Every game day from now until the end of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the AHL Morning Skate takes 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 7 – HAMILTON 2, Manitoba 1 (3OT) (HAM wins series, 4-3)
MONDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Hamilton forward Dustin Boyd scored six seconds into the third overtime period to end the longest Game 7 in AHL history and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 win over Manitoba to conclude the North Division Finals.
2. AHL All-Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack was spectacular all night, stopping 55 of 57 shots in the loss.
3. Hamilton goaltender Drew MacIntyre (29 saves) did not allow a goal over the final 89:57 of the game.
TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 7 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00 (Series tied 3-3)
Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. E5-Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 27 – Binghamton 3, PORTLAND 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Binghamton 5, PORTLAND 3
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Portland 3, BINGHAMTON 2
Game 4 – Mon., May 2 – BINGHAMTON 6, Portland 1
Game 5 – Tue., May 3 – Portland 6, BINGHAMTON 2
Game 6 – Fri., May 6 – Binghamton 3, PORTLAND 0
East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Charlotte 3, W-B/SCRANTON 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 30 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Charlotte 0
Game 3 – Mon., May 2 – CHARLOTTE 2, W-B/Scranton 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – CHARLOTTE 1, W-B/Scranton 0
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – W-B/Scranton 1, CHARLOTTE 0
Game 6 – Sat., May 7 – Charlotte 4, W-B/SCRANTON 3
North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. N3-Manitoba Moose
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 28 – HAMILTON 4, Manitoba 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – HAMILTON 4, Manitoba 2
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – MANITOBA 5, Hamilton 4
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – MANITOBA 2, Hamilton 1 (2OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – Hamilton 5, MANITOBA 1
Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – Manitoba 1, HAMILTON 0
Game 7 – Mon., May 9 – HAMILTON 2, Manitoba 1 (3OT)
West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W2-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 29 – MILWAUKEE 3, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – Houston 2, MILWAUKEE 0
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – Milwaukee 5, HOUSTON 3
Game 4 – Thu., May 5 – HOUSTON 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – HOUSTON 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – MILWAUKEE 5, Houston 4 (OT)
Game 7 – Tue., May 10 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern
GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 7 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00 (Series tied, 3-3)
The second round of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs comes to a close tonight as Milwaukee hosts Houston in Game 7 of the West Division Finals, with the winner advancing to the conference finals to battle Hamilton beginning Friday night… This marks the second time in three years that the Admirals and Aeros have taken a second-round series to Game 7; in 2009, the Aeros captured a 5-2 decision at the Bradley Center to move on… Milwaukee forced tonight’s decisive contest by earning a 5-4 overtime win in Game 6 on Sunday when Kelsey Wilson scored just 1:01 into the first extra session… It marked the first postseason goal for Wilson, who is tied for second on the club with seven helpers in eight games played… The Admirals held a 3-0 lead in Sunday’s match before surrendering four straight goals to fall into a 4-3 third-period hole… Chris Mueller then notched his fourth goal of the playoffs – but first since Game 3 of the first round vs. Texas – with 4:44 left in regulation to force overtime… Milwaukee’s Ryan Thang picked up four assists in Game 6 – including helpers on the tying and winning goals – and he was joined in the multiple-points column by Wilson (1-2-3), Mueller (1-1-2) and defenseman Roman Josi (1-1-2)… Wilson is now riding a four-game scoring streak (1-5-6), and Thang leads all scorers this round with nine points (3-6-9)… Defenseman Ryan Ellis, drafted 11th overall by parent-club Nashville in 2009, rounded out Milwaukee’s offense on Sunday by nabbing his first professional goal on a first-period power play… Admirals goaltender Jeremy Smith (7-5, 2.22, .931) leads the AHL with 394 saves so far in the playoffs… Following Nashville’s ouster from the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday, the Admirals are expected to receive forwards Blake Geoffrion and Matt Halischuk and defenseman Jonathon Blum back from the Predators in time for tonight’s Game 7… That trio combined for 94 points in 136 games for the Admirals while splitting the regular season between Milwaukee and Nashville… Sunday’s defeat was Houston’s first playoff overtime setback since a quadruple-OT loss in Game 2 of the 2003 Calder Cup Finals vs. Hamilton, snapping a string of 11 consecutive playoff overtime victories… Patrick O’Sullivan and Jon DiSalvatore each registered a goal and two assists for the Aeros in Game 6… O’Sullivan is now riding a three-game scoring streak (2-3-5), while DiSalvatore shows four points (1-3-4) in his last two contests after totaling just one goal through Houston’s first eight playoff games… First Team AHL All-Star defenseman Maxim Noreau also boasts a three-game scoring run (1-4-5) for Houston, which comes on the heels of a four-game drought… Noreau is tied for third among AHL defensemen with eight points (1-7-8) in the playoffs overall… Houston is a 4-0 – all on the road – in Game 7’s in its Calder Cup Playoff history; only the Maine Mariners (5-0) have a better Game 7 record in AHL history… Milwaukee is 2-3 in Calder Cup Playoff Game 7’s, their season ending in a seventh game in both 2009 and 2010… This is the fourth consecutive postseason in which the West Division Finals have gone the distance… The last three games of this series have all required overtime; there have never been four consecutive OT games in the same playoff series in AHL history.
