AHL Morning Skate: Bulldogs, Monarchs on the verge

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.

Game 5 – HAMILTON 3, Manitoba 1 (HAM leads, 3-2)

1. Corey Locke sets up a pair of goals as Hamilton takes the pivotal Game 5 from Manitoba.

2. Brandon Reid’s first goal since Mar. 27 provides the Moose with their only offense on Sunday.

3. Carey Price gets back in the win column with a 36-save performance for the Bulldogs.

Game 6 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05 (MCH leads, 3-2)
Game 6 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30 (HAM leads, 3-2)

Atlantic Division Final – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Manchester Monarchs vs. A3-Providence Bruins || Preview
Game 1 – Tue., May 1 – Providence 6, MANCHESTER 3
Game 2 – Wed., May 2 – MANCHESTER 4, Providence 1
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – PROVIDENCE 2, Manchester 1
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – Manchester 3, PROVIDENCE 2
Game 5 – Sat., May 12 – MANCHESTER 4, Providence 3
Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 16 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

East Division Final – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. E2-W-B/Scranton Penguins || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., May 2 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3
Game 2 – Fri., May 4 – HERSHEY 4, W-B/Scranton 3 (2OT)
Game 3 – Sat., May 5 – Hershey 2, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Hershey 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 11 – HERSHEY 7, W-B/Scranton 6 (OT)

North Division Final – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs || Preview
Game 1 – Sat., May 5 – Hamilton 2, MANITOBA 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 6 – Hamilton 3, MANITOBA 2
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – Manitoba 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 4 – Sat., May 12 – Manitoba 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 5 – Sun., May 13 – HAMILTON 3, Manitoba 1
Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 16 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30

West Division Final – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W2-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Iowa Stars || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., May 2 – CHICAGO 7, Iowa 0
Game 2 – Fri., May 4 – Iowa 5, CHICAGO 4
Game 3 – Sun., May 6 – Chicago 5, IOWA 3
Game 4 – Tue., May 8 – Chicago 6, IOWA 1
Game 5 – Thu., May 10 – IOWA 5, Chicago 1
Game 6 – Sat., May 12 – CHICAGO 5, Iowa 1

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 6 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05 (MCH leads, 3-2)
Patrick O’Sullivan recorded two goals and an assist to lead Manchester to a 4-3 win in Game 5 on Saturday and move the Monarchs to the brink of a trip to the Eastern Conference Final… O’Sullivan is tied for the league lead with seven goals this postseason, and has four goals and three assists in the first five games vs. Providence… Monarchs teammate Marty Murray also has seven points (4g, 3a) to go with a plus-7 rating this series… Jason LaBarbera has won the last two games in net for Manchester, but still shows a 3.58 GAA and .891 save percentage in the series… David Krejci scored a goal for the Bruins in Game 5, and continues to lead all AHL rookies with 15 postseason points (3g, 12a)… Providence successfully rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to eliminate Hartford in the first round… The B’s are 19-11 all-time when facing elimination; the Monarchs are 1-6 with a chance to win a series… Regardless of the opponent, Hershey will open the Eastern Conference Final at home on Saturday and Sunday.

Game 6 – Hamilton at Manitoba, 8:30 (HAM leads, 3-2)
Defensemen Dan Jancevski and Mathieu Biron each scored to help Hamilton regain the lead in the North Division Final with a 3-1 win over Manitoba in Game 5 yesterday afternoon… The teams now head to Winnipeg for tonight’s Game 6, their third game in as many nights… The Bulldogs, who have already won twice at the MTS Centre in the series, are looking to advance to the conference finals for the fourth time in the franchise’s 11 seasons and the first time since 2003… Corey Locke has a point in eight of his last nine outings for Hamilton (6g, 7a)… Moose blueliner Yannick Tremblay leads all scorers with six points in the series, including an assist on Brandon Reid’s goal in Game 5… Drew MacIntyre stopped 25 of 27 shots yesterday but still dropped to 0-3 in the series… Jason Jaffray has nine points (4g, 5a) in six home games this postseason… Manitoba is looking to duplicate its first-round performance vs. Grand Rapids, when it won Games 6 and 7 at home to eliminate the Griffins… The Bulldogs are 13-10 all-time with a chance to close out a series; the Moose are 8-4 when facing Calder Cup Playoff elimination… A Hamilton win tonight sends the Bulldogs to Chicago for Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Friday.


