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AHL Morning Skate: 5.25.18

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


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Game 4 – Tonight, 7:05 ET, AHL Live
TV: TSN2, NHL Network, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, Leafs Nation Network, Service Electric TV2
(TOR leads series, 3-0)

The Toronto Marlies can wrap up the Eastern Conference championship tonight as they take a 3-0 series lead into Game 4 at Lehigh Valley… Since being pushed to the brink of elimination by Utica in the opening round, Toronto has reeled off eight straight wins — most recently a convincing 5-0 victory at PPL Center on Wednesday night… Carl Grundstrom (6-3-9) and Andreas Johnsson (4-9-13) tallied a goal and an assist each for the Marlies, Ben Smith (5-6-11) scored two power-play goals in the third period and Toronto allowed only 16 shots in the game, including nine over the first 40 minutes… Garret Sparks (9-2, 2.04, .925) recorded his second shutout of the postseason… Johnsson (3-6-9) and Smith (4-2-6) both carry five-game scoring streaks into tonight’s contest… The Marlies improved their record to 42-9-2-2 since New Year’s Eve… Following a 20-1-1-1 stretch on home ice, the Phantoms have lost their last two home games by a combined score of 11-0… Alex Lyon (6-4, 1.97, .945) stopped 23 of 26 shots in Game 3; Dustin Tokarski (1-1, 4.17, .859) allowed two goals on eight shots in relief… Toronto is 4-for-12 on the power play (33.3 percent) in the series; Lehigh Valley is 2-for-8 (25.0 percent)… The Marlies have trailed for a total of 22:57 during their eight-game winning streak, including 5:30 in this series… The Phantoms are 3-0 following shutout losses this season, outscoring opponents 15-5 in those bounce-back wins… Toronto leads the entire playoff field in both goals for (3.75) and goals against (2.17) per game… Three teams in AHL history have won a series after losing the first three games: the 1960 Rochester Americans (vs. Cleveland), the 1989 Adirondack Red Wings (vs. Hershey) and the 2013 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (vs. Providence).

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. A1-Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Game 1 – Sat., May 19 – TORONTO 4, Lehigh Valley 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sun., May 20 – TORONTO 3, Lehigh Valley 2 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., May 23 – Toronto 5, LEHIGH VALLEY 0 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Fri., May 25 – Toronto at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 26 – Toronto at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., May 28 – Lehigh Valley at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 30 – Lehigh Valley at Toronto, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


 @ button_chi200 
Game 5 – Tonight, 8:00 ET, AHL Live
(TEX leads series, 3-1)

The Western Conference Finals continue tonight after a season-saving effort by Rockford in yesterday’s Game 4… Victor Ejdsell (7-4-11) scored his second goal of the game with 2:32 gone in overtime last night to give the IceHogs a 3-2 victory, ending the Stars’ seven-game winning streak and thwarting their bid to sweep the series… Texas still holds a 3-1 series lead heading into Game 5… Ejdsell’s decisive goal was his second OT marker of the postseason, his fourth game-winner and his league-leading seventh goal overall… Luke Johnson (3-4-7) scored with 6:58 to play in regulation as Rockford forced overtime with a late goal for the second consecutive game… Jeff Glass (1-0, 1.92, .933) made his Calder Cup Playoff debut for the IceHogs and stopped 28 shots in his first game action since Apr. 13… Travis Morin (4-4-8) and Matt Mangene (1-5-6) scored power-play goals in Game 4 as the Stars went 2-for-5; Texas is 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) in the series after Rockford had allowed only two goals in 28 shorthanded chances through its first two rounds… With his Game 4 goal, Mangene has points in five straight games for the Stars (1-4-5)… Curtis McKenzie (6-8-14) extended his scoring streak to six games (5-4-9) with an assist last night… The IceHogs are 3-for-13 (23.1 percent) on the power play in the series… Mike McKenna (10-3, 2.00, .940) turned aside 33 shots in Game 4… Texas has lost in regulation only once in its last 20 games since Mar. 31… Texas and Rockford are the first teams to play three straight OT playoff games against each other since Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Providence in 2016; there has never been a series that featured four consecutive overtime games… The IceHogs’ Game 4 victory was their first-ever win when facing elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs (1-5)… Of the 135 teams that have trailed 0-3 in a best-of-seven series, only 18 have even extended the series to a Game 6 (13.3 percent).

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
P2-Texas Stars vs. C4-Rockford IceHogs
Game 1 – Fri., May 18 – TEXAS 4, Rockford 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sun., May 20 – TEXAS 3, Rockford 2 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Tue., May 22 – Texas 6, ROCKFORD 5 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Thu., May 24 – ROCKFORD 3, Texas 2 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Fri., May 25 – Texas at Rockford, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 28 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 29 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


Eastern Conference Finals History
The Richard F. Canning Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL’s Eastern Conference… Here are the results of the Eastern Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

