AHL Morning Skate: April 30, 2023


A1-Providence Bruins vs. A5-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 3 – Wednesday, 7:00 ET,
(Hartford leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Hartford 1, PROVIDENCE 0 | Recap
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Hartford 2, PROVIDENCE 1 | Recap
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 3 – Wednesday, 7:00 ET,
(Hershey leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Hershey 5, CHARLOTTE 2 | Recap
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Hershey 5, CHARLOTTE 1 | Recap
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 3 – Wednesday, 7:00 ET,
(Series tied, 1-1)

Game 1 - Thu., Apr. 27 - TORONTO 6, Utica 5 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Utica 7, TORONTO 2 | Recap
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

N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 4 – Today, 3:05 ET,
(Syracuse leads series, 2-1)

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 - ROCHESTER 8, Syracuse 5 | Recap
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

Syracuse gets another crack at closing out its North Division semifinal series in Game 4 at Rochester this afternoon... The Amerks scored five times in the third period of Game 3 on Friday to stave off elimination with an 8-5 victory... Michael Mersch (3-1-4) scored three goals for Rochester in the win, becoming the first Amerk to record a playoff hat trick on home ice since Jason Pominville (May 8, 2004)... Brett Murray (1-2-3) added a goal and two assists, and Jiri Kulich (1-0-1), making his playoff debut, scored the go-ahead goal with 4:39 remaining... Isak Rosen (1-1-2) and Mason Jobst (1-1-2) had a goal and an assist apiece in Game 3... Alex Barré-Boulet (1-6-7) recorded four assists and five points in the loss, both Crunch franchise records for a single playoff game... Simon Ryfors (3-2-5) notched a hat trick for Syracuse, less than three weeks after he had a four-goal game vs. Utica on Apr. 12... Gage Goncalves (3-2-5) added a goal and two assists for the Crunch... Both teams are 3-for-11 on the power play (27.3 percent) in the series.

C1-Texas Stars vs. C5-Rockford IceHogs
Game 2 – Today, 5:00 ET,
(Texas leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Texas 5, ROCKFORD 3 | Recap
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

After pulling out a 5-3 victory in Game 1 on Friday night, Texas can deal another blow to Rockford at BMO Center this evening before their Central Division semifinal heads to Cedar Park for the final three games... The Stars grabbed the 1-0 series lead thanks to Nick Caamano’s tiebreaking goal with 3:38 to play in Game 1... Marian Studenic added a pair of goals, while Ryan Shea and Oskar Back each chipped in two assists for Texas... Shea and Alex Petrovic, who finished 1-2 in the AHL in plus/minus during the regular season, were each a plus-4 in Game 1... Matt Murray stopped 25 shots to earn his first career postseason win... Joey Anderson, D.J. Busdeker and Bobby Lynch all scored their first career playoff goals for Rockford in Game 1... Anderson’s goal was also his first as an IceHog, and the first postseason point of his five-year pro career... Alex Vlasic (0-4-4) notched two assists on Friday night and now leads Rockford in playoff scoring... Arvid Soderblom (2-1, 2.91, .909) made 35 saves on 39 shots in the Game 1 loss.

C2-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C3-Manitoba Moose
Game 2 – Today, 3:00 ET,
(Milwaukee leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Milwaukee 6, MANITOBA 2 | Recap
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

Manitoba hosts Milwaukee in Game 2 of their Central Division semifinal series this afternoon in Winnipeg... The Admirals scored three quick goals on Friday night and grabbed Game 1 by a 6-2 score... Milwaukee’s Game 1 lineup included seven players who had finished the regular season in the NHL with Nashville, including Luke Evangelista (0-2-2), Mark Jankowski (0-2-2), Zach Sanford (1-0-1), Michael McCarron (0-1-1) and Kiefer Sherwood (0-1-1), who all found the scoresheet in the win... Evangelista now has 12 points — all assists — in nine games against Manitoba this season... Yaroslav Askarov made 35 saves in his Calder Cup Playoff debut, including stopping all 18 shots he faced in the third period... Jansen Harkins and Daniel Torgersson scored for Manitoba... Harkins’ goal was the first of his career in the Calder Cup Playoffs; he scored in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut with Winnipeg in 2020... With Arvid Holm and Oskari Salminen not returning to the Moose until earlier in the day from the parent Jets, Evan Cormier started Game 1 and allowed three goals on seven shots before Holm relieved him 8:26 into the first... Milwaukee went 2-for-3 on the power play in Game 1, while killing off all four Moose opportunities.

