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.
TUESDAY’S THREE STARS:
1. Spencer Machacek tallied two goals and added an assist to lead Chicago past Texas, 5-3, for a 2-1 series lead in the West Division Finals.
2. Rookie Olivier Fortier’s first professional goal proved to be the game-winner as Hamilton edged Abbotsford by a 3-2 count to take a 2-1 advantage in the North Division Finals.
3. Perttu Lindgren notched a pair of goals for Texas in the Stars’ Game 3 loss.
TONIGHT’S SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 5 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05 (Series tied, 2-2)
Game 4 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30 (CHI leads series, 2-1)
2010 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Worcester Sharks vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs
Game 1 – Sun., Apr. 25 – WORCESTER 4, Manchester 3
Game 2 – Wed., Apr. 28 – Manchester 3, WORCESTER 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Fri., Apr. 30 – MANCHESTER 5, Worcester 0
Game 4 – Sat., May 1 – Worcester 3, MANCHESTER 2
Game 5 – Wed., May 5 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05
Game 6 – Fri., May 7 – Worcester at Manchester, 7:30
*Game 7 – Sat., May 8 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05
East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. E2-Albany River Rats
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 24 – HERSHEY 4, Albany 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 25 – HERSHEY 6, Albany 3
Game 3 – Tue., Apr. 27 – Hershey 6, ALBANY 5 (OT)
Game 4 – Thu., Apr. 29 – Hershey 5, ALBANY 4 (OT)
North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. vs. N3-Abbotsford Heat
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 29 – Abbotsford 3, HAMILTON 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – HAMILTON 3, Abbotsford 1
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Hamilton 3, ABBOTSFORD 2
Game 4 – Thu., May 6 – Hamilton at Abbotsford, 10:00
Game 5 – Sat., May 8 – Hamilton at Abbotsford, 10:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 10 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Abbotsford at Hamilton, 7:30
West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 30 – Texas 4, CHICAGO 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Sun., May 2 – CHICAGO 4, Texas 3 (2OT)
Game 3 – Tue., May 4 – Chicago 5, TEXAS 3
Game 4 – Wed., May 5 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
Game 5 – Fri., May 7 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30
*Game 6 – Sun., May 9 – Texas at Chicago, 4:00
*Game 7 – Tue., May 11 – Texas at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern
GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 5 – Manchester at Worcester, 7:05 (Series tied, 2-2)
Deadlocked at two games apiece, the Atlantic Division Finals has been reduced to a best-of-three series, and Manchester visits Worcester for the pivotal Game 5 tonight at the DCU Center… The teams have been idle since splitting a pair of games in Manchester last weekend… Worcester suffered a 5-0 defeat on Friday night but rallied from a 2-1 second-intermission deficit to post a 3-2 victory the next night… Cory Quirk tied the game midway through the third period, and defenseman Derek Joslin notched the game-winner – his fourth goal of the playoffs – with 33.3 seconds remaining… Sharks captain Ryan Vesce also scored on Saturday, and rookie Brandon Mashinter assisted on all three goals to give him a team-leading five points (1-4-5) through the first four games of the series… Joslin and Quirk are tied for the Sharks’ lead with two goals apiece against the Monarchs this postseason… Worcester rookie goaltender Alex Stalock stopped 19 of 21 shots in the Game 4 victory, which lifted the Sharks’ playoff record to an impressive 3-2 in contests where they trail entering the third period… Both of Worcester’s wins in this series have featured third-period comebacks, as the Sharks also rallied from a 2-1 deficit in Game 1 to post a 4-3 triumph… Gabe Gauthier and Justin Azevedo netted second-period goals just 1:03 apart for the Monarchs on Saturday, each scoring for the second time this postseason… Bud Holloway assisted on Azevedo’s goal for his team-best fourth assist and fifth point of the series… Holloway has registered a point in all eight of Manchester’s playoff games thus far (5-4-9), while Azevedo has a point in seven of the eight (2-6-8)… Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who made 33 saves in the losing effort on Saturday, is 6-0 this postseason when allowing two goals or fewer and 0-2 when he surrenders more than two goals… In 109 previous best-of-seven series tied at 2-2, the Game 5 victor has won the series 86 times (78.9 percent).
