AHL Morning Skate: May 31, 2024

Photo: Stacey Salter

A1-Hershey Bears vs. N1-Cleveland Monsters
Game 2 – Saturday, 7:00 ET,
(Hershey leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – Thu., May 30 – HERSHEY 5, Cleveland 4 (OT) | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sat., June 1 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Tue., June 4 – Hershey at Cleveland, 7:00
Game 4 – Thu., June 6 – Hershey at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 8 – Hershey at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 10 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 12 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary... All times Eastern

P1-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. C1-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 2 – Tonight, 10:00 ET,
(Coachella Valley leads series, 1-0)

Game 1 – Wed., May 29 – COACHELLA VALLEY 2, Milwaukee 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Fri., May 31 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
Game 3 – Tue., June 4 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 – Thu., June 6 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 8 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 10 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 12 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Coachella Valley hosts Milwaukee in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at Acrisure Arena, where the Admirals are 0-4 over the last two postseasons... John Hayden (4-2-6) scored both goals for the Firebirds in their 2-1 victory on Wednesday night, including the winning tally with 11:11 to play... Devin Shore (4-3-7) assisted on the game-winner to take sole possession of the team lead with his seventh point of the playoffs... Chris Driedger (7-1, 2.22, .929) made a season-high 37 saves, leading Coachella Valley to its seventh straight win... Zach L’Heureux (9-5-14) scored again for Milwaukee in Game 1, his league-best ninth goal and 14th point of the postseason... L’Heureux has scored his nine goals on a total of 20 shots (45.0 percent)... Troy Grosenick (4-2, 2.01, .926) stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Admirals on Wednesday, holding the Firebirds’ offense to fewer than three goals for the first time since their 4-1 loss to Calgary in Game 1 of the division semifinals... Milwaukee has dropped all three of its series openers this postseason, but is 3-1 in games following a loss... Attendance for Game 1 was 7,413 at Acrisure Arena; the Firebirds have drawn at least 7,000 fans to all 41 home games this season.

The Cleveland Monsters worked out any remaining bus legs from Wednesday’s trip to Hershey with a brisk morning skate before Game 1 at Giant Center.

“I think our guys have been itching to play,” Monsters head coach Trent Vogelhuber said. “Nobody wants to be practicing this time of year. Our guys came up and focused well in practice, but you could tell they’re just itching and ready to play.”

Captain Brendan Gaunce was a full participant in the morning skate, but was not in the lineup last night. Gaunce was injured while on recall to the Columbus Blue Jackets and has not played a game since Apr. 11.

Vogelhuber called Gaunce a “key member of establishing our identity” this season.

“He does everything the right way, detail-wise,” Vogelhuber added. “He hasn't played for us for quite a while, but I think we’re playing the way we are because he’s helped establish that throughout the year.

While Gaunce’s playoff debut will have to wait, Hershey got a big piece back in its lineup when Riley Sutter made his first appearance of the 2024 postseason last night.

It was Sutter’s first game since the Bears’ regular-season finale on Apr. 20.

The fifth-year pro has been a solid two-way forward throughout his time in Hershey, and set career highs in 2023-24 with nine goals, 14 assists, 23 points and a plus-11 rating.

― with files from Patrick Williams

In Thursday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Gustav Forsling scored his second goal of the series to help Florida to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final... Chris Kreider tallied a goal and an assist and Mika Zibanejad added two assists for the Rangers.

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