P1-Calgary Wranglers vs. P4-Abbotsford Canucks
Game 3 – Wednesday, 10:00 ET,
(Calgary leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Wed., Apr. 26 - CALGARY 3, Abbotsford 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 - Fri., Apr. 28 - CALGARY 4, Abbotsford 3 (OT) | Recap
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 3 – Today, 6:00 ET,
(Series tied, 1-1)

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Coachella Valley 6, COLORADO 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 27 – COLORADO 3, Coachella Valley 2 | Recap
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

The Firebirds and Eagles head to the desert for Game 3 of their Pacific Division semifinal series today at Acrisure Arena... Colorado earned a split of the first two games back in Loveland with a 3-2 win on Thursday night... Mikhail Maltsev (3-0-3) scored the winning goal with 4:00 to play, his third goal of the series and his fifth in five games against Coachella Valley this season... Cedric Paré (4-2-6) scored a shorthanded goal for Colorado in Game 2, and Josh Jacobs (1-2-3) tied the game at 2-2 with a goal at 19:57 of the second period... With his three points, Jacobs has already surpassed his offensive total (1-1-2) in 18 games with Chicago last postseason... Jonas Johansson made the first Calder Cup Playoff appearance of his career in Game 2 and stopped 21 shots to earn the win... Ryker Evans (1-6-7) and Luke Henman (1-0-1) scored for the Firebirds, while Joey Daccord (3-2, 2.22, .935) stopped 35 of 38 shots... After the Firebirds and Eagles play their pivotal Game 3, their parent clubs — the Seattle Kraken and Colorado Avalanche — will be squaring off later tonight in a Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7 in Denver.

Coming into the Calder Cup Playoffs this spring, the Texas Stars had not won a postseason game since June 12, 2018, when they beat Toronto to force a Game 7 of the Calder Cup Finals.

Much like that 2018 club, this year’s Stars are a well-structured group that never stops battling. On Friday night, in their 2023 postseason opener, Texas fell behind Rockford 3-2 early in the third period but kept pushing. Scott Reedy, an NHL trade deadline acquisition from San Jose, evened the game with 12:44 to play. Then Nick Caamano, whose season was delayed more than three months by injury, followed with 3:38 to go to put the Stars ahead to stay.

Head coach Neil Graham was pleased with how his club handled a 12-day break following its regular-season finale April 16.

“It was an important win,” Graham said via the team at practice on Saturday. “Any time you can steal a game in your opponent’s building, especially Game 1, it’s an important start for our group.”

For the 24-year-old Caamano, it has been a long road back. He had played a combined 36 games for the parent Dallas Stars in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons and shown signs that he could break into the NHL club’s lineup on full-time basis.

Caamano made his 2022-23 debut on Jan. 22 and finished with two goals and nine assists in 29 games with Texas. He called Friday’s game-winning goal “extra-rewarding.”

“You put in those countless hours of rehab that no one really sees,” Caamano said, “so it’s kind of nice that it’s paying off. [We] just want to keep it rolling.”

The Central Division champion Stars elected to begin this series with two games in Rockford before taking it back to Cedar Park for as many as three games. Grabbing the Game 1 win puts the IceHogs in a difficult position going into Game 2 this afternoon at BMO Center.

“We did our jobs,” Graham said. “We liked a lot of our game. There are a couple areas we wanted to address and clean up, and now it’s about trying to regroup and stay present for Game 2. Whether it’s in our building or your opponent’s building, you’ve got to play the game in front of you.”

Milwaukee Admirals defenseman Jordan Gross has shown before that he can key an offense.

Gross, after all, won the Eddie Shore Award last season with the Colorado Eagles before coming to the Nashville Predators organization as an offseason signing. Gross produced an eye-popping 55 assists and 65 points in 61 games with the Eagles in 2021-22; this season in Milwaukee he had 38 points (10 goals, 28 assists) in 53 games to go with three goals in 15 games on recall to Nashville.

Gross showed some of that potency Friday night in Game 1 of the Admirals’ Central Division semifinal series at Manitoba. With Milwaukee holding a 3-1 lead, Gross scored two goals and assisted on an Austin Rueschhoff tally, all in a span of 4:08 as the Admirals blew the game open and went on to a 6-2 win. Now they have a chance to put the Moose in a real bind this afternoon in Game 2 before the series shifts to Milwaukee.

The Admirals had the AHL’s top power play in the regular season at 24.6 percent and went 2-for-3 in Game 1, including Gross’s 5-on-3 tally. They had seven power-play shots as well.

“We have a lot of skill on both units,” Gross said via the Admirals website after practice Saturday at Canada Life Centre. “I think just the shoot-first mentality and getting the rebounds, getting the recoveries back, the quick attacks... I think that’s been a big focus for us.”

― Patrick Williams

In action around the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, Klim Kostin scored two goals and assisted on Kailer Yamamoto’s game-winner with 3:03 to play, sending Edmonton to a series-clinching 5-4 win over Los Angeles... Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves as Toronto defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1 in overtime, to eliminate the Lightning in Game 6... Chris Kreider tallied a goal and two assists and Braden Schneider scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal as the N.Y. Rangers defeated New Jersey, 5-2.

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.