AHL Morning Skate: May 3, 2023


A1-Providence Bruins vs. A5-Hartford Wolf Pack
Game 3 – Tonight, 7:00 ET,
(Hartford leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Hartford 1, PROVIDENCE 0 | Recap
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Hartford 2, PROVIDENCE 1 | Recap
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Providence at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Providence at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern

The Atlantic Division champion Providence Bruins have their backs to the wall as they head to Hartford for Game 3 of their best-of-five series tonight... The Wolf Pack grabbed a 2-0 lead with a pair of wins in Rhode Island over the weekend, giving them four wins without a loss so far this postseason... Overall, Hartford has won 12 of its last 13 games, outscoring the opposition by a 52-13 margin... Dylan Garand (4-0, 0.75, .966), who made 29 saves in Game 2 following his Game 1 shutout, has stopped 43 of 44 shots in the series... The Wolf Pack have gotten seven goals from defensemen this postseason, led by Ty Emberson (2-2-4) and Blake Hillman (2-2-4) with two apiece... Rookie forward Luke Toporowski (1-0-1) scored for the Bruins in Game 2... Brandon Bussi (0-2, 1.53, .950) has allowed three goals on 60 shots over the first two games... Providence has lost six consecutive postseason games dating back to 2019, totaling just four goals in those contests... The Bruins are 29-22 all-time when facing elimination, including 5-2 in five previous series against Hartford; the B’s defeated the Wolf Pack in a best-of-five series in 2001 after losing the first two games... Both of these teams’ NHL affiliates were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs since Game 2 was played; the New York Rangers returned Jonny Brodzinski, Jake Leschyshyn, Libor Hajek and Louis Domingue to Hartford, while Boston sent Jakub Lauko and Kyle Keyser back to Providence.

A2-Hershey Bears vs. A3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 3 – Tonight, 7:00 ET,
(Hershey leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Hershey 5, CHARLOTTE 2 | Recap
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Hershey 5, CHARLOTTE 1 | Recap
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4 - Thu., May 4 - Charlotte at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Charlotte at Hershey, 5:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

The Hershey Bears head home with a 2-0 series and can wrap things up with another win over Charlotte at Giant Center tonight... The Bears’ 5-2 and 5-1 wins pushed the Checkers to the brink of elimination for the third time already this postseason; in their best-of-three first-round series, Charlotte won twice after dropping Game 1 to Lehigh Valley... Garrett Pilon (1-3-4) led the Hershey offense in the first two games, as 15 of the Bears’ 18 skaters recorded at least one point... Hershey has scored its 10 goals in the series on just 41 shots (24.4 percent)... Starting games on back-to-back nights for just the third time this season, Hunter Shepard (2-0, 1.50, .932) stopped 41 of 44 shots combined to open the series... Ryan McAllister (1-1-2) scored the lone Charlotte goal in Game 2; he has two goals and five assists in seven games since joining the Checkers from Western Michigan University last month... Lucas Carlsson (3-3-6) and Aleksi Heponiemi (0-6-6) are tied for the Checkers’ postseason scoring lead... Charlotte is 4-1 all-time in playoff games at Hershey.

N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N4-Utica Comets
Game 3 – Tonight, 7:00 ET,
(Series tied, 1-1)

Game 1 - Thu., Apr. 27 - TORONTO 6, Utica 5 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 - Sat., Apr. 29 - Utica 7, TORONTO 2 | Recap
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Toronto at Utica, 7:00
Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Toronto at Utica, 7:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Utica at Toronto, 4:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

