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AHL Morning Skate: April 26

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.


MONDAY’S SCORES:
Game 6 – MILWAUKEE 3, Texas 2 (2OT) (MIL wins series, 4-2)


MONDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Mark Van Guilder buried a rebound at 10:42 of double overtime to give Milwaukee a 3-2 win over Texas and a 4-2 series victory in the West Division semifinals.

2. Admirals rookie goaltender Jeremy Smith earned the win with 52 saves, including 19 in the two overtime periods combined.

3. Texas’s Richard Bachman took the tough-luck loss despite making 47 stops on 50 shots.


TODAY’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 7 – Manitoba at Lake Erie, 7:00 (Series tied, 3-3)


2011 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. E5-Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 27 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
Game 4 – Mon., May 2 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May 3 – Portland at Binghamton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May 6 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sat., May 7 – Binghamton at Portland, 7:00

East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 3 – Mon., May 2 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 7 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., May 9 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

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 – CONNECTICUT 3, Portland 1
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 21 – PORTLAND 5, Connecticut 4
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Portland 6, CONNECTICUT 4

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 6, BINGHAMTON 3
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 20 – BINGHAMTON 5, Manchester 4 (OT)
Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Binghamton 2, MANCHESTER 1 (2OT)
Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Binghamton 6, MANCHESTER 5 (OT)

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 2, NORFOLK 1
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – W-B/Scranton 4, NORFOLK 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – W-B/Scranton 2, NORFOLK 1
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 23 – W-B/SCRANTON 6, Norfolk 3

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 3, CHARLOTTE 2
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – CHARLOTTE 3, Hershey 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – CHARLOTTE 5, Hershey 3
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Charlotte 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)

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 – OKLAHOMA CITY 2, Hamilton 0
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – OKLAHOMA CITY 5, Hamilton 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Hamilton 2, OKLAHOMA CITY 0
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – HAMILTON 4, Oklahoma City 1

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 2, MANITOBA 1
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 21 – Lake Erie 6, MANITOBA 3
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – MANITOBA 2, Lake Erie 0
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Manitoba 3, LAKE ERIE 1
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 – TEXAS 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 20 – Milwaukee 3, TEXAS 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 22 – Milwaukee 2, TEXAS 1 (OT)
Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 25 – MILWAUKEE 3, Texas 2 (2OT)

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 5, PEORIA 3
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 19 – Houston 2, PEORIA 1

*if necessary… All times Eastern


GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 7 – Manitoba at Lake Erie, 7:00 (Series tied, 3-3)
Seven of the AHL’s eight division finals berths have been sewn up, and the final spot will be determined tonight when Lake Erie and Manitoba battle it out in Game 7 of their North Division semifinal… The winner will advance to take on Hamilton in the second round beginning Thursday night… All six games of this series have been close enough that one team has pulled its goaltender for an extra attacker in the final minutes… The Moose, who once trailed three games to one, are looking to join Binghamton as teams to overcome that deficit and prevail in this spring’s opening round… Manitoba’s power play went 0-for-21 through the first five games of the series but finally came through in the third period of Game 6 on Sunday when defenseman Keith Seabrook buried the eventual game-winning goal… It marked the first goal of the postseason for Seabrook, who scored once in 15 regular-season contests for Manitoba after being obtained on loan from the Abbotsford Heat… Two of Seabrook’s three career AHL playoff goals have been game-winners… Moose rookie Bill Sweatt also notched his first postseason goal in Game 6, and two-time AHL All-Star Sergei Shirokov rounded out Manitoba’s offense with his team-leading fourth playoff goal… Shirokov has recorded a point in all six games of the series (4-2-6), and Jason Jaffray picked up an assist to run his own scoring streak to four contests (2-4-6)… Marco Rosa also added a helper on Sunday, and his 10 points (3-7-10) in six playoff games already match his postseason career high, obtained in 20 games for Houston in 2009… Moose rookie Kevin Clark has registered four points (2-2-4) in three outings after missing the first three games of the series… AHL All-Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack made 28 saves in the winning effort on Sunday… Lack surrendered five goals on 24 shots in a series-opening loss and backed up Tyler Weiman for Games 2, 3 and 4, but the 22-year-old has turned aside 54 of 55 shots (.982) over the past two contests since reclaiming the starter’s role… The Monsters held a brief lead in Game 6 when Julian Talbot scored a power play goal 2:10 into the second period, but Sweatt tied it up only 1:33 later… Lake Erie has managed just that one goal in back-to-back losses since taking its 3-1 series lead with a 6-3 victory in Game 4… Ben Walter (3-2-5), who is tied with Justin Mercier (3-2-5) for the Lake Erie scoring lead, recorded a Game 7 hat trick back in 2007, leading Providence to a 5-4 win over Hartford… The Monsters have not lost three straight games in any fashion since a four-game skid (0-3-1-0) from Dec. 17-26… Manitoba is 1-2 all-time in Game 7’s but 0-2 on the road, losing at Grand Rapids in 2006 and at Hamilton in 2003… This is the Moose’s first appearance in a Game 7 since knocking off Grand Rapids in the 2007 division semifinals… Manitoba head coach Claude Noel was 2-1 in Game 7’s while coaching Milwaukee from 2003-07… Since 1997, teams scoring first in a Game 7 are 33-5… Road teams are 6-2 in AHL Game 7’s since 2009.


