AHL Morning Skate: Game 2 in Hartford tonight

AHL Quick Hits is now the Morning Skate… 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.


HARTFORD 3, Portland 1 (HFD leads, 1-0)

PROVIDENCE 3, Manchester 2 (OT) (PRO leads, 1-0)

W-B/Scranton 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT) (WBS leads, 1-0

ALBANY 4, Philadelphia 0 (ALB leads, 1-0)

TORONTO 4, San Antonio 3 (TOR leads, 1-0)

Milwaukee 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT) (MIL leads, 1-0)


1. Josh Langfeld netted a hat trick, including a pair of third-period goals to tie the game, and assisted on the overtime winner in Milwaukee’s 4-3 victory at Chicago in Game 1.

2. “Baz” Bastien Award winner Michael Leighton posted a 39-save shutout to backstop Albany past Philadelphia, 4-0, in Game 1 of their series at the Times Union Center.

3. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored a pair of goals against his former team as Hartford rallied for a 3-1 win over Portland to begin their Atlantic Division Semifinal.


Game 2 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00 (HFD leads, 1-0)

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “A” (best-of-7)
A1-Providence Bruins vs. A4-Manchester Monarchs || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – PROVIDENCE 3, Manchester 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05
Game 4 – Mon., Apr. 21 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Manchester at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Providence at Manchester, 7:05

Atlantic Division Semifinal – Series “B” (best-of-7)
A2-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. A3-Portland Pirates || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – HARTFORD 3, Portland 1
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 17 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Hartford at Portland, 7:05
Game 4 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Hartford at Portland, 6:05
*Game 5 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 6 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Hartford at Portland, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00

East Division Semifinal – Series “C” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E4-Hershey Bears || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – W-B/Scranton 2, HERSHEY 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 5:05
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – W-B/Scranton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., Apr. 27 – Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 5:05

East Division Semifinal – Series “D” (best-of-7)
E2-Philadelphia Phantoms vs. E3-Albany River Rats || Preview

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – ALBANY 4, Philadelphia 0
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Albany at Philadelphia, 7:05 (WC)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Albany at Philadelphia, 5:05 (WC)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00
*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Philadelphia at Albany, 7:00
*Game 6 – TBA – Albany at Philadelphia (WC)
*Game 7 – TBA – Albany at Philadelphia (WC)

     (WC) at Wachovia Center, Philadelphia


North Division Semifinal – Series “E” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. W5-San Antonio Rampage || Preview
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – TORONTO 4, San Antonio 3
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30
Game 3 – TBA – Toronto at San Antonio
Game 4 – TBA – Toronto at San Antonio
*Game 5 – TBA – Toronto at San Antonio
*Game 6 – TBA – San Antonio at Toronto
*Game 7 – TBA – San Antonio at Toronto

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Manitoba Moose || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:30
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Syracuse at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 6 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00
*Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 29 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “G” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W4-Milwaukee Admirals || Preview

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 16 – Milwaukee 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:30
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 6:00
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:30
*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00

West Division Semifinal – Series “H” (best-of-7)
W2-Rockford IceHogs vs. W3-Houston Aeros || Preview

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – Houston at Rockford, 8:30

Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Houston at Rockford, 8:05

Game 3 – TBA – Rockford at Houston
Game 4 – TBA – Rockford at Houston
*Game 5 – TBA – Rockford at Houston

*Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 27 – Houston at Rockford, 5:05

*Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – Houston at Rockford, 8:05


*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 2 – Portland at Hartford, 7:00 (Series Status)

The Wolf Pack and Pirates are right back on the XL Center ice tonight after playing Game 1 on Wednesday, a 3-1 Hartford victory… Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau scored twice for the Wolf Pack in the opener, including the game-winner at 2:50 of the third period… Including the regular season, Parenteau now shows six goals and 10 points in eight games against his former team… Fifth-year goaltender David LeNeveu, acquired by Hartford at the trade deadline, stopped 32 of 33 shots to pick up the win in his professional playoff debut… 2008 AHL All-Star Andrew Ebbett, also playing in his first career postseason game, initially gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead 42 seconds into the second period… The teams went a combined 0-for-12 on the power play, including an 0-for-7 mark by a Hartford unit that ranked second in the league (21.0%) in the regular season… The Wolf Pack have an all-time series record of 9-3 when they win Game 1, but they have dropped their last two series in which they won the opener, including last year’s seven-game division semifinal loss to Providence… The Pirates have lost seven of 10 series all-time in which they dropped Game 1, including six straight since coming back to win the 1996 conference finals vs. Saint John.



Lindsay Kramer, Syracuse Post-Standard

Old-time hockey wins fans and sometimes even games. Friday, the Syracuse Crunch will begin pursuit of the one thing that style doesn’t win in this era of the sport – the Calder Cup. So the Crunch has two choices. Modify the bullying style that made it one of the most successful teams in the AHL this season. Or just keep swinging, whether it is going on to the next round or simply going down, period. The answer is as quick as a slash, and potentially just as painful. Syracuse’s snarl might as well be a tattoo, as hard as it is to wipe off. “It’s a fine line. But I think we’ll be right on that line,” said Syracuse captain Zenon Konopka.