BULLDOGS WIN LONGEST GAME 7 IN AHL HISTORY – TheAHL.com
Winnipeg native Dustin Boyd scored six seconds into the third overtime period on Monday, ending the longest Game 7 in the AHL’s 75-year history and sending the Hamilton Bulldogs to a thrilling 2-1 win over the Manitoba Moose in the decisive game of the North Division Finals. Hamilton advances to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight spring. The Bulldogs will battle the winner of another Game 7, as Milwaukee is set to host Houston on Tuesday night to decide the West Division playoff champion.
BOYD SCORES SIX SECONDS INTO THIRD OVERTIME AS BULLDOGS ELIMINATE MOOSE – Canadian Press
Dustin Boyd’s dramatic series-winning goal ended the longest Game 7 in American Hockey League history, and the Hamilton Bulldogs sent the Manitoba Moose packing from the Calder Cup playoffs for the second straight year. Boyd put his own dump-in past Manitoba goaltender Eddie Lack six seconds into the third overtime as the Bulldogs won Game 7 of the North Division final 2-1 over the Moose on Monday. “I can’t believe it went in,” Boyd said of his first goal of the playoffs, a chop at a rolling puck coming off the end boards. That was a relief.”
BOYD HELPS DOGS WIN IN TRIPLE OT – Hamilton Spectator
It was eerily familiar only this time it had a happy twist. The Hamilton Bulldogs came from behind to beat the Manitoba Moose 2-1 last night in triple overtime at Copps Coliseum in the seventh and deciding game of their AHL North Division final. And for anyone who was at last year’s 4-2 heartbreaking loss to the Texas Stars in the seventh game of the conference final, last night’s game had some striking similarities.
MOOSE GO DOWN FIGHTING – Winnipeg Free Press
No matter how hard they’ve tried, the Manitoba Moose just can’t seem to get a foot in front of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Taking the AHL’s North Division winners to Monday night’s seventh game in the division final series, it took an unusual bounce to start the third overtime period to set the table for Winnipegger Dustin Boyd to lift his Bulldogs to a 2-1 win at Copps Coliseum. It’s the fourth time in four tries since 2003 that the Moose have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Bulldogs.
MOOSE RUN OUT OF LUCK – Winnipeg Sun
The law of averages suggested it was merely a matter of time until the Manitoba Moose ran out of luck in elimination games. After staving off elimination four previous times in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs, Winnipegger Dustin Boyd scored the decisive goal six seconds into triple overtime to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory over the Moose in the seventh and deciding game of the North Division final. The goal spoiled another spectacular effort by Moose goalie Eddie Lack, who finished with 55 saves.
WILSON’S FUNKY OUTFIT LOOSENED TEAM’S MOOD – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee was facing a do-or-die playoff game Sunday, and before it even started, the Admirals almost died … of laughter. Kelsey Wilson strolled into the locker room before Game 6 with quite the eye-catching outfit. “It was unbelievable,” Milwaukee’s Ryan Thang said. “He’s just the kind of guy that always loosens up the locker room.” And then Wilson scored the winning goal 61 seconds into overtime to force Game 7 of the West Division Finals series against visiting Houston. “I just wanted to loosen the boys up. Guys were a little uptight,” Wilson said.
AEROS PREPARE FOR FITTING FINALE – Houston Chronicle
When young basketball players imitate pros while playing in their driveway or on the playground, they always like to go “3, 2, 1” and attempt to make a buzzer-beater to win a key game. The same is true in hockey, except that on ponds and community rinks everywhere, the moment is always Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and your team has a chance to win. The Aeros are playing for the Calder Cup, not Lord Stanley’s hardware. But the emotions are the same as they take the ice tonight for the deciding game of the West Division finals with the Milwaukee Admirals.
MINORS COACH, MAJOR AMBITIONS – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Mike Yeo had the perfect job. As an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins for five years, Yeo worked for a franchise with a core of stars that would be perennial Stanley Cup contenders. Most young coaches would fasten himself to such luxury with Krazy Glue. But Yeo wanted to be a head coach in the National Hockey League. And there were two problems: Yeo had never been a head coach. And he had never played in the NHL.
