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AHL Morning Skate: April 18

Every game day from now until the end of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the AHL Morning Skate takes a spin around the AHL ice with recaps and previews, news and notes, facts and figures, and the top headlines from around the American Hockey League.

Game 3 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1 (POR leads series, 2-1)
Game 3 – Manchester 5, BINGHAMTON 4 (OT) (MCH leads series, 2-1)
Game 2 – HERSHEY 4, Charlotte 2 (Series tied, 1-1)
Game 2 – Manitoba 3, LAKE ERIE 2 (OT) (Series tied, 1-1)

1. Bud Holloway’s third career playoff overtime goal capped a three-goal, four-point night and gave Manchester a come-from-behind 5-4 win at Binghamton in Game 3 of their Atlantic Division semifinal.

2. With his first goal in more than a year, Rick Rypien gave Manitoba a 3-2 overtime win at Lake Erie and pulled the Moose even with the Monsters at one game apiece.

3. Dov Grumet-Morris stopped 29 of 30 shots as Connecticut got in the win column with a crucial 3-1 win over Portland in Game 3.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 3 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05 (HOU leads series, 2-0)

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. A3-Connecticut Whale || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – PORTLAND 3, Connecticut 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – PORTLAND 3, Connecticut 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 17 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Portland at Connecticut, 7:00
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 21 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Portland at Connecticut, 7:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Connecticut at Portland, 7:00

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Manchester Monarchs vs. E5-Binghamton Senators || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – MANCHESTER 2, Binghamton 1
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 15 – Binghamton 4, MANCHESTER 3 (OT)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 17 – Manchester 5, BINGHAMTON 4 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Manchester at Binghamton, 7:05
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Manchester at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Binghamton at Manchester, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E4-Norfolk Admirals || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 15 – Norfolk 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – Norfolk 2, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:15
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:15
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:30
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)
E2-Hershey Bears vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – Charlotte 5, HERSHEY 4
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 17 – HERSHEY 4, Charlotte 2
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Charlotte at Hershey, 5:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00

North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W5-Oklahoma City Barons || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – HAMILTON 5, Oklahoma City 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – HAMILTON 2, Oklahoma City 1
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Hamilton at Oklahoma City, 8:05
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Hamilton at Oklahoma City, 8:05
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Hamilton at Oklahoma City, 8:05
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Oklahoma City at Hamilton, 4:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Oklahoma City at Hamilton, 7:30

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Lake Erie Monsters vs. N3-Manitoba Moose || Preview
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 16 – LAKE ERIE 6, Manitoba 4
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 17 – Manitoba 3, LAKE ERIE 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 21 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Lake Erie at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Manitoba at Lake Erie, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 26 – Manitoba at Lake Erie, 7:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “G” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W4-Texas Stars || Preview
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 14 – MILWAUKEE 5, Texas 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 16 – Texas 3, MILWAUKEE 1
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Milwaukee at Texas, 8:30
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Milwaukee at Texas, 8:30
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Milwaukee at Texas, 8:30
*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 25 – Texas at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 26 – Texas at Milwaukee, 8:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Houston Aeros vs. W3-Peoria Rivermen || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 13 – HOUSTON 4, Peoria 1
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 15 – HOUSTON 3, Peoria 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 18 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05
*Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05
*Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Peoria at Houston, 8:35
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Peoria at Houston, 5:05

