AHL Morning Skate: April 17

Game 1 – Manchester 2, PORTLAND 1 (MCH leads series, 1-0)
Game 2 – ALBANY 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (ALB leads series, 2-0)
Game 2 – HERSHEY 3, Bridgeport 2 (HER leads series, 2-0)
Game 1 – TEXAS 2, Rockford 1 (TEX leads series, 1-0)
Game 2 – CHICAGO 3, Milwaukee 0 (CHI leads series, 2-0)

1. Peter Mannino made 23 saves and improved to 15-0-1 in his last 16 home decisions as Chicago shut out Milwaukee, 3-0, in Game 2.

2. Alexandre Giroux scored two more goals in Hershey’s 3-2 come-from-behind win over Bridgeport.

3. Making just his second career playoff start, Brent Krahn stopped 27 of 28 shots as Texas posted a 2-1 victory over Rockford in Game 1.

Game 2 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 2:00 (HAM leads series, 1-0)
Game 3 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00 (Series tied, 1-1)
Game 2 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00 (MCH leads series, 1-0)
Game 3 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00 (HER leads series, 2-0)
Game 2 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05 (ABB leads series, 1-0)
Game 3 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00 (CHI leads series, 2-0)
Game 2 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00 (TEX leads series, 1-0)

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Worcester Sharks vs. A4-Lowell Devils

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – Lowell 3, WORCESTER 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 15 – WORCESTER 3, Lowell 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 20 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Lowell at Worcester, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Lowell at Worcester, 5:05

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Portland Pirates vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 16 – Manchester 2, PORTLAND 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 20 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 22 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. A5-Bridgeport Sound Tigers

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – HERSHEY 4, Bridgeport 3
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – HERSHEY 3, Bridgeport 2
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00
Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 18 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 3:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Bridgeport at Hershey, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)
E2-Albany River Rats vs. E3-W-B/Scranton Penguins

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – ALBANY 4, W-B/Scranton 3
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – ALBANY 3, W-B/Scranton 2
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 18 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 3:05
Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – W-B/Scranton at Albany, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 25 – W-B/Scranton at Albany, 5:00

North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. N4-Manitoba Moose

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 15 – HAMILTON 2, Manitoba 0
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 2:00
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Rochester Americans vs. N3-Abbotsford Heat

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 15 – Abbotsford 3, ROCHESTER 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 5:05
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05

West Division Semifinal – Series “G” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Milwaukee Admirals

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 14 – CHICAGO 6, Milwaukee 5
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – CHICAGO 3, Milwaukee 0
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 19 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 26 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Texas Stars vs. W3-Rockford IceHogs

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 16 – TEXAS 2, Rockford 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Texas at Rockford, 8:05
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Texas at Rockford, 8:05
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 24 – Texas at Rockford, 8:05
*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 26 – Rockford at Texas, 8:30
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Rockford at Texas, 8:30

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 2 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 2:00 (HAM leads series, 1-0)
Coming off a 2-0 shutout on Thursday, Hamilton hosts Manitoba this afternoon in Game 2 of their North Division semifinal… The Bulldogs, who finished the regular season with the AHL’s top-ranked defense (2.28 goals allowed per game), recorded their first postseason shutout since a 4-0 win at Hershey in Game 1 of the 2007 Calder Cup Finals… Second Team AHL All-Star Cedrick Desjardins made 21 saves in his AHL playoff debut on Thursday… Hamilton led the league with 12 shutouts in the regular season… Mike Glumac and defenseman Andre Benoit tallied goals for Hamilton, and Ryan White picked up two assists… Glumac is coming off his fifth straight 20-goal AHL season but had not scored in his last seven contests prior to Thursday’s series opener… Counting the regular year, Manitoba has now been shut out five times this season, with four of the five coming on the road… The Moose dropped Game 2 in each of their previous two playoff meetings with Hamilton, in 2003 and 2007… Manitoba also dropped its playoff opener in last spring’s run to the Calder Cup Finals but went on to post a perfect 4-0 record in Game 2’s of series… Moose goaltender Cory Schneider took the loss on Thursday after making 16 saves on 18 shots… The teams were a combined 0-for-13 on the power play in Game 1 (Hamilton 0-for-7; Manitoba 0-for-6)… Hamilton is 13-0 all-time in series after winning Game 1.

