AHL Morning Skate: April 27, 2023

Photo: Christian Bonin/TSGphoto.com


A1-Providence Bruins vs. A5-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 1 – Friday, 7:05 ET,

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Hartford at Providence, 7:05
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Hartford at Providence, 7:05
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Providence at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Providence at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern

A2-Hershey Bears vs. A3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Friday, 7:00 ET,

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Hershey at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Hershey at Charlotte, 6:00
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 - Thu., May 4 - Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Charlotte at Hershey, 5:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N4-Utica Comets
Game 1 – Tonight, 7:00 ET,

Game 1 - Thu., Apr. 27 - Utica at Toronto, 7:00
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Utica at Toronto, 4:00
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Toronto at Utica, 7:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Toronto at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Utica at Toronto, 4:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

The Toronto Marlies begin their postseason tonight as they host Utica in Game 1 of a best-of-five North Division semifinal series... The Marlies won the franchise’s seventh division title in 2022-23, but closed out the regular season on a 2-8-2-1 slide over their last 13 games, including four shutout losses... The Comets won their last two regular-season games to secure the fourth seed in the division, and then swept Laval in a best-of-three first-round series... Toronto won five of the six games between these teams in 2022-23, but dropped a 5-0 decision in their last meeting on Apr. 7... The Marlies were led in scoring during the regular season by their captain Logan Shaw (21-48-69), one of 11 skaters to reach double digits in goals for Toronto... Utica captain Ryan Schmelzer and defenseman Reilly Walsh each scored twice in the first round vs. Laval... Samuel Laberge scored the series-clinching goal for the Comets in overtime of Game 2; his only previous Calder Cup Playoff goal was also an OT winner, with Texas in 2018... Nico Daws, who posted a .926 save percentage in four starts against the Marlies in the regular season, stopped 58 of 59 shots (2-0, 0.50, .983) in the first round... Toronto ranked second in the AHL on the power play during the regular season (23.6 percent); Utica ranked 31st (15.8 percent) before going 0-for-4 in their two games vs. Laval... The Marlies have won seven consecutive Game 1’s since their last loss in 2017 (vs. Syracuse).

N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 3 – Friday, 7:05 ET,
(Syracuse leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – SYRACUSE 3, Rochester 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – SYRACUSE 3, Rochester 0 | Recap
Game 3 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Syracuse at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 4 - Sun., Apr. 30 - Syracuse at Rochester, 3:05
*Game 5 - Sat., May 6 - Rochester at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

C1-Texas Stars vs. C5-Rockford IceHogs
Game 1 – Friday, 8:00 ET,

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Texas at Rockford, 8:00
Game 2 - Sun., Apr. 30 - Texas at Rockford, 5:00
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*Game 5 - Sat., May 6 - Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

C2-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C3-Manitoba Moose
Game 1 – Friday, 8:00 ET,

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Milwaukee at Manitoba, 8:00
Game 2 - Sun., Apr. 30 - Milwaukee at Manitoba, 3:00
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Manitoba at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Manitoba at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 - Sat., May 6 - Manitoba at Milwaukee, 7:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

P1-Calgary Wranglers vs. P4-Abbotsford Canucks
Game 2 – Friday, 9:00 ET,
(Calgary leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 - Wed., Apr. 26 - CALGARY 3, Abbotsford 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Abbotsford at Calgary, 9:00
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. P3-Colorado Eagles
Game 2 – Tonight, 9:05 ET,
(Coachella Valley leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Coachella Valley 6, COLORADO 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 27 – Coachella Valley at Colorado, 9:05
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 6:00
*Game 4 – Wed., May 3 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 5 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Coachella Valley jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with a 6-2 win at Colorado last night; the teams go back at it in Game 2 this evening... Eddie Wittchow (2-0-2), who scored four goals in 56 regular-season games for the Firebirds, registered the first two-goal game of his AHL career in the win... Former Eagle Max McCormick (3-4-7) added a goal and two assists, and Jeremy McKenna (1-3-4) set up two goals... Joey Daccord (3-1, 2.02, .939) made 25 saves for Coachella Valley... The Firebirds were without Tye Kartye for the first time all season; Kartye was 50 miles down the road in Denver, scoring a goal in his NHL debut for the Seattle Kraken... Mikhail Maltsev (2-0-2) scored both Colorado goals in Game 1, giving him four goals in four games vs. the Firebirds this season... Justus Annunen (2-1, 3.87, .886) made 33 saves in just his second regulation loss on home ice this season (13-2-5)... Coachella Valley has scored 19 goals over its first four playoff games, with 10 different skaters finding the net... Colorado was 0-for-1 on the power play in Game 1, its first failed opportunity of the postseason (3-for-4, 75.0 percent).

Tonight is a fresh start for the North Division regular-season champion Toronto Marlies.

Utica comes calling in Game 1 of the teams’ division semifinal series tonight at Coca-Cola Coliseum, 11 days after the Marlies concluded their regular season on a positive note with a 7-2 rout of visiting Belleville.

But that win came after a month-long slide in which Toronto went 1-8-2-1 between Mar. 17 and Apr. 15.

With the lengthy break that came with earning a first-round bye, the Marlies have been able to put some distance between themselves and that difficult path to the end of the regular season. Toronto took some time off before slowly ramping up the practice intensity.

“Throughout the week we’ve been trending in the right direction with our intensity, our energy, our spirit,” Marlies head coach Greg Moore said to the team website. “We don’t want to ease our way into the game.”

Marlies captain Logan Shaw has seen that pace in practice as the Marlies prepared for Utica. The Comets arrived in Toronto on their own upbeat note after sweeping Laval in a best-of-three first-round match-up.

“I thought from the first couple of days, we kind of started slow,” Shaw told the team website on Wednesday. “The last five days we amped it up. Everyone’s competing. I think it’s been an awesome atmosphere.

“It’s a playoff-like atmosphere right now. I’m happy with how we’ve been working, how we’ve been practicing.”

Shaw is in his 10th pro season, and has played nearly 250 games in the NHL — including 15 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But he admits that he will still have nerves stepping on the ice tonight.

“It’s okay to have the butterflies,” Shaw said. “This is 10 years for me, and I’m still going to have the butterflies. It’s a good thing. It means you care. It means you want to win.”

― Patrick Williams

In action around the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, 2022-23 AHL Rookie of the Year Tye Kartye scored a goal in his NHL debut and 2019 Calder Cup champion Morgan Geekie picked up a goal as well as Seattle defeated Colorado, 3-2, to take a 3-2 series lead... Carter Verhaeghe recorded three assists and Florida staved off elimination with a 4-3 overtime victory at Boston.

Watch the Calder Cup Playoffs on AHLTV
Don’t miss a second on the road to the 2023 Calder Cup championship. AHLTV features live streaming of every AHL game in high definition on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices, as well as OTT platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. A subscription is just $29.99 for the entire postseason, or just $8.99 for a day pass. Visit AHLTV.com for details.