AHL Morning Skate: April 10

GRAND RAPIDS 6, Lake Erie 1
Bridgeport 6, LOWELL 3
Hartford 3, WORCESTER 2
W-B/SCRANTON 4, Albany 3
ROCHESTER 4, Toronto 3 (SO)
PROVIDENCE 3, Springfield 2 (OT)
Hershey 6, NORFOLK 1
Hamilton 5, SYRACUSE 4 (OT)
MANCHESTER 4, Portland 3
Binghamton 6, ADIRONDACK 5
MILWAUKEE 8, Chicago 1
MANITOBA 3, Peoria 2
Rockford 5, TEXAS 1

1. Dave Scatchard tallied four goals and an assist in Milwaukee’s 8-1 rout of Chicago, becoming the fifth AHL player this season to record four goals in a game.

2. Jesse Joensuu registered a hat trick as Bridgeport moved closer to the playoffs with a 6-3 win at Lowell.

3. Alexandre Giroux notched his league-leading 47th, 48th and 49th goals of the campaign in Hershey’s 6-1 victory at Norfolk.

Hamilton at Toronto, 4:00
Albany at Adirondack, 7:00
Manchester at Bridgeport, 7:00
Springfield at Hartford, 7:00
Lowell at Portland, 7:00
W-B/Scranton at Binghamton, 7:05
Providence at Worcester, 7:05
Hershey at Norfolk, 7:15
Abbotsford at Lake Erie, 7:30
Rochester at Syracuse, 7:30
Grand Rapids at Chicago, 8:00
Rockford at San Antonio, 8:00
Peoria at Manitoba, 8:30
Texas at Houston, 8:35

Click here for up-to-date AHL standings

1. Worcester clinches the division title with (a) a point vs. Providence; or (b) a Portland loss (regulation/OT/SO) at Lowell
2. Portland clinches no worse than second place with (a) a point vs. Lowell; or (b) a Manchester loss (regulation/OT/SO) at Bridgeport
3. Bridgeport clinches a playoff berth with (a) a point vs. Manchester; or (b) a Norfolk loss (regulation/OT/SO) vs. Hershey
4. Bridgeport clinches fourth place with a win vs. Manchester and a Lowell regulation loss at Portland
5. Lowell clinches a playoff berth with (a) a point at Portland; or (b) a Norfolk loss (regulation/OT/SO) vs. Hershey

1. Hershey, Albany and W-B/Scranton have clinched the top three spots in the division
2. To clinch a playoff berth, Norfolk needs (a) a win at Hershey tonight; and (b) Bridgeport or Lowell to lose in regulation both tonight and Sunday

1. Hamilton and Rochester have clinched the top two spots in the division
2. Abbotsford clinches third place with (a) a win at Lake Erie; or (b) a Manitoba regulation loss vs. Peoria; or (c) an OTL/SOL at Lake Erie and a Manitoba OTL/SOL vs. Peoria

1. Chicago, Texas, Rockford and Milwaukee have clinched the top four spots in the division
2. Chicago will play Milwaukee in the first round, beginning Wednesday night
3. Texas will play Rockford in the first round, beginning Friday night

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Hamilton at Toronto, 4:00
Provincial rivals Hamilton and Toronto wrap up their 12-game season series on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum… The Bulldogs are 7-1-1-2 against the Marlies thus far but just have just one win in five trips to Toronto (1-1-1-2)… Ryan White is on a five-game scoring streak (1-4-5) for Hamilton, and defenseman J.T. Wyman recorded his third multiple-goal game (2-1-3) of the season in Friday’s 5-4 win at Syracuse… Marlies forward Tim Brent shows six points (3-3-6) vs. Hamilton despite playing in just six of the teams’ first 11 clashes… Brent has a point in four of his last five outings overall (1-3-4).

Albany at Adirondack, 7:00
Northway rivals Albany and Adirondack battle for the 12th and final time this season on Saturday at the Glens Falls Civic Center, marking the regular-season finale for both teams… The River Rats, who are guaranteed second place in the East Division, got a hat trick from Oskar Osala but dropped a tough 4-3 decision in Wilkes-Barre on Friday… Albany’s Jerome Samson, who is tied for second in the AHL in goals (37) and tied for fourth in points (78), has piled up 17 points (7-10-17) vs. the Phantoms this season… Jon Matsumoto has netted a goal in six of his last eight games (6-3-9) for the Phantoms, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007, when they were still based in Philadelphia.

