Game 1 – Tue., May 10 – Charlotte at Bridgeport, 7:00
Game 2 – Thu., May 12 – Charlotte at Bridgeport, 7:00
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
Game 1 – Fri., May 6 – Laval at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 7 – Laval at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 3 – Thu., May 12 – Syracuse at Laval, 7:00
*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
Game 1 – Fri., May 6 – Manitoba at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 2 – Sat., May 7 – Manitoba at Milwaukee, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 11 – Milwaukee at Manitoba, 8:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 13 – Milwaukee at Manitoba, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 15 – Milwaukee at Manitoba, 3:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern
Ontario’s potent offense proved too much for San Diego last night, and the result has the Reign looking to advance to the division semifinals with another win in Game 2 tonight... Ontario shook off an early 2-0 deficit and scored three times themselves before the first intermission, eventually hitting the seven-goal mark for the fifth time this season... Samuel Fagemo and Akil Thomas each scored twice, Austin Wagner had a shorthanded goal, and Vladimir Tkachev scored as part of a three-point night for the Reign... Martin Frk followed up his 40-goal regular season with his first playoff goal... Alex Turcotte and Christian Wolanin each had two assists for the Reign, who went 2-for-4 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill while scoring two shorthanded goals... Josh Lopina opened the scoring for the Gulls with a goal just 11 seconds into the contest... Hunter Drew and Alex Limoges notched a goal and an assist each... Ontario has now won 10 of 13 meetings from San Diego this season, including all seven at Toyota Arena.
Bridgeport forward Aatu Raty earned quick praise from head coach Brent Thompson following Wednesday’s overtime goal that sent the Islanders to the Atlantic Division semifinals.
At just 19 years old, Raty’s hockey sense has impressed Thompson. The 2021 second-round pick has only played four games with Bridgeport since completing his Liiga season in Finland, but he has adapted quickly. Along with his Game 2 overtime winner, he also picked up an assist on Arnaud Durandeau’s deciding goal in a 2-1 overtime victory in Game 1. Thompson used Raty on a line with Durandeau and Kyle MacLean.
“I’m excited for him and obviously being rewarded,” Thompson said of Raty. “He’s one of the guys since he’s been here [who has been] working extremely hard. He has a great shot, great release.
“First and foremost, he works extremely hard. His hockey IQ ― he’s picked up our structure. He’s physical. He closes. The awareness of guys away from the puck. He has a good stick. He’s pretty strong on his face-offs ― he’s ambidextrous, [and] he can pull both ways. So, there’s a lot of positives you can build or that you can talk about, and he just continues to get better and better.
“I’m excited to see him two years from now playing for the [New York] Islanders.”
Of course, a strong Bridgeport roster has also helped to ease the transition for the young prospect.
“The guys have been great,” Raty said of his introduction to Bridgeport. “They’ve been helping me a lot. The linemates, every time I don’t know something, they’ll [make] it clear.”
Just back from a half-season with the Buffalo Sabres, Peyton Krebs is now fully immersed in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
In Rochester’s wild come-from-behind 4-3 overtime Game 1 win Wednesday against the Belleville Senators, Krebs saw time with Brett Murray and Arttu Ruotsalainen, whose overtime tally gave the Amerks a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three first-round series. For his part, Krebs contributed two assists as the Amerks roared back with three third-period goals to force OT.
Despite falling behind 3-0 to the physical Senators, the Amerks continued to press for offense.
“I think for me, and all of us, I think [we managed to] stick with it,” Krebs said. “Every shift, just get better. If you do that, it’s going to come.”
Krebs, 21, played 48 games with the Sabres following a midseason promotion from Rochester and collected 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists). In 20 regular-season games between the Amerks and Henderson Silver Knights, he had 20 points (four goals, 16 assists). Taken as the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights, Krebs came to the Buffalo organization in November in the blockbuster Jack Eichel trade.
The North Division rivals staged a rambunctious open to their series, and Krebs found himself in the middle of that action as well.
“It’s fun, you know, getting angry and going out the next shift and just buzzing,” Krebs smiled. “That’s great, too. So, you kind of use that energy to help you in a way. Instead of yelling, you take that energy in your legs and use it.”
Yet another NHL first-round pick competing for the Calder Cup this spring is Rockford IceHogs forward Lukas Reichel.
The 19-year-old Reichel, who tied for fifth in rookie scoring with 57 points (21 goals, 36 assists) in 56 contests, scored the opening goal in a 2-1 Game 1 victory over the Texas Stars on Wednesday. Reichel, who went 17th overall in the 2020 NHL Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks, also earned 11 NHL games this season.
“It’s definitely harder and faster than the regular season,” Reichel said via IceHogs TV following Wednesday’s win. “But we knew that. We were ready.
“For me, it was a good experience, and I knew it was going to come like that.”
The Silver Knights face an early postseason test following Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to the Colorado Eagles in Game 1 of the clubs’ best-of-three series.
The teams meet again on Colorado ice Friday night with Henderson needing back-to-back wins to advance further. Assistant coach Joel Ward knows that the Silver Knights’ task in Game 2 will not be any easier, especially in the always-energetic Budweiser Events Center.
“The place is loud,” Ward said. “The fans are engaged right away.”
Armed with the AHL’s second-best offense in the regular season at 3.59 goals per game, the Eagles also do their part to energize the building. Colorado captain Jayson Megna put the home team on the scoreboard just 31 seconds into the game on Wednesday.
“They’re a fast team,” Ward said of the Eagles. “So trying to slow them up is obviously a challenge, for sure. They’ve got a lot of guys [who] can capitalize, and a lot of shooters as well. So we’ve got our hands full, for sure.
“But [coming back is] something that we’re obviously capable of doing.”
Silver Knights netminder Jiri Patera saw plenty of that Colorado attack in a very busy night in which he had 32 saves and offered his own up-close assessment.
“They’re a very fast team,” Patera said. “They put a lot of guys in front of the net and try to shoot for rebounds or for tips, so I’ve been trying to stay sharp on that. They try to fire the puck from almost anywhere with guys at the net, so that’s probably their biggest strength.”
In Stanley Cup Playoff action last night, Nino Niederreiter scored twice and Pyotr Kochetkov made his postseason debut in relief and recorded 30 saves as Carolina defeated Boston, 5-2... Nikita Kucherov recorded a goal and two assists as Tampa Bay downed Toronto, 5-3... Joel Eriksson Ek notched two goals and an assist in Minnesota's 6-2 win over St. Louis... Ryan McLeod tallied a goal and an assist and Mike Smith made 30 saves as Edmonton blanked Los Angeles, 6-0.
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.