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AHL Morning Skate: 6.14.18

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


Game 7 History
Tonight’s game is the 176th winner-take-all game, the 95th playoff Game 7 and the 11th Calder Cup Finals Game 7 in AHL history… It is the first Game 7 in the Finals since 2003, when the Houston Aeros defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs, 3-0, at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario… Home teams are 53-41 (.564) all-time in Game 7’s, including 7-3 in the Finals… Since 1992, teams are 52-13 (.800) in Game 7’s when scoring first… Eighteen Game 7’s have gone to overtime, most recently the 2016 Atlantic Division Finals between Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The only Calder Cup Finals Game 7 to go to overtime was in 1953, when the Cleveland Barons defeated the Pittsburgh Hornets, 1-0, on a goal by Bob Chrystal… This is the 28th consecutive AHL postseason with at least one Game 7.


 
Game 7 – Tonight, 7:00 ET, AHL Live | Series Infographic
TV: TSN2, NHL Network, Leafs Nation Network
Satellite Radio: NHL Network Radio (SiriusXM 91)
(Series tied, 3-3)

The 2017-18 hockey season draws to a close tonight with the crowning of the 82nd Calder Cup champion, as the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars square off in Game 7… The 1,182nd and final game of the AHL season comes after the Stars staved off elimination with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday in front of 8,783 fans, the largest crowd ever for a Marlies game at Ricoh Coliseum… After going more than 18 minutes without a shot on goal early in Game 6, Texas scored three times in the second period and twice more in the third en route to their second road win of the series… Mike McKenna (14-7, 2.29, .929) made 43 saves in the Game 6 victory for the Stars… McKenna, who won a total of seven Calder Cup Playoff games over the first 11 years of his pro career, now has 27 victories in the last two postseasons… McKenna has faced at least 37 shots in a game eight times this postseason, and is 8-0 with a .949 save percentage in those games… Curtis McKenzie (11-9-20) scored his fifth goal of the Finals and his league-leading 11th goal of the postseason for Texas in Game 6; the Stars are 8-1 when their captain scores… Travis Morin (7-8-15) also scored a goal on Tuesday, giving him 9-8-17 in 17 career Calder Cup Finals games… Justin Dowling (4-13-17) picked up two assists and leads all skaters with 2-6-8 in the series… The line of McKenzie, Morin and Dowling has combined for 10-11-21 in the Finals; the rest of the Texas roster has 8-16-24… Austin Fyten (3-0-3) scored what proved to be the winning goal in Game 6, becoming the 11th different Texas player with a game-winner this postseason… Defensemen Calle Rosen (5-6-11) and Justin Holl (3-2-5) scored for the Marlies in Tuesday’s loss… Rosen has scored four goals in the Calder Cup Finals; he scored four goals in 62 games during the regular season… Garret Sparks (13-5, 2.29, .912) allowed four goals on 17 shots in Game 6 before giving way to Calvin Pickard, who made six saves in relief in his third appearance of the playoffs… Chris Mueller (4-12-16) notched an assist in Game 6 and has 2-4-6 in the series against his former club… Toronto’s Andreas Johnsson (8-13-21) and Travis Dermott (1-3-4) have already played in a Game 7 this spring; Dermott scored a goal and Johnsson was a plus-2 in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 7-4 loss to Boston on Apr. 25… Toronto, 0-for-4 on the power play in Game 6, is 1-for-16 (6.3 percent) in the series; Texas is 4-for-10 (40.0 percent) and has a shorthanded goal as well… The Stars are trying to become the first team ever to win Games 6 and 7 of the Calder Cup Finals on the road… With its Game 6 victory, Texas improved to 4-0 this postseason when trailing in a series; Toronto enters Game 7 with a 7-0 record in games when a series is tied… The teams have traded victories in the series, Toronto winning the odd-numbered games and Texas winning the evens; the Buffalo Bisons’ victory over the Hershey Bears in 1963 is the only Calder Cup Finals series ever to alternate winning teams over the full seven games… Game 7 is airing live this evening on TSN2, NHL Network and Leafs Nation Network, and can also be heard on NHL Network Radio (SiriusXM 91) and will stream on AHL Live (www.ahllive.com).

