AHL Morning Skate: Hershey hoping to pull even again

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 3 – HAMILTON 5, Hershey 2 (HAM leads series, 2-1)

1. Danny Groulx’s two-goal night leads Hamilton to a 5-2 win in Game 3.

2. Carey Price stops 38 of 40 shots for his 13th win of the postseason.

3. Ryan O’Byrne nets the game-winning goal during the Bulldogs’ four-goal second period. 

Game 4 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30 (HAM leads series, 2-1)

2007 Calder Cup Final – Series "O" (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., June 1 – Hamilton 4, HERSHEY 0
Game 2 – Sat., June 2 – HERSHEY 4, Hamilton 2
Game 3 – Mon., June 4 – HAMILTON 5, Hershey 2
Game 4 – Wed., June 6 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30
Game 5 – Thu., June 7 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 6 – Tue., June 12 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Fri., June 15 – Hamilton at Hershey, 7:00

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
her-ham6_200.jpgGame 4 – Hershey at Hamilton, 7:30 (HAM leads series, 2-1)
TV: ABC27 Harrisburg with John Walton and Gregg Mace
Video Webcast: B2 Networks
100.1 FM/960 AM (Hershey), 820 AM (Hamilton)
Official Media Notes (PDF – 402 KB)
The Calder Cup Finals resume with Game 4 at Copps Coliseum tonight, where the host Hamilton Bulldogs hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series… Hamilton defensemen accounted for all five goals in Monday’s 5-2 victory… Danny Groulx, who scored twice in Game 3, has six goals in 20 playoff games after going without a goal over the entire regular season… Ryan O’Byrne, also scoreless in the regular season, now has two goals in the postseason – both game-winners… Jakub Klepis has three goals in the last two games for the Bears… Hershey has taken at least 40 shots on goal in each of the first three games of the series… Hamilton is 6-for-22 on the power play (27.3 percent) in the Finals; Hershey is 3-for-27 (11.1 percent)… Carey Price owns a .952 save percentage through three games, nearly 100 points better than counterpart Frederic Cassivi’s (.855)… The Bears also trailed Milwaukee, 2-1, in the 2006 Finals before winning the last three games; the Bulldogs were up 2-1 in the 2003 Finals before losing in seven… Hamilton has lost five consecutive Game 4’s dating back to the 2004 postseason… Hershey has not lost back-to-back games since Apr. 1-4… In games following a loss by at least three goals this year, the Bears are 9-0-0-0.


James Mirtle, Globe and Mail
Ajay Baines knows a thing or two about being an underdog. Undersized and undrafted coming out of junior hockey eight years ago, Baines is now one of the Hamilton Bulldogs’ grizzled greybeards. And the veteran of 577 minor-league games has helped lead his American Hockey League team to a 2-1 series lead in the Calder Cup championship, one blocked shot at a time. “He lies down in front of anything,” Bulldogs head coach Don Lever said yesterday. “He’s not afraid to block a shot.” It’s been sacrifices like Baines’s, Lever says, that have helped Hamilton reach the final despite entering the postseason as the sixth seed in the Western Conference. … Link

Steve Milton, Hamilton Spectator
His puck handling has been compared to Martin Brodeur’s, he wears Ken Dryden’s number, and now he’s zeroing in on Patrick Roy’s AHL accomplishment. It’s a good thing Carey Price isn’t the type to notice abnormal pressure. His Hamilton Bulldogs teammates have told their teenaged goalie about Roy’s debut in professional hockey: a late-season visit to the Montreal Canadiens’ American Hockey League affiliate in Sherbrooke which was supposed to be a mild baptism to the pro game, in the stands. But Roy played a couple of regular season games, helped the Sherbrooke Canadiens sneak into the playoffs, then led them all the way to the 1985 AHL championship. … Link

Scott Radley, Hamilton Spectator
He knows that if he scores here this week, he’ll hear boos. Which is kind of weird because this is pretty much home for him. And home is supposed to be where … well, you know the saying. But under the current circumstances, the Burlington native with the thick playoff beard and the mohawk wearing the maroonish brown – what colour is that, anyway? – of the Hershey Bears is the enemy at Copps. Not that he minds. Because the alternative would be not to play at all. And that was almost the case. Six weeks ago, Chad Wiseman wasn’t even able to skate. … Link

Garry McKay, Hamilton Spectator
It’s been a roller-coaster season for Hamilton native Daren Machesney, but the real ride might not come until next year. In his first season of pro hockey, the 20-year-old goaltender has split playing time between the Hershey Bears and South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. The six-foot, 185-pounder is back with Hershey in the Calder Cup final against the Hamilton Bulldogs. He’s a black ace, however, which means he practices but doesn’t see any game action. Machesney, who moved from Binbrook to the London area when he was six, plans to gain from being with the Bears in the American Hockey League championship, even if he doesn’t play. … Link

Garry McKay, Hamilton Spectator
J.P. Cote was torn. On one hand, he wanted to get back in the Hamilton Bulldogs’ lineup so badly that it was killing him to sit and watch. On the other hand, the big defenceman knew that as a team player — and above all he considers himself that — that breaking up a lineup that is winning is generally not a good idea. And so he waited and cheered on his teammates — until Tuesday night. That’s when head coach Don Lever inserted him back in the lineup against the Hershey Bears in Game 3 of the Calder Cup final. It was Cote’s first action since he hurt his ankle April 22 in a first round American Hockey League playoff game against the Rochester Americans. … Link