Game 2 – Manchester at Portland, 7:00 (MCH leads series, 1-0)
A night after rallying for a 2-1 win in Game 1 of its Atlantic Division semifinal, Manchester guns for a commanding 2-0 lead over Portland tonight at the Cumberland County Civic Center… The Monarchs snapped an eight-game playoff losing skid with Friday’s victory, collecting their first postseason win since a 2-1 decision at Providence in Game 5 of the 2007 Atlantic Division Finals; Manchester was subsequently swept by Hershey in the conference finals that year and then suffered a first-round sweep by Providence in 2008 before missing the playoffs entirely last season… Manchester trailed 1-0 heading into the third period of Game 1 before John Zeiler and Bud Holloway tallied goals just 2:15 apart… A second-year pro, Holloway was the Monarchs’ leading regular-season scorer with 47 points (19-28-47) in 75 contests… Making his first playoff appearance since that 2008 series against Providence, AHL Goaltender of the Year Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Game 1 victory… His only blemish was a first-period power play goal off the stick of Pirates forward Derek Whitmore, who notched his second career AHL playoff marker… During the regular season, Portland won 32 of 37 games (32-2-2-1) when taking a lead into the third period, and the Monarchs came back to win just three times when trailing after 40 minutes (3-20-1-2)… Portland has now dropped five straight playoff games since taking a 3-0 win at Providence to open last year’s division semifinals.

Game 3 – Worcester at Lowell, 7:00 (Series tied, 1-1)
Calder Cup Playoff hockey returns to the city of Lowell for the first time since 2005 tonight when the Devils host Worcester in Game 3 of their Atlantic Division semifinal… The Sharks evened the series in Thursday’s Game 2 when captain Ryan Vesce scored with just 56.2 seconds left in the first overtime… Vesce, who did not register an overtime winner during the regular season after nabbing a league-leading four in 2008-09, recorded his second career playoff overtime marker… The three players who factored into the goal – Vesce, T.J. Trevelyan, and Benn Ferriero – were all scoreless in the Sharks’ 3-2 loss to begin the series… Defensemen Derek Joslin and Danny Groulx notched first-period goals for Worcester, and it remained a 2-0 game until Lowell’s Tyler Eckford and Patrick Davis scored just nine seconds apart in the third frame… It marked the Sharks’ first-ever victory in either Game 1 or Game 2 of a playoff series (1-7), while Worcester shows a lifetime 2-1 mark in Game 3’s… Devils forward Alexander Vasyunov was held off the scoresheet in Game 2 after factoring into all three of his club’s goals (1-2-3) in the opener… At home during the regular season, Lowell was a perfect 15-0-0-0 when leading after two periods but also posted an 0-8-0-0 mark when trailing after one period and a 0-12-0-3 showing when behind after two.

Game 3 – Hershey at Bridgeport, 7:00 (HER leads series, 2-0)
Bridgeport returns to the Arena at Harbor Yard tonight staring in the face of a 2-0 series deficit against regular-season champion Hershey in their East Division semifinal… The Sound Tigers held leads in each of the first two games on the road but were unable to put away the Bears’ potent offense, which averaged a league-high 4.28 goals per game in 2009-10… Regular-season goal-scoring champion Alexandre Giroux (50-53-103) has notched three markers (3-1-4) through the first two games of this series, including a pair of strikes in Hershey’s 3-2 Game 2 victory on Friday… Bears forward Mathieu Perreault notched his second goal in as many games on Friday, scoring the decisive goal on the power play in the third period… Goaltender Michal Neuvirth, the MVP of the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs, stopped 23 shots in his first action of this year’s postseason… Defenseman Dustin Kohn, who totaled just two goals in 45 regular-season games for the Sound Tigers, scored twice in Friday’s loss… Kohn is the only Bridgeport skater with more than one goal in the series; Andrew MacDonald (1-1-2), Matt Martin (1-1-2), and Trevor Smith (1-1-2) have one apiece… Bridgeport has lost eight consecutive home playoff games, an AHL record.

Game 2 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05 (ABB leads series, 1-0)
Abbotsford looks to take a 2-0 series lead back to western Canada when it squares off with Rochester for Game 2 of their North Division semifinal tonight… The third-seeded Heat edged out the second-seeded Americans by a 3-2 count in Game 1 on Thursday, their fourth victory in as many visits to Blue Cross Arena this season … Rookie defenseman Keith Seabrook tallied a pair of goals – including one on the power play – after going the entire regular season without recording a multiple-goal effort… Seabrook sparked a three-goal Abbotsford first period by scoring just 35 seconds after the opening face-off, and Shawn Wellar also notched a goal in the victory… Defenseman Staffan Kronwall, a member of Hershey’s 2009 Calder Cup championship squad, chipped in two assists for the Heat in Game 1, and ex-Amerks goaltender David Shantz turned aside 30 of 32 shots in net… Mike York (1-1-2) and two-time Calder Cup champion Graham Mink (0-2-2) posted multiple points for the Americans, and defenseman Jordan Henry also found the back of the net… Mink won the Calder Cup along with Kronwall in Hershey last spring… Game 1 featured a combined 19 power play opportunities, with Abbotsford going 2-for-11 on the man advantage and Rochester registering a 2-for-8 performance.

