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Game 1 – 7:05 ET, AHL Live
For the fifth time in seven years and the sixth time overall, in-state rivals Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Hershey meet up in the Calder Cup Playoffs, this time in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal showdown… The winner of each of their five previous playoff series went on to reach the Calder Cup Finals: the Penguins in 2001 and 2008 and the Bears in 2006, 2007 and 2009… These teams met 12 times during the 2011-12 regular season, with Wilkes-Barre winning seven of the 12… Ben Street was the Penguins’ leading scorer with 27-30-57, and Bryan Lerg (27-26-53) finished the regular season on a five-game scoring streak (3-2-5)… Hershey led the AHL in power-play efficiency during the regular season at 25.5 percent, and clicked at 15-for-64 (23.4 percent) vs. the Penguins… AHL scoring champion Chris Bourque (27-66-93) was the MVP of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, and has 15-45-60 in 68 career postseason games… Ryan Potulny (33-32-65), who was the league’s leading playoff scorer with 26 points for Binghamton last spring, finished second in the entire AHL in second-half scoring in 2011-12, totaling 18-14-32 in 31 games after the All-Star break.
Game 1 – 7:30 ET, AHL Live
Norfolk finished the 2011-12 regular season on a historic 28-game winning streak, but the counter gets reset to zero as the Admirals meet Manchester to open a best-of-five series tonight… The Monarchs surged to the finish line as well, defeating playoff-bound Connecticut, Hershey and St. John’s last weekend to grab the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference draw… Cory Conacher (39-41-80), the AHL’s MVP, rookie of the year and goal-scoring champion, also finished third on the Admirals with 114 penalty minutes… Tyler Johnson led the Norfolk offense with 16-24-40 and a plus-26 rating during the winning streak, and Jaroslav Janus (15-0-0, 1.40, .944, 1 SO) and Dustin Tokarski (13-0-0, 1.62, .939, 3 SO) both put up gaudy numbers in goal… Justin Azevedo (28-22-50) led Manchester in scoring during the regular season, erupting for 17-9-26 in his last 20 games… The Monarchs are in the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 seasons, but have advanced out of the first round only twice (2007, 2010)… Norfolk has not won a playoff series since a best-of-three sweep of Binghamton in 2004… These teams did not meet during the 2011-12 regular season.
Game 1 – 7:30 ET, AHL Live
Syracuse hosts St. John’s in Game 1 of their conference quarterfinal series tonight… The IceCaps are the second seed after winning the Atlantic Division, the first AHL team since Binghamton in 2002-03 to win a division crown in its inaugural season… The Crunch clinched a postseason berth on the last day of the regular season, boosted by a 15-3-1-1 mark in their final 20 games… Syracuse won three of four from St. John’s in the regular season, including victories at the War Memorial on Mar. 3 and Mar. 23… Patrick Maroon (32-42-74) led Syracuse in assists, points and plus/minus (+17) this season, while Kyle Palmieri chipped in 33 goals in only 51 games… Emerson Etem, a 2010 first-round draft pick and a 61-goal scorer in the WHL this season, scored his first professional goal for the Crunch on Sunday… Spencer Machacek (18-32-50) led the IceCaps in scoring this season… St. John’s defenseman Paul Postma (13-31-44) was a First Team AHL All-Star in 2011-12, and Eddie Pasquale (23-12-1, 2.41, .911) was the goaltender on the AHL All-Rookie Team… St. John’s was 9-for-20 (45.0 percent) on the power play against Syracuse this season.
