AHL Morning Skate: June 1, 2023

A2-Hershey Bears vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 6 – Friday, 7:05 ET,
, NBC Sports Washington, MSG Network
(Hershey leads series, 3-2)

Game 1 – Tue., May 23 – Rochester 5, HERSHEY 1 | Recap
Game 2 – Thu., May 25 – HERSHEY 2, Rochester 0 | Recap
Game 3 – Sat., May 27 – Hershey 4, ROCHESTER 2 | Recap
Game 4 – Mon., May 29 – Hershey 4, ROCHESTER 2 | Recap
Game 5 – Wed., May 31 – Rochester 4, HERSHEY 1 | Recap
Game 6 – Fri., June 2 – Hershey at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., June 5 – Rochester at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. C2-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 4 – Tonight, 8:00 ET,
(Coachella Valley leads series, 2-1)

Game 1 – Thu., May 25 – COACHELLA VALLEY 6, Milwaukee 4 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 27 – COACHELLA VALLEY 5, Milwaukee 3 | Recap
Game 3 – Mon., May 29 – MILWAUKEE 3, Coachella Valley 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Thu., June 1 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 5 – Sat., June 3 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 5 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 7 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Coachella Valley and Milwaukee square off in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals tonight with the Firebirds still holding a 2-1 series lead but the Admirals coming off a 3-1 victory on Monday evening... Joakim Kemell (7-1-8) scored the decisive goal in Game 3, his third game-winner of the postseason... The 19-year-old Kemell, the 17th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, has totaled 13-8-21 in 25 games since joining the Admirals in mid-March... Keaton Thompson (1-1-2), without a point since Feb. 25, tallied a goal and an assist for Milwaukee in Game 3... Marc Del Gaizo (4-7-11) extended his scoring streak to four games with his fourth goal of the playoffs; he notched three goals in 71 games during the regular season... Devin Cooley made his first start of the 2023 playoffs and stopped 28 shots in Game 3; the third-year pro has a .931 save percentage in eight career postseason outings... Shane Wright (2-4-6) scored the only Firebirds goal on Monday, ending a personal 10-game drought... Joey Daccord (10-6, 2.31, .927) stopped 34 shots, his eighth start of the postseason with at least 30 saves... John Hayden has been medically cleared and returned to Coachella Valley by the Seattle Kraken, where he was playing when he was injured on Mar. 18... The Firebirds are 10-1 this postseason when scoring at least three goals in a game, and 0-5 when scoring two or fewer... Monday marked Coachella Valley’s first loss of the playoffs (8-1) after scoring the game’s first goal, and just their fifth regulation loss in that situation all season (39-5-4)... Milwaukee is 1-for-11 on the power play in the series after going 9-for-32 (28.1 percent) over their first two rounds.

“Now we know that we can beat this team,” Admirals head coach Karl Taylor told reporters following a 3-1 win in Monday’s Game 3.

The Admirals needed some positive reinforcement following two difficult losses to open their Western Conference Finals. And, quite frankly, they also needed that win to get back into the series.

“We have belief, and we feel good about what we’re doing,” Taylor continued. “We’re excited for the next opportunity.”

Taylor turned to Devin Cooley as his Game 3 starter after rookie Yaroslav Askarov had started all 12 of the team’s previous playoff games; the move paid off as Cooley made 28 saves in his first game since April 14.

Cooley has come through in the postseason before for Taylor and the Admirals. In last year’s division semifinals against Manitoba, Cooley stopped 83 of 86 shots over the first two games, then had a 47-save effort to help stave off elimination in the division finals against Chicago, the eventual Calder Cup champion.

Cooley proved to be a reliable partner for Askarov in 2022-23, going 15-8-2 in 26 games with a 2.93 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. And with the Admirals trying to avoid falling behind three games to none to Coachella Valley, Cooley gave his team exactly what it needed, holding the Firebirds to one goal and giving the Admirals enough time to take control of the game.

“He played really calm,” Taylor said. “A really difficult situation for him, but he’s been working very hard, and we ask the guys that don’t [play] to do that so when we do call on them, they are prepared to jump in and do their jobs.

“He was ready to go in a big moment for himself and our hockey team.”

John Hayden cleared waivers Tuesday and has been assigned to the Firebirds by the Seattle Kraken. The forward had surgery for a lower-body injury on March 20, and it is not clear whether he will be an option to play in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in Milwaukee tonight.

A veteran of 247 NHL games over six pro seasons with Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona, New Jersey and Chicago, Hayden potted a pair of goals in seven games with the Kraken this season before being injured in a game vs. Edmonton on Mar. 18. He also dressed for 47 games with the Firebirds and had 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists).

― Patrick Williams

In off-ice news around the National Hockey League, former Hershey Bears head coach Spencer Carbery has been hired as the head coach of the Washington Capitals... Andrew Brunette has been named head coach of the Nashville Predators; Brunette played for incoming Predators GM Barry Trotz with the AHL’s Portland Pirates from 1993-97... Former AHL defenseman and general manager Brad Treliving has been named the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs... Kyle Dubas, a 2018 Calder Cup champion as general manager of the Toronto Marlies, has joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as president of hockey operations.

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