2018 Calder Cup Finals (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. P2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Sat., June 2 – TORONTO 6, Texas 5 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sun., June 3 – Texas 2, TORONTO 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Tue., June 5 – Toronto 2, TEXAS 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 4 – Thu., June 7 – TEXAS 3, Toronto 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 5 – Sat., June 9 – Toronto 6, TEXAS 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 6 – Tue., June 12 – Texas 5, TORONTO 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 7 – Thu., June 14 – Texas at Toronto, 7:00, TSN2, NHLN, LNN
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Toronto is 3-2 all-time in Game 7’s (3-0 at home)… Texas is 3-0 (2-0 on the road):

Game 7: Toronto Marlies (3-2)
2017 North Division Finals – SYRACUSE 6, Toronto 3
2016 North Division Finals – TORONTO 4, Albany 3
2014 Western Conference Finals – TEXAS 6, Toronto 2
2008 North Division Finals – TORONTO 3, Syracuse 2
2008 North Division Semifinals – TORONTO 2, San Antonio 1

Game 7: Texas Stars (3-0)
2014 Western Conference Finals – TEXAS 6, Toronto 2
2010 Western Conference Finals – Texas 4, HAMILTON 2
2010 West Division Finals – Texas 6, CHICAGO 5 (OT)


Winner Take All
Tonight is the 11th Game 7 and 13th winner-take-all game in Calder Cup Finals history:

Game 7 – June 12, 2003 at Hamilton – Houston Aeros 3, Hamilton Bulldogs 0
Game 7 – June 13, 1996 at Rochester – Rochester Americans 2, Portland Pirates 1
Game 7 – May 29, 1992 at St. John’s – Adirondack Red Wings 5, St. John’s Maple Leafs 2
Game 7 – May 23, 1987 at Sherbrooke – Rochester Americans 4, Sherbrooke Canadiens 2
Game 7 – May 1, 1963 at Buffalo – Buffalo Bisons 6, Hershey Bears 2
Game 7 – April 16, 1953 at Cleveland – Cleveland Barons 1, Pittsburgh Hornets 0 (OT)*
Game 7 – April 21, 1951 at Cleveland – Cleveland Barons 3, Pittsburgh Hornets 1
Game 7 – April 17, 1949 at Providence – Providence Reds 4, Hershey Bears 2
Game 7 – April 15, 1947 at Hershey – Hershey Bears 5, Pittsburgh Hornets 0
Game 7 – April 14, 1946 at Buffalo – Buffalo Bisons 5, Cleveland Barons 2
Game 5 – April 5, 1942 at Indianapolis – Indianapolis Capitals 8, Hershey Bears 3
Game 5 – April 10, 1941 at Cleveland – Cleveland Barons 3, Hershey Bears 2 (OT)*
*overtime period was not sudden death


Back for Seconds
Several players are looking to secure their second career Calder Cup championships tonight:

Toronto
Colin Greening – 2011, Binghamton Senators
Chris Mueller – 2014, Texas Stars
Vincent LoVerde – 2015, Manchester Monarchs

Texas
Justin Dowling – 2014, Texas Stars
Curtis McKenzie – 2014, Texas Stars
Travis Morin – 2014, Texas Stars
Andrew Bodnarchuk – 2015, Manchester Monarchs
Dillon Heatherington – 2016, Lake Erie Monsters


Double-Double
Texas’s Derek Laxdal is trying to become the 19th player to win the Calder Cup as both a player and a head coach, a list that also includes Bun Cook, Frank Mathers, John Paddock, John Stevens and Bruce Boudreau, among others.

Laxdal would also be just the fifth head coach ever to win both the Memorial Cup and the Calder Cup joining Billy Reay, Orval Tessier, Joe Crozier and Barry Melrose.

Laxdal won the Calder Cup as a forward with the Springfield Indians in 1990, and led the Edmonton Oil Kings to a Memorial Cup title in 2014.


Calder+Stanley
Toronto captain Ben Smith is vying to become the 126th player in history to win both the Calder Cup and the Stanley Cup in his career… Among the other players on that list are Hockey Hall of Famers Al Arbour, Andy Bathgate, Johnny Bower, Gerry Cheevers, Doug Harvey, Tim Horton, Larry Robinson, Patrick Roy, Terry Sawchuk and Billy Smith, as well as 2018 Washington Capitals Braden Holtby, John Carlson and Jay Beagle… Smith won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013.


Catch-22
Toronto’s 22-point advantage over Texas in the regular-season standings represents the 10th-largest differential ever in the Calder Cup Finals; a Stars win would match the biggest upset (by points) in Finals history.