Game 1 – 8:00 ET, AHL Live
Milwaukee begins its 10th consecutive postseason appearance — tied with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the longest active streak in the AHL — with a conference quarterfinal series against Abbotsford… The Admirals went 9-2-0-3 in their last 14 games, including a 6-1 win over Charlotte on Sunday to clinch a playoff spot and the fifth seed in the West… The Heat won their last seven games and went 10-1-0-2 in their last 13, earning the fourth seed… Abbotsford was 24-11-0-3 on the road in the regular season, tied with Oklahoma City for the most road wins in the Western Conference… Krys Kolanos (30-31-61) totaled 11-7-18 in his last eight games for the Heat… Abbotsford’s Hugh Jessiman, a two-time 20-goal scorer for Milwaukee in 2008-09 and 2009-10, set a career high with 27 goals this season split between the Heat and Lake Erie… Milwaukee goaltender Jeremy Smith (31-19-2, 2.17, .922) ranked first in the AHL in minutes played and fourth in GAA, and was 2-0-1 (1.62, .953) in three starts against Abbotsford… Admirals forwards Chris Mueller and Juuso Puustinen led all scorers in the four-game season series with 3-2-5 apiece… Milwaukee was 22-12-2-2 at Bradley Center this season.
Game 2 – 8:35 ET, AHL Live
After dominating Game 1 last night, Oklahoma City can grab a commanding series lead with another win in Houston tonight… The Barons took the series opener, 5-0, outshooting the Aeros 48-14 in the process… Tyler Pitlick, Teemu Hartikainen, Hunter Tremblay, Tanner House and Anton Lander all scored for Oklahoma City, Mark Arcobello and Ryan Keller had two assists each, and Yann Danis made 14 saves for his second career playoff win and first shutout… It was the first road playoff win in Barons franchise history… Matt Hackett stopped 33 of 37 shots in 36:43 of action before being relieved by Mike Brodeur, who made his first playoff appearance since an eight-minute cameo with Norfolk back in 2007…It was the Aeros’ first shutout loss at Toyota Center since Jan. 1, a 6-0 defeat also to Oklahoma City… Including the regular season, the Barons have now outscored Houston 31-12 in nine meetings this year.
From Calder to Stanley
Martin Brodeur, who backstopped the Utica Devils during the 1993 Calder Cup Playoffs, made 26 saves to set an NHL record with his 24th career Stanley Cup Playoff shutout in New Jersey’s 4-0 win over Florida last night… 2010 Calder Cup champion Braden Holtby made 44 saves in Washington’s 2-1 win over Boston in Game 4 last night… Mikkel Boedker, who played 100 games with the San Antonio Rampage over the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, scored his second consecutive overtime goal to give Phoenix a 3-2 victory over Chicago… B.J. Crombeen, whose professional playoff debut came with the AHL’s Iowa Stars in 2006, scored to help St. Louis to a 2-1 win in San Jose last night.
By the Numbers
28 – Consecutive games won by Norfolk from Feb. 10 until the end of the regular season.
29 – Games won by Norfolk during the entire 2007-08 season, their first as Tampa Bay’s top affiliate.
8-0 – Series record of Game 1 winners in conference quarterfinal series during the 2003 Calder Cup Playoffs, the last time the AHL used a best-of-five format.
On This Date
April 20, 2011 – Ryan Potulny scores twice in the third period and Kaspars Daugavins gets the winner 6:38 into overtime as Binghamton staves off elimination with a 5-4 decision over Manchester in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series.
April 20, 2010 – Led by two goals from Trevor Lewis and 44 saves from Jonathan Bernier, Manchester completes a four-game sweep of Portland with a 7-2 victory.
April 20, 2002 – Marty Wilford’s goal at 9:29 of the second overtime gives Hartford a 3-2 win in its winner-take-all Game 5 vs. Manchester.
April 20, 2000 – Chris Kenady scores four goals and assists on two others as Hartford posts a 7-2 win over Springfield in another winner-take-all Game 5.
April 20, 1994 – Yanic Perreault records four goals and an assist to lead the St. John’s Maple Leafs to an 8-2 win at Cape Breton in Game 4 of their first-round series.
April 20, 1952 – A sudden-death overtime goal by Ray Hannigan gives the Pittsburgh Hornets the Calder Cup championship with a 3-2 win over the Providence Reds.
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