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Game 1 – 7:15 ET, AHL Live
Two of the top offenses in the AHL meet in the Eastern Conference Finals as Norfolk hosts St. John’s in Game 1 tonight… The Admirals were first in the league averaging 3.59 goals per game in the regular season; the IceCaps came in fourth at 3.16 goals per game… Norfolk dropped Game 1 of its second-round series vs. Connecticut, but took four of the next five games to earn the franchise’s first-ever win in a best-of-seven series… St. John’s is coming off a defensive struggle with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the second round, in which the IceCaps became just the third team in AHL history to win a seven-game series without scoring more than three goals in any game (Philadelphia, 2008 vs. Albany; Cleveland, 1953 vs. Pittsburgh)… Alexandre Picard (6-6-12) and Alex Killorn (3-8-11) are the Admirals’ leading playoff scorers through two rounds, and all 20 skaters who have appeared in a playoff game for Norfolk have recorded at least one point… Cory Conacher (1-5-6) has one goal in 10 playoff games after leading the AHL with 39 goals in the regular season… Jaroslav Janus (3-1, 1.69, .937) and Dustin Tokarski (4-2, 2.40, .907) have shared the Admirals’ goaltending chores this postseason… Brock Trotter (5-5-10) continues to lead St. John’s in scoring despite being held to 0-1-1 in the last four games… Of Raymond Sawada‘s six playoff points (3-3-6), four have come in the IceCaps’ two series-clinching games… Eddie Pasquale (7-4, 2.22, .927) has gone the distance in net for St. John’s during the postseason… Norfolk has allowed one power-play goal in 29 chances at Scope (96.6 percent) in five playoff games.
Game 1 – 8:00 ET, Leafs TV, AHL Live
Contrasting the East series, two of the top defenses in the AHL meet in the Western Conference Finals as Oklahoma City hosts Toronto in Game 1 tonight… In the regular season, the Marlies finished first in goals allowed (2.30 per game) and penalty killing (88.1 percent), while the Barons were second in both categories (2.32, 85.6 percent)… Oklahoma City’s Yann Danis was voted the winner of the Baz Bastien Award as the AHL’s top goaltender, but his 2.07 goals-against average was second to Ben Scrivens‘ 2.04 GAA for Toronto… In the postseason, Scrivens (7-1, 1.61, .944) leads the AHL in both GAA and save percentage, and is coming off a series in which he allowed seven goals on 154 shots in five games vs. Abbotsford… Danis (7-2, 2.02, .911) allowed 10 goals in the first two games vs. San Antonio last round but settled down to stop 77 of 82 shots over the last three… Mark Arcobello (4-7-11) and Ryan Keller (4-5-9) had three points each in the Barons’ series-clinching 4-3 win over San Antonio last Friday, and enter the conference finals as the Barons’ top two playoff scorers… Barons defenseman Bryan Rodney (1-5-6) scored in Game 5 vs. San Antonio, ending a personal 36-game postseason scoring drought… Toronto forward Jerry D’Amigo (6-3-9) is tied for the league lead in playoff goals and ranks first in plus/minus (+10)… Mike Zigomanis (3-2-5) has scored three of the Marlies’ four power-play goals this postseason, including the series clincher in overtime of Game 5 vs. Abbotsford last Wednesday… Oklahoma City has an 8-3 edge in first-period scoring over its opponents this postseason; Toronto has outscored the opposition 12-4 in the third period and overtime.
From Calder to Stanley
David Clarkson, a 20-goal scorer in the AHL with the Lowell Devils in 2006-07, scored the game-winning goal for New Jersey’s in last night’s 3-2 win over the N.Y. Rangers in Game 2 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals… Ryan Carter also scored and Bryce Salvador recorded two assists for the Devils… Los Angeles took a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals with a 4-0 win in Phoenix on Tuesday night… Dwight King, who scored four goals in 23 Calder Cup Playoff games for Manchester in 2010 and 2011, netted his fourth goal of this postseason for the Kings, and 2005 Calder Cup champion Jeff Carter picked up a hat trick.
By the Numbers
21-3 – Since 2000, series record of the Game 1 winner during the Calder Cup conference finals round.
9-3 – Series record of Game 1 winners this postseason… Teams were 8-0 after winning series openers in the conference quarterfinals, but 1-3 in the second round with Norfolk, Oklahoma City and Toronto all coming back from Game 1 losses.
On This Date
May 17, 2011 – Zack Smith records three goals and an assist, Bobby Butler and Erik Condra score, Kaspars Daugavins and Jared Cowen notch two assists each as Binghamton rolls past Charlotte, 7-1, to take a 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
May 17, 2009 – Tuukka Rask makes 37 saves but Andrew Joudrey and Alexandre Giroux score third-period goals to give Hershey a series-tying 2-1 win over Providence in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
May 17, 2003 – Houston takes a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 win over Grand Rapids in Game 4.
May 17, 1993 – Olaf Kolzig makes 30 saves as Rochester advances to the Calder Cup Finals with a 3-2 win in Game 7 against the Binghamton Rangers, who had set AHL records for wins and points in the regular season (57-13-10)… Cape Breton gets a record-tying seven points (4g, 3a) from Bill McDougall in a 9-3 win over Springfield, sending the Oilers to the Finals as well.
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