AHL Morning Skate: April 25, 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.


Philadelphia 3, ALBANY 2 (5OT) (PHI leads, 3-2)

CHICAGO 4, Milwaukee 1 (CHI leads, 3-2)
Rockford 2, HOUSTON 1 (RFD leads, 3-1)


1. Ryan Potulny‘s goal at 2:58 of the fifth overtime lifted Philadelphia to a 3-2 win in the longest game in the 72-year history of the American Hockey League.

2. Albany goaltender Michael Leighton stopped 98 of the 101 shots he faced, including 62 of 63 in sudden-death overtime.

3. Scott Munroe made 65 saves on 67 shots in the winning effort for the Phantoms.


Game 5 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 (WBS leads, 3-1)

Game 5 – Toronto at San Antonio, 8:00 (Series tied, 2-2)

Game 4 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30 (SYR leads, 2-1)

Game 5 – Rockford at Houston, 8:35 (RFD leads, 3-1)

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 3, HARTFORD 2

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 – HERSHEY 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (OT)
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 2, ALBANY 1
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Philadelphia 3, ALBANY 2 (5OT)
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Albany at Philadelphia, 1:05 (WC)
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 29 – Albany at Philadelphia, 7:05 (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 – SAN ANTONIO 3, Toronto 2
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Toronto 3, SAN ANTONIO 2
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 2, MANITOBA 1 (OT)
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 – MILWAUKEE 2, Chicago 0
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – CHICAGO 4, Milwaukee 1
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 2, HOUSTON 1
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Rockford 2, HOUSTON 1
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 5 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton,
7:05 (WBS leads, 3-1)

Hershey tries to extend its season again as it travels to Wilkes-Barre for Game 5 of its East Division semifinal series against the Penguins… The Bears avoided a sweep on Wednesday by posting a 3-2 overtime victory at the Giant Center… Alexandre Giroux netted the game-winner just 20 seconds into the extra session after also scoring in the second period… It was Giroux’s third OT goal vs. the Penguins over the last two postseasons… Hershey goaltender Frederic Cassivi stopped 32 of 34 shots in the winning effort… Chris Minard scored both Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goals in Game 4, his third and fourth of the series… Tim Brent leads all AHL scorers with seven points (3-4-7) in the playoffs… Of the 107 previous teams in AHL history to fall behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, only 12 have managed to force a Game 6, including the Bears in 1992 (vs. Rochester) and 1995 (vs. Cornwall).


Game 5 – Toronto at San Antonio, 8:00 (Series tied, 2-2)

Toronto and San Antonio take the ice for a pivotal Game 5 of their North Division semifinal series tonight at the AT&T Center… The Marlies held on for a 3-2 victory in Game 4 on Wednesday, with a Chris Harrington empty-net goal turning out to be the difference… John Mitchell and Michel Leveille also scored in that victory for Toronto, and Scott Clemmensen earned the win with 34 saves… Steven Goertzen and David Spina scored in Game 4 for the Rampage, with Spina’s goal coming on a power play with 8.8 seconds remaining… San Antonio’s Brendan Bell leads all scorers in the series with six points (1-5-6), good for a share of first among all AHL defensemen… Bell and Matt Murley (2-2-4) have recorded points in each of the first four games for the Rampage… San Antonio is clicking at a league-best 25.0 percent (6-for-24) on the power play this postseason.


Game 4 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30 (SYR leads, 2-1)

After playing just once since Sunday, Syracuse and Manitoba take the ice tonight for the first of what would be four games in five nights if their North Division semifinal goes the distance… The Crunch hold a 2-1 edge in the series after Tom Sestito‘s overtime goal gave them a 2-1 win in Game 3 on Tuesday… All three games so far have required overtime; no series in AHL history has ever begun with four OT games… Syracuse captain Zenon Konopka also lit the lamp in Game 3 and now leads all scorers in the series with four points (1-3-4)… The Crunch scored the game’s first goal an AHL-high 50 times in the regular season, but Manitoba has struck first in all three games of the series… Moose rookie Michael Grabner has opened the scoring in the last two tilts and is the only player on either side with more than one goal in the series… Even with Tuesday’s loss, Manitoba has won 10 of its last 12 first-round home games.


