AHL Morning Skate: 6.24.22

Photo: Lucas Armstrong

C1-Chicago Wolves vs. A2-Springfield Thunderbirds
Game 4 – Tonight, 7:05 ET, AHLTV
(Chicago leads series, 2-1)

Game 1 – Sun., June 19 – Springfield 5, CHICAGO 4 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Mon., June 20 – CHICAGO 6, Springfield 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., June 22 – Chicago 4, SPRINGFIELD 0 | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., June 24 – Chicago at Springfield, 7:05
Game 5 – Sat., June 25 – Chicago at Springfield, 7:05
*Game 6 – Tue., June 28 – Springfield at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 29 – Springfield at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Chicago takes a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals in front of another capacity crowd at MassMutual Center in Springfield tonight... The Wolves blanked the Thunderbirds, 4-0, on Wednesday night behind 36 saves from Pyotr Kochetkov (4-1, 1.58, .950)... Kochetkov has allowed eight goals on 161 shots in five playoff appearances for Chicago, including shutouts in two of his last three starts... Richard Panik (5-4-9) scored again in Game 3, his eighth consecutive Calder Cup Finals game with a goal going back to his 2013 appearance with Syracuse... Ivan Lodnia (4-1-5), Jalen Chatfield (2-6-8) and Stefan Noesen (9-14-23) also scored for the Wolves, while Josh Leivo (13-13-26) and Jack Drury (8-13-21) chipped in two assists each... Noesen leads all skaters with 2-5-7 in the Finals... Leivo has points in 15 of the Wolves’ 16 playoff games, including eight multi-point efforts... Nathan Todd (4-6-10) led the Thunderbirds with six shots on goal in Game 3... Charlie Lindgren (5-2, 2.75, .917) finished with 30 saves in Game 3 for Springfield, which was shut out for the first time since being blanked three games in a row back on Dec. 11, 12 and 17, 2021... It was also the first shutout posted in a Calder Cup Finals game since Anton Forsberg and Lake Erie’s Cup-clinching 1-0 overtime victory over Hershey in 2016... Chicago has scored two power-play goals in each game of the series, going 6-for-13... Springfield is 2-for-17 with the man advantage in the series... The Wolves have scored first in each of the first three games of the series... Springfield is looking to avoid a 3-1 deficit in the series; only three teams have ever won the Calder Cup after trailing 3-1 in the Finals, and none since the Providence Reds did it in 1949.

Winning a road game at MassMutual Center during the Calder Cup Playoffs has been one thing.

Doing so in back-to-back games has been a different task altogether.

When the Laval Rocket needed consecutive road wins in Springfield most, they fell short. Down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals, they took Game 6 but ran into one of the Thunderbirds’ best performances of the season in Game 7.

Springfield, 6-3 on home ice this postseason, has shown an ability to learn from a prior game’s mistakes.

Chicago head coach Ryan Warsofsky is aware. His Wolves shut out the host Thunderbirds, 4-0, in Game 3 on Wednesday night, and expects Springfield will adjust accordingly for tonight’s Game 4.

“They’ve done a good job adjusting and trying to pick us apart in their offensive zone and in our D-zone coverage,” Warsofsky said.

Springfield head coach Drew Bannister pushed hard after his club’s Game 3 loss.

Tonight’s stakes are quite clear for the Thunderbirds. A win would put them in a 2-2 series. A loss would leave them down 3-1 in the series and needing to beat the powerful Wolves three consecutive games, two of those contests being at Allstate Arena.

“I think we need better from everybody,” Bannister said Wednesday. “Our goaltending, our defensemen, and our forwards. We’ve got to be better.

“Whether it’s Charlie [Lindgren] or Joel [Hofer], our six defensemen in our lineup, and our forwards that we have right now, as a group we all have to be better here. The goaltending has been really good for us all playoffs. Our guys have played well.

“Our backs are up against the wall a little bit here. Now we’re under a little bit of pressure. We’ve usually responded well.”

Patrick Williams

Nazem Kadri scored 12:02 into overtime on Wednesday night to give Colorado a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay and a 3-1 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final... Kadri was a member of the Toronto Marlies team that reached the 2012 Calder Cup Finals, but missed that championship series against Jon Cooper’s Norfolk Admirals due to injury... Darcy Kuemper made 37 saves for the Avalanche in Game 4... The series resumes tonight in Denver.

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.