AHL Morning Skate: April 19

Game 4 – BRIDGEPORT 4, Hershey 1 (HER leads series, 3-1)
Game 3 – Albany 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (ALB leads series, 3-0)

1. Albany goaltender Justin Peters stopped 31 of 32 shots as the River Rats edged Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 2-1, to take a 3-0 series lead.

2. Rookie goaltender Mikko Koskinen made 26 saves in his AHL playoff debut as Bridgeport staved off elimination with a 4-1 win over Hershey in Game 4.

3. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald tallied a pair of power-play goals to pace the Sound Tigers’ offensive attack.

Game 3 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00 (MCH leads series, 2-0)
Game 4 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 (ALB leads series, 3-0)
Game 4 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00 (CHI leads series, 2-1)
Game 3 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30 (HAM leads series, 2-0)
Game 3 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00 (Series tied, 1-1)

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 3, LOWELL 2
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 3, PORTLAND 1
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 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 16 – HERSHEY 3, Bridgeport 2
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 17 – Hershey 7, BRIDGEPORT 2
Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 18 – BRIDGEPORT 4, Hershey 1
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 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1
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 – HAMILTON 8, Manitoba 2
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 –  ROCHESTER 4, Abbotsford 1
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 – MILWAUKEE 6, Chicago 0
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 –  TEXAS 3, Rockford 1
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 3 – Portland at Manchester, 7:00 (MCH leads series, 2-0)
Having taken their first two playoff games on the road, Manchester returns to the Verizon Wireless Arena tonight to battle Portland in Game 3 of the teams’ Atlantic Division semifinal… The Monarchs have lost four consecutive postseason home games dating back to a 4-3 win over Providence in Game 5 of the 2007 division Finals… Baz Bastien Award winner Jonathan Bernier has stopped 44 of 46 shots (.957) in the series for the Monarchs, stopping 44 of 46 shots (.957)… Manchester regular-season scoring leader Bud Holloway has tallied a goal in both contests, while Corey Elkins (1-1-2), Justin Azevedo (0-2-2) and Gabe Gauthier (1-1-2) also show a point in each of the first two games… Prior to these two outings, Portland hadn’t failed to score more than one goal in back-to-back games since a 2-1 overtime loss to Manchester on Dec. 26 and a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Worcester on Dec. 31… Derek Whitmore has notched both goals for the Pirates in the series, and Nathan Gerbe, Mark Mancari, Kyle Wanvig and defenseman T.J. Brennan have an assist apiece… The Pirates are 0-6 in their last six playoff games since opening the 2009 postseason with a 3-0 win at Providence… Five teams in AHL history have won a best-of-seven playoff series after losing the first two games at home, most recently Toronto (vs. Syracuse) in 2008.

Game 4 – Albany at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 (ALB leads series, 3-0)
Albany looks to complete a first-round sweep of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when the teams collide for Game 4 at the Mohegan Sun Arena… The River Rats, who are bidding for their first postseason series win since 1998, have earned a trio of one-goal victories thus far, most recently yesterday’s 2-1 decision… Game 3 was scoreless through two periods before Mike Angelidis and Jerome Samson broke through in the third period, with rookie Zach Boychuk assisting on both scores… Angelidis also picked up a helper on Samson’s goal, giving him three points (1-2-3) in the series… Samson registered his first point of the playoffs after leading the River Rats with 37 goals and 78 points during the regular season… Albany goaltender Justin Peters improved to 3-0 (2.00, .936) this postseason by making 31 saves on 32 shots… Game 3’s victory ended an Albany eight-game losing streak in Wilkes-Barre… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is facing a 3-0 series deficit for the fifth time in its history; the Penguins were swept by Milwaukee in the 2004 Calder Cup Finals and by Hershey in the 2006 division finals, lost to Hershey in five games in the 2007 division finals, and fell to Chicago in six in the 2008 Calder Cup Finals… Four different players have scored goals for the Penguins this series – Nick Johnson (3-0-3), Chris Conner (1-1-2), Konstantin Pushkarev (1-1-2) and Eric TangradiMark Letestu has a series-high 15 shots on goal but is still looking for his first goal… To avoid its first-ever first-round exit, Wilkes-Barre will need to become the third team in AHL history to win a best-of-seven series after falling behind 3-0… The teams are a combined 1-for-26 on the power play in the series, with Albany winning all three games despite being 0-for-13 with the man advantage.

