AHL Morning Skate: April 27

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 7 – CHICAGO 2, Milwaukee 1 (CHI wins series, 4-3)

1. Kevin Doell netted the eventual game-winning goal as Chicago pulled out a 2-1 win over Milwaukee in Game 7 to advance to the West Division Finals.

2. Admirals goaltender Mark Dekanich stopped 34 of 36 shots in the losing effort as Milwaukee was outshot 36-16 on the night.

3. Anthony Stewart began the Wolves’ scoring with his third goal of the playoffs in the first period.

Game 3 – Hershey at Albany, 7:00 (HER leads series, 2-0)
Game 7 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05 (Series tied, 3-3)

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Worcester Sharks vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Sun., Apr. 25 – WORCESTER 4, Manchester 3
Game 2 – Wed., Apr. 28 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 30 – Worcester at Manchester, 7:30
Game 4 – Sat., May 1 – Worcester at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 5 – Wed., May 5 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May 7 – Worcester at Manchester, 7:30
*Game 7 – Sat., May 8 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05

East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. E2-Albany River Rats
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 24 – HERSHEY 4, Albany 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 25 – HERSHEY 6, Albany 3
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Hershey at Albany, 7:00
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 29 – Hershey at Albany, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 1 – Albany at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 3 – Hershey at Albany, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 5 – Albany at Hershey, 7:00

North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. vs. RCH/ABB winner

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 29 – RCH/ABB at Hamilton, 7:00
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – RCH/ABB at Hamilton, 2:00

West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 30 – Texas at Chicago, 8:30
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
Game 4 – Wed., May 5 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
*Game 5 – Fri., May 7 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., May 9 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Texas at Chicago, 8:00

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 4, LOWELL 2
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Worcester 5, LOWELL 1

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 – MANCHESTER 2, Portland 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 20 – MANCHESTER 7, Portland 2

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 – HERSHEY 4, Bridgeport 1

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 5, W-B/SCRANTON 3

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 – MANITOBA 7, Hamilton 2
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Hamilton 5, MANITOBA 4 (2OT)
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 23 – MANITOBA 5, Hamilton 2
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 25 – HAMILTON 3, Manitoba 2 (OT)

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 8, ABBOTSFORD 4
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Rochester 6, ABBOTSFORD 1
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 23 – ABBOTSFORD 3, Rochester 1
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 25 – Abbotsford 5, ROCHESTER 1
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 1, MILWAUKEE 0
Game 5 – Wed., Apr. 21 – Milwaukee 5, CHICAGO 4
Game 6 – Fri., Apr. 23 – MILWAUKEE 5, Chicago 4 (OT)
Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 26 – CHICAGO 2, Milwaukee 1

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 6, ROCKFORD 1
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 23 – Texas 4, ROCKFORD 2

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 3 – Hershey at Albany, 7:00 (HER leads series, 2-0)
Trailing 2-0 in the East Division Finals, Albany hosts Hershey for a critical Game 3 tonight at the Times Union Center… The River Rats took a 3-2 third-period lead in both games on the road last weekend, but the Bears rallied to win by scores of 4-3 (in overtime) and 6-3… Hershey tallied three power-play goals in the third period of Game 2 on Sunday to spark its fourth third-period comeback of the postseason… Andrew Gordon and Alexandre Giroux each recorded two goals and an assist in Game 2, and Gordon notched two of the Bears’ three power-play goals while Giroux potted the other… Gordon (8-4-12) shows a team-high four goals and six points through the first two games of this series, and his eight playoff goals overall are tied with Giroux (8-6-14) for the AHL lead… Ashton Rome scored his first goal of the playoffs for Hershey in Game 2, and defenseman Karl Alzner (0-3-3) and forward Chris Bourque (0-2-2) combined for five assists, all of them occurring as part of Hershey’s third-period rally… Bears captain Bryan Helmer played in his 124th career Calder Cup Playoff contest in Game 2 to become the all-time AHL leader… AHL MVP and former Albany captain Keith Aucoin has registered a point in seven straight games (1-9-10) to begin the playoffs for Hershey… Albany rookie Drayson Bowman scored for the second consecutive game on Sunday, and the River Rats also got goals from rookie Zac Dalpe and Nick Dodge, the latter coming shorthanded early in the third period… Jerome Samson assisted on Dodge’s marker to extend his scoring streak to four games (4-1-5) since going scoreless in his first two postseason outings… Oskar Osala, a Calder Cup champion with the Bears in 2009, is looking for his first point of the series for Albany… The River Rats have scored 10 third-period goals this postseason while combining for 10 goals in all other periods.