Scott Radley, Hamilton Spectator
If the Hamilton Bulldogs end up as Calder Cup champions a few days from now, Monday night’s first period might end up being the turning point of the whole season. Not because they did well in it. Rather because they survived it. The reality is the Dogs had no business still being in the game when they headed to the dressing room after 20 minutes. Not after they were outshot 18-6. And certainly not after taking seven asinine penalties the game after their coach pointed out how important it was to do the exact opposite. They were ridiculous infractions that were as close as a team can get to looking like it was trying to give their opponent the chance to win. … Link

Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette
Nobody could blame Jean-Philippe Cote if he was disappointed about the way things have gone this season, but the Bulldogs defenceman believes in the power of positive thinking. Cote went into the Canadiens’ training camp last September with a realistic chance of earning a spot on the National Hockey League team, but a knee injury in an intrasquad game ended his chances. And he has missed most of the Bulldogs’ run for a Calder Cup title because of a high ankle sprain suffered in the second game of the playoffs. “For sure, the timing couldn’t have been worse with the knee injury,” Cote, 25, said. “I played eight games for the Canadiens the season before and I thought that there was a spot available for me.” … Link

Tim Leone, Harrisburg Patriot-News
For all the merited chatter about wunderkind goalie Carey Price, the Calder Cup final has turned in favor of the Hamilton Bulldogs largely due to the blue line. Both offensively and defensively. The Bulldogs defense corps effectively has clogged the middle, forced perimeter shots and held the Hershey Bears to six total goals in three games. However, they’ve also scored five goals, nearly matching Hershey’s team total by themselves. “They’re playing well,” Bears defenseman Mike Green said yesterday. “They’re sticking to what got them here. Their D-men are jumping up in the play and creating offense. I think that’s what we need to do.” … Link

Tim Leone, Harrisburg Patriot-News
Game 3 epitomized a Calder Cup final in which the conventional numbers aren’t adding up. Glance at the stat sheet after 30 minutes last night at Copps Coliseum and you’d expect the Hershey Bears to hold a healthy edge on the scoreboard against the Hamilton Bulldogs. Instead, the Bears trailed by two goals en route to a 5-2 defeat that gave Hamilton a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Stats don’t fully measure desire and effort, a category that Hamilton dominated. … Link

Michael Bullock, Harrisburg Patriot-News
When a bleeding Tomas Fleischmann hustled into the Hershey Bears’ dressing room after one period, the monster-sized scoreboard that hovers over the Copps Coliseum ice had ones all over it. See, Monday night’s game between the Bears and Hamilton Bulldogs was tied 1-1 at the time, as scrap No. 3 of their best-of-seven Calder Cup championship series headed into its first intermission. When Fleischmann finally emerged from the tunnel midway through the second period and rejoined his Bears teammates on the bench, several stitches planted in his neck, the high-octane winger found his club deep in arrears. Like three goals deep. … Link

Dan Sernoffsky, Lebanon Daily News
The climb to the top of the mountain got a bit steeper for the Hershey Bears last night. Thanks in no small part to sputtering special teams, an inability to get to the net, and just a flat-out overpowering performance by Hamilton, the Bears dropped a 5-2 decision to the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum before 5,683 fans. With the win, the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup championship series. … Link

Manny Almela, Canadiens.com
Standing at 6-foot-5, Ryan O’Byrne is tough to miss to begin with. But throughout the Bulldogs’ Calder Cup run this spring, the big defenseman is drawing attention for more than just his size. Hardly known for his scoring touch, O’Byrne notched his second goal of the playoffs on Monday to give Hamilton a 2-1 series lead over the Hershey Bears in the Calder Cup Final. The hulking defenseman also delivered the final blow to the Rochester Americans, scoring the series clincher in their first-round match-up. Not bad for a stay-at-home defenseman who picked up 12 assists but failed to light the lamp in 80 games as an AHL rookie with the Bulldogs in 2006-07. … Link 

Andy McDonald
scored twice and assisted on Dustin Penner‘s game-winning goal in the third period as Anaheim defeated Ottawa on Monday night, 3-2, to take a 3-1 series lead in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals.

7 – Calder Cup championships won by the coaching staffs of this year’s finalists… Hershey head coach Bruce Boudreau won as a player with Adirondack (1992) before leading the Bears to the title in 2006… Hershey assistant Bob Woods won with the Bears as a player (1997) and as an assistant (2006)… Hamilton head coach Don Lever was a player for Rochester in 1987… Bulldogs assistant Ron Wilson won Calder Cups as a player with Nova Scotia in 1977 and as an assistant with Saint John in 2001.

June 6, 2004
– Milwaukee scores seven times in the first 26 minutes of the game and cruises to a 7-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, finishing off a four-game sweep and capturing the Calder Cup.

June 6, 2003Stephane Veilleux scores with 1:46 left in regulation and again with 2:22 gone in overtime as Houston evens the Calder Cup Finals with a 3-2 win over Hamilton in Game 4.

June 6, 1999Cameron Mann registers a hat trick and John Grahame makes 27 saves as Providence shuts out Rochester, 6-0, in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals.

B2 Networks brings AHL action to your computer, web-enabled cell phone or PDA throughout the Calder Cup Playoffs with live video webcasts of every AHL game… Visit caldercup.com for details.