Manchester at Bridgeport, 7:00
Bridgeport hosts Manchester on Saturday and can clinch its second straight trip to the playoffs by earning at least a point… The Sound Tigers earned a 6-3 win at Lowell on Friday, their highest offensive output since posting a 6-4 triumph at Hartford on Feb. 13… Jeremy Reich snapped a five-game points drought with a goal and three helpers in the victory, and Jesse Joensuu registered a hat trick after totaling one goal in his previous 27 games… Manchester has won eight straight games, including a pair over Bridgeport in that span… Justin Azevedo (4-3-7) and defenseman Alec Martinez (1-6-7) both show seven points in the season series, helping the Monarchs to a 5-1-1-0 record thus far.

Lowell at Portland, 7:00
Lowell travels to Portland on Saturday needing a point to earn its first trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs… The Devils are just 2-5-0-2 in their last nine games… Each of these teams’ last three meetings has gone beyond regulation, with the Pirates winning twice in a shootout and the Devils once in overtime… Michael Swift (2-2-4) and defenseman Cory Murphy (1-3-4) each show three-game scoring streaks for Lowell, and Swift has a point in nine of his last 10 games (9-5-14)… Portland needs a point to assure itself of no worse than second place in the Atlantic Division… Paul Byron (1-5-6) and Kyle Wanvig (2-3-5) have points in four of their last five outings for the Pirates.

Springfield at Hartford, 7:00
Eliminated from playoff contention for the first time in team history on Friday, Hartford concludes its home schedule by welcoming Springfield to the XL Center… The Wolf Pack are 6-3-0-0 in their last nine games overall and 5-2-2-0 against the Falcons this season… Derek Couture is on a season-high three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) for Hartford, and both Brodie Dupont (1-3-4) and Ryan Garlock (1-2-3) show a point in three of their last four outings… Springfield’s Chad Wiseman, a former member of the Wolf Pack, has six points (2-4-6) in seven games against his former team… Chris Minard has a point in four straight (3-1-4) and nine of 10 (7-4-11) for the Falcons, who are trying to snap a seven-game winless skid (0-4-2-1).

W-B/Scranton at Binghamton, 7:05
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Binghamton kick off a season-ending home-and-home set on Saturday at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena… The Penguins clinched a playoff spot on Friday and are locked into third place in the East Division, while the Senators were eliminated from postseason contention despite improving to 13-4-2-0 in their last 19 contests… Pens rookie Eric Tangradi has recorded seven points (5-2-7) in his last nine games, while leading scorer Dustin Jeffrey (23-47-70) is looking to avoid his first three-game points drought since going scoreless in five straight form Jan. 31 to Feb. 10… Binghamton defenseman Geoff Kinrade has an assist in five of his last six (0-6-6).

Providence at Worcester, 7:05
Worcester battles Providence on Saturday and can wrap up the Atlantic Division title on its home ice with any result except a regulation loss… The Sharks are just 1-2-1-0 in their last four games, beginning with a 3-1 loss in Providence on Apr. 2… Eddie Shore Award winner Danny Groulx shows eight points (2-6-8) in his last six games for Worcester… The Bruins, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1998, are 14-7-1-1 lifetime against the Sharks at the DCU Center, but 2-2-0-0 this year… Kirk MacDonald has tallied an overtime game-winning goal in each of Providence’s last two contests… Mikko Lehtonen shows a team-high four goals and nine points in nine games against Worcester this season.

Hershey at Norfolk, 7:15
Needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive, Norfolk hosts Hershey in the back-end of a two-game weekend set… To make the postseason for the first time since 2007, the Admirals need a victory plus two regulation losses by either Bridgeport or Lowell… AHL leading goal-scorer Alexandre Giroux (49-53-102) tallied his third hat trick of the season in the Bears’ 6-1 win on Friday, and AHL MVP Keith Aucoin had three assists to give him a league-high 105 points (35-70-105)… With a victory, Hershey (60-16-0-3) will finish with an AHL-record 125 standings points, which would eclipse the 124 attained by the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers… Mitch Fritz tallied the Admirals’ lone goal on Friday, his first marker since scoring on Nov. 21 at Portland.

