AHL Morning Skate: June 6

Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from
the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs in today’s Morning Skate.

Complete Schedule || Playoff Brackets || Today’s Scoreboard || League Leaders

Game 3 – 7:00 ET, AHL Live free-view  
(Lake Erie leads series, 2-0)
Infographic: Series Snapshot
| Game 3 Media Kit

For the first time in 50 years, the puck drops in Cleveland for the Calder Cup Finals as Lake Erie hosts Hershey in Game 3 tonight… The Monsters returned home with a 2-0 series lead after Friday night’s 5-3 win in Game 2, their seventh consecutive victory and 15th in their last 17 on the road… Oliver Bjorkstrand (7-6-13) scored twice in Game 2, Daniel Zaar (6-5-11) tallied a goal and an assist and Ryan Craig (3-10-13), Markus Hannikainen (3-7-10) and Michael Chaput (2-6-8) notched two assists each… Zaar has back-to-back two-point games against Hershey after going scoreless in the Monsters’ four game sweep of Ontario in the conference finals… Four of Bjorkstrand’s seven playoff goals have been game-winners; he had three GWG in 51 regular-season games… Lukas Sedlak (9-5-14) scored his league-leading ninth goal of the postseason… Anton Forsberg (7-0, 1.49, .948) stopped 27 of 30 shots for his seventh straight win, and now shows 11 goals against on 213 shots this postseason… Zach Sill (6-3-9), Tyler Lewington (4-1-5) and Liam O’Brien (4-2-6) scored for the Bears in Game 2… Aaron Ness (0-12-12) assisted on all three goals… Justin Peters (11-7, 2.18, .921) made 24 saves in the loss, his third in his last four starts (1-3, 3.78, .864)… Chris Bourque (4-8-12) amassed his 78th career Calder Cup Playoff assist, putting him two behind Darren Haydar (80) for the all-time lead… The Monsters were 2-for-3 on the power play in Game 2; Hershey’s opponents were 2-for-33 in 10 playoff games at Giant Center entering the contest… Lake Erie, which ranked 21st in the AHL in scoring during the regular season, has now scored four goals or more in 10 of its 15 playoff games… Hershey has lost back-to-back games for the first time since Mar. 19-20… The Monsters are 13-2 this postseason and have won 22 of 26 overall… Lake Erie is 11-0 in Games 1-3 of series this postseason… Tonight is the first Calder Cup Finals game in Cleveland since May 13, 1966, when the Rochester Americans won the championship with a Game 6 victory over the Cleveland Barons at the Arena on Euclid Avenue, about 1.5 miles east of the Q… Tonight’s Game 3 will be televised live on Fox Sports Ohio (DirecTV 660, Dish Network 5425, AT&T U-verse 1734) and Sportsnet ONE.

2016 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
A1-Hershey Bears vs. C2-Lake Erie Monsters
Game 1 – Wed., June 1 – Lake Erie 4, HERSHEY 1 | Recap | Highlights
Game 2 – Fri., June 3 – Lake Erie 5, HERSHEY 3 | RecapHighlights
Game 3 – Mon., June 6 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 7:00
Game 4 – Sat., June 11 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., June 12 – Hershey at Lake Erie, 6:00
*Game 6 – Tue., June 14 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Fri., June 17 – Lake Erie at Hershey, 7:00
   *if necessary… All times Eastern

Historical Rivals
In a fitting end to the AHL’s 80th-anniversary season, the Calder Cup Finals are taking place in two of the league’s most historic cities… The Hershey Bears are playing in their 23rd Finals, while Cleveland is hosting the championship series for the first time in 50 years, since the last of the Cleveland Barons’ 14 trips to the Finals in 1966… The Barons and Bears met in the Finals three times, with Cleveland winning all three series (1941, 1945, 1954).
Family Ties
With the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals this week, Cleveland becomes the first city to host the championship series of the NBA and the AHL in the same season… The relationship between the two leagues can be traced all the way back to 1936, when Maurice Podoloff was one of the founding fathers of the American Hockey League… Podoloff served as the AHL’s first president until 1952, bringing stability during the difficult years during World War II and helping modernize the league through rules modifications and innovations… In 1946, Podoloff was named the first president of the National Basketball Association, and actually ran both leagues concurrently for six years… Podoloff was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1974, and the Maurice Podoloff Trophy is awarded each year to the NBA’s most valuable player… Podoloff is also a member of the AHL Hall of Fame.
Down 0-2
Hershey is the 46th team in Calder Cup Finals history to lose the first two games of the series… Three of the previous 45 have rallied to win the championship: the 1972 Nova Scotia Voyageurs (vs. Baltimore), the 1991 Springfield Indians (vs. Rochester) and the 2010 Hershey Bears (vs. Texas)… The 2010 Bears are the only team ever to win the Calder Cup after losing the first two games of the Finals on home ice… Current Bears forward Chris Bourque and assistant coach Bryan Helmer were players on that Hershey club six years ago, and Bears head coach Troy Mann was an assistant that spring.
MVP Effort
Hershey’s Chris Bourque is the ninth consecutive regular-season MVP to reach the Calder Cup Finals in the same season… Seven of the last eight won the Calder Cup as well:

