AHL Morning Skate: May 19, 2023

A2-Hershey Bears vs. A5-Hartford Wolf Pack
(Hershey wins series, 3-0)

Game 1 – Thu., May 11 – HERSHEY 3, Hartford 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 13 – HERSHEY 4, Hartford 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 17 – Hershey 3, HARTFORD 1 | Recap

N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N3-Rochester Americans
(Rochester wins series, 3-0)

Game 1 – Thu., May 11 – Rochester 4, TORONTO 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 13 – Rochester 7, TORONTO 4 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 17 – ROCHESTER 8, Toronto 4 | Recap

A2-Hershey Bears vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 1 – Tuesday, 7:00 ET,

Game 1 – Tue., May 23 – Rochester at Hershey, 7:00
Game 2 – Thu., May 25 – Rochester at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Sat., May 27 – Hershey at Rochester, 7:05
Game 4 – Mon., May 29 – Hershey at Rochester, 6:05
*Game 5 – Wed., May 31 – Rochester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 6 – Fri., June 2 – Hershey at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., June 5 – Rochester at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

C1-Texas Stars vs. C2-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 4 – Tonight, 8:00 ET,
(Milwaukee leads series, 2-1)

Game 1 – Fri., May 12 – MILWAUKEE 2, Texas 1 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 13 – Texas 5, MILWAUKEE 3 | Recap
Game 3 – Wed., May 17 – Milwaukee 4, TEXAS 3 | Recap
Game 4 – Fri., May 19 – Milwaukee at Texas, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 21 – Milwaukee at Texas, 8:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

Texas hosts Milwaukee in Game 4 at the H-E-B Center tonight needing a win to extend the series after the Admirals pulled out a 4-3 win on Wednesday... Isaac Ratcliffe (2-0-2) scored his second goal of the night with 1:01 left in regulation of Game 3 to give Milwaukee the 2-1 series lead... Ratcliffe, who had been scratched from the Admirals lineup the previous four games, has 18 points in 23 games for Milwaukee since coming over in a late-season trade from the Philadelphia Flyers organization... Egor Afanasyev (1-4-5) scored the tying goal with 6:34 to play as the Admirals erased a third-period deficit for the second game in a row... Joakim Kemell (3-1-4) also scored for Milwaukee in Game 3, and Luke Evangelista (3-7-10) tallied two assists to give him five points in the series... All three of Texas’s goals in Game 3 came from defensemen, as Ben Gleason (1-3-4), Dawson Barteaux (1-0-1) and Alex Petrovic (2-2-4) found the net... Barteaux and Petrovic scored 26 seconds apart early in the third period to give Texas a 3-2 lead... The Stars have only faced elimination on home ice once previously in team history, defeating Toronto in Game 7 of the conference finals in 2014; Texas is 5-7 all-time in potential elimination games.

P1-Calgary Wranglers vs. P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds
Game 5 – Tonight, 10:00 ET,
(Series tied, 2-2)

Game 1 – Thu., May 11 – Coachella Valley 6, CALGARY 3 | Recap
Game 2 – Fri., May 12 – CALGARY 3, Coachella Valley 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Mon., May 15 – COACHELLA VALLEY 3, Calgary 2 (3OT) | Recap
Game 4 – Wed., May 17 – Calgary 1, COACHELLA VALLEY 0 | Recap
Game 5 – Fri., May 19 – Calgary at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

The Pacific Division finals will be decided tonight as Coachella Valley hosts Calgary in Game 5... The game is being played in Palm Desert after the higher-seeded Wranglers opted to play the first two games of the series at home; Calgary is 3-1 at Acrisure Arena this season, with the only loss coming in triple overtime earlier this week... Cole Schwindt (2-1-3) scored a power-play goal at 7:20 of the second period to give the Wranglers a 1-0 win in Game 4 on Wednesday... Schwindt’s goal was Calgary’s first in 123:19 of playing time, their longest scoreless drought all season... Dustin Wolf (5-3, 2.32, .921) stopped all 27 shots he faced in Game 4 for his fourth career playoff shutout; three of the four have been by 1-0 scores... Joey Daccord (7-5, 1.88, .942), who made 31 saves in Game 4, has a .958 save percentage in elimination games this spring for Coachella Valley, stopping 92 of 96 shots in three victories... The Firebirds are just the third team ever to play three winner-take-all games in a single AHL postseason, joining the 1963 Hershey Bears (2-1) and the 2002 Chicago Wolves (3-0)... This is the 40th time in AHL history that the top two teams from the regular season have met in the Calder Cup Playoffs, but just the ninth time (and the first since Hershey vs. Philadelphia in 1997) that the series went the distance.