Ken Wiebe, Winnipeg Sun

At playoff time, the gloves generally stay on. But when puck drops on the Calder Cup playoff series between the Manitoba Moose and Syracuse Crunch tomorrow, don’t be so sure. We’re not suggesting the North Division semifinal which opens in New York, is going to be a free-for-all. Just don’t be surprised to see some bloodshed. “We know what they’re like and we’re not going to worry if that stuff happens,” said Moose defenseman Nathan McIver. “We have good team toughness and we’re pretty good in that (fighting) department. But the most important thing is getting the wins.” Simply put, the Moose will be ready for whatever the series throws their way. http://winnipegsun.com/Sports/Hockey/2008/04/17/5308366-sun.html



Gary Lawless, Winnipeg Free Press

Brad Moran, forgive us for saying so, is a lousy interview. It’s a little by choice and partly because he’s humble. But don’t be mistaken by his silence, this man speaks with his stick, if not his mouth. The Manitoba Moose will hang their hopes on Moran heading into the North Division semifinal with the Syracuse Crunch and his ability to generate offence and make the engine run will have a great deal to say about this series. “It’s how I am. I try and say as little as possible. When the recorders are on the more you say, the more chance there is of getting in trouble and at this time of year, you don’t want to give someone else something to go with,” said Moran, who spent parts of five seasons with the Crunch earlier in his career and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.




Reed Schreck, Rockford Register Star

No controversy here. Corey Crawford is expected to be the Rockford IceHogs’ starting goalie for the playoffs, which begin Friday against the Houston Aeros at the MetroCentre. It is comforting for the coaching staff to know they have a battle-tested backup in Wade Flaherty, who posted even stronger numbers in his regular-season opportunities. And Flaherty has won an AHL Calder Cup with Milwaukee and played in the NHL playoffs. Flaherty, though, hasn’t been in a game since injuring his shoulder March 30. He has been participating in practices. It’s unclear whether he or Mike Brodeur will be the backup this weekend.




Andrew J. Ferraro, Houston Chronicle

Morten Madsen used an incredible move against one of the best goalies in the American Hockey League to give the Aeros a thrilling win over Milwaukee in their regular-season finale at Toyota Center on Sunday. Sunday’s victory meant the difference between playing the high-powered Chicago Wolves or the Rockford IceHogs, who will face the Aeros (45-29-2-4) in a first-round series that will start Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre. The two teams split their six games during the regular season. “They are a really good team,” said defenseman Shawn Belle, who scored in the shootout on Sunday. “They have a great offense. They have a ton of guys that like to crash the net. We think it is going to be a very physical series.”




Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun

John Mitchell figures he is ready to take the next big step in his hockey career. But though there is no telling when or if the Marlies forward will play for the Maple Leafs, he made a couple of nice strides last night in Toronto’s playoff opener. Mitchell scored a goal and was the Marlies’ most consistently physical player in a 4-3 victory at the Ricoh Coliseum against the San Antonio Rampage in Game 1 of the American Hockey League division semi-final. “Upper management wants to see guys come to play in the playoffs, and that is what I tried to do,” Mitchell, a Leafs pick in 2003, said. “I like a physical game. Bring it on. I feel like I am big enough and strong enough, but (the NHL) did not happen for me this year. We’ll see what happens with the playoffs.”




Michael Sharp, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

The Binghamton Senators may have fallen short of the playoffs, but Ottawa assistant general manager Tim Murray said this week that he was pleased with head coach Cory Clouston’s first season. “Very happy,” Murray said. “He was a demanding guy. I think that the players down there that work hard really respect him. It was a learning season for him as a first-year pro coach, but I think he handled it very well.” In his first season as an American Hockey League coach, Clouston led the B-Sens to a 34-32-9-5 record and a sixth-place showing in the East Division. The team put together a late charge to remain in playoff contention until the final weekend, but was ultimately haunted by its inconsistency and a prolonged post-All-Star break slump.


Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves to complete his first Stanley Cup Playoff series victory as the Penguins posted a 3-1 win at Ottawa, completing a four-game sweep.

Rich Peverley recorded his first career Stanley Cup Playoff point on a goal by 2006 Calder Cup finalist Shea Weber as Nashville pulled even in its Western Conference Quarterfinal match-up with a 3-2 win over Detroit.

Three-time AHL All-Star Mike Mottau netted his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, but New Jersey dropped a 5-3 decision to the N.Y. Rangers in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.

23-3 – Since 2000, AHL teams’ record in series after posting a shutout in Game 1… Only Manitoba (2006 vs. Syracuse), Hartford (2006 vs. Manchester), and Chicago (2002 vs. Syracuse) have recovered to win a series after being shut out in the opener in the last eight postseasons.


April 17, 2003