Game 7 – Abbotsford at Rochester, 7:05 (Series tied, 3-3)
The first round of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs comes to a close tonight when Rochester hosts Abbotsford in Game 7 of their North Division semifinal… The winner will advance to take on Hamilton in the division finals beginning Thursday… Abbotsford rallied to force this winner-take-all contest after trailing in the series, 3-1… Rochester outscored the Heat 18-6 in winning Games 2-4 of the series, but Abbotsford came back to win Games 5 and 6 by a combined score of 8-2, most recently a 5-1 decision in Rochester on Sunday… Jon Rheault paced the Heat with a hat trick in Game 6, and he now shows five goals (5-1-6) in six playoff games after totaling eight goals (8-8-16) in 68 career AHL regular-season games entering the postseason… Appearing in just his second game of the series, Jason Jaffray netted his first playoff goal on Sunday, and David Van der Gulik found the back of the net for a second consecutive game… Brett Sutter (0-3-3) and Mikael Backlund (0-2-2) each posted multiple assists in the Game 6 victory; Sutter paces the Heat with seven points (2-5-7) in the series, while Backlund’s six points (1-5-6) are tied with Rheault for second on the club… David Shantz surrendered six goals on 22 shots in a 6-1 loss in Game 4 on Apr. 21, but the former Amerk has responded to stop 38 of 40 shots (.950) over the last two contests… Jamie Johnson tallied Rochester’s lone goal in Game 6, his second of the series… Mike York picked up an assist and has now registered a point in all six games thus far (2-10-12); York’s 10 assists lead all AHL scorers, and his 12 points are tied for second… The Blue Cross Arena has not hosted a Game 7 since 1997, a 6-2 Rochester loss to Albany… The Americans are 8-2 all-time in Game 7’s, tied with Hershey (8-8) for the most Game 7 wins all-time… Only three teams in AHL history (Maine in 1983 vs. Nova Scotia, Portland in 1996 vs. Saint John, Providence in 2007 vs. Hartford) have won Games 6 and 7 of a series on the road, but none of them had been down three games to one… After Chicago’s win last night, home teams are 43-33 in AHL Game 7’s all-time, including a 13-3 mark since 2006… Since 1997, the team scoring first in a Calder Cup Playoff Game 7 is 31-3.

AMERKS READY FOR GAME 7 – Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Monday should have been a day for the Rochester Americans to do absolutely nothing. The only two items on the agenda could have been waking up, followed by deciding when to go back to bed. Ah, but that all changed on Sunday with a 5-1 loss in Game 6 of the first-round Calder Cup playoff series. The Amerks again forgot to play the first period against the Abbotsford Heat.

When Jon Rheault joined the Abbotsford Heat in late March, his major point of distinction was the fabulous mane of hockey hair flowing out the back of his helmet. Otherwise, he was just the latest entry in a conga line of call-ups trying to plug a hole in the Heat’s injury-riddled forward corps. After Sunday’s playoff clash with the Rochester Americans, Rheault’s status has been officially upgraded from “guy with groovy hair” to “playoff hero.”

Normally, the Wolves wouldn’t be proud of scoring two goals in a home game in which they enjoyed a 36-16 advantage in shots on goal. But when those two goals enabled them to defeat the Milwaukee Admirals 2-1 in Game 7 of their West Division semifinal Monday night, it was time for the Allstate Arena crowd to celebrate. The Wolves will play the Texas Stars in the West Division final.

The Milwaukee Admirals’ shot at history ended because they didn’t have enough of them. Fourth-seeded Milwaukee had just 16 shots in a 2-1 loss to top-seeded Chicago in Game 7 of the West Division semifinals on Monday. Milwaukee was hoping to rally from a 3-1 playoff series deficit for the first time ever but watched Chicago score the first two goals and hang on.

During their 22-game run to the Calder Cup in 2009, the Hershey Bears used nine defensemen. They’ve already used 10 in these playoffs. And they’re not even out of the second round. The blue line, already missing recalled John Carlson, is where the Bears could least afford attrition. That’s exactly where they’ve been hit the hardest.

All six games the Albany River Rats have played so far in these American Hockey League playoffs have been tied in the third period. The Rats won all four against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the opening round but have lost twice to the Hershey Bears in the quarterfinals. “It’s a fine line,” Rats coach Jeff Daniels said Monday. Yet if you’re on the wrong side of that line, changes must be made.