Game 4 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00 (CHI leads series, 2-1)
Milwaukee and Chicago continue their West Division semifinal tonight at the Bradley Center… The last two games of the series have each featured shutouts, with Chicago taking a 3-0 win on Friday and Milwaukee coming back with a 6-0 drubbing on Saturday… Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich turned in a 30-save performance in Game 3 for his first career postseason victory… 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner Blake Geoffrion notched a pair of goals in just his second pro game after joining Milwaukee from NCAA runner-up the University of Wisconsin… Andreas Thuresson and Mike Santorelli each recorded a goal and two assists for the Admirals in Game 3; Thuresson paces the Ads overall with six points (1-5-6), while Santorelli boasts a team-high three goals (3-2-5)… Chris Mueller and defenseman Alexander Sulzer (1-1-2) also scored in the victory, and rearguard Jonathon Blum chipped in three assists… The Admirals converted on four of their nine power plays after cashing in just once on eight chances in the first two games… Joey Crabb (2-1-3) is the only member of the Wolves with multiple goals in the series, as seven other players show one goal apiece… Matt Anderson leads the team with four points, all assists… Including an 8-1 regular-season loss on Apr. 9, Chicago has been outscored 14-1 in its last two visits to the Bradley Center.

Game 3 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30 (HAM leads series, 2-0)
Manitoba hopes to get back in its North Division semifinal vs. Hamilton tonight as the series shifts to the MTS Centre in Winnipeg… Calder Cup finalists a year ago, the Moose have fallen into a 2-0 series hole with a pair of losses in Hamilton, including an 8-2 rout on Saturday afternoon… It marks the first time the Moose have faced a 2-0 series deficit since the 2007 North Division Finals against Hamilton, which the Bulldogs won in six games on their way to the Calder Cup title… Mario Bliznak and Dan Sexton tallied Game 2 goals for the Moose, who had suffered a 2-0 shutout loss in the opener… Manitoba defensemen Tom Galvin, Evan Oberg, Travis Ramsey and Brian Salcido posted one assist apiece… Moose regular-season scoring leaders Marco Rosa (22-33-55) and Sergei Shirokov (22-23-45) have been held without a point through the first two contests… Brock Trotter (2-1-3) and AHL All-Rookie defenseman P.K. Subban (1-2-3) each racked up three points for the Bulldogs in Game 2, while David Desharnais posted a goal and an assist… Ryan Russell and Alex Henry also netted goals in the victory, and J.T. Wyman beat Manitoba goaltender Daren Machesney on a penalty shot in the third period… Henry’s goal was his first after going without a goal in 68 regular-season games, and was his first playoff marker since potting the overtime winner for the Bulldogs at Hartford on Apr. 25, 2002… The eight goals marked Hamilton’s most in a playoff game since an 8-3 series-clinching win over Binghamton in the 2003 conference finals… The teams split four regular-season meetings at the MTS Centre.

Game 3 – Rochester at Abbotsford, 10:00 (Series tied, 1-1)
Calder Cup Playoff hockey comes to Abbotsford for the first time tonight as the Heat host Rochester in a pivotal Game 3 of their North Division semifinal… The teams split the first two contests in Rochester and will now play three straight in British Columbia this week… The Americans earned a split at home by rallying for a 4-1 victory in Game 2 on Saturday… Rochester surrendered the first goal for the second time in as many games but scored four straight en route to the victory… Jason Garrison and two-time Calder Cup champion Graham Mink notched power-play goals for the Amerks, while Michael Duco and Jeff Taffe scored at even strength… Mike York chipped in three assists and shows a team-high five points (1-4-5) through the series’ first two contests… Making his first career playoff start, Amerks goaltender Tyler Plante turned aside 30 shots to pick up the victory… Plante, who relieved Alexander Salak in Game 1, has made 50 saves on 51 shots (0.61, .980) in the series thus far… Abbotsford was 18-14-4-4 at the Entertainment & Sports Centre during the regular season, including a 1-1-0-0 mark against Rochester… All four of the Heat’s goals in the series have been scored in the first period… John Lammers netted the lone Abbotsford goal in Game 2, with Mark Mitera and Mikael Backlund earning the assists.


There were at last no what-ifs for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, just a big win Sunday afternoon to keep their season going. Bridgeport scored three goals in the second period at the Arena at Harbor Yard and defeated league-leading Hershey 4-1 in Game 4 of the AHL’s East Division semifinals, averting a sweep and sending the series back to Pennsylvania for Wednesday’s Game 5.

The Hershey Bears were scheduled to come home after Game 4, anyway. But instead of having a chance to rest and rejuvenate this week, they’ll have to play a game Wednesday at Giant Center after the Bridgeport Sound Tigers prevented a series sweep with a 4-1 victory Sunday at the Arena at Harbor Yard.

