AHL Morning Skate: 5.21.22

Photo: Ross Dettman

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

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. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Tonight, 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

The division finals round of the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs gets started tonight with Game 1 between the Chicago Wolves and Milwaukee Admirals at Allstate Arena... The Wolves swept Rockford in the division semis, outscoring the IceHogs 14-4 in the three games... The Moose needed the full five games to get past Manitoba, snapping an AHL-record 13-game losing streak in road playoff games to clinch the series with a 2-1 victory in Winnipeg last Sunday... Sixteen different Wolves skaters contributed points in their series with Rockford, led by Andrew Poturalski (1-4-5), Jack Drury (2-2-4), Stefan Noesen (2-2-4) and Joey Keane (0-4-4)... CJ Smith (2-1-3) scored two of the three game-winning goals in the sweep... Alex Lyon (3-0, 1.34, .939) allowed four goals in the series while facing only 66 shots; the Wolves owned a 127-66 advantage in shots on goal... Tommy Novak (1-5-6) was Milwaukee’s leading scorer in the last round with six points, including the series-winning goal in the decisive Game 5... In his second start since returning from Nashville, Connor Ingram (1-1, 4.00, .889) made 27 saves in Game 5... Cody Glass, who reached the Calder Cup Finals with Chicago in 2019, had 3-9-12 in 12 games against the Wolves during the regular season... Rocco Grimaldi returned to the Admirals lineup last week after missing nearly two months due to injury; Grimaldi had 26-26-52 in 44 regular-season games... Chicago won nine of 14 meetings between the teams during the regular season, although Milwaukee won five of the last seven... This is the teams’ fifth meeting in a Calder Cup Playoff series; the Admirals won in 2004, but the Wolves prevailed in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

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

While the Milwaukee Admirals had to make do at times with a patchwork lineup in their five-game series against the Manitoba Moose, they are much more fortified as they begin the Central Division Finals vs. Chicago, having had five full days between games to prepare for the powerhouse Wolves.

Connor Ingram is back after missing the first two games of the Manitoba series while on recall to the Nashville Predators. Dynamic scoring threat Rocco Grimaldi returned for Game 4 against the Moose after missing nearly two months with an injury. And while Milwaukee lost the first seven games of the season series against Chicago, the Admirals then captured five of the final seven meetings between the clubs.

Ties between the clubs dot this series. Milwaukee did not play during the abbreviated 2020-21 season, with Nashville instead sending its prospects to the Wolves ― Ingram, Cole Smith, Tommy Novak, Jeremy Davies and Josh Healey among them. Admirals head coach Karl Taylor also worked alongside Wolves counterpart Ryan Warsofsky in Chicago.

And Cody Glass, the Admirals’ leading scorer this season, spent time with the Wolves in 2018-19 and 2019-20, putting up 15 points in 22 games during their run to the 2019 Calder Cup Finals. Glass said that he has benefited from going through the demands of the Calder Cup Playoffs while just out of junior.

“That helps a lot, especially as a young kid going to a winning team,” Glass said via the team. “I feel like that helps a lot just going forward. And I just felt like every day, it was just a new thing of how to prepare, going through a playoff series, taking one game at a time.”

There is the Grimaldi factor for the Admirals, as well. The eighth-year pro piled up 26 goals along with 26 assists in just 44 games with Milwaukee before his injury, and he instantly provides Milwaukee with someone who can help to counter Chicago scoring aces Andrew Poturalski and Stefan Noesen.

Grimaldi’s last game before his return was March 12 against Chicago.

“We just started having fun and started rolling,” Grimaldi said via the team. “And I just felt like when I went down, I was kind of letting them down, too. I felt like we had something really special started, and I wasn’t going to be able to at least try to finish it.”

After a rigorous rehabilitation process at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Grimaldi was able to return more than a month ahead of the original schedule.

“I’m here, and I’m grateful for all the [Vanderbilt personnel] that helped out,” Grimaldi said. “Just being back, I’m just ecstatic to be here with these guys and be able to chase a Cup here.”

Patrick Williams

In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Antti Raanta made 21 saves and Brendan Smith scored the game-winning goal as Carolina defeated the New York Rangers, 2-0... Duncan Keith and Leon Draisaitl each recorded a goal and two assists and 2020 AHL All-Star Evan Bouchard scored a power-play goal to help Edmonton to a 5-3 win over Calgary.

In action at the 2022 IIHF World Championship yesterday, Lukas Reichel, just off a standout rookie season with the Rockford IceHogs, tallied a goal and two assists to help Germany to a 9-4 win over Italy... Martin Fehervary scored for Slovakia in their 4-3 win over Kazakhstan... Rudolfs Balcers scored twice and Arturs Silovs made 29 saves as Latvia downed Austria in a shootout, 4-3... Valtteri Filppula and Joel Armia scored in Finland's 6-0 win over Great Britain.

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.