The Albany River Rats look to be in desperation mode tonight. After dropping the first two games of their East Division final series at Hershey, they don’t have to be reminded about the gravity of their situation. With the Bears carrying a 2-0 series lead into Game 3 tonight at Times Union Center at 7, the Rats don’t face a must-win situation in a literal sense — but it’s pretty close.

No one on the Hamilton Bulldogs would confirm if head coach Guy Boucher happened to be humming an old Olivia Newton John tune Sunday, but even he’ll admit he did tell his team: Let’s get physical. “We’ve added a new aspect to our game,” said Boucher, after the Bulldogs hammered the Manitoba Moose from pillar to goalpost and beat them 3-2 in overtime Sunday to win their best-of-seven North Division semi-final in six games.

On the day after the night before, Scott Arniel was no less shocked or disappointed the Manitoba Moose season had come to a premature end with a gut-wrenching 3-2 overtime loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Upon further review, Arniel thought the somewhat controversial series-clinching goal should have counted. “I’m not going to cry sour grapes here, it wasn’t a kick,” Arniel said.

In the end, the problem was the same as it was in the beginning. And that problem boiled down to this: The 2009-10 edition of the Manitoba Moose was simply not good enough. That they got as far as they did was, in retrospect, more testimony to the brilliance of their goaltending and coaching than it was to the team itself.

Great, now the Montreal Canadiens recall P.K. Subban. Why couldn’t this have happened, say, just before Subban’s Hamilton Bulldogs took on the Manitoba Moose in their first-round AHL playoff series, a series that ended cruelly for the Moose with an overtime loss in Hamilton, Sunday? Subban was a Moose killer, logging huge ice time and leading all players with nine points.

P.K. Subban has never before been to Washington, D.C. But he’ll be in the U.S. national capital later today with the Canadiens, preparing for the team’s seventh playoff game that few ever expected. “Who knows? Maybe Obama will show up,” Subban said of the U.S. president through a grin last night, having made a smooth, at times flashy NHL postseason debut in the Canadiens’ 4-1 Game 6 victory.

The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have produced some of the NHL’s best young talent in recent seasons. In both cases, however, the club’s most significant call-up was a coach. Bruce Boudreau has transformed the Capitals into the league’s highest-scoring team. Meanwhile, energetic Dan Bylsma swapped bus rides through the American Hockey League for a Stanley Cup run last spring in Pittsburgh.

Now that Jacques Lemaire, whose first tenure in New Jersey from 1993-94 through 1997-98 established the foundation of excellence that would follow on the banks of the Hudson, has announced his retirement just one year into his encore, Lou Lamoriello should reach into a winning organization for the Devils’ next head coach – his own.

In Monday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, 2005 AHL All-Star and goal-scoring champion Mike Cammalleri netted a pair of goals as Montreal forced Game 7 in its opening-round series with a 4-1 win over Washington… First Team AHL All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, who has a team-leading nine points (3-6-9) in six Calder Cup Playoff games for Hamilton, posted an assist in his NHL playoff debut for the Canadiens… David Krejci scored twice and added an assist to help Boston advance to the second round courtesy of a 4-3 victory over Buffalo… 2005 Calder Cup champion Patrick Sharp had three points (1-2-3) and Antti Niemi made 25 saves to backstop Chicago to a series-clinching 5-3 win at Nashville.

5 – Teams in AHL history who won a Game 7 on the road after trailing a series 3-1, most recently Cincinnati over Milwaukee in the 2005 West Division semifinals… Abbotsford is looking to join the list in tonight’s decisive Game 7 at Rochester.

7 – Wins this postseason by teams trailing after two periods… Hershey (2-1) and Worcester (2-1) both sport winning records when facing a deficit through 40 minutes.

April 27, 2009Maxim Noreau scores the winning goal midway through the third period and Houston outlasts Peoria, 5-2, in Game 7 of their West Division semifinal.

April 27, 2008Josh Tordjman’s 38-save shutout backs San Antonio’s 3-0 victory in Toronto to force a Game 7 in their division semifinal series.

April 27, 1997
Manny Legace makes 35 saves and Kevin Brown scores 10:20 into overtime as Springfield defeats Portland, 1-0, in a winner-take-all Game 5, capping a comeback from an 0-2 series deficit.

April 27, 1974 – Hershey opens the Calder Cup Finals with a 4-3 win over the Providence Reds behind Jim Pearson’s goal 1:43 into overtime.

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