MORNING HEADLINES:

MOOSE HAS MOMENTUM, MONSTERS THE HOME ICE – Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Manitoba Moose, once seemingly packed for the off-season, have won two games in a row against the Monsters to force Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series. The veteran Moose have not allowed an even-strength goal – one total – in the past two games and finally have broken through on the power play. But the Monsters are at home for the winner-take-all, and they have not played to their capability even in their three victories. So who has the advantage when the first puck drops tonight at The Q?
http://bit.ly/eCZbKB

QUINN SAYS MONSTERS HAVE TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN GAME 7 – News-Herald
A hockey season that began 86 games and more than six months ago for the Lake Erie Monsters all boils down to 2-1/2 hours tonight at Quicken Loans Arena. The winner will face the Hamilton Bulldogs for the North crown. The loser heads home. If this game follows the pattern of the last five, it will be low-scoring and hard checking with the power play and penalty kill units of both teams playing key roles.
http://bit.ly/eCZbKB

THIS ONE’S TOO CLOSE TO CALL – Winnipeg Free Press
The Lake Erie Monsters opened a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven opening-round playoff series with the Manitoba Moose but the matchup has been so close, neither team has been able to get away from the other. And so now it’s a one-game affair. Game 7 of this Calder Cup set will be played tonight at Quicken Loans Arena with the winner emerging to meet the Hamilton Bulldogs in the second round.
http://bit.ly/gIKSGA

VOLPATTI NOW ELIGIBLE, BUT MIGHT NOT PLAY – Winnipeg Free Press
Reaching a seventh game tonight against the Lake Erie Monsters, the Manitoba Moose have earned one extra lineup option. Forward Aaron Volpatti has served his two-game suspension from the AHL and is eligible to play. Moose coach Claude Noel raised a few eyebrows Monday, saying he has not decided if the rookie winger will come back into the lineup. “We’ll see where that lies,” Noel said, making no promises.
http://bit.ly/eWiYHZ

GOOD NEWS FOR CANUCKS ALSO GOOD NEWS FOR MOOSE – Winnipeg Free Press
You could forgive the Manitoba Moose if they saw an outside influence poised to have a major influence on their playoff series with the Lake Erie Monsters. Manitoba’s parent team, the Vancouver Canucks, saw its goalie go down in the third period of Sunday’s Stanley Cup playoff game in Chicago. Cory Schneider was helped off the ice and it certainly looked like the NHL team might need a fill-in from the Moose, likely rookie Eddie Lack.
http://bit.ly/eBHXAS

MOOSE COACH, PLAYERS KNOW GAME 7’S WELL – Winnipeg Sun
Claude Noel has been here before and he’s got a good handle on what to expect – which is to expect the unexpected. The stage for Game 7 is like no other, as the winner moves on and the loser goes home. That’s where the opening round series between the Manitoba Moose and Lake Erie Monsters currently stands, going into Tuesday’s finale at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Either the curtain will fall on the Moose season or they’ll move on to face the Hamilton Bulldogs in the North Division final.
http://bit.ly/hMI4Ey

NOEL WAS NEVER WORRIED – Winnipeg Sun
Claude Noel insists he wasn’t feeling any angst when he saw Cory Schneider leave Sunday’s playoff game between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks with what looked to be a serious injury. As it turns out, Schneider was simply suffering from cramping (something he dealt with as a member of the Manitoba Moose during a first-round match-up against the Syracuse Crunch in Game 2 of the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs) and will be available for Tuesday’s seventh and deciding game at Rogers Arena.
http://bit.ly/ghMAye