The North Division semifinal between Toronto and Utica shifts to central New York as the Comets host Game 3 tonight... Utica earned a split of the first two games with a 7-2 victory on Saturday afternoon... Ryan Schmelzer (3-1-4), Brian Pinho (2-1-3) and Brian Halonen (1-1-2) all recorded a goal and an assist for the Comets in Game 2, while Alexander Holtz (0-5-5), Jayce Hawryluk (0-5-5) and Robbie Russo (0-3-3) notched two assists apiece... Nico Daws (3-1, 2.09, .935) made 28 saves in the win... Reilly Walsh (4-1-5) has points in all four playoff games for the Comets and in seven straight contests going back to the regular season... The Marlies, who trailed 3-0 in Game 1 before rallying to win, spotted Utica a 2-0 lead in Game 2 before Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (2-0-2) and Kyle Clifford (1-1-2) scored power-play goals late in the first period to tie it at 2-2 before the Comets ran off the final five tallies to set a franchise record for goals in a playoff game... With Matt Murray returning to practice with the Maple Leafs, the NHL club returned Erik Källgren to the Marlies on Monday... The Marlies finished the regular season on a five-game road losing streak; they have not won away from home since a 6-3 victory in Rochester on Mar. 12.

N2-Syracuse Crunch vs. N3-Rochester Americans
Game 5 – Saturday, 7:00 ET,
(Series tied, 2-2)

Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – SYRACUSE 3, Rochester 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – SYRACUSE 3, Rochester 0 | Recap
Game 3 - Fri., Apr. 28 - ROCHESTER 8, Syracuse 5 | Recap
Game 4 - Sun., Apr. 30 - ROCHESTER 4, Syracuse 0 | Recap
Game 5 - Sat., May 6 - Rochester at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

C1-Texas Stars vs. C5-Rockford IceHogs
Game 3 – Tonight, 8:00 ET,
(Texas leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Texas 5, ROCKFORD 3 | Recap
Game 2 - Sun., Apr. 30 - Texas 4, ROCKFORD 1 | Recap
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*Game 5 - Sat., May 6 - Rockford at Texas, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Texas has three chances to close out Rockford on home ice, beginning tonight with Game 3 at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park... The Stars went into Rockford and took a pair of decisions over the weekend to put themselves in position to win their first playoff series since defeating the IceHogs in the Western Conference Finals in 2018... Riley Barber (2-0-2), who finished fourth in the AHL with 32 goals during the regular season, scored twice for Texas in Sunday’s 4-1 victory in Game 2... Curtis McKenzie (1-1-2) and former IceHog Tanner Kero (1-2-3) chipped in with a goal and an assist apiece... Matt Murray (2-0, 2.00, .927) stopped 26 of 27 shots in the Game 2 win, and has now won seven of his last eight starts going back to the regular season... Scoreless in Rockford’s two first-round contests against Iowa, Joey Anderson (2-0-2) has goals in each of the first two games of this series... The IceHogs have won four straight road games... Three of the four previous playoff series between the clubs ended in sweeps... Rockford is 2-7 all-time when facing elimination, with both wins coming against Texas in 2018.

C2-Milwaukee Admirals vs. C3-Manitoba Moose
Game 3 – Tonight, 8:00 ET,
(Series tied, 1-1)

Game 1 - Fri., Apr. 28 - Milwaukee 6, MANITOBA 2 | Recap
Game 2 - Sun., Apr. 30 - MANITOBA 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Manitoba at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Manitoba at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 - Sat., May 6 - Manitoba at Milwaukee, 7:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

A late Game 2 rally gave Manitoba a split of the first two games of their Central Division semifinal series with Milwaukee, and a rosier outlook as the series shifts south of the border for the final three games beginning tonight... Down 1-0 in the series in 2-1 in Sunday’s contest, the Moose pulled out a victory when Cole Maier (1-0-1) scored with 52.2 seconds left in regulation and Jansen Harkins (2-0-2) buried the game-winner 1:32 into overtime... Oskari Salminen made 30 saves to pick up the win in his first start since returning from the parent Winnipeg Jets... Declan Chisholm (0-2-2) assisted on both the tying and winning goals in Game 2... Kiefer Sherwood (1-2-3), Luke Evangelista (1-3-4) and Jordan Gross (2-3-5) all had two points for the Admirals on Sunday, and Yaroslav Askarov (1-1, 2.47, .930) finished with 31 saves... Milwaukee, which led the AHL in power-play efficiency during the regular season at 24.6 percent, is 3-for-6 in the series... The Admirals were also third in the league on the penalty kill (84.3 percent), and is 7-for-7 against the Moose... Manitoba was 4-1-2-0 in its last seven road games during the regular season.

