AHL Morning Skate: Marlies, Rampage in Game 7 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.


San Antonio 3, TORONTO 0 (Series tied, 3-3)

PROVIDENCE 7, Portland 1 (PRO leads, 2-0)


1. San Antonio goaltender Josh Tordjman made 38 saves for the shutout as the Rampage downed Toronto, 3-0, forcing a Game 7 in their North Division semifinal.

2. Martins Karsums registered a hat trick to lead Providence to a 7-1 win over Portland a 2-0 lead in the Atlantic Division finals.

3. Petteri Nokelainen netted a pair of goals in the victory for Providence.


Game 6 – Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00 (SYR leads, 3-2)

Game 7 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30 (Series tied, 3-3)

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Providence Bruins vs. A3-Portland Pirates || Preview

Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 26 – PROVIDENCE 4, Portland 0
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 27 – PROVIDENCE 7, Portland 1
Game 3 – Fri., May 2 – Providence at Portland, 7:05
Game 4 – Sun., May 4 – Providence at Portland, 4:05
*Game 5 – Tue., May 6 – Providence at Portland, 7:05
*Game 6 – Fri., May 9 – Portland at Providence, 7:05
*Game 7 – Sat., May 10 – Portland at Providence, 7:05

Atlantic Division Semifinals

A1-Providence Bruins def. A4-Manchester Monarchs, 4-0

A3-Portland Pirates def. A2-Hartford Wolf Pack, 4-1

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 – W-B/SCRANTON 6, Hershey 2
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – W-B/SCRANTON 5, Hershey 1
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – HERSHEY 3, W-B/Scranton 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – W-B/SCRANTON 7, Hershey 3

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 – PHILADELPHIA 3, Albany 0 (WC)
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Albany 4, PHILADELPHIA 1 (WC)
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Philadelphia 2, ALBANY 1
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Philadelphia 3, ALBANY 2 (5OT)
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Albany 1, PHILADELPHIA 0 (OT) (WC)
Game 7 – Tue., Apr. 29 – Albany at Philadelphia, 7:05 (WC)


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 6, TORONTO 3
Game 3 – Mon., Apr. 21 – SAN ANTONIO 3, Toronto 2
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Toronto 3, SAN ANTONIO 2
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Toronto 2, SAN ANTONIO 1
Game 6 – Sun., Apr. 27 – San Antonio 3, TORONTO 0
Game 7 – Mon., Apr. 28 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30

North Division Semifinal – Series “F” (best-of-7)
N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Manitoba Moose || Preview
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – SYRACUSE 2, Manitoba 1 (OT)
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Manitoba 3, SYRACUSE 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Syracuse 2, MANITOBA 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 25 – MANITOBA 5, Syracuse 2
Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Syracuse 3, MANITOBA 2 (OT)
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 – CHICAGO 2, Milwaukee 1
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 20 – Chicago 4, MILWAUKEE 3 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., Apr. 23 – MILWAUKEE 2, Chicago 0
Game 5 – Thu., Apr. 24 – CHICAGO 4, Milwaukee 1
Game 6 – Sat., Apr. 26 – Chicago 3, MILWAUKEE 0

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

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 18 – ROCKFORD 3, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 19 – Houston 1, ROCKFORD 0 (2OT)
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 22 – Rockford 2, HOUSTON 1
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 24 – Rockford 2, HOUSTON 1
Game 5 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Rockford 5, HOUSTON 2


*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 6 –
Manitoba at Syracuse, 7:00 (SYR leads, 3-2)

After winning two out of three in Winnipeg, Syracuse looks to close out Manitoba tonight at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Game 6 of their North Division semifinal… The Crunch have tied an AHL record with three overtime wins in the series, and are looking for their first best-of-seven playoff victory since reaching the conference finals in 1996… Syracuse has not won a series of any kind since a three-game sweep of Philadelphia in 2002… Crunch rookie Derick Brassard had a goal and two assists in Saturday’s 3-2 win in Game 5, and Derek MacKenzie scored his second career Calder Cup Playoff overtime goal… Rookie Michael Grabner has a team-high three goals for ManitobaJason Jaffray has registered three points (1-2-3) in two games for the Moose since returning from injury… The Crunch are 3-9 all-time with a chance to eliminate an opponent; the Moose are 8-5 when facing Calder Cup elimination.


Game 7 – San Antonio at Toronto, 7:30 (Series tied, 3-3)

San Antonio and Toronto square off tonight with a second-round berth on the line in the first Game 7 of the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs… Each team is playing in its first winner-take-all game, and the victor will capture its first series win in franchise history… The Rampage forced Game 7 by virtue of a 3-0 shutout yesterday afternoon… Josh Tordjman made 38 saves in the blanking, while rookies Chad Kolarik and Dylan Reese had a goal and an assist apiece… Kolarik now has four goals and five points in his last two games at Ricoh Coliseum, including his Game 2 hat trick… Toronto has not lost three straight home games since January 2007… Jiri Tlusty has been held scoreless over the last four games after picking up 12 points (5-7-12) in six games previous… San Antonio’s Matt Murley scored a Game 7 overtime goal with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the 2004 conference finals… Rampage bench boss Greg Ireland coached Grand Rapids to a 1-1 record in Game 7’s, while Marlies counterpart Greg Gilbert lost a Game 7 at the Worcester IceCats’ helm in 1998.