Game 3 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00 (CHI leads series, 2-0)
Needing a win to maintain reasonable hope in its West Division semifinal against division-champion Chicago, Milwaukee returns to the Bradley Center to battle the Wolves in Game 3 tonight… After earning a wild 6-5 victory in the series opener, Chicago took a 3-0 win in Game 2 on Friday behind a 23-save shutout performance by goaltender Peter Mannino… Mannino, who appeared in three postseason games with Bridgeport last year, recorded his first career AHL playoff shutout and upped his record to 3-2… Spencer Machacek tallied the game-winning goal in the first period for the Wolves on Friday, and Johnny Pohl and Tim Stapleton provided third-period insurance markers… Pohl now shows 16 points (5-11-16) in 12 games against Milwaukee in 2009-10, including the regular season, while Stapleton boasts 14 points (8-6-14) in 11 match-ups… Wolves forward Matt Anderson has a team-high four points – all assists – through the series’ first two games… Prior to Friday, the Admirals had not been shut out since suffering a 3-0 loss at Lake Erie on Feb. 10… Milwaukee was 20-15-1-4 at home during the regular season but just 2-3-0-0 against the Wolves… 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner Blake Geoffrion, a second-round draft pick by the Nashville Predators in 2006, made his pro debut for the Admirals in Game 2 after reaching the NCAA title game with the University of Wisconsin last weekend.

Game 2 – Rockford at Texas, 8:00 (TEX leads series, 1-0)
Texas goes for a quick 2-0 series lead on Rockford tonight when it hosts the IceHogs in Game 2 of their West Division semifinal… The Stars gained the early edge with a 2-1 triumph in the series opener on Friday night… Rookie Jamie Benn, who played all 82 regular-season games for parent-club Dallas in 2009-10, tallied an unassisted first-period goal in his first AHL contest… 2009 Calder Cup finalist Raymond Sawada also scored for the Stars, and goaltender Brent Krahn made it stand up with 27 saves on 28 shots in net… The 28-year-old Krahn, who went 17-4-0 (1.83, .945) during the regular season, had only appeared in two career playoff games prior to Friday – one apiece for Omaha (2007) and Lowell (2005) as a member of the Calgary Flames’ organization… Rob Klinkhammer netted Rockford’s lone goal in Game 1… Mark Cullen, who paced the IceHogs with nine points (4-5-9) in six regular-season games against Texas, was held scoreless and managed just one shot in Friday’s loss… The IceHogs have dropped seven straight Calder Cup Playoff games since collecting a 5-1 win at Chicago in Game 5 of the 2008 West Division Finals… Rockford was shut out in three of its final five home games in the regular season, including a 29-save blanking by Krahn in a 2-0 Texas victory on Mar. 20… The Stars went a perfect 4-0-0-0 at the Rockford MetroCentre in 2009-10.

RATS STRIKE AGAIN – Citizens’ Voice

Score a dramatic clutch goal late in the third period to tie the score. Give up an even more dramatic goal even later in the third period to lose. That’s the formula the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have used in the first two games of the East Division semifinals, and it’s left them on the brink of disaster.

The Allstate Arena has been disastrous for the Milwaukee Admirals this season, and they can only hope for a chance to return. Chicago beat Milwaukee, 3-0, Friday night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven West Division semifinal series. After winning both playoff games in Chicago, the Wolves have won their last six home games against Milwaukee.

What more could the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have done? They contained the best team in the AHL for two games, and they’re still down 2-0 in their East Division semifinal series. Hershey scored two goals in the third period Friday at Giant Center to defeat the Sound Tigers 3-2 and win a pair of one-goal games.

BEARS RALLY FOR 2-0 SERIES LEAD – Harrisburg Patriot-News
Any Hershey Bears fans who wanted an added sense of drama after a record-setting regular season that featured numerous routs are getting it from the East Division semifinals. After a 3-2 loss Friday night in Game 2 at Giant Center, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. But the underdog Sound Tigers have made it difficult for Hershey in two one-goal games.

Patient. Resourceful. Victorious. Such was the essence of the Manchester Monarchs’ hard fought, 2-1 win over the Portland Pirates in Game 1 of their Atlantic Division Calder Cup semifinal playoff series Friday night.

Kevin Dineen saw the desperation in the Manchester Monarchs. He didn’t see the same from the Portland Pirates. Then, Dineen and the Pirates saw how the Monarchs responded in the third period, armed with that desperation. Manchester scored its two goals in the first five minutes of the third and held the Pirates to six third-period shots on goal.