Game 4 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30 (CHI leads series, 2-1)
One night after dropping a 5-3 decision in Game 3 of the West Division Finals, Texas will look to pull back even with Chicago when the teams meet up for Game 4 tonight at the Cedar Park Center… Spencer Machacek, who hadn’t put up a multiple-point showing in any of his first nine playoff games, paced the Wolves on Tuesday with two goals and an assist… Machacek’s nine postseason points (5-4-9) are now tied with Tim Stapleton (2-7-9) for the Chicago team lead… Defenseman Nathan Oystrick also scored twice in Game 3 for the Wolves, registering his first two goals of the playoffs… Brett Sterling, who led the Wolves with 34 goals (34-22-56) in 55 games during the regular season, rounded out Chicago’s offense with his first marker of the postseason, giving him a team-high five points (1-4-5) vs. Texas this round… Anthony Stewart is riding a four-game scoring streak (4-1-5) for the Wolves, while Jason Krog, who chipped in two assists on Tuesday, has a point in his all three games this series (2-2-4)… Chicago goaltender Peter Mannino (6-3, 2.85, .899) made 27 saves as the Wolves won their fourth straight game at Cedar Park Center since a 4-1 loss on Oct. 31… Texas forward Perttu Lindgren had been without a point through the first two games of this series before breaking out with a pair of goals in the Game 3 defeat… Aaron Gagnon also scored for the Stars, giving him a point in all three tilts against the Wolves (2-1-3)… Defenseman Andrew Hutchinson is riding a five-game scoring streak (3-4-7) after failing to produce a point in the Stars’ first two playoff outings; Hutchinson’s current run matches his longest run of the regular season, as he had a point in five straight from Feb. 21-28… Matt Climie played the third period in relief of Brent Krahn last night, his first game action since Apr. 9… The Stars are looking to avoid their first three-game losing skid since Feb. 19-23 and their first back-to-back home losses since dropping three straight – including two at the hands of Chicago – from Feb. 9-13.
STARS FALL TO WOLVES, TRAIL IN PLAYOFF SERIES – Austin American-Statesman
Dan Jancevski doesn’t need to spend any more time watching game tape. He and the Stars know Chicago’s formula for success all too well. Touting the most precise power play of all postseason contingents, the Wolves blew three past Texas on Tuesday, winning 5-3 and backing the Stars into a 2-1 deficit heading into the fourth game of the AHL West Division finals tonight. “We’ve played these guys enough to know that we’re even when it’s five-on-five, but if we give them any room, they know how to take advantage.”
AHL APPROVES FRANCHISE PURCHASE BY TEXAS STARS – Austin American-Statesman
David Andrews isn’t in the business of taking gambles, but a bet he placed nearly a year ago paid off Tuesday. Andrews, now in his 16th year as president of the American Hockey League, and the Texas Stars announced Tuesday the completion of the team’s full membership in the league. Though Texas played in the AHL as an affiliate of the Dallas Stars this season, the team was operating under a limited agreement with the league.
MANCHESTER MOVES ON AFTER GAME 4 LOSS – New Hampshire Union Leader
After tonight, one team will have one skate in the grave. The Manchester Monarchs play at Worcester tonight at 7:05 p.m. in Game 5 of the Atlantic Division finals best-of-seven series. The second round series is tied 2-2 and Game 6 will be in Manchester on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. After tonight, one team will hold a 3-2 lead and can close it out Friday. A potential Game 7 would be Saturday night in Worcester.
FERRIERO CAN GO HOME AGAIN – FOR NOW – NHL.com
Worcester Sharks rookie forward Benn Ferriero grew up on Massachusetts’ North Shore and played four years of hockey at Boston College. So it was only fitting, albeit completely unexpected, that the Bay State kid would spend most of his first professional season right in his backyard. Ferriero was originally drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006, but after completing his senior season at BC in 2008-09, he went unsigned. Enter the San Jose Sharks.
DOGS WIN IN ABBOTSFORD TO TAKE SERIES LEAD – Hamilton Spectator
Gabriel Dumont and Olivier Fortier scored their first goals as professionals as the Hamilton Bulldogs scored a come from behind 3-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre on Tuesday. Dumont, who joined the Bulldogs out of the QMJHL last week, got the Bulldogs even at 2-2 on a power play at 16:49 of the second period. And Fortier who spent the entire regular season, save one game, out with an injury scored the winner at 18:54 of the second.