“We wanted to spend another day or two together here.”

Calgary Wranglers head coach Mitch Love had those words after Wednesday’s 1-0 win saved his club’s season. The regular-season champion Wranglers were not ready to go home for the summer.

Now the Wranglers will face that same win-or-go-home scenario tonight when they settle the Pacific Division final with Coachella Valley at Acrisure Arena. Another few days in the sun and warm weather for rest and recovery from four games in seven nights — including Game 3 going to triple overtime on Monday — does not hurt, either.

Along with a 27-save shutout from star netminder Dustin Wolf, the Wranglers got a power-play goal from Cole Schwindt in the Game 4 win. And unlike Monday when they lost a two-goal lead, Calgary held the potent Firebirds offense in check.

What was the difference?

“I don’t know,” Love said, before quipping, “I mean, our goalie was pretty sharp. That’s one place to start.

“I thought we had some good composure to our game. It got a little erratic there in the third period. I thought we sat back a little bit, but we found a way and that was the most important part of the game. We’re excited for the challenge here in Game 5.”

The Milwaukee Admirals received a major boost Wednesday with the return of defenseman Kevin Gravel from injury.

Gravel had missed the previous four games after playing 49 regular-season contests with the Admirals and 23 more in the NHL with the parent Nashville Predators. He is also a seasoned playoff performer, winning a Calder Cup with Manchester as a rookie in 2015 and reaching the conference finals with Ontario in 2016 and Stockton in 2022.

“[Sitting out is] never easy,” Gravel said Thursday via the team website. “It’s obviously much, much more nerve-wracking sitting in the stands watching the game than sitting on the bench and having the ability to have an impact on it. Thrilled to be back.”

Stars head coach Neil Graham is not one to panic, and he is not going to start now.

Texas battled Milwaukee down to the final week of the regular season for first place in the Central Division before securing it. Home-ice advantage came with that as the Stars will need back-to-back wins at H-E-B Center to advance to the Western Conference finals. They bounced back with a win following a Game 1 loss in Milwaukee and will try to duplicate that effort tonight.

“There’s a lot more good to look at than bad,” Graham said via the team website. “It’s important not to overreact. No one likes to see a goal go in in the last minute, but you can’t overreact in the situation whether that’s a win or a loss. We’re not going to overreact. We had faith in our group after Game 1, and we have faith in our group after Game 3.

“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You can’t start thinking about what-ifs. You just have to play the game, and that’s a strength of our team that doesn’t worry me.”

― Patrick Williams

In Game 1 of the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference final last night, Carter Verhaeghe tallied a goal and an assist and Anthony Duclair recorded two assists in Florida’s 3-2 quadruple-overtime win over Carolina... Two-time AHL All-Star Brandon Montour played a game-high 57:56 in the contest for the Panthers... Seth Jarvis notched a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes... Stefan Noesen, one of three members of the 2022 Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves in the Carolina lineup, also scored.

Yesterday at the 2023 IIHF World Championship, JJ Peterka tallied a goal and an assist to help Germany to a 6-4 win over Denmark... Jacob de la Rose scored twice and 2018 Calder Cup champion Timothy Liljegren had two assists as Sweden defeated Hungary, 7-1... On Wednesday, Rocco Grimaldi netted a goal as the United States defeated Austria, 4-1... Arturs Silovs made 20 saves for Latvia in a 2-1 win over Norway... Sakari Manninen notched a goal and an assist as Finland beat France, 5-3... Sammy Blais and Joe Veleno each registered a goal and two assists in Canada’s 5-1 victory over Kazakhstan.

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