Game 5 – Rockford at Houston, 8:35 (RFD leads, 3-1)

Rockford can advance to the West Division finals with a third straight road victory over Houston as the teams play Game 5 tonight at the Toyota Center… The IceHogs have allowed exactly one goal in each of the first four games, including last night’s 2-1 victory… Petri Kontiola and Kris Versteeg scored for Rockford in Game 4, a contest in which all the scoring occurred in the final 7:11Marco Rosa picked up the only Aeros goal for the second straight contest… IceHogs goaltender Corey Crawford has stopped 100 of 104 shots in his four starts (0.90, .962)… The two teams are a combined 0-for-29 on the power play in the series… The two teams have been tied on the scoreboard for 87.2 percent of the series (232:47 of 266:57), and neither team has led at any intermission through four games… The Aeros are 4-4 all-time when facing elimination from the Calder Cup Playoffs, and haven’t won one since Game 7 of the 2003 finals at Hamilton.



Watch Potulny’s game-winner:



Watch the Phantoms post their 100th shot:




Mark McGuire, Albany Times Union

Sometime after midnight, as Thursday gave way to Friday and a fourth overtime period wound down, a question popped up from one of the reporters on media row. “Does it go to 100?” He was pointing to the scoreboard – specifically, shots on goal. The Philadelphia Phantoms had fired 99 shots on Albany River Rats goalie Mike Leighton in nearly 140 minutes. The Rats countered with 66. The score was tied at 2. Around 12:38 a.m., two seconds shy of two minutes into the fifth OT, the hearty ones saw Leighton stone Kyle Greentree right in front. It was the Phantoms’ 100th shot. The scoreboard clicked to 0. Exactly one minute later, 2 minutes, 58 seconds into that fifth 20-minute overtime, Ryan Potulny beat Leighton. Game over.




Phil Janack, Daily Gazette

Ryan Potulny‘s first goal of the playoffs, 2:58 into the fifth overtime, ended the longest game in American Hockey League history, lifting the Philadelphia Phantoms past the Albany River Rats, 3-2, at the Times Union Center. Potulny scored on the Phantoms’ 101st shot of the game, beating Rats goaltender Michael Leighton with a 15-foot wrist shot from the slot and ending the game at 12:39 this morning after 142 minutes and 58 seconds. Leighton finished with an AHL-record 98 saves. “You can’t ask any more than what they gave,” Rats head coach-GM Tom Rowe said. “You hope you get that break. It’s frustrating for those guys in there because they worked so hard. In a game like this, you hate to see anybody lose, but somebody has to. We were hoping it was them.”




Pete Dougherty, Albany Times Union

On his team’s 101st shot of the game, Ryan Potulny scored 2:58 into the fifth overtime to lift the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 3-2 victory over the Albany River Rats in the longest game in American Hockey League history. The Phantoms took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series, which returns to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Saturday afternoon. The seventh game, if necessary, is Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The previous longest game ended 14:56 into the fourth overtime, when Hamilton defeated Houston 2-1 on May 30, 2003, in the Calder Cup finals. The previous longest game in Rats history was May 1, 1999, a 3-2 home loss to Hamilton. Chris Ferraro scored the winning goal of that game at 17:55 of the second overtime.




Chris Fitz Gerald, Troy Record

In the longest playoff game in American Hockey League history, Michael Leighton was nearly perfect after regulation in turning in a record-breaking, 98-save performance. But Ryan Potulny scored on a one-timer 2:58 into the fifth overtime to finally solve Leighton and Phantoms goalie Scott Munroe made 65 saves as Philadelphia edged Albany, 3-2 on Thursday in Game 5 of an East Division semifinal series at Times Union Center. “It’s definitely tough going in that long of a game and not getting a win, it’s definitely disappointing,” Leighton said. “But we’ve got two games left and we’ve got to try and beat them in their barn now.”




Canadian Press

Ryan Potulny scored in the fifth overtime, ending the longest game in American Hockey League history as the Philadelphia Phantoms beat the Albany River Rats 3-2 Thursday night. The game clocked in at 142 minutes, 58 seconds and eclipsed the record of 134 minutes, 56 seconds set in Game 2 of the 2003 Calder Cup finals between the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Houston Aeros. Michael Ryder scored the winner as the Bulldogs escaped with a 2-1 win in a game where Hamilton netminder Ty Conklin and Houston goaltender Johan Holmqvist combined to make 162 saves.