2016 – Chris Bourque, Hershey Bears
2015 – Brian O’Neill, Manchester Monarchs
2014 – Travis Morin, Texas Stars
2013 – Tyler Johnson, Syracuse Crunch
2012 – Cory Conacher, Norfolk Admirals
2011 – Corey Locke, Binghamton Senators
2010 – Keith Aucoin, Hershey Bears
2009 – Alexandre Giroux, Hershey Bears
2008 – Jason Krog, Chicago Wolves

Working Overtime
There have been 14 overtime games played in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Home teams are 9-5: 

*May 26 – LAKE ERIE 2, Ontario 1 (Lukas Sedlak, 26:25)
May 21 – HERSHEY 3, Toronto 2 (Carter Camper, 9:09)
*May 16 – Lake Erie 4, GRAND RAPIDS 3 (Zach Werenski, 12:32)
*May 15 – HERSHEY 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (Travis Boyd, 10:57)
May 13 – Ontario 4, SAN DIEGO 3 (Mike Amadio, 6:29)
May 9 – W-B/SCRANTON 2, Hershey 1 (Kael Mouillierat, 2:31)
May 8 – ALBANY 3, Toronto 2 (Nick Lappin, 18:40)
May 7 – Ontario 2, SAN DIEGO 1 (Justin Auger, 11:55)
May 5 – LAKE ERIE 3, Grand Rapids 2 (Oliver Bjorkstrand, 12:23)
Apr. 28 – Portland 2, HERSHEY 1 (Rob Flick, 43:10)
Apr. 26 – UTICA 2, Albany 1 (Alexandre Grenier, 9:13)
*Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (Jake Guentzel, 33:52)
Apr. 21 – W-B/SCRANTON 4, Providence 3 (Daniel Sprong, 5:13) 
Apr. 20 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Providence 2 (Carter Rowney, 1:09)
  *series clincher

Calder Cup Finals History
Results of the last 25 Calder Cup Finals series:

2015 – Manchester Monarchs 4, Utica Comets 1
2014 – Texas Stars 4, St. John’s IceCaps 1
2013 – Grand Rapids Griffins 4, Syracuse Crunch 2
2012 – Norfolk Admirals 4, Toronto Marlies 0
2011 – Binghamton Senators 4, Houston Aeros 2
2010 – Hershey Bears 4, Texas Stars 2
2009 – Hershey Bears 4, Manitoba Moose 2
2008 – Chicago Wolves 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 2
2007 – Hamilton Bulldogs 4, Hershey Bears 1
2006 – Hershey Bears 4, Milwaukee Admirals 2
2005 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Chicago Wolves 0
2004 – Milwaukee Admirals 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 0
2003 – Houston Aeros 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3
2002 – Chicago Wolves 4, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 1
2001 – Saint John Flames 4, W-B/Scranton Penguins 2
2000 – Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Rochester Americans 2
1999 – Providence Bruins 4, Rochester Americans 1
1998 – Philadelphia Phantoms 4, Saint John Flames 2
1997 – Hershey Bears 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 1
1996 – Rochester Americans 4, Portland Pirates 3
1995 – Albany River Rats 4, Fredericton Canadiens 0
1994 – Portland Pirates 4, Moncton Hawks 2
1993 – Cape Breton Oilers 4, Rochester Americans 1
1992 – Adirondack Red Wings 4, St. John’s Maple Leafs 3
1991 – Springfield Indians 4, Rochester Americans 2

About the Calder Cup
While the AHL’s history dates back to the fall of 1936, the Calder Cup trophy was first awarded in 1938 to the Providence Reds for winning the second International-American Hockey League championship. (In 1996, George Parsons of the Syracuse Stars was presented the Calder Cup in a ceremony at the Onondaga County War Memorial; it is believed the Stars never received a trophy for their 1937 championship.) The Calder Cup is named for Frank Calder, the first president of the NHL (1917-43) and one of the driving forces behind the formation of the AHL.

In 2001, the trophy’s base was changed to include two tiers of plaques, which feature the rosters of each of the last 20 Calder Cup champions; the plaques from the first 59 champions are on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. The entire trophy now stands 24 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. The bowl, made of sterling silver, is 12 inches high and eight inches in diameter; the base is made of Brazilian mahogany.

Alumni Watch
In Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, 2011 AHL All-Star Martin Jones made 40 saves to help San Jose to a 3-2 overtime victory over Pittsburgh… Justin Braun, a teammate of Jones’s at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic, scored his second goal in as many games, and Joel Ward, who played 209 AHL games from 2005-08, netted the tying goal in the third period… Chris Tierney, who had a stint with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda earlier this season, assisted on the overtime winner… 2009 AHL All-Star Ben Lovejoy tallied a goal and an assist for the Penguins.

Calder Cup Finals on Sportsnet ONE
The AHL announced that Games 3-7 of the Calder Cup Finals will air live across Canada on Sportsnet ONE.

Calder Cup Finals on AHL Live
As a thanks to the AHL’s loyal and dedicated fans, the American Hockey League and NeuLion, Inc., are making video streaming of all seven games of the 2016 Calder Cup Finals available for viewing at no charge from AHL Live via desktop, laptop, mobile device or tablet… To watch free on AHL Live, simply visit ahllive.com from any desktop computer, log in with your AHL Live account (or create a new one), select the Finals All-Access Pass and enter the promo code CALDERCUP2016 to access all of the action of the AHL’s championship series featuring the calls of the Bears’ Scott Stuccio and the Monsters’ Tony Brown… You can watch on your desktop or laptop through ahllive.com, or download the official AHL Live app from iTunes or Google Play to watch on your mobile device or tablet.