VAN GUILDER’S OT GOAL SENDS ADMIRALS TO SECOND ROUND – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
So long, Texas. Hello, Houston. Mark Van Guilder scored a rebound goal with 9 minutes 18 seconds left in double overtime to lead the Milwaukee Admirals to a 3-2 victory over the Texas Stars on Monday at the Bradley Center. Milwaukee won the West Division best-of-seven semifinal series, 4-2, to advance to the second round for the second time in three years. The Admirals will host the Houston Aeros on Friday.
http://bit.ly/eIloQT

STARS FALL IN 2OT, ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFFS – ESPN.com Dallas
The Texas Stars’ season came to an end in Milwaukee Monday night. The Stars fell 3-2 in double overtime to the Milwaukee Admirals, who took the West Division Semifinals series 4-2. The Stars outshot the Admirals 18-7 in the two overtimes, but Mark Van Guilder’s goal at 10:42 of the second overtime was the game-winner for Milwaukee. Three of the last four games in the series went to overtime.
http://es.pn/eEJbPD

LATEST ROLE FOR TROPP IS ONE HE’S GLAD TO FILL – Portland Press-Herald
A little-used rookie can jump off the bench and score a series-changing overtime goal. A goalie could have a bad night and become a scapegoat. A player cast in one role in the regular season can fill another one in the spring. And while it takes a complete effort throughout the roster to produce team success, individual contributions can’t be overlooked. Enter Corey Tropp, a rookie right wing for the Portland Pirates.
http://bit.ly/dEiGH0

B-SENS’ LOCKE IS CLOSE TO RETURNING – Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
Not many people were happier than Corey Locke when the Binghamton Senators completed their rally for a first-round playoff series victory on Saturday night in Manchester. Locke, the American Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player and regular-season scoring champion, was sidelined by a shoulder injury for all seven games of that series and spent the past three weeks unsure if he would get another chance to play this season.
http://bit.ly/h5NKyq

LEHNER TO START GAME 1 FOR B-SENS – Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
After helping the Binghamton Senators to three straight overtime wins to close out their first-round playoff victory over the Manchester Monarchs, rookie goalie Robin Lehner has been named the starter for Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Finals against the Portland Pirates. “Robin Lehner will be the guy,” coach Kurt Kleinendorst said. “He stepped in, and he did a great job for us.”
http://bit.ly/hwL78z

BINGHAMTON PUTS WHAT ‘SHOULDN’T HAPPEN’ BEHIND IT – Ottawa Citizen
The Binghamton Senators are on the road again, making the long trip east to Maine. “We’ve got it at six-and-three-quarter hours, without stops,” Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst said Monday. “I don’t mind it. It really does bring the guys together. You don’t have those moments (in the NHL).” It also gives the Binghamton coaches and players more time to ponder one of the craziest, most tension-packed comebacks in AHL history.
http://bit.ly/dKzCH3

KINRADE MAKES MOST OF INCREASED TIME AS SENS ADVANCE ON PLAYOFF TRAIL – Nelson Daily
Rallying from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series is quite an accomplishment for any team. But winning all three of those games in overtime – four if you count an extra time victory in game two – definitely increases the ticks on the pacemaker. That’s just what happened to the Binghamton Senators as the Ottawa farm team ran the table – in overtime – to defeat the Manchester Monarchs 4-3 in the best-of-seven AHL Calder Cup series.
http://bit.ly/fskZur

FINDING A NEW WAY TO PROVE THEIR RESILIENCY – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
The best team in the American Hockey League just got even better. But only because the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had to. They started their first-round playoff series against Norfolk with two straight losses and ended it with four consecutive wins. And the whole process made them feel like even bigger winners than when they led the league with 58 victories during the regular season.
http://bit.ly/dHDVLt

CHECKERS BOAST POTENT ATTACK – Citizens’ Voice
The center was Riley Nash, a talented first-round draft pick out of Cornell who is considered one of the top prospects in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. The right wing was Jacob Micflikier, a slippery little scorer who finished in the top 20 in the AHL this season in goals (29) and points (61). And that was the fourth line for the Charlotte Checkers as they eliminated the Hershey Bears Sunday night. The fourth line.
http://bit.ly/eUtWii

