AHL Morning Skate: April 22, 2008

AHL Quick Hits is now the Morning Skate… Every morning, take 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.


Providence 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT) (PRO wins, 4-0)

SAN ANTONIO 3, Toronto 2 (SAN leads, 2-1)


1. Martins Karsums tallied the game-winner just 46 seconds into overtime, allowing Providence to complete a four-game sweep of Manchester in the Atlantic Division semifinals.

2. Bill Thomas potted the eventual game-winning goal as San Antonio grabbed a 2-1 series lead over Toronto with a 3-2 home-ice victory.

3. San Antonio goaltender Josh Tordjman picked his second straight win, stopping 32 of 34 shots and adding an assist on Thomas’ decisive marker.


Game 4 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00 (ALB leads, 2-1)

Game 5 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00 (POR leads, 3-1)

Game 3 – Rockford at Houston, 8:05 (Series tied, 1-1)

Game 3 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30 (Series tied, 1-1)

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Providence Bruins vs. A4-Manchester Monarchs || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – PROVIDENCE 3, Manchester 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – PROVIDENCE 2, Manchester 0
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Providence 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 21 –  Providence 3, MANCHESTER 2 (OT)

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. A3-Portland Pirates || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – HARTFORD 3, Portland 1
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 17 – Portland 3, HARTFORD 2 (2OT)
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 19 – PORTLAND 3, Hartford 2
Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 20 – PORTLAND 4, Hartford 3
Game 5 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 6 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Hartford at Portland, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E4-Hershey Bears || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – W-B/Scranton 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – W-B/SCRANTON 6, Hershey 2
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – W-B/SCRANTON 5, Hershey 1
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 27 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 5:05

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)
E2-Philadelphia Phantoms vs. E3-Albany River Rats || Preview

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – ALBANY 4, Philadelphia 0
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – PHILADELPHIA 3, Albany 0
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Albany 4, PHILADELPHIA 1
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Philadelphia at Albany , 7:00
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Philadelphia at Albany , 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Albany at Philadelphia, 7:05 (WC)
*Game 7 – TBA – Albany at Philadelphia (WC)


North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. W5-San Antonio Rampage || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – TORONTO 4, San Antonio 3
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – San Antonio 6, TORONTO 3
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 21 – Toronto at San Antonio, 8:00
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Toronto at San Antonio, 8:00
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Toronto at San Antonio, 8:00
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 27 – San Antonio at Toronto, 4:00
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Manitoba Moose || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – SYRACUSE 2, Manitoba 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Manitoba 3, SYRACUSE 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 29 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00

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

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Milwaukee 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – CHICAGO 2, Milwaukee 1
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Chicago 4, MILWAUKEE 3 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:30
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Rockford IceHogs vs. W3-Houston Aeros || Preview

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – ROCKFORD 3, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Houston 1, ROCKFORD 0 (2OT)
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Rockford at Houston, 8:05
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Rockford at Houston, 8:05
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Rockford at Houston, 8:35
*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 27 – Houston at Rockford, 5:05
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Houston at Rockford, 8:05


*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 4 –
Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00 (ALB leads, 2-1)

After the teams split a pair in Philadelphia over the weekend, the Phantoms and River Rats return to New York’s capital tonight to resume their East Division semifinal… Albany used a trio of first-period goals to post a 4-1 victory in Game 3 on Sunday… Bryan Rodney, who scored four goals in 42 regular-season games for the Rats, already has three in the series, including two in the Game 3 win… Rodney’s five points are one off the league lead… Albany goaltender Michael Leighton has faced exactly 39 shots in each of the first three games and has allowed a total of three goals, stopping 114 of 117 shots (.974)… The Phantoms’ Pete Zingoni, who netted 20 goals in the regular season, has lit the lamp in each of the last two games after sitting out the series opener… Philadelphia has outshot the River Rats by a combined margin of 118-68 thus far, but has been outscored 8-4.


Game 5 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00 (POR leads, 3-1)

Portland brings a 3-1 series lead to the XL Center tonight and will try to close out Hartford in Game 5 of their Atlantic Division semifinal… The Wolf Pack finished with the AHL’s third-highest point total in the regular season but are in danger of falling in the opening round for the third time in the last four years… Geoff Platt leads the Pirates with five points (2-3-5) through the first four games, and Jason King shows a team-high three goals (3-1-4)… Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau has notched three goals for the Wolf Pack and leads the club with five points… Hartford’s power play, which ranked second during the regular season at 21.0 percent, is just 2-for-20 (10.0%) in this series… Hartford is 12-9 all-time when facing elimination, while Portland has posted a 10-10 mark with a chance to eliminate an opponent.


Game 3 – Rockford at Houston, 8:05 (Series tied, 1-1)

Rockford and Houston resume their West Division semifinal series tonight at the Toyota Center… The Aeros are coming off a win in the longest 1-0 game in AHL history, with Ryan Jones’ first professional goal ending it at 6:57 of the second overtime on Saturday night… Barry Brust earned his second career AHL playoff shutout for Houston, stopping all 30 shots he faced… The Aeros have received 2008 AHL All-Star defenseman Erik Reitz and former first-round draft pick Benoit Pouliot back from parent-club Minnesota following the Wild’s elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs… Rockford goaltender Corey Crawford has stopped 55 of 57 shots (0.82, .965) over the first two games of the series… The Aeros won five of their last six home games to close the regular season.