Dan Sernoffsky,
Lebanon Daily News
Three-in-threes – three games in three nights – are pretty much a way of life for players in the American Hockey League. Frederic L’Ecuyer did them one better. He did a three-in-two. L’Ecuyer was the referee for Friday’s East Division semifinal playoff game between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Hershey Bears, and when the Penguins scored two quick goals midway through the third period to take a 5-3 lead, he had to be breathing at least a small sigh of relief. It wasn’t a matter of partiality, it was just that he must have been hoping that the game wouldn’t go into overtime. He’d seen enough of overtime the night before. L’Ecuyer was the referee for the longest game in AHL history, a battle between the Philadelphia Phantoms and the Albany River Rats that wasn’t decided until Philadelphia’s Ryan Potulny scored just under three minutes into the fifth overtime.

Ken Wiebe,
Winnipeg Sun
Derick Brassard picked the perfect time to explode onto the scene. After being held to one assist through the first four games of the North Division semifinal between the Syracuse Crunch and Manitoba Moose, the top prospect of the Columbus Blue Jackets scored a goal and added a pair of assists in Game 5 to put his team up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, which resumes tonight in Syracuse, N.Y. “He sees the ice so well, it was just a matter of time for him (to break out),” said Crunch forward Derek MacKenzie, who buried a perfect pass from Brassard at 10:54 of the first overtime on Saturday night. “With guys like that, you can tell they have something special. He’s going to play in the NHL for a long time.”

Pete Dougherty, Albany Times-Union
And on the seventh day, they rested. The Albany River Rats took a well-earned day off Sunday after a week in which they played more than 4 hours of hockey in only three games. Their 1-0 overtime victory Saturday over the Philadelphia Phantoms at Wachovia Center squared the teams’ best-of-7 opening-round American Hockey League series 3-3, with the deciding game back here Tuesday night. “Both teams were pretty tired,” Rats defenseman Bryan Rodney said. “We both could use two days off, and I’m sure the pace will be a lot better for Game 7.”

Jonathan Bombulie, The Citizen’s Voice
While they stand shoulder to shoulder on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins bench these days, coaches Todd Richards and Dan Bylsma were on opposite sides of a pair of classic AHL playoff battles earlier this decade. In 2004, Bylsma was playing for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in the last season of his 12-year pro career and Richards was a second-year assistant coach with the Milwaukee Admirals. Their teams met in the West Division semifinals. Milwaukee scratched out a seven-game victory, sparking a run to a Calder Cup championship. It was the only series that went the distance for the Admirals that year, teaching Richards a lesson he carries with him today. “The first series is the toughest series. It really is,” he said. “You have to learn what it takes to win. You have to deal with some adversity.”

Ryan Dixon, San Antonio Express-News
The Rampage got their showdown. Josh Tordjman stood tall in goal Sunday as the Rampage blanked the Toronto Marlies 3-0 in Game 6 of the teams’ first-round Calder Cup playoff series at Ricoh Coliseum. The victory set up a winner-take-all Game 7 tonight in Toronto. Tordjman turned aside 38 shots as the Rampage took a 2-0 lead in the first period and never looked back. Chad Kolarik and Dylan Reese each contributed a goal and an assist, while Brendan Bell also scored for the Rampage. While his goalie was clearly on his game, Rampage coach Greg Ireland spread the credit around. “When we’re successful, we’re good together,” said Ireland, whose team was at its aggressive, speedy best. “It was a group of one tonight and that to me was the difference.”

Peter Gobis, Sun Chronicle
There’s just no quit in these Providence Bruins, winners of six straight Calder Cup playoff games, having taken a 7-1 victory over Portland and a 2-0 lead over the Pirates in the AHL’s Atlantic Division championship series. “It’s just banging some bodies, staying in their zone,” related right winger Martins Karsums, who deposited the puck in the Portland net three times Sunday as Providence routed the Pirates on the attack (33 shots, 73 over two games) and dominated the neutral and defensive zones, limiting the Pirates to just 19 shots through 60 minutes on DDC ice. Providence limited Portland to merely two shots at goalie Tuukka Rask through the first 15 minutes of the first period, just three over the first 10 minutes of the second period, taking a 3-0 lead into the third period.

2004 Calder Cup finalist Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves for his first career Stanley Cup Playoff shutout as the Penguins blanked the N.Y. Rangers, 2-0, yesterday afternoon to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

Mike Ribeiro, who made his professional debut during Fredericton’s run to the 1999 Calder Cup conference finals, netted a goal as part of Dallas’s 5-2 win at San Jose last night, which gave the Stars a 2-0 edge in their Western Conference semifinal.

– Record of the home team (.537) in 67 all-time Game 7’s in Calder Cup Playoff history.


3 – Teams in AHL history who have won both Game 6 and Game 7 of a series on the road… San Antonio, Manitoba and Albany are all currently trying to accomplish that feat.


April 28, 2007Brian Boyle‘s goal at 9:37 of the second overtime gives Manchester its first-ever series victory with a 3-2 decision in Game 6 at Worcester.


April 28, 2006Matt Ellis scores 11 seconds into the second overtime to give Grand Rapids a series-clinching 2-1 win in Game 5 at Toronto.

April 28, 1997Dennis Bonvie records a goal and an assist as Hamilton wraps up its best-of-five first-round series with a 3-1 win at Saint John in Game 5.

April 28, 1976 – Paul Woods’ goal at 2:20 of overtime gives Nova Scotia a 5-4 win over Hershey and its second Calder Cup championship in five years.

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