WHEN A SEASON OF GREATNESS JUST GOES BLANK – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
The blank looks on their faces suggested the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins would have trouble facing reality. Because a really good opportunity just slipped right past them. The smoothest season in team history went skidding off the ice. The team to beat in the Calder Cup Playoffs was beaten soundly. And the sound of eerie silence inside the Penguins locker room only explained how hard everyone was trying to figure out why.
PENGUINS HAVING TROUBLE BELIEVING THEIR SEASON’S OVER – Citizens’ Voice
When Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain Ryan Craig arrived at the Coal Street rink for his season wrap-up meeting with coach John Hynes on Monday afternoon, he couldn’t help but think there was some place he should be instead. Like at home. In his bed. Taking a nap. That’s part of his routine on game days, and Monday afternoon should have been a time to get ready for Game 7 of the East Division finals with the Charlotte Checkers, not a time to pack up gear and say goodbye to teammates.
PENGUINS STILL IN SHOCK AS THEY HEAD INTO OFFSEASON – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Brad Thiessen will have a long time to think about the four-goal eruption by the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday that brought an abrupt end to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season. Forty-five hours to be exact. That’s how long it will take Thiessen to make the drive to his home in British Columbia where he will spend the summer. On Monday, he and the rest of his teammates stopped by the Ice Rink at Coal Street to clean out their lockers, pack up belongings and put an end to a season that was full of so many highs yet ended with a shocking low.
HEALTHY FEELING TOO LATE FOR LERG – Citizens’ Voice
The official playoff injury report for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Bryan Lerg read something like, “Lower-body injury, day to day.” But that doesn’t even begin to cover what he’s been through since April 8. In the next-to-last game of the regular season, Lerg hurt his knee when he hit winger Andrew Gordon in Hershey.
PAINFUL END FOR ONE PEN – Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
“I woke up at 4 a.m. rolling around,” Bryan Lerg said. “I went down to the hotel pool in Norfolk to just try to relieve some pain.” The injury got worse and Lerg missed the final two games of the Norfolk series. “My leg was dead. I fell into the glass during one of the games. I was a mess,” Lerg said. He tried to return against Charlotte, but things didn’t get any better.
HEALTHY RETURNEES BOLSTER BINGHAMTON BLUE LINE – Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
The Binghamton Senators got some good news Monday as they returned to the ice following two much-appreciated days away. Injured defensemen Eric Gryba and Patrick Wiercioch both participated in the B-Sens’ practice, their first on-ice session since closing out the Atlantic Division Finals with a Game 6 win over the Portland Pirates on Friday. “Every day puts us one day closer to being a little healthier,” coach Kurt Kleinendorst said.
CHECKERS, BENNETT FAMILY ON ESPN’S E:60 TONIGHT – Charlotte Observer
The Charlotte Checkers and the family of 11-year-old Zach Bennett will be featured on ESPN’s weekly newsmagazine show, “E:60,” at 7 p.m. ET tonight. Last month, the Checkers, with the help of sponsors, donations and fans, purchased a home in Charlotte for Zach and his family. They have relocated from Albany, N.Y., for better medical care and to be closer to the team that was formerly the Albany River Rats.
ROLOSON GOT NINTH LIFE SHINING FOR ICECATS – Worcester Telegram & Gazette
There are still more than a few people out there, no doubt, who were once Worcester IceCats fans and are now Boston Bruins fans. As the Bruins prepare to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup finals, those folks are probably feeling a little conflicted. Their Bruins may be in the conference finals, but they’ll have to beat one of the greatest Worcester IceCats of all – Dwayne Roloson.
FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
Last night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Mason Raymond tallied a goal and 2005 AHL All-Star Ryan Kesler chipped in a pair of assists as Vancouver closed out its Western Conference semifinal with a 2-1 triumph at Nashville, advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 1994.
GAME 7 BY THE NUMBERS:
44-38 – Record of home teams all-time in AHL Game 7’s.
17 – Calder Cup Playoff Game 7’s that have gone into overtime… Road teams are 8-3 in Game 7 overtime contests since 1992.
ON THIS DATE:
May 10, 2005 – Mike Richards, R.J. Umberger, Joni Pitkanen, Patrick Sharp and Jon Sim all score for Philadelphia in a 5-3 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as the Phantoms take a 3-1 series lead in the East Division Finals.
May 10, 1994 – Jeff Sirkka scores 4:52 into overtime, sending Portland to the Calder Cup Finals with a 4-3 win in Game 6 at Adirondack.
May 10, 1982 – The New Brunswick Hawks, led by rookies Steve Larmer and Steve Ludzik, win the Calder Cup with a 4-2 win over the Binghamton Whalers.
May 10, 1966 – At Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Mike Walton’s hat trick in Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals leads Rochester to a 7-0 win over Cleveland and a 3-2 series lead.
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