AHL Morning Skate: 5.23.22

Photo: Rob Trubia

A1-Charlotte Checkers vs. A2-Springfield Thunderbirds
Game 2 – Wednesday, 7:05 ET, AHLTV
(Springfield leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – SPRINGFIELD 6, Charlotte 0 | Recap
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 2 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHLTV
(Laval leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – LAVAL 6, Rochester 1 | Recap
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

Another historic night at Place Bell gave the Laval Rocket a leg up in the North Division Finals as they prepare to host Rochester in Game 2 this evening... Danick Martel scored a franchise-record four goals to lead the Rocket to a 6-1 win in front of 10,043 fans in Game 1 last night... It was the fourth career AHL hat trick for Martel (5-2-7), and his first since Oct. 7, 2017... It was also the first four-goal game in the Calder Cup Playoffs since Toronto’s Greg Scott scored four times on Apr. 27, 2013, also against Rochester... Nate Schnarr (1-1-2) had a goal and an assist for his first two points of the postseason, and Cédric Paquette (3-1-4) also scored as the Rocket put up at least five goals for the fifth time in nine meetings with the Amerks this season... Cayden Primeau (4-1, 1.77, .945) turned aside 31 shots in the win... JJ Peterka (5-5-10) scored Rochester’s only goal in Game 1... Arttu Ruotsalainen (8-3-11) had his seven-game scoring streak snapped, but he still leads the AHL in playoff goals and points... Aaron Dell (5-3, 3.58, .874), making his eighth consecutive start, allowed four goals on 20 shots before turning the crease over to Michael Houser (0-0, 2.74, .920), who stopped 16 of 18 shots in relief.

C1-Chicago Wolves vs. C3-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 3 – Wednesday, 8:00 ET, AHLTV
(Chicago leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 – CHICAGO 6, Milwaukee 2 | Recap
Game 2 – CHICAGO 8, Milwaukee 2 | Recap
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. P3-Colorado Eagles
Game 1 – Tonight, 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

Stockton and Colorado get the Pacific Division Finals underway tonight with Game 1 at Stockton Arena, where the Heat had a league-best 24-5-5-0 home record (.779) during the regular season... Both clubs are unbeaten so far in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs; Stockton swept Bakersfield in their division semifinal series, while the Eagles took two games from Henderson before knocking off Ontario in three straight... Colorado has outscored its opponents 30-11 over its first five games, with Jayson Megna (6-2-8) and Kiefer Sherwood (3-5-8) leading the offense... Justus Annunen (5-0, 2.11, .933) has played every minute in net for the Eagles this postseason... Sixteen different skaters registered at least one point in the Heat’s series against Bakersfield, led by Glenn Gawdin with four points (1-3-4)... Emilio Pettersen (2-1-3) scored two of the three game-winning goals in the series... Dustin Wolf (3-0, 2.33, .926), the AHL’s Baz Bastien Award winner as the outstanding goaltender in the league in 2021-22, stopped 87 of 94 shots in the three games... Stockton won five of eight meetings with Colorado during the regular season; rookie Jakob Pelletier led all scorers with 10 points (5-5-10) in the season series... The Eagles are 7-for-22 (31.8 percent) on the power play during the playoffs, but were 1-for-35 (2.9 percent) in eight regular-season games against the Heat... Colorado’s penalty killers have allowed only one goal on 24 chances (95.8 percent) during the playoffs while scoring three times shorthanded themselves.

Believe it or not, the Chicago Wolves believe that they have another gear. Or two.

The Wolves put forth another dominant performance yesterday, an 8-2 win over Milwaukee to take a 2-0 lead in the Central Division Finals. The Admirals face elimination when they host Game 3 on Wednesday.

“Even [in Game 1], 6-2, we thought we kind of got away with one,” forward David Gust told the Wolves’ Alli Vellucci. “Today we needed to bring our ‘A’ game and I think we did that.”

Gust, who produced 36 points (16 goals, 20 points) in 64 appearances during the regular season, scored twice in the first period and then added an assist during Chicago’s five-goal second period yesterday. The Wolves have outscored their opponents 28-8 in winning their first five games of the postseason.

Milwaukee fought off elimination in its opening series against Manitoba, capturing a winner-take-all Game 5 on the road after surrendering a 2-0 series lead. Now it’s the Admirals in the 2-0 hole.

“They’ve got a tough building to play in, so we know we can’t take our foot off the gas,” Gust said. “We’ve got to close it out Wednesday.”

Key reinforcements have arrived for both the Colorado Eagles and the Stockton Heat going into Game 1 of the Pacific Division Finals tonight.

Stockton will have defenseman Juuso Valimaki back after he was reassigned by the Calgary Flames yesterday. A 2017 first-round draft pick, the 23-year-old Valimaki collected 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 35 games with the Heat, while picking up a pair of assists in nine NHL games with the Flames this season. He appeared in all three games of Stockton’s sweep of the Bakersfield Condors in the teams’ Pacific Division semifinal series and had one assist.

The Eagles received goaltender Hunter Miska back from the Colorado Avalanche. Miska, 26, has been part of this season’s tandem with Justus Annunen, who has played all five of the Eagles’ playoff games in sweeps of the Henderson Silver Knights and Ontario Reign. In 17 regular-season games for the Eagles, Miska went 10-5-0 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .889 save percentage.

Stockton, the higher seed, opted to open the series at home and will host Games 1 and 2.

Patrick Williams

In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves and Nikita Kucherov led the offense with a goal and three assists as Tampa Bay took a 3-0 series lead with a 5-1 win over Florida... Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots and Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte scored for the New York Rangers in their 3-1 win over Carolina... Leon Draisaitl notched four assists and Zach Hyman scored his sixth goal of the postseason as Edmonton defeated Calgary, 4-1.

Now teammates after their respective clubs were eliminated from the Calder Cup Playoffs, Lukas Reichel (Rockford) scored and Leon Gawanke (Manitoba) notched an assist in Germany’s 5-4 win over Kazakhstan in action at the 2022 IIHF World Championship yesterday... 2016 Calder Cup champion Dean Kukan notched a goal and two assists to help Switzerland to a 5-2 win over France... 2016 AHL All-Star William Nylander tallied a goal and two assists in Sweden’s 7-1 win over Norway... Janis Jaks scored a goal and Arturs Silovs was perfect in 33 minutes of relief work as Latvia rallied for a 4-3 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.