AHL Morning Skate: May 7

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.

Game 4 – ABBOTSFORD 4, Hamilton 1 (Series tied, 2-2)

1. Rookie Mitch Wahl recorded his first three career playoff points, scoring twice and adding an assist to help Abbotsford past Hamilton, 4-1.

2. Rookie Lance Bouma tallied his first professional goal to help the Heat even the North Division Finals at two games apiece.

3. Fellow rookie Carter Bancks contributed an assist in the winning effort for Abbotsford.

Game 6 – Worcester at Manchester, 7:30 (MCH leads series, 3-2)
Game 5 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30 (Series tied, 2-2)


Complete Results II Scoring Leaders II Goaltending Leaders

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 1, WORCESTER 0
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 – ABBOTSFORD 4, Hamilton 1
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 – TEXAS 3, Chicago 2
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 6 – Worcester at Manchester, 7:30 (MCH leads series, 3-2)
Worcester becomes the first regular-season division champion to face elimination this postseason as the Sharks need a win in Game 6 at Manchester tonight… The Monarchs, meanwhile, are just one victory away from their second trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in four years… Manchester improved to 4-1 on the road this postseason by eking out a 1-0 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday night… Baz Bastien Award winner Jonathan Bernier made 30 saves for the Monarchs and collected his second shutout of Worcester in a three-game span… Bernier (7-2) now leads all AHL playoff goaltenders in goals-against average (1.54) and save percentage (.950), and his two shutouts are tied with Chicago’s Peter Mannino for the league lead… Manchester’s Bud Holloway tallied the only goal of the game on Wednesday and tied Darren Haydar’s AHL record with his sixth game-winning marker of the postseason… Holloway, who shows a point in each of his first nine postseason outings (6-4-10), has scored the decisive goal in six of the Monarchs’ first seven playoff wins… Gabe Gauthier earned an assist on the goal and is now riding a three-game scoring streak (2-1-3), while John Zeiler picked up the other helper for his fourth point of the playoffs (2-2-4)… The Sharks have won four of five on the road this postseason… Eddie Shore Award winner Danny Groulx recorded five points (1-4-5) in the Sharks’ opening-round ouster of Lowell but has been held to two assists in five games vs. Manchester to this point… Dan DaSilva, who racked up seven points (2-5-7) in the first round, has just one assist in this series… Joe Callahan returned from injury to the Sharks lineup in Game 5, his first action since Jan. 9… Worcester is 2-2 all-time when facing playoff elimination, including a 2-1 mark vs. Manchester in the 2007 division semifinals… The Monarchs is 3-6 with a chance to close out an opponent… Only once previously has Manchester clinched a playoff series on home ice, and that was last round vs. Portland.

Game 5 – Chicago at Texas, 8:30 (Series tied, 2-2)
Following a split of the first four contests, Chicago and Texas suit up for a crucial Game 5 in the West Division Finals tonight at the Cedar Park Center… The host Stars need a victory to avoid needing two wins back in Chicago to advance… After playing back-to-back overtime games to begin the series, the teams have each collected a regulation win in suburban Austin, most recently a 3-2 Stars triumph on Wednesday night… Texas coughed up leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in that contest before finally prevailing after a power-play goal by defenseman Dan Jancevski with 6:17 to play in regulation… It marked Jancevski’s first Calder Cup Playoff goal since June 4, 2007, when he scored in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Finals as a member of the eventual champion Hamilton Bulldogs… Rookie Travis Morin, who led the Stars with 21 goals during the regular season, had gone without a goal in the playoffs before scoring twice in Game 4… Morin registered seven points – all assists – in the Stars’ first-round sweep of Rockford, but Wednesday’s performance marked his first points of the division finals… Francis Wathier and former Calder Cup champion Landon Wilson each contributed an assist for Texas; Wathier has a point in all four games this round (1-4-5), while Wilson shows a point in five of his last six outings (1-4-5)… Stars goaltender Brent Krahn bounced back from consecutive losses to stop 21 of 23 shots in the Game 4 victory… Brett Sterling nabbed both goals for the Wolves, giving him three goals in his last two games and points in all four games vs. Texas (3-4-7)… Jason Krog is also on a four-game scoring streak (2-3-5) for Chicago, while defenseman Nathan Oystrick has a point in three of his last four outings (2-2-4)… This is the fourth time the Wolves have been tied 2-2 in a best-of-7 playoff series since joining the AHL in 2001-02, and they went on to win the series in each of the three prior instances… In the AHL’s 109 previous best-of-seven series tied at 2-2, the Game 5 victor has won the series 86 times (78.9 percent).