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 3 – Houston at Peoria, 8:05 (HOU leads series, 2-0)
Peoria hopes home-ice advantage brings better fortunes as the Rivermen host Houston for Game 3 of their West Division semifinal after dropping the first two games on the road… Peoria was 20-16-2-2 at Carver Arena during the regular season, including 1-1-0-1 against the Aeros… The Aeros won nine of their last 12 regular-season contests (9-3-0-0) and have continued the solid play into the postseason, outscoring Peoria 7-3 en route to taking a 2-0 lead in this series… After earning a 4-1 victory in the opener, the Aeros prevailed in overtime by a 3-2 count in Game 2 on Friday… Carson McMillan nabbed the game-winner in that one, scoring his first career AHL playoff goal at 11:34 of the extra session by tapping in the rebound of a Jarod Palmer shot… Palmer notched an unassisted goal in the opening period for Houston, just 14 seconds after Anthony Peluso had given the Rivermen a 1-0 advantage… Chad Rau rounded out the Aeros’ offense by cashing in on a second-period power play, and that marker came only 1:32 after Adam Cracknell had put Peoria back on top, 2-1, with a power-play strike of his own… Patrick O’Sullivan picked up an assist on Rau’s goal and now shows two points (1-1-2) in the series after putting up 48 points (19-29-48) in just 36 regular-season games for Houston… Aeros rookie goaltender Matt Hackett earned his second consecutive victory with 32 saves on 34 shots in net… Counterpart Jake Allen, also a first-year pro, took the tough-luck loss for the Rivermen after making a season-high 43 stops of his own… Peoria has dropped both games of this series despite jumping out to a 1-0 lead on both occasions; the Rivermen were 31-9-1-3 in the regular season when scoring the game’s first goal, while Houston earned 13 victories after allowing it (13-19-1-2)… Peoria is 2-4 on home ice all-time in AHL postseason play… The Aeros hold a 2-0 series lead for the fourth time in their AHL playoff history; each of the three previous instances ended in sweeps (2006 vs. Peoria, 2003 vs. Milwaukee, 2002 vs. Hershey).


Facing the possibility of a three-game hole in their first-round Calder Cup playoff series, the Whale took the ice at the XL Center with their season seemingly on the line Sunday night. And after a tidy 3-1 win over the Portland Pirates, everything changed for the Whale. They trail the best-of-seven series 2-1, but have an opportunity to tie it Tuesday night in Hartford. “It’s a new ballgame,” said goalie Dov Grumet-Morris, who had 29 saves to earn the No. 1 star of the game.

The Portland Pirates had their chances, not just to take control of the game, but to take command of their best-of-seven AHL Atlantic Division semifinal series. But after Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center, the Pirates could only reflect on what could have been: the three posts they hit, and one fruitless penalty shot.

Binghamton got a taste of its own medicine Sunday. Bud Holloway’s hat trick, including his game-winning overtime goal, lifted the Manchester Monarchs to a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 of their series in New York. The Monarchs, who coughed up a 2-0 lead Friday and eventually lost a 4-3 overtime decision in Manchester, trailed 3-0 Sunday before rallying to take a 2-1 series lead.

B-SENS LOSE IN OT – Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
The Binghamton Senators came out flying for the first period of Game 3 of their first-round Calder Cup playoff series against the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Where that intensity went for the rest of the night was anyone’s guess as they surrendered two multi-goal leads on their way to a 5-4 overtime loss and a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

11,320 fans watched the first two games of the East Division semifinals at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Most of them probably had the same question as they walked out of the building after watching the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins lose twice to the Norfolk Admirals to fall way behind in the best-of-seven series. What happened to the Penguins who ran roughshod on the AHL en route to the league’s best record in the regular season?

BEARS REBOUND TO WIN GAME 2 – Harrisburg Patriot-News
Despite being AHL regular-season champions, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are heading below the Mason-Dixon Line trailing 0-2 in their first-round series against the Norfolk Admirals. The Hershey Bears avoided the same fate by winning Game 2 of the East Division semifinals against the Charlotte Checkers 4-2 Sunday night at Giant Center.

BEARS GET EVEN – Lebanon Daily News
Following Game 1 of its East Division semifinal series, both Hershey players and coaches knew they had to do a better job containing Charlotte’s speed. Down a game in the series, the Bears controlled the tempo and answered every Checkers goal en route to a 4-2 victory on Sunday night in front of 9,113 at Giant Center.

BEAR-ING DOWN – Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
The Hershey Bears were looking for a positive response to their Game 1 loss to the Charlotte Checkers and they got it in Sunday’s Game 2. Needing to slow the speedy Checkers’ offense that swept the ice with pace and precision last Thursday, the Bears erected some speed bumps this time around and, at the same time, increased their scoring chances to come away with a 4-2 win at the Giant Center.

Standing deep inside the sprawling Giant Center, Charlotte Checkers center Zac Dalpe couldn’t mask the disappointment of just missing a sweep of the first two games of the American Hockey League East Division semifinal against the Hershey Bears. Dalpe scored twice Sunday, but that was all the firepower Charlotte could muster in a 4-2 loss that evened the best-of-7 series at a game apiece.

