|Take a game-day spin around the AHL ice with latest news and notes from the Calder Cup Playoffs
in today’s Morning Skate.
Complete Schedule|| Playoff Brackets || Today’s Scoreboard || League Leaders
After a hard-hitting start to the Calder Cup Finals last night, Manchester and Utica go right back at it this evening with Game 2 at the Verizon Wireless Arena… Michael Mersch returned to the Monarchs lineup for Game 1 and tallied two goals and an assist, including the game-winning score with 4:10 gone in overtime for a 3-2 Manchester victory… Mersch (13-8-21), who did not play in the Monarchs’ series-clinching Game 4 win at Hartford on May 27, is now tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with teammate Jordan Weal (10-11-21), who notched two assists in Game 1… Brian O’Neill (10-9-19) added a goal and an assist, giving that trio 33 of Manchester’s 56 goals this postseason (58.9 percent) and 61 of the team’s 155 points (39.4 percent)… Sven Baertschi (7-7-14) and Cory Conacher (5-1-6) scored for the Comets in Game 1… For Conacher, it was his fourth goal in the last five games after scoring three in his first 39 career AHL playoff outings… Jacob Markstrom (11-8, 1.92, .930) made 34 saves in the loss as the Comets were outshot by a 37-17 margin… Cal O’Reilly (0-16-16) notched his league-leading 16th assist of the playoffs last night… Jean-Francois Berube (12-3, 2.35, .894) earned the win as the Monarchs allowed 20 shots or fewer for the eighth time in 15 playoff games… The Comets are 7-0 this postseason following a loss, with Markstrom allowing a total of eight goals in those seven games (1.11, .962)… Manchester has now won seven games in a row overall since dropping Game 3 in the second round to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… The Monarchs have also won 14 straight at home; their last loss on home ice was three months ago today (Mar. 7)… Manchester improved to 12-0 this postseason when scoring the game’s first goal… Thirteen of Utica’s 19 playoff matches have been one-goal games (7-6)… Utica’s two goals in Game 1 came 1:01 and 3:01 after Manchester had taken the lead… Game 1 was the first Calder Cup Finals game played in New England since May 25, 2002, a Bridgeport win over Chicago… Last night marked the fourth consecutive Finals game to go to overtime; Texas won the final three games of last year’s championship series over St. John’s in OT… The Game 1 winner has gone on to win 59 of the previous 78 Calder Cup Finals series (75.6 percent).
2015 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
There have been 16 overtime games played in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs so far… Utica is 3-4 in overtime; Manchester is 2-0… Home teams are 9-7:
June 6 – MANCHESTER 3, Utica 2 (Michael Mersch, 4:10)
Manchester’s Brian O’Neill is the eighth consecutive regular-season MVP to reach the Calder Cup Finals in the same season… Six of the last seven won the Calder Cup as well:
2015 – Brian O’Neill, Manchester Monarchs
|1 vs. 2
Manchester and Utica had the top two records in the American Hockey League during the regular season, making this the first playoff meeting since 2007 — and the first Calder Cup Finals since 2000 — pitting the AHL’s top two regular-season teams… It is also just the sixth such postseason series since 1992:
2015 Calder Cup Finals – Manchester Monarchs (#1) vs. Utica Comets (#2)
|Calder Cup Finals History
Results of the last 25 Calder Cup Finals series:
2014 – Texas Stars 4, St. John’s IceCaps 1
|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 56 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.
In Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final last night, Jason Garrison‘s goal with 11:11 remaining in regulation broke a tie and lifted Tampa Bay to a 4-3 victory over Chicago, evening the series at a game apiece… Cedric Paquette, Nikita Kucherov and 2012-13 AHL MVP Tyler Johnson also scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy picked up his first career NHL playoff win in relief of Ben Bishop… Andrew Shaw, Teuvo Teravainen and Brent Seabrook scored for the Blackhawks.
|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 2015 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 CALDERCUP to access all of the action of the AHL’s championship series featuring the calls of the Monarchs’ Ken Cail and the Comets’ Brendan Burke… 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.