PENGUINS PUSHED TO BRINK – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
When Chris Conner’s shot from the corner of the net beat Albany River Rats goaltender Justin Peters during Sunday’s Game 3 of the Calder Cup playoffs, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins found themselves in a familiar situation: trying to erase a one-goal lead. For the third straight game, the Penguins trailed Albany late in the third period by a goal but couldn’t manage to capitalize on a late rally.

He has bided his time, patiently waiting through four seasons to get his taste of the American Hockey League playoffs. Now that the opportunity has arrived, Justin Peters is taking full advantage, to the benefit of the Albany River Rats. Peters made 31 saves Sunday in staking the Rats to a 3-0 series lead with a 2-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

PENGUINS TRY TO AVOID BEING SWEPT – The Citizens’ Voice/Scranton Times Tribune
Knowing that the two teams ahead of them in the standings, Albany and Hershey, were top-flight clubs, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had to figure they’d have their backs to the wall in the East Division playoffs eventually. They couldn’t have figured it would come this soon.

Credit the Albany River Rats with a classic-style road playoff victory. The River Rats matched Wilkes-Barre’s desperation, had their scoring line show up in the third period and goalie Justin Peters turned in a gem defensively to beat the Penguins, 2-1, Sunday. Albany won its third consecutive one-goal game and can sweep the Calder Cup playoff series with a victory tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Two years, ago, the Portland Pirates were in the same situation: Down two games to none in a best-of-seven AHL playoff series. They came back to win the series, sweeping the next four games of the Atlantic Division finals against Providence. This year, the Pirates face the same two-game deficit in their first-round series against Manchester after a 3-1 loss Saturday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

DOGS UP 2-0 ON MOOSE – Hamilton Spectator
The Hamilton Bulldogs aren’t under any illusions. Sure, they blew out the Manitoba Moose 8-2 Saturday afternoon for their most lopsided playoff win in franchise history. And, yes, they lead the best-of-seven American Hockey League North Division semifinal 2-0. And it’s true their recently moribund power play has sprung back to life. But that and $1.33 will still only get you a medium coffee.

AMERKS, PLANTE STANDING UP TO HEAT – Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
There’s one thing that Rochester Americans goalie Tyler Plante makes clear every time he plays. The goal crease is not public domain. It’s private property and he’ll gladly use physical force to protect it. Plante made that clear on Saturday night when he and the Amerks prevailed 4-1 in Game 2 of the first-round, best-of-seven Calder Cup playoff series.

After being shut out 6-0 by the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday night at the Bradley Center, the Wolves have to feel at least a little uneasy going into tonight’s Game 4 of their West Division semifinal. The Wolves still lead the series 2-1 and are 14-0 in their playoff history after winning the first game of a series. But they also have been outscored 14-1 in their last two games in Milwaukee.

Ready or not, the Edmonton Oilers prospects charged into the lineup in 2009-10. So what of next season? Will the Oilers be learning on the job? “A lot of players who came up showed signs that they’re going to be good,” said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini.

In Sunday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Craig Anderson’s 51-save shutout helped Colorado to a 1-0 overtime win over San Jose and a 2-1 series lead over the top-seeded Sharks… 2009 Calder Cup champion Sami Lepisto notched his first career NHL playoff goal as Phoenix doubled up Detroit, 4-2… Antti Niemi posted a 23-save shutout as Chicago evened up its first-round series with a 2-0 win over Nashville.

14-7 – Record of home teams during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, including 8-1 in the four Western Conference series.

121 – Calder Cup Playoff games played by Hershey Bears defenseman Bryan Helmer… Helmer moved past AHL Hall of Famer Fred Glover (120) into second place on the all-time list yesterday, and now trails only Ken Gernander (123).

April 19, 2008Ryan Jones scores his first professional goal at 6:57 of the second overtime period giving Houston the win over Rockford in the longest 1-0 game in AHL history.

April 19, 2007Carey Price records a shutout in his professional playoff debut, stopping 34 shots in Hamilton’s 2-0 Game 1 win at Rochester.

April 19, 1996 – Craig Conroy and Darcy Tucker score two goals apiece as the Fredericton Canadiens defeat the P.E.I. Senators, 7-4, in the opener of their first-round series.

April 19, 1970 – Jim Stanfield scores 1:06 into overtime to send the Springfield Kings to a 5-4 win in Game 7 of their division semifinal vs. Hershey.

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.