AHL Morning Skate: 6.7.17

Photo: Mark Newman

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s AHL Morning Skate.

Playoff Brackets | Today’s Scoreboard | League Stats

Game 3 – 7:00 ET – AHL Live free-view, SiriusXM 91
(GR leads series, 2-0)

After two nail-biters to open the series, Grand Rapids and Syracuse head to central New York to resume the 2017 Calder Cup Finals with Game 3 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena tonight… The Griffins preserved their home-ice advantage by winning both games at Van Andel Arena last weekend, including Saturday’s 6-5 double-overtime thriller… The four-hour, six-minute marathon ended with Ben Street scoring his second goal of the night at 7:02 of the fifth period… Street (6-12-18) finished with two goals and an assist in Game 2, his first three-point outing since Mar. 8 at Texas… Tomas Nosek (10-8-18) recorded a goal and an assist to extend his scoring streak to six games (6-4-10)… Jared Coreau (13-2, 2.48, .920) made a career-high 50 saves in Game 2, but also allowed five goals in a home game for the first time as a Griffin… Michael Bournival (7-4-11), Yanni Gourde (6-14-20) and Erik Condra (5-11-16) each notched a goal and an assist for the Crunch on Saturday night… Cory Conacher (10-12-22) added a goal, his 12th point in the last five games… Mike McKenna (11-7, 2.66, .910) stopped 45 shots, the sixth time in a seven-game span in which he made at least 33 saves… Grand Rapids tied a franchise playoff record with three power-play goals in Game 2, and is now 4-for-11 in the series (36.4 percent) and 18-for-69 (26.1 percent) on the postseason… Syracuse is 1-for-8 on the power play in the Finals… The Crunch return home — where they are 9-0 this postseason and have outscored their opponents 42-20 — for Game 3… Syracuse has scored 34 goals in its last six home games (5.67 per game)… The Griffins have scored at least once in 12 of their last 13 periods; the only exception was the first overtime of Game 2… Saturday’s game saw 106 shots on goal taken, the most in a Calder Cup Finals game since the 4OT game between Houston and Hamilton in 2003 (165 shots)… It was also the first double-OT game in the Finals since 2005 (Game 2, Philadelphia vs. Chicago), and the highest-scoring Finals game since Milwaukee’s 8-4 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2004 (Game 2)… Neither team has held a two-goal lead in the series; Syracuse has erased five separate one-goal deficits and Grand Rapids has wiped out two… Grand Rapids captain Nathan Paetsch (2-4-6) is poised to become the 18th player in AHL history to appear in 100 career Calder Cup Playoff games tonight.

2017 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Syracuse Crunch | Finals Infographic
Game 1 – Fri., June 2 – GRAND RAPIDS 3, Syracuse 2 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., June 3 – GRAND RAPIDS 6, Syracuse 5 (2OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Wed., June 7 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 4 – Fri., June 9 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 10 – Grand Rapids at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 13 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 14 – Syracuse at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Down But Not Out
Since the Calder Cup Finals went to a best-of-seven format in 1944, Grand Rapids is the 43rd team to take a 2-0 lead… Only three teams have come back from 0-2 down to win the Cup:

2010 – Hershey Bears def. Texas, 4-2
1991 – Springfield Indians def. Rochester, 4-2
1972 – Nova Scotia Voyageurs def. Baltimore, 4-2

Fifteen Love
Grand Rapids has matched the best record through 15 playoff games in AHL history:

2017 – Grand Rapids Griffins (13-2)
2016 – Lake Erie Monsters (13-2; finished 15-2 and won Calder Cup)
1996 – Rochester Americans (13-2; finished 15-4 and won Calder Cup)
1993 – Cape Breton Oilers (13-2; finished 14-2 and won Calder Cup)

Reading List
Griffins did their part at home, now onus on Crunch (Grand Rapids Press)
Confident Syracuse Crunch knows it’s ‘time to put the working boots on’ (Syracuse.com)
Grand Rapids Griffins face big challenges at tiny arena in Syracuse (Grand Rapids Press)
Crunch staff work tirelessly in their playoff run (WSYR)
Griffins say they won’t mind boos in Syracuse (WOOD)
Former Pirates goalie chasing Calder Cup (Portland Press Herald)
Calder Cup: Ten years ago today (Hamilton Spectator)

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 60 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.

Alumni Watch
In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, Nashville defeated Pittsburgh, 4-1, to even the series at two games apiece… 2016 AHL All-Star Frederick Gaudreau became just the second player in NHL history to score each of his first three career goals during the Stanley Cup Final… Gaudreau (3), Jake Guentzel (4) and Pontus Åberg (1) have accounted for eight of the 24 goals scored during the Stanley Cup Final; that trio combined for 77 goals in the AHL in 2016-17… Gaudreau scored three game-winning goals in 66 AHL games with Milwaukee this season; he now has two GWG in the Stanley Cup Final… Twelve of Nashville’s 13 goals in the Final have been scored by Milwaukee Admirals alumni.

On This Date
June 7, 2015 – Manchester wins its second consecutive overtime game to take a 2-0 lead over Utica in the Calder Cup Finals as Nic Dowd scores 5:36 into the extra session.

June 7, 2012 – Michael Kostka is credited with the winning goal 9:09 into overtime when his dump-in hits a stanchion and caroms into the Toronto net, giving Norfolk a 1-0 win and a 3-0 series lead in the Calder Cup Finals.

June 7, 2011 – The Binghamton Senators win the Calder Cup — the first in 29 seasons of AHL hockey in the city — with a 3-2 victory over Houston in Game 6 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 7, 2007 – In front of 14,205 fans at Copps Coliseum, Ajay Baines’ shorthanded goal midway through the third period lifts Hamilton to a 2-1 win over Hershey and the Bulldogs’ first Calder Cup championship.

June 7, 1998Martin St. Louis records three assists as Saint John avoids elimination with a 6-1 home win over Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 7, 1997 – After a wild third period that saw five goals scored in the final 12:12 of regulation, Mike McHugh scores 56 seconds into overtime to give Hershey a 6-5 win over Hamilton and a 2-0 series lead in the Calder Cup Finals.

Calder Cup Finals on AHL Live
The American Hockey League and NeuLion, Inc., are making video streaming of all seven games of the 2017 Calder Cup Finals available for viewing at no charge from AHL Live via desktop, laptop, mobile device or tablet… To watch free on AHL Live, simply visit ahllive.com from any desktop computer, log in with your AHL Live account (or create a new one), select the Finals All-Access Pass and enter the promo code FINALS17 to access all of the action of the AHL’s championship series featuring the calls of the Griffins’ Bob Kaser and the Crunch’s Dan D’Uva… You can watch on your desktop or laptop through ahllive.com, or download the official AHL Live app from iTunes or Google Play to watch on your mobile device or tablet.