2017 – Syracuse Crunch 4, Providence Bruins 1
2016 – Hershey Bears 4, Toronto Marlies 1
2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 0
2014 – St. John’s IceCaps 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
2013 – Syracuse Crunch 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1
2012 – Norfolk Admirals 4, St. John’s IceCaps 0
2011 – Binghamton Senators 4, Charlotte Checkers 0
2010 – Hershey Bears 4, Manchester Monarchs 2
2009 – Hershey Bears 4, Providence Bruins 1
2008 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Portland Pirates 3
2007 – Hershey Bears 4, Manchester Monarchs 0
2006 – Hershey Bears 4, Portland Pirates 3
2005 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Providence Bruins 2
2004 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 3
2003 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Binghamton Senators 1
2002 – Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2001 – Saint John Flames 4, Providence Bruins 1
2000 – Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Providence Bruins 3
1999 – Providence Bruins 4, Fredericton Canadiens 2
1998 – Saint John Flames 4, Hartford Wolf Pack 1
*1997 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Albany River Rats 1
*1996 – Portland Pirates 4, Saint John Flames 3
*known as Northern Conference


Western Conference Finals History
The Robert W. Clarke Trophy is presented each season to the playoff champions of the AHL’s Western Conference… Here are the results of the Western Conference Finals since the league split into two conferences in 1995-96:

2017 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, San Jose Barracuda 1
2016 – Lake Erie Monsters 4, Ontario Reign 0
2015 – Utica Comets 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 2
2014 – Texas Stars 4, Toronto Marlies 3
2013 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Oklahoma City Barons 3
2012 – Toronto Marlies 4, Oklahoma City Barons 1
2011 – Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2010 – Texas Stars 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2009 – Manitoba Moose 4, Houston Aeros 2
2008 – Chicago Wolves 4, Toronto Marlies 1
2007 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Chicago Wolves 1
2006 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 0
2005 – Chicago Wolves 4, Manitoba Moose 0
2004 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, Rochester Americans 1
2003 – Houston Aeros 4, Grand Rapids Griffins 3
2002 – Chicago Wolves 4, Houston Aeros 1
2001 – W-B/Scranton Penguins 4, Hershey Bears 0
2000 – Rochester Americans 4, Hershey Bears 0
1999 – Rochester Americans 4, Philadelphia Phantoms 2
1998 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Albany River Rats 2
*1997 – Hershey Bears 4, Springfield Falcons 3
*1996 – Rochester Americans 4, Syracuse Crunch 1
*known as Southern Conference


#FreeHockey
The Western Conference Finals mark the 16th series in AHL history to feature three consecutive overtime games:

2018 – Texas (2 wins) vs. Rockford (1 win)
2016 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (3) vs. Providence (0)
2014 – Texas (3) vs. St. John’s (0)
2014 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (2) vs. Binghamton (1)
2012 – St. John’s (2) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1)
2012 – Oklahoma City (3) vs. San Antonio (0)
2011 – Houston (2) vs. Milwaukee (1)
2011 – Binghamton (3) vs. Manchester (0)
2008 – Syracuse (2) vs. Manitoba (1)
2004 – Bridgeport (2) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (1)
2001 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (3) vs. Hershey (0)
1998 – Philadelphia (2) vs. Saint John (1)
1983 – Rochester (2) vs. New Haven (1)
1962 – Springfield (2) vs. Buffalo (1)
1956 – Cleveland (3) vs. Pittsburgh (0)
1938 – Providence (2) vs. Syracuse (1)


Alumni Watch
The Washington Capitals advanced to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final with a 4-0 win at Tampa Bay in Game 7 on Wednesday night… Former AHL All-Star and Calder Cup champion Braden Holtby made 29 saves to close out the series with his second consecutive shutout… Washington and Vegas will begin the Final on Monday.


Working Overtime

There have been 15 overtime games played in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs so far:

DateResultGWGTime
May 24ROCKFORD 3, Texas 2Victor Ejdsell2:32
May 22Texas 6, ROCKFORD 5Curtis McKenzie5:12
May 20TEXAS 3, Rockford 2Curtis McKenzie10:46
May 20TORONTO 3, Lehigh Valley 2Miro Aaltonen10:59
May 11TEXAS 3, Tucson 2Joel L’Esperance8:43
May 9Lehigh Valley 2, CHARLOTTE 1Alex Krushelnyski86:48
May 7TEXAS 5, Tucson 4Sheldon Dries13:36
May 5TORONTO 2, Syracuse 1Frederik Gauthier35:10
May 2TUCSON 2, Texas 1Michael Bunting8:53
Apr. 28LEHIGH VALLEY 4, Providence 3Maxim Lamarche18:36
Apr. 26Rockford 4, CHICAGO 3Victor Ejdsell57:22
Apr. 22Texas 5, ONTARIO 4Samuel Laberge37:38
Apr. 21TORONTO 3, Utica 2Chris Mueller17:48
Apr. 20CHARLOTTE 3, W-B/Scranton 2Lucas Wallmark3:18
Apr. 19TEXAS 4, Ontario 3Brian Flynn1:55

On This Date
May 25, 2012 – Toronto advances to its first Calder Cup Finals with a 3-1 win over Oklahoma City to win the Western Conference championship.

May 25, 2009 – Michael Grabner nets the game-winner on a third-period power play to give Manitoba a 3-1 win over Houston in Game 6 and a berth in the Calder Cup Finals.

May 25, 1994 – Olaf Kolzig turns aside 49 of 50 shots as Portland takes a 3-1 series lead in the Calder Cup Finals with a 2-1 win over Moncton in double overtime.


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.