AHL Morning Skate: 6.9.17

Scott Thomas Photography

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 4 – 7:00 ET – AHL Live free-view, SiriusXM 91
(GR leads series, 2-1)

Syracuse hosts Grand Rapids in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals tonight with the Griffins holding a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series… The Crunch got in the win column with a 5-3 victory on Wednesday night… Joel Vermin (9-2-11) scored two goals in 57 seconds late in the first period to put Syracuse ahead for good… Vermin has four goals in the first three games of the Finals… Cory Conacher (11-13-24) and Tye McGinn (5-9-14) each tallied a goal and an assist as Syracuse became the third team in AHL history to win 10 consecutive home games in the same postseason… Conacher and Yanni Gourde (6-15-21), who had an assist in Game 3, have combined for 10-15-25 and a plus-17 rating in the Crunch’s last six games… Mike McKenna (12-7, 2.68, .910) made 32 saves for Syracuse, which is allowing 37.3 shots per game since the start of the conference finals… Tyler Bertuzzi (8-10-18) led the Griffins with a goal and an assist in Game 3, giving him 22-16-38 in 39 career Calder Cup Playoff games… Dominic Turgeon (1-1-2) and Kyle Criscuolo (5-4-9) also scored for the Griffins, and Tomas Nosek (10-9-19) picked up an assist to extend his scoring streak to seven games (6-5-11)… Jared Coreau (13-3, 2.64, .915) made 27 saves in the loss… Coreau, who did not allow five goals in a game all regular season, did so for the second straight game and the third time in these playoffs… Griffins captain Nathan Paetsch (2-4-6) played his 100th career Calder Cup Playoff game, the 18th player in AHL history to reach that milestone… Grand Rapids has followed up each of its two previous postseason losses with a win; the Griffins have not lost back-to-back games since Apr. 8-9 (0-1-0-1)… The Crunch have now outscored their opponents 47-23 in going 10-0 at the War Memorial Arena, and have scored 39 goals in their last 21 periods on home ice… Syracuse was 2-for-6 on the power play in Game 3 and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill, ending Grand Rapids’ streak of 13 consecutive games scoring a power-play goal… Game 3 was the first home win by a Syracuse team in the Calder Cup Finals since April 10, 1938, when the Stars defeated the Providence Reds, 4-3 in overtime, at the New York State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

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 – SYRACUSE 5, Grand Rapids 3 | Recap/Highlights
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

Perfect 10
Syracuse is just the third team in AHL history to win at least 10 consecutive home games in the same Calder Cup postseason:

11 – Philadelphia Phantoms, 2005
10 – Providence Bruins, 1999
10 – Syracuse Crunch, 2017
9 – Cape Breton Oilers, 1993
9 – Chicago Wolves, 2002
9 – Manchester Monarchs, 2015
9 – Grand Rapids Griffins, 2017

Packing Them In
With tonight’s expected sellout crowd in Syracuse, the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs will become the most-attended postseason on record (since 1962):

1. 436,437 (2016)
2. 433,836 (2017)
3. 427,123 (2005)
4. 423,831 (2009)
5. 419,801 (2011)
6. 415,712 (1997)

Reading List
Hoggan rooting on ex-teammates (Grand Rapids Press)
Well-traveled Cirelli making impact with Crunch (TampaBayLightning.com)
What do Grand Rapids players visiting for the first time think of the War Memorial? (Syracuse.com)
Bertuzzi the definition of playoff performer (Detroit Free Press)
Waiting for Gaudreau to flourish has paid off handsomely for Predators (ESPN.com)
Golden Knights’ AHL coach traded fists for finesse (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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 5 of the Stanley Cup Final last night, Pittsburgh defeated Nashville, 6-0, to take a 3-2 series lead… 2015 AHL Rookie of Year and Goaltender of the Year Matt Murray made 24 saves to join Patrick Roy and Cam Ward as the only rookie goalies ever to record a shutout in the Stanley Cup Final… 2002 AHL All-Star and 2003 Calder Cup finalist Ron Hainsey recorded a goal and an assist for the Penguins… 2013 Eddie Shore Award winner Justin Schultz scored what would be the game-winning goal… 2017 AHL All-Rookie forward Jake Guentzel (13-8-21) tied the NHL record for points by a rookie in a single postseason, matching Dino Ciccarelli and Ville Leino.

On This Date
June 9, 2014 – Michael Hutchinson makes 49 saves and St. John’s evens the Calder Cup Finals with a 2-1 win at Texas in Game 2.

June 9, 2012 – Tyler Johnson records two goals and two assists, Cory Conacher adds four assists and Norfolk wins the Calder Cup with a 6-1 victory over Toronto, the Admirals’ 43rd win in 46 games to close out the season.

June 9, 2010John Carlson scores the tiebreaking goal with 2:08 left in regulation as Hershey evens the Calder Cup Finals with a 4-2 win over Texas in Game 4.

June 9, 2009Cory Schneider makes 31 saves and Manitoba staves off elimination with a 3-2 win at Hershey in Game 5 of the Finals.

June 9, 2003Tomas Plekanec and Jason Ward score first-period goals and Ty Conklin finishes with 36 saves as Hamilton pushes the Calder Cup Finals to the limit with a 2-1 win over Houston in Game 6 at Copps Coliseum.

June 9, 1999 – Steven King scores 55 seconds into the third overtime as Providence takes a 3-0 lead in the Calder Cup Finals with a 3-2 win in Rochester.

June 9, 1997 – Ralph Intranuovo and Jeff Daw score 1:51 apart in the third period as Hamilton downs Hershey, 2-1, in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals.

June 9, 1996 – Scott Nichol’s overtime goal gives Rochester a 5-4 win over Portland and a 3-2 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.