P1-Calgary Wranglers vs. P4-Abbotsford Canucks
Game 3 – Tonight, 10:00 ET,
(Calgary leads series, 2-0)

Game 1 - Wed., Apr. 26 - CALGARY 3, Abbotsford 2 (OT) | Recap
Game 2 - Fri., Apr. 28 - CALGARY 4, Abbotsford 3 (OT) | Recap
Game 3 - Wed., May 3 - Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 4 - Fri., May 5 - Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 5 - Sun., May 7 - Calgary at Abbotsford, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Calgary hits the road with a 2-0 series lead and a chance to close out Abbotsford in B.C. tonight... The Wranglers won a pair of overtime games to open the series, with Jakob Pelletier (1-1-2) and Matthew Phillips (1-1-2) providing the winning goals... Nick DeSimone (0-4-4) is Calgary’s leading scorer this postseason, including three assists in Game 2 on Friday... The Wranglers scored twice in the third period of Game 2 to erase a 3-1 deficit; Calgary trailed after 40 minutes a league-low 16 times in the regular season... Dustin Wolf (2-0, 2.15, .924) made 24 saves in Game 2... Canucks rookie Arshdeep Bains (2-1-3) scored two shorthanded goals 55 seconds apart in the first period of Game 2; he is the first AHL player with two SHG in one postseason game since Cory Conacher did it for Syracuse on May 6, 2017... Nils Höglander (2-2-4) is scoreless in this series for Abbotsford after recording four points in two first-round games vs. Bakersfield... Spencer Martin (1-1, 1.37, .951) and Arturs Silovs (1-1, 2.85, .914) have alternated starts in the Canucks net for 20 consecutive games.

P2-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. P3-Colorado Eagles
Game 4 – Tonight, 10:00 ET,
(Colorado leads series, 2-1)

Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Coachella Valley 6, COLORADO 2 | Recap
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 27 – COLORADO 3, Coachella Valley 2 | Recap
Game 3 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Colorado 1, COACHELLA VALLEY 0 (OT) | Recap
Game 4 – Wed., May 3 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 5 – Colorado at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Colorado brings a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 at Coachella Valley tonight, one win away from ending the Firebirds’ inaugural season... The Eagles won their second straight game on Sunday, a 1-0 overtime decision on Keaton Middleton’s goal 1:40 into the extra session... Alex Galchenyuk (0-3-3) and Josh Jacobs (1-3-4) picked up the assists on the winning goal, which came on the only shot by either side in the OT period... Jonas Johansson (2-0, 0.99, .962) made 29 saves — including 16 in the third period — to become the first visiting goaltender to record a shutout at Acrisure Arena... Joey Daccord (3-3, 2.01, .938) turned aside 24 shots for the Firebirds in Game 3... Sunday’s contest was the 14th game in Calder Cup Playoff history to be scoreless after regulation... Colorado is 0-for-7 on the power play in the series; Coachella Valley is 2-for-10... The Firebirds already have one victory when facing elimination this postseason, a 5-1 first-round triumph over Tucson in their winner-take-all Game 3 on Apr. 23.

Cory Conacher is looking to Charlotte Checkers captain Zac Dalpe as some extra inspiration.

A veteran of more than 500 regular-season and playoff games in the NHL, Dalpe now finds himself in the lineup for the Florida Panthers, one of the biggest stories in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dalpe has dressed for each of the Panthers’ last five games, and his first career NHL playoff goal in Game 6 helped Florida to a 7-5 win over Boston.