Tim Campbell, Winnipeg Free Press

If their nerves aren’t shot, they may never be. The Manitoba Moose and Hamilton Bulldogs just keep on playing one-goal games and Sunday afternoon’s razor-thin margin went to the Bulldogs, who have grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven AHL North Division final. Hamilton gets two chances to advance, but must do it in Winnipeg, the site of tonight’s Game 6 at MTS Centre. “This is what makes it fun,” said Hamilton’s 6-foot-6 defenceman Mathieu Biron, whose third-period goal stood up as the winner in Game 5. “It’s such a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, a win is a win. But a little drama, that’s what makes it a little sweeter.” … Link

Kevin Provencher, New Hampshire Union Leader

You would have to believe Bruce Boudreau is eagerly awaiting his final helping of revenge. The Manchester Monarchs’ first coach, Boudreau was fired by the Los Angeles Kings at the end of the 2005 season for not pushing Manchester past the first round of the AHL postseason in his four years here behind the bench. The year after his sacking, Boudreau not only led the Washington Capitals affiliate Hershey Bears beyond the first round of the AHL playoffs, they won the league’s Calder Cup. Friday night, Boudreau’s Bears captured the East Division title with a 7-6 overtime victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game 5. Now they wait for a best-of-seven Eastern Conference championship series where they will face the winner of the ongoing Manchester Monarchs-Providence Bruins Atlantic Division finals series. … Link

Mike Fornabaio, Connecticut Post

There’s the Jack Capuano story about Bernie Cassell’s cell phone. Cassell – he’s now Capuano’s assistant coach with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers – had an old cell phone this past season, huge and heavy, like a brick. “He used to call me Zack Morris from ‘Saved by the Bell,’” Cassell said. “He met my good buddy from back home, and it didn’t take long for that story to come up.” Team president Howard Saffan had to laugh about some of the surnames that came out of Capuano’s mouth. “Jack is famous throughout the locker room for butchering last names,” Saffan said. “He couldn’t tell you somebody’s last name if it could save his life. (Kyle) Okposo to him is Accaposo. It goes on and on.” But all those Cappy stories come coupled with admiration for the coach, for the personality, for the man, who on April 30 became Bridgeport’s fifth coach. … Link

Corey Perry
had a pair of assists and 1998 Calder Cup finalist J.S. Giguere made 24 saves as Anaheim earned a 4-3 overtime win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final in Detroit last night.

11 – Different series all-time in which Providence has won at least one game when facing elimination… The Bruins are on the brink again tonight, hosting Manchester in Game 6 of the Atlantic Division Final.

Year, Opponent Elimination Games Won Series Result
2007 vs. Hartford 2 W, 4-3
2006 vs. Portland 2 L, 2-4
2005 vs. Philadelphia 1 L, 2-4
2003 vs. Manitoba 1 L, 1-3
2001 vs. Saint John 1 L, 1-4
2001 vs. Worcester 2 W, 4-3
2001 vs. Hartford 3 W, 3-2
1997 vs. Springfield 1 L, 1-4
1997 vs. Worcester 3 W, 3-2
1995 vs. Albany 2 L, 2-4
1995 vs. Portland 1 W, 4-3

May 14, 2006Pierre Parenteau scores 3:06 into overtime as Portland advances to the Eastern Conference Final with a 5-4 win over Hartford in Game 6.

May 14, 2004Mathieu Darche scores at 15:54 of the second OT, sending Milwaukee to the Western Conference championship series with a 4-3 win at Chicago.

May 14, 1997 – Hershey and Albany advance to their respective conference finals with Game 7 wins on road, the Bears defeating Philadelphia and the River Rats ousting Rochester.

May 14, 1996Scott Walker records a goal and two assists as Syracuse reaches the Western Conference Final with a 5-4 victory in Game 7 at Baltimore.

May 14, 1993 – Rochester scores six goals in the third period and staves off elimination with a 7-5 win over Binghamton in Game 6.

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