In the AHL’s North Division final, peach fuzz trumps playoff beards. Youngsters Mitch Wahl and Lance Bouma were the offensive heroes for the Abbotsford Heat on Thursday, pacing the hosts to a 4-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs. Bouma notched his first goal as a professional, and Wahl scored the first two playoff goals of his AHL career in the Abby victory, which knotted the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

Hoping to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole for the second straight series, the Abbotsford Heat turned to their rookie line of Mitch Wahl, Carter Bancks and Lance Bouma on Thursday. The move paid off as Wahl scored twice and the trio led the way in a 4-1 American Hockey League victory over the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs that evened their best-of-seven North Division final at two games apiece.

The Hamilton Bulldogs and Abbotsford Heat will face each other Monday night at Copps Coliseum. What we don’t know yet is which team will be facing elimination in the Calder Cup playoffs that evening. The Heat beat the Bulldogs 4-1 Thursday night at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Complex to tie up the AHL North Division best-of-seven final at 2-2. The two teams will play Game 5 in the series Saturday night 10 in Abbotsford before heading to Hamilton for Monday’s game.

MONARCHS SHOOT FOR CLINCHER – New Hampshire Union Leader
The Manchester Monarchs are one win away from a trip to Chocolate Town. The Monarchs will host Worcester tonight in Game 6 of the Atlantic Division finals best-of-seven series. Manchester leads the series 3-2 and can advance to the Eastern Conference finals against Hershey with a win. The Monarchs are hoping to avoid a trip back to Worcester for a seventh game, which would be tomorrow night.

His given name is George, he answers to “Bud” and it seems as though everywhere he plays hockey, he’s known as a big-time scorer in the postseason. Bud Holloway scored 19 goals for Manchester in the regular season this year, a solid total, but his reputation has soared in the playoffs. Holloway has six goals (all of them game-winning goals) in nine games for the Monarchs during the AHL playoffs.

The hit may have drawn a major penalty, but the blow delivered by Warren Peters midway through the fourth game of the AHL West Division finals paid off. Wednesday night’s shot from Peters on Chicago’s Spencer Machacek resulted in a five-minute power play for the Wolves, who had converted on four of their last eight attempts. Desperately needing a stop, the Stars puffed their chests and held Chicago back for an eventual 3-2 win.

In Thursday’s Stanley Cup Playoff action, Tom Pyatt (1-1-2) and former Calder Cup champions Maxim Lapierre (1-0-1) and Mathieu Darche (0-1-1) combined for four points and 2007 AHL All-Star Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves as Montreal evened up its Eastern Conference semifinal by rallying for a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh… Maxime Talbot and 2004 AHL All-Star Chris Kunitz netted goals for the Penguins… Valtteri Filppula scored and Jimmy Howard made 28 saves in Detroit’s 7-1 win over San Jose… The Red Wings’ Mattias Ritola and the Sharks’ Thomas Greiss made their NHL playoff debuts in the game.

1 – Number of times Worcester was shut out during the 2009-10 regular season, a 4-0 loss to Chad Johnson and Hartford on Nov. 14… The Sharks have been blanked twice in the last three games by Jonathan Bernier and Manchester.

3 – Players who have scored their first professional goals during the last two games of the North Division Finals… Hamilton’s Gabriel Dumont and Olivier Fortier did the honors in Game 3, followed by Abbotsford’s Lance Bouma in last night’s Game 4.

22-12 – Combined postseason road record of the seven remaining teams in the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs (.647).

May 7, 2006Scottie Upshall records a goal and two assists in Milwaukee’s 7-4 win at Houston, giving the Admirals a 3-0 lead in their West Division final.

May 7, 2004 – Jeff Carter’s goal 15:20 into overtime gives Philadelphia a 3-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and evens their division final series at one game apiece.

May 7, 2002 – The Chicago Wolves become the first team in AHL history to prevail in three winner-take-all games in a single postseason, advancing to the Western Conference final with a 6-2 victory at Syracuse in Game 7.

May 7, 1975
– The Springfield Indians capture the Calder Cup with a 4-0 win over New Haven.

May 7, 1969 – The Hershey Bears win their fourth Cup with a 3-0 victory over visiting Quebec.

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