Abbotsford at Lake Erie, 7:30
Abbotsford and Lake Erie do battle for the eighth and final time this season on Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena… The Heat, which dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Monsters on Wednesday, can assure themselves of third place in the North Division with a victory… Heat leading scorer Jason Jaffray (25-29-54) shows a team-best four goals (4-2-6) vs. Lake Erie, helping Abbotsford to a 4-2-0-1 record in the season series… Abbotsford’s Colin Stuart has three goals in his last two games after combining for three goals in his previous 20 contests… Lake Erie, which is playing its season finale, will miss the playoffs for the third straight year… Monsters forward Darren Haydar needs one point to reach 600 for his AHL career.

Rochester at Syracuse, 7:30
Intra-state rivals Rochester and Syracuse wrap up their regular seasons at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter… The Amerks are a perfect 9-0-0-0 against the Crunch this season, with seven of the first nine meetings occurring before the calendar turned to 2010… Americans forwards Chris Taylor (3-9-12) and Jamie Johnson (5-5-10) have led the way offensively in the season series, while rookie goaltender Alexander Salak has earned all nine victories (2.30, .926)… Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman has a point in four of his last five games (2-4-6) for the Crunch, and rookie Tyler Murovich shows five points (2-3-5) in four games since joining the team.

Grand Rapids at Chicago, 8:00
Assured of its second West Division title in three years, Chicago tunes up for the playoffs by hosting Grand Rapids in its regular-season finale… The Wolves suffered an 8-1 loss in Milwaukee on Friday but clinched the division courtesy of Texas’s loss to Rockford… Wolves forward Joey Crabb has 24 goals (24-27-51) in 78 games this season, six of them coming in five meetings with Grand Rapids (6-2-8)… Cory Emmerton shows seven points (2-5-7) in his last seven games for the Griffins, who are gunning for their first three-game winning streak since Dec. 5-11… Grand Rapids is currently seventh in the North Division and out of postseason contention, but can still finish as high as fifth place.

Rockford at San Antonio, 8:00
Rockford concludes its regular season on Saturday with a visit to the AT&T Center to take on San Antonio… The IceHogs, who will meet Texas in the first round of the playoffs, are just 18-17-2-2 on the road this season compared to a 26-12-1-1 mark at the MetroCentre… Mark Cullen boasts four goals and five points in his last two games for the IceHogs… Rockford’s Matt Keith shows seven goals (7-1-8) vs. San Antonio this season; no one else on the IceHogs has more than two… Defenseman Shaun Heshka is on a three-game scoring streak (1-3-4) for the Rampage, and former third-overall draft pick Kyle Turris has a point in six of his last seven contests (3-4-7).

Peoria at Manitoba, 8:30
Coming off a 3-2 win over Peoria on Friday, Manitoba hosts the Rivermen again for both teams’ regular-season finale… The Moose need another victory to maintain hope of finishing third in the North Division and avoiding a first-round playoff match-up with division-champion Hamilton… Mike Keane’s two-assist showing on Friday marked the Moose captain’s first multiple-point effort since posting two helpers on Jan. 29 at Worcester… Manitoba’s Yan Stastny, who began the season as Peoria’s captain, tallied a goal against his old team on Friday… Pascal Pelletier is riding a four-game scoring streak (1-3-4) for the Rivermen, who have dropped three of their last four road contests (1-3-0-0).

Texas at Houston, 8:35
Texas is 8-2-0-1 against Houston this season heading into the intra-state rivals’ final clash of the year on Saturday at the Toyota Center… The Stars, who have gone 15-5-0-0 down the stretch to lock up second place in the West Division, will oppose Rockford in the first round of the playoffs… Stars rookies Travis Morin (4-5-9) and Colton Sceviour (2-7-9) each show a team-high nine points in 11 games vs. Houston on the campaign… Texas’s penalty-killing unit is tied for second-best in the AHL at 86.2 percent, while the Aeros rank fourth (86.0 percent)… Aeros rookie Chad Rau, who scored twice in a 5-3 win at San Antonio on Thursday, needs one more goal to reach 20 for the season (19-18-37 in 77 games)… Houston will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2007.