34 – 1995, Albany River Rats (109) def. Fredericton Canadiens (75), 4-0
33 – 1956, Providence Reds (92) def. Cleveland Barons (59), 4-0
33 – 1949, Providence Reds (94) def. Hershey Bears (61), 4-3
32 – 1997, Hershey Bears (101) def. Hamilton Bulldogs (69), 4-1
28 – 1952, Pittsburgh Hornets (95) def. Providence Reds (67), 4-2
24 – 2010, Hershey Bears (123) def. Texas Stars (99), 4-2
24 – 1951, Cleveland Barons (93) def. Pittsburgh Hornets (69), 4-3
23 – 1965, Rochester Americans (99) def. Hershey Bears (76), 4-1
23 – 1961, Springfield Indians (99) def. Hershey Bears (76), 4-0
22 – 2018, Toronto Marlies (112) vs. Texas Stars (90)
22 – 1981, Maine Mariners (97) lost to Adirondack Red Wings (75), 4-2
22 – 1969, Hershey Bears (88) def. Quebec Aces (66), 4-1


About the Calder Cup
The Calder Cup is named for Frank Calder, the first president of the NHL (1917-43) and one of the driving forces behind the formation of the American Hockey League.

While the AHL’s history dates back to the fall of 1936, the Calder Cup trophy was first awarded in 1938 to the Providence Reds for winning the second International-American Hockey League championship. (In 1996, George Parsons of the Syracuse Stars was presented the Calder Cup in a ceremony at the Onondaga County War Memorial; it is believed the Stars never received a trophy for their 1937 championship.)

In 2001, the trophy’s base was changed to include two tiers of plaques, which feature the rosters of each of the last 20 Calder Cup champions; the plaques from the first 61 champions are on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The entire trophy now stands 24 inches tall and weighs 28 pounds. The bowl, made of sterling silver, is 12 inches high and eight inches in diameter; the base is made of Brazilian mahogany.


Calder Cup Finals History
Last 20 Calder Cup Finals results and Jack Butterfield Trophy winners (playoff MVP):

2017 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Syracuse Crunch 2 (Tyler Bertuzzi, GR)
2016 – Lake Erie Monsters 4, Hershey Bears 0 (Oliver Bjorkstrand, LE)
2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Utica Comets 1 (Jordan Weal, MCH)
2014 – Texas Stars 4, St. John’s IceCaps 1 (Travis Morin, TEX)
2013 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Syracuse Crunch 2 (Tomas Tatar, GR)
2012 – Norfolk Admirals 4, Toronto Marlies 0 (Alexandre Picard, NOR)
2011 – Binghamton Senators 4, Houston Aeros 2 (Robin Lehner, BNG)
2010 – Hershey Bears 4, Texas Stars 2 (Chris Bourque, HER)
2009 – Hershey Bears 4, Manitoba Moose 2 (Michal Neuvirth, HER)
2008 – Chicago Wolves 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 2 (Jason Krog, CHI)
2007 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Hershey Bears 1 (Carey Price, HAM)
2006 – Hershey Bears 4, Milwaukee Admirals 2 (Frederic Cassivi, HER)
2005 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Chicago Wolves 0 (Antero Niittymaki, PHI)
2004 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 0 (Wade Flaherty, MIL)
2003 – Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (Johan Holmqvist, HOU)
2002 – Chicago Wolves 4, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1 (Pasi Nurminen, CHI)
2001 – Saint John Flames 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 2 (Steve Begin, SJN)
2000 – Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Rochester Americans 2 (Derek Armstrong, HFD)
1999 – Providence Bruins 4, Rochester Americans 1 (Peter Ferraro, PRO)
1998 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Saint John Flames 2 (Mike Maneluk, PHI)


Working Overtime
There have been 16 overtime games played in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs so far (*indicates series-ending goal):

DateResultGWGTime
May 28TEXAS 2, Rockford 1Roope Hintz19:51*
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
June 14, 2013 – Brett Connolly, Ondrej Palat and Richard Panik score as Syracuse avoids a sweep with a 3-2 win at Grand Rapids in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 14, 2010John Carlson and Karl Alzner score, Michal Neuvirth makes 22 saves and the Hershey Bears wrap up their 11th Calder Cup championship with a 4-0 win over Texas in Game 6 of the Finals.


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.