The Hamilton Bulldogs have ridden a hot goaltender to a 2-0 lead in their Calder Cup playoff series with the Oklahoma City Barons. Drew MacIntyre turned aside 38 of 39 shots Saturday afternoon to backstop the Bulldogs to a 2-1 win over the Barons at Copps Coliseum. “That was an exceptional effort on his part, especially at the end, when he had to be good, he was stellar,” said Hamilton coach Randy Cunneyworth.

It’s too early to say this Manitoba Moose team is different from all the rest in terms of winning, but we can say this for sure after Sunday’s Game 2 of the AHL North Division series against the Lake Erie Monsters. Unlike their brethren of the recent past, including a team that went all the way to the Calder Cup final, these Moose know how to get the job done in overtime.

The Manitoba Moose squared the American Hockey League’s North Division semifinal at one game apiece when Rick Rypien scored at 8:03 of the first overtime on Sunday afternoon for a 3-2 victory over Lake Erie Monsters before a crowd of 8,822 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Moose had been coming on strong in the extra session, but things got interesting when Moose winger Aaron Volpatti caromed a cross-ice pass off the left skate of Rypien, who was parked at the top of the crease, and into the net.

The wait has been a long one for Tyler Weiman but patience won him the day on Sunday. The 26-year-old native of Edmonton was passed over for the start in the series opener on Saturday, but with an uninspiring Eddie Lack unable to thwart the home team, Weiman mopped up the final six-plus minutes. Coach Claude Noel turned to him after the 6-4 defeat, getting steady, sound puck-stopping.

The end came eight minutes into the extra session when Moose center Rick Rypien, while in the goal crease, used his left skate to re-direct the puck past Lake Erie goalkeeper John Grahame. The rules don’t allow a player to use a distinct kicking motion to send the puck into the goal. After gathering for about 20 seconds, the referees agreed that the goal was good and the teams headed to Winnipeg for Tuesday’s Game 3.

The Aeros have already denied the Peoria Rivermen their first playoff goal of coming to Toyota Center and taking at least one game. Now the series shifts to Carver Arena in Peoria for Games 3, 4 and, if necessary, Game 5. While a single win would keep home ice for them, the Aeros don’t want to come back to Toyota Center.

The Peoria Rivermen offense has looked as if it has had both hands tied behind its back so far in the West Division Semifinal playoff against the Houston Aeros. Time to get all hands on deck. The Rivermen lineup is what it is — 10 guys missing from injuries, or call-ups that left them frozen in the NHL. But Peoria needs to get untracked in the best-of-7 series, which it trails 2-0 as Game 3 arrives at Carver Arena on Monday.

In yesterday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Brandon Dubinsky, who made his professional debut with Hartford during the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs, scored with 1:39 left in regulation to give the N.Y. Rangers a 3-2 win over Washington… Martin Erat scored a goal and assisted on the game-winner in Nashville’s 4-3 victory over Anaheim… Mikael Samuelsson, a former 32-goal scorer in the AHL, netted the winning goal for Vancouver in a 3-2 decision over Chicago.

193 – Teams in AHL history that have won a best-of-seven series after winning Games 1 and 2 (89.8 percent).

22 – Teams in AHL history that have won a best-of-seven series after losing Games 1 and 2 (10.2 percent).

April 18, 2009Chris Minard’s goal 4:54 into overtime gives Wilkes-Barre/Scranton a 5-4 win over Bridgeport at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

April 18, 2008Chad Kolarik notches a hat trick in his second professional game, leading San Antonio to a 6-3 victory at Toronto and the first postseason win in franchise history.

April 18, 2000 – Johan Hedberg’s 41-save shutout gives Kentucky a 4-0 win over Louisville and a 3-1 series victory.

April 18, 1986 – Yves Courteau scores 31:06 into overtime as Moncton defeats Maine, 4-3, to take a 3-1 lead in their Northern Division semifinal.

April 18, 1962 – The two-time defending Calder Cup champion Springfield Indians open up the Finals with a 4-0 win over the Buffalo Bisons in Game 1.

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