Game 3 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30 (Series tied, 1-1)

After splitting the first two games in Syracuse, the Crunch and Moose play Game 3 of their North Division semifinal tonight at the MTS Centre in WinnipegManitoba won both meetings against the Crunch at home during the regular season by identical scores of 3-1 back on Jan. 24-25… Each of the first two games of this series has required overtime, as Syracuse took a 2-1 decision on Friday and Manitoba came back with a 3-2 victory on Saturday… The Crunch scored the game’s first goal a league-high 50 times in the regular season, but the Moose struck first in both Games 1 and 2… Eight different players have accounted for the eight goals in the series, and Crunch defenseman David Cullen, a Calder Cup champion with Houston in 2003, leads all scorers with three points (1-2-3)… Moose rookie goaltender Cory Schneider has stopped 55 of 57 shots (.965) in the series… Excluding shootouts, Syracuse has not lost a road game since a 5-2 defeat in Albany on Feb. 1.



Pete Dougherty, Albany Times-Union

Out of sight, maybe, but not out of mind. Two Albany River Rats defensemen who can’t help the team against the Philadelphia Phantoms on the ice are trying to contribute however they can in the American Hockey League playoffs. Mark Flood, whose season ended with a shoulder injury Feb. 27, has been marking video during games. Tim Conboy, serving an eight-game suspension for his actions in Game 1 of the series, is sitting in the press box watching defensive tendencies. “That they can’t play doesn’t mean that you can’t keep them involved and make them feel a part of it,” Albany coach Tom Rowe said. “They’re a big reason why we got to where we are in the playoffs. They’re smart kids, and you want to take advantage of them.”




Paul Sokoloski, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

For one brief moment, John Curry froze in a crouch at the corner of his goal, his back to center ice and his eyes fixed on the dangerous sniper lurking behind the net. Suddenly, Curry turned into a whirling dervish. His head snapped around like a character out of the exorcist, his body spun with it, and his glove shot skyward to somehow snag a soaring puck just before it found the net. All the demons swirling around the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series with Hershey disappeared. “Those are the saves you need to make,” Curry said. “It was just a reaction save. You can’t go into a game trying to make those.”




Jonathan Bombulie, The Citizen’s Voice

Throughout the course of his final season, there was a focus on some numbers Dennis Bonvie put up during his storied AHL career. His 4,493 penalty minutes, tops in league history by a country mile. His 871 games played, 16th on the league’s all-time list. But now that the playoffs have begun, another number has emerged, and it’s a number that might paint an even more flattering picture of Bonvie’s career than any of the others. The next Calder Cup playoff game Bonvie appears in will be the 100th of his career. That’s a milestone that only nine other players in league history have reached.




John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News

Maybe the Rampage are just making up for lost time. Or maybe they’re just beginning to like this whole postseason thing. Three days after recording the first playoff victory in their six-year history, the Rampage registered their first postseason win at home. Second-period goals by David Spina, Jon DiSalvatore and Bill Thomas lifted the Rampage to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Marlies on Monday at the AT&T Center in Game 3 of their first-round, American Hockey League Calder Cup playoff matchup. “I thought we were relentless tonight, after we got down a goal,” Spina said. “That’s what playoff hockey is all about.”




Lindsay Kramer, Syracuse Post-Standard

It’s a given that Syracuse Crunch defenseman Marc Methot recalls his first playoff swing through Winnipeg two seasons ago for all the wrong reasons. Playing for a team that blows a 2-0 series lead by losing four straight will have you spitting up “what ifs?” for the rest of your career. But there’s yet another, more personal, reason that Methot reaches for the antacids whenever he ponders that three-game swing through the prairie in 2005-06. In Game 4 he was a healthy scratch for the first time since he can’t remember when, and for the last time as a member of the Crunch. “I just remember at the time I was disappointed and (upset). You wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t mad about it,” he said. “Sure, you have a chip on your shoulder. It wasn’t an easy time for me. It’s not going to be given to you. You have to work hard and stay competitive to be in a competitive lineup.”




Randy Turner, Winnipeg Free Press

There must be something about the word “playoffs” that stirs the very soul. There’s anger. Aching disappointment. Unfettered joy. And it can get pretty intense on the ice, too. For example, the last time the Manitoba Moose hosted a playoff game, in May of ‘aught seven, it was a nightmarish and inglorious end to what was deemed to be a potentially fruitful postseason. But that edition of the Moose didn’t cooperate, blowing a two-goal third period lead against the eventual champion Hamilton Bulldogs in Game 6 to lose 4-3 in overtime. Safe to say that the men behind the Moose, notably president Mark Chipman and GM Craig Heisinger, didn’t suffer the defeat well.




Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun

It’s been so long since the Syracuse Crunch suffered an outright loss, naturally you wonder if they remember what it’s like to have to bounce back. Have no fear, despite amassing a record of 20-0-0-3 until Saturday’s 3-2 overtime defeat and not losing outright since Feb. 18, the Crunch vow to not let the disappointment of seeing the streak go up in smoke have any impact on the Calder Cup playoff series against the Manitoba Moose. “Nobody is happy after a loss, it doesn’t matter what type of streak you are on,” said Crunch head coach Ross Yates. “We were going to lose sooner or later. We weren’t going to win 15 to end the regular season and then 16 playoff games. We knew it was going to happen. Now it’s how we react. It’s time to get back on the horse now and start a new one.”


2007 AHL All-Star