The Hershey Bears, looking to repeat as Calder Cup champions, notched a major repeat of sorts Friday when Keith Aucoin was named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s MVP for 2009-10. Hershey teammate Alex Giroux won the award last season. The MVP award is a towering achievement for Aucoin, one of the league’s most decorated players of the 21st century and the highest-scoring American-born player in AHL history.

The way things were going, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had to think it was going to be a battle all the way to the wire to earn a playoff berth this season. Turns out they made it with two whole days to spare. Friday’s win, coupled with Norfolk’s loss to Hershey, clinched a playoff spot for the Penguins for the eighth straight season.

Cory Schneider is playing more than ever for the Manitoba Moose, yet has found a way to stay fresh. While taking over the franchise record for most starts by a Moose goalie at 59, Schneider was sharp — and needed to be — as the home side kept their third-place aspirations alive with a 3-2 victory over the Peoria Rivermen on Friday night before a crowd of 8,493 at the MTS Centre.

The Milwaukee Admirals sent a message, and then some, to the Chicago Wolves on Friday. Milwaukee crushed Chicago, 8-1, as Dave Scatchard scored four goals in front of 9,791 fans at the Bradley Center. The teams will face each other in the first round of the playoffs. “This sends a message and it’s a nice feeling, but we also know they had a few key guys out of the lineup,” Scatchard said.

The moment cancer patient Connor Lint found out he was helping present an award to Rampage goaltender Josh Tordjman at tonight’s game against the Rockford IceHogs, his mother said he let out a yell. The boy’s glee is understandable. Tordjman recently was named the winner of the prestigious Yanick Dupré Memorial Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year for community service. “I knew I’d been nominated,” said Tordjman. “But when I heard I’d won, I was surprised.” No one else seems to be.

Every day Tyler Ennis is in the NHL, he says, is another day to learn something. It could be a defensive technique, could be a way to get open without the puck. One lesson the Buffalo Sabres’ rookie has been learning the hard way is how to handle road games. He’s about to get another crash course in the subject tonight. It’ll be intense, and it’ll be loud.

When the immediate sting of this disappointing season on the ice fades into the rear view mirror, and we all get the perspective a few weeks away from the rink affords, what will we all take from the grand experiment of the American Hockey League’s return to Glens Falls? The legacy of this season is that this can work here. It’s that at least in the short term, this is a viable AHL market.

On Friday, 2008 AHL All-Star Jimmy Howard posted a 22-save shutout as Detroit escaped with a 1-0 shootout win at Columbus; fellow AHL graduate Steve Mason made 45 saves in net for the Blue Jackets… Brandon Dubinsky tallied the game-winning goal as the N.Y. Rangers secured a critical 4-3 win over Philadelphia… Matt Beleskey, who has seven points in 15 AHL games this season, scored twice in Anaheim’s 6-3 loss at St. Louis.

8 – Consecutive postseason appearances for Milwaukee and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (including 2010), now the longest active streaks in the league with Hartford’s (12) and Providence’s (11) runs coming to an end this spring… The AHL record remains 24 straight seasons, by the Cleveland Barons from 1941-64.

5 – Hat tricks recorded in the AHL last night, by Milwaukee’s Dave Scatchard (four goals), Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux, Bridgeport’s Jesse Joensuu, Albany’s Oskar Osala and Syracuse’s Maksim Mayorov.

April 10, 2009 – After sitting 12 points out on the morning of Mar. 14, Philadelphia clinches a playoff berth with a 5-2 win over Hershey in the final regular-season game ever at a sold-out Wachovia Spectrum.

April 10, 2002 – Chicago avoids elimination with a 3-2 double-overtime win over Cincinnati in Game 2 of their best-of-3 qualifying series… The Wolves would wind up winning four elimination games en route to their first Calder Cup championship.

April 10, 1982 – Warren Holmes scores at 14:08 of the fourth overtime period, giving New Haven a 3-2 win over Rochester in what at the time is the longest game in AHL history.

April 10, 1941 – Cleveland wins the Calder Cup, defeating Hershey by a 3-2 score on an overtime goal by Earl Bartholome in the decisive Game 5.


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