DESPITE EARLY EXIT, BEARS SEASON A SUCCESS – Lebanon Daily News
It could be seen on everyone’s face Sunday night, the look of disbelief. Fans applauded Hershey after the Bears wrapped up their 2010-11 season with a 2-1 overtime loss to Charlotte at Giant Center. Players had blank expressions on their faces, not knowing what to feel. The Bears lost the East Division semifinal series 4-2 and were eliminated in the month of April for just the second time in the past six years.
http://bit.ly/hQ8g8m

BEARS LOST GRASP IN GAME 5 – Harrisburg Patriot-News
A six-goal run by the Charlotte Checkers defined and determined the East Division semifinals against the Hershey Bears. On the series ropes and trailing by three goals last Friday, the Checkers summoned six straight scores to turn the first-round collision their way. Five straight goals delivered a Game 5 comeback that gave them a 3-2 series lead instead of a 2-3 series deficit. The sixth gave them a quick leg up in what became a 2-1 overtime triumph in Game 6 Sunday that eliminated two-time defending Calder Cup champion Hershey.
http://bit.ly/hOxDoy

DESPITE SUCCESS, BARONS COULD SEE SEVERAL NEW FACES IN 2011-12 – Daily Oklahoman
Sunday night’s loss that eliminated the Oklahoma City Barons was a tough end to the team’s inaugural season. There was plenty of progress made that should mean a positive future. “It’s disappointing, but moving forward, I think this is a step in the right direction for the organization,” Barons coach Todd Nelson said. “I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the guys and the way they worked hard. It was a fun group to work with.”
http://bit.ly/fjUfjP

WILD JOURNEY CARRIES BEN SMITH TO GAME 7 – Rockford Register-Star
Ben Smith and his Rockford IceHogs team failed to make the 2011 AHL playoffs. But Smith and his Chicago Blackhawks squad are now trying to become a part of NHL playoff history. The 22-year-old rookie who spent nearly the entire regular season with the IceHogs has made the most of his postseason call-up, scoring the biggest goal of the season on Sunday for the Blackhawks, whose 4-3 OT victory forced Tuesday night’s Game 7 in Vancouver.
http://bit.ly/hZ9kVO


FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
In last night’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, 2008 AHL rookie of the year Teddy Purcell notched his first career NHL postseason goal, Steve Downie put up three points (1-2-3) and former AHL goaltender of the year Dwayne Roloson made 27 saves as Tampa Bay forced Game 7 with a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh… Jason Demers tallied a goal and Antti Niemi stopped 26 shots in San Jose’s 4-3 overtime victory at Los Angeles, sending the Sharks into the second round.


BY THE NUMBERS:
52 – Years since the last AHL Game 7 played in Cleveland, a 4-3 Barons loss to Hershey in the league semifinals on Apr. 12, 1959.

31 – Overtime saves made by Milwaukee goaltender Jeremy Smith in the Admirals’ wins in Game 5 and 6 of their first-round series vs. Texas.


ON THIS DATE:
April 26, 2009Greg Stewart scores for Hamilton nine seconds into the game, but Ville Leino goes on to record a goal and three assists as Grand Rapids eliminates the Bulldogs with a 4-1 win in Game 6.

April 26, 2005Derek Roy records two goals and an assist and Ryan Miller makes 28 saves as Rochester completes a four-game division semifinal sweep of Hamilton with a 5-4 victory.

April 26, 1996 – An AHL playoff record five overtime games are played on one day, including Cornwall’s 2-1 win over Albany to cap the second-biggest upset in Calder Cup Playoffs history… The Aces finished 35 points behind the defending champion River Rats in the regular season.

April 26, 1995 – Providence scores six times in the third period, including goals by Peter Laviolette and Sergei Zholtok, and defeats Portland, 6-3, in Game 7 of their first-round series.

April 26, 1983 – Jim Wiemer scores a double-overtime goal for the second straight night, giving Rochester a 2-1 win at New Haven and a 3-1 series lead.

April 26, 1962 – AHL Hall of Famer Jimmy Anderson’s goal 2:44 into overtime clinches Springfield’s 3-2 win over Buffalo and the Indians’ third consecutive Calder Cup championship, a feat yet to be duplicated.


AHL LIVE:
Don’t miss a step on the road to the 2011 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.