Dalpe played 14 games in the regular season for new Panthers head coach Paul Maurice, who was Dalpe’s first NHL coach in Carolina more than a decade ago. It was his longest stint in the NHL since he played 21 games with Buffalo in 2014-15.

Conacher, like Dalpe 33 years old, joined the Checkers on Feb. 22 via a professional tryout deal. He played two games with Belleville back in November, but serious health issues put him out of action for more than three months.

The AHL’s most valuable player and rookie of the year with Norfolk’s Calder Cup champion club in 2011-12, Conacher has delivered on the Checkers’ faith. He had nine points (five goals, four assists) in 15 games down the stretch, and has appeared in all five of the team’s playoff games so far.

“It’s nice to see him keep going and seeing the trust that the organization has in him,” Conacher said of Dalpe. “He’s a great leader here, and I’m sure he carries [it to the NHL].

“That’s why I continue to play. You’ve just got to take an opportunity and run with it. They’ve given me an opportunity to come here on a PTO and play some important minutes for them. I would love to be part of this organization for years to come as well, and it’s important for me to play well now and hopefully help this team go on a long run.”

Goaltender Erik Källgren is back with the Toronto Marlies in time for tonight’s Game 3 contest at Utica.

Källgren rejoined the Marlies after spending nearly two weeks on recall duty with the parent Toronto Maple Leafs. Joseph Woll still remains on NHL recall; he served as Ilya Samsonov’s backup as the Maple Leafs opened their second-round playoff series with Florida last night.

Källgren went 10-9-2 in 24 games in his second season with the Marlies. He also made 10 appearances with the Leafs.

Keith Petruzzelli started the Marlies’ first two games in their division semifinal against the Comets, a 6-5 overtime win and a 7-2 loss. Dennis Hildeby played the final 11 minutes of Game 2 in relief.

The Hartford Wolf Pack began the week in a good place, and now even more help is on the way.

After the Rangers were eliminated by New Jersey in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday night, New York assigned forwards Jonny Brodzinski and Jake Leschyshyn, defenseman Libor Hajek and goaltender Louis Domingue to the Wolf Pack.

The move brings four top players back to Hartford, which is ahead 2-0 in its Atlantic Division semifinal series with Providence. Game 3 is tonight at the XL Center. Brodzinski, the Wolf Pack captain, led the team in scoring with 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 47 games this season. Leschyshyn made his Wolf Pack debut on Mar. 3 and went on to produce 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 18 games. Hajek played 24 games and had six points (two goals, four assists).

In net, Domingue will be reunited with rookie Dylan Garand, who has been one of the top early stories in the Calder Cup Playoffs by leading the Wolf Pack to a 4-0 record with his 0.75 goals-against average and .965 save percentage. Domingue made 45 appearances with Hartford, fourth-most in the AHL, and went 22-12-8 with four shutouts, a 2.51 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

Yet another new face has joined the Milwaukee Admirals.

Nashville Predators blueline prospect Jack Matier has been assigned to Milwaukee after the completion of his Ontario Hockey League season. The 20-year-old defenseman spent this season with the Ottawa 67’s, where he had 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) as the club produced a league-leading 51-12-3-2 regular season. He also won a gold medal representing Canada at the IIHF World Junior Championship.

Matier was a fourth-round draft selection by the Predators in 2021.

― Patrick Williams

In action around the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs last night, 2018-19 AHL scoring champion Carter Verhaeghe scored his third game-winning this postseason and two-time AHL All-Star Brandon Montour added his sixth goal of the playoffs as Florida defeated Toronto, 4-2, to open their second-round series... 2019 AHL All-Star Michael Bunting scored for the Maple Leafs... 2017 AHL All-Star Yanni Gourde scored 12:17 into overtime to lift Seattle to a 5-4 win over Dallas in Game 1... Joe Pavelski scored all four goals for the Stars.

Watch the Calder Cup Playoffs on AHLTV
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