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Colorado 5, ONTARIO 2 | Recap

P1-Stockton Heat vs. P3-Colorado Eagles
Game 1 – Monday, 9:30 ET, AHLTV

Game 1 – Mon., May 23 – Colorado at Stockton, 9:30
Game 2 – Tue., May 24 – Colorado at Stockton, 9:30
Game 3 – Fri., May 27 – Stockton at Colorado, 9:05
*Game 4 – Sun., May 29 – Stockton at Colorado, 9:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May 31 – Stockton at Colorado, 9:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern

The Laval Rocket have their next date with an American Hockey League playoff opponent.

Laval’s Calder Cup Playoff run will continue in the North Division Finals against the Rochester Americans after the Amerks eliminated the Utica Comets with a 4-2 win in Game 5 of the teams’ North Division semifinal series last night. The Rocket, meanwhile, had to sweat out their own North Division semifinal, going to five games with the Syracuse Crunch before finally advancing with an overtime win on Tuesday night.

Back home in Laval on Thursday, Rocket head coach J-F Houle has had time to collect his thoughts.

“I think you learn from the regular season,” said Houle, “and our motto has always been never too high, never too low, and try to stay calm. It was an excellent series. It was physical. [A] really good team in Syracuse who played us really hard... We’re happy that we finished on top.”

Trailing 2-0 in Game 5, Laval tied it in the final minute of regulation before Gabriel Bourque won the game, 3-2, to earn this match-up with Rochester. Houle pointed to the regular season’s comeback wins as well as its difficult losses as lessons that have set up his club in the postseason.

“Those are all great lessons to learn,” Houle said. “You have to learn from those. I know that playoffs are different, but you still have to learn from it. I think it worked in our favor. For sure, we’d like it easy, but you can always learn from adversity.”

The Rochester-Utica winner had not yet been determined Thursday morning, but Houle has his own team to manage anyway.

“We try not to worry too much about the other team,” Houle said. “We want to play the way we play and make sure we’re at the top of our game. I think that’s what’s most important. Right now practicing with the players at this time of the year is not that easy. The players just want to play games. So practices are very short, right to the point.

“We try not to keep the guys too long at the rink so when they come for the game they’re at their prime.”

His suit a bit wet, always-chatty Rochester head coach Seth Appert had plenty more to say about his team’s Game 5 win at Utica last night.

“We told our guys heading into the third that, ‘We’re outplaying them, and we just have to keep our foot on the gas,’” Appert told reporters after the game.

They did that, and now they will begin preparing for a trip to Laval for Sunday’s Game 1 match-up. To earn that trip to Place Bell, the Amerks had to get past the stubborn Belleville Senators in a physical opening-round series, winning twice in overtime, and then knock off the Comets, who had the Eastern Conference’s top regular-season record, hammering out two road victories in one of the most difficult visiting environments in the entire AHL.

“The resilience of this group is pretty special,” Appert said. “This group loves each other. They love playing for each other. They love playing for Rochester.

“Team bonding is through shared adversity. You have to go through shared adversity together, and then you have to not quit on each other during that shared adversity, and then come out on the other side. I told them I loved them. I love coaching this team.”

Sean Malone, who scored the game-winning goal 6:45 into the third period of Game 5, marveled at his team’s never-quit attitude.

“Everyone was playing their hearts out,” Malone told reporters. “We were playing for each other.”

Bridgeport Islanders head coach Brent Thompson plans on picking up the phone this summer and catching up with some colleagues.

Bridgeport swept the Providence Bruins in the teams’ opening-round series before the Islanders fell in four games to the Charlotte Checkers in the Atlantic Division semifinals. Bridgeport’s series win was the first for the club since 2003.

With a background in hockey dating back more than 30 years, Thompson’s list of contacts is long. The 51-year-old former AHL captain has coached Bridgeport since 2014 (as well as in 2011-12), but he plans to continue his own learning process.

“It’s always good to talk and see how [other head coaches] handle a situation,” Thompson said Thursday. “I have communication with a lot of different coaches through the course of [the] summer. Not so much during the season. But during the summers, you kind of bounce ideas off and talk about things.”

As the business of player development has changed, the hard-nosed Thompson has had to evolve with it.

“I think it’s just more of the relationship-building [work],” Thompson expanded. “I think that’s a key piece and just being yourself. At the end of the day, you’re just yourself. I’m happy with the progression that our team has taken and the relationships that I’ve built with our players, and I’m looking forward to continuing to build them.”

Patrick Williams

In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Ross Colton scored with 3.8 seconds left in regulation to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 win over Florida and a 2-0 lead in their second-round series... Eetu Luostarinen netted his first career NHL playoff goal for the Panthers... Jordan Kyrou scored, Pavel Buchnevich recorded two assists and Jordan Binnington made 30 saves as St. Louis defeated Colorado, 4-1, to even their series at one game apiece.

In action at the 2022 IIHF World Championship yesterday, Kieffer Bellows scored twice and Jeremy Swayman made 17 saves as the United States defeated Great Britain, 3-0... Drake Batherson recorded a goal and an assist and Ryan Graves had two helpers in Canada’s 6-3 win over Kazakhstan... David Pastrnak notched a goal and an assist to help the Czech Republic to a 5-1 victory over Latvia... Marc Michaelis scored the game’s only goal and Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves as Germany blanked Denmark, 1-0.

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.