AMERKS LOOKS TO COOL DOWN HEAT – Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
So what did the Rochester Americans learn in their Calder Cup playoff opener, a 3-2 loss to the Abbotsford Heat on Thursday? Nothing they didn’t already know. They knew the Heat would apply relentless pressure. They knew the Heat would, to a man, play the body on every shift. And they knew if they fell behind, it would be difficult to come back.

The Florida Panthers haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years, but a good number of players the Panthers are looking at to be on next year’s team are here with the Amerks, getting valuable playoff experience. GM Randy Sexton said he talked to players such as Jason Garrison, Shawn Matthias and Michal Repik and told them what they do in these playoffs will go a long way toward determining their future with the team.

SHUTOUT CEDRICK – Hamilton Spectator
There was a time this season when a game like Thursday night’s playoff opener would have given Hamilton Bulldogs goaltender Cedrick Desjardins fits. Desjardins wasn’t bombarded with shots. In fact, the Manitoba Moose only recorded 21 and he stopped them all for a 2-0 win and a leg up in their AHL North Division semifinal.

Way back in September, it was the question hovering over the Manitoba Moose as they headed into training camp – who will score the goals for the Moose in the 2009-10 season? Eight months later, still smarting from a 2-0 loss Thursday night to the Hamilton Bulldogs here in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series, it was still the same question. And it’s still the same question heading into today’s Game 2.

The 2010 Calder Cup playoffs have started amid a batch of intriguing storylines. As it is, this spring’s post-season will be missing some familiar entries.

Branch Rickey would have loved Nick Dodge. Rickey, the iconic Brooklyn Dodgers general manager, once summed up player Eddie Stanky with the ultimate compliment for any athlete who has to grind to excel at his craft: “He can’t hit. He can’t run. He can’t field. He can’t throw. He can’t do a damned thing … except beat you.” And that’s Nick Dodge.

In their first taste of playoff hockey, Texas Stars fans saw the game speed up, the checks get harder and the emotions run hotter. In the end, though, the start of the postseason was very similar to the regular season. The Stars were a little tougher and a little smarter in a 2-1 win over the Rockford IceHogs in game one of the AHL West Division semifinals.

If the IceHogs are going to avoid another quick but painful sweep out of the playoffs like last year, it may come down to Game 2 tonight back in Austin. “It will be huge,” IceHogs head coach Bill Peters said after his team’s 2-1 loss to Texas on Friday. “Game 2: Our biggest game of the year. I mean, our biggest game of the year.”

2005 AHL All-Star Zach Parise netted a goal and assisted on the game-winner as New Jersey evened its Eastern Conference quarterfinal with a 5-3 win over Philadelphia on Friday… Elsewhere, Justin Abdelkader notched a goal and 2006 AHL All-Star Valtteri Filppula registered three points (2-1-3) to help Detroit tie up its series with a 7-4 victory at Phoenix… Devin Setoguchi scored twice – including the game-winner in overtime – as top-seeded San Jose evened its series with a 6-5 win over Colorado… 1999 AHL All-Star J.P. Dumont tallied a pair of goals as Nashville earned a 4-1 win at Chicago in Game 1 of its series.

4 – Consecutive playoff series in which the Chicago Wolves have won the first two games… Prior to moving up 2-0 on Milwaukee this year, the Wolves took 2-0 advantages on Rockford, Toronto, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton en route to the 2008 Calder Cup championship.

7 – Games on today’s AHL schedule, the most for a single day in the postseason since Apr. 22, 2006.

April 17, 2004 – Ilya Bryzgalov makes 34 saves and Curtis Glencross notches a goal and two assists as Cincinnati eliminates defending Calder Cup champion Houston with a 6-3 victory.

April 17, 1998Marc Savard nets five points (2g, 3a) during a seven-goal third period as Hartford rallies for a 7-4 win over New Haven in the Wolf Pack’s first-ever playoff game.

April 17, 1993 – Jozef Stumpel records two goals and two assists in Providence’s 9-0 win at Springfield, evening their best-of-seven series at 2-2.

April 17, 1984 – On a collision course towards their second straight Finals meeting, Maine defeats Adirondack, 5-3, and Rochester downs St. Catharines, 4-2, to advance to the second round… It is the first time two Game 7’s are ever contested on the same day.

April 17, 1957 – Ken Hayden completes a hat trick 6:58 into sudden-death overtime to give the Cleveland Barons a 5-4 win over Rochester and their eighth Calder Cup championship.

April 17, 1949 – The Providence Reds capture the Calder Cup with a 4-2 win over Hershey in Game 7… Sixty years later, the Reds are still the last team to come back from 3-1 down in the Finals series to win.

Don’t miss a step on the road to the 2010 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts and highlights of every AHL game, as well as behind-the-scenes features and interviews in the Video On Demand section… Visit theahl.com or ahllive.com for details.