ROOKIES LEAD BULLDOGS TO GAME 3 WIN – Canadian Press
Depleted by injuries and callups to the NHL, the Hamilton Bulldogs took the lead in the American Hockey League’s North Division final Tuesday, thanks to a couple of rookies scoring their first professional goals. Gabriel Dumont scored the tying goal and fellow rookie Olivier Fortier added the winner as the Bulldogs beat the Abbotsford Heat 3-2 in AHL playoff action.
HEAT PAYS BIG PRICE FOR LETDOWN – Calgary Herald
For the majority of Tuesday night’s American Hockey League playoff game, the Abbotsford Heat dominated. But because the wheels fell off briefly for the home boys in the second period, it cost them a 3-2 Game 3 loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre. The Calgary Flames’ farmhands now trail two games-to-one in their best-of-seven North Division final series.
ROOKIES LEAD THE WAY AS BULLDOGS RALLY PAST HEAT – Abbotsford News
In the rough-and-tumble world of the playoffs, it’s typically the grizzled veterans who take center stage. But on Tuesday, it was a pair of Hamilton Bulldogs rookies who did in the Abbotsford Heat. Gabriel Dumont and Olivier Fortier scored their first goals as professionals, powering the Bulldogs to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
HEAT ARE IN A DOG FIGHT – Abbotsford Times
It’s clear the Abbotsford Heat and Hamilton Bulldogs have a distinct dislike for each other. It was evident all throughout a chippy, rugged Game 3 of the North Division final at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, and perhaps the ill will that has brewed over the last five days of the series got into the heads of the Heat a little too much on Tuesday night.
WAITING GAME CONTINUES FOR BEARS – Harrisburg Patriot-News
The 2009-10 Hershey Bears may be poised to set another team record simply by not playing. Though no formal scheduling announcement has been made, the expectation is that Hershey will begin the Eastern Conference finals on May 12. That means a 13-day layoff between the end of the East Division finals against Albany on April 29 and the beginning of a series against the winner of the Atlantic Division finals between Manchester and Worcester.
FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
On Tuesday, 2009-10 AHL All-Rookie forward Logan Couture scored the game-tying goal with 6:43 left to play in the third period, and San Jose went on to capture a 4-3 overtime win at Detroit to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the teams’ Western Conference semifinal… Marc-Andre Fleury posted an 18-save shutout to lead Pittsburgh over Montreal, 2-0, for a 2-1 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal… 1994 Calder Cup champion Sergei Gonchar and 2007-08 AHL All-Rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski assisted on the game-winning goal for the Penguins.
BY THE NUMBERS:
4 – Previous career-long scoring streak by Manchester’s Bud Holloway – done twice during the 2009-10 regular season – before finding the scoresheet in each of the Monarchs’ first eight games this postseason.
30.4 – Combined power-play conversion rate for Chicago (5-for-12; 41.7%) and Texas (2-for-11; 18.1%) through the first three games of the West Division Finals.
9.4 – Combined power-play conversion rate for Chicago (3-for-25; 12.0%) and Texas (2-for-28; 7.1%) during the teams’ eight-game regular-season series.
ON THIS DATE:
May 5, 2006 – Alex Burrows scores in Manitoba’s 3-1 win over Grand Rapids in Game 1 of their division final.
May 5, 2004 – Hartford completes a four-game sweep of Worcester with a 4-3 victory in Game 4, clinching the series on Ken Gernander’s goal at 7:49 of the third overtime period.
May 5, 2003 – Ray Emery stops 34 shots as Binghamton advances to the conference finals with a 2-1 win over Bridgeport in Game 6.
May 5, 1993 – Bill McDougall ties an AHL playoff record with five goals (and adds an assist) in Cape Breton’s 8-2 win over St. John’s as the Oilers complete a four-game sweep of the Maple Leafs.
May 5, 1974 – Rick Middleton’s overtime goal allows the Providence Reds to avoid a sweep with a 5-4 win over Hershey in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals.
AHL CHAT ROOM:
Texas Stars defenseman Andrew Hutchinson steps into the AHL Chat Room to answer fans’ questions this Thursday, May 6… Visit theahl.com to submit questions for Andrew, and check back Thursday to see his responses.
Don’t miss a step on the road to the 2010 Calder Cup championship. AHL Live brings AHL action to your computer all season long with live video webcasts and highlights of every AHL game, as well as behind-the-scenes features and interviews in the Video On Demand section… Visit theahl.com or ahllive.com for details.