AHL Morning Skate: May 8, 2008

AHL Quick Hits is now the Morning Skate… Every morning, take 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.


W-B/Scranton 8, PHILADELPHIA 4 (WBS leads, 3-1)

SYRACUSE 5, Toronto 4 (OT) (SYR leads, 3-1)

ROCKFORD 3, Chicago 2 (Series tied, 2-2)


1. Ryan Stone netted two goals and added two assists as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton doubled up Philadelphia by an 8-4 final to take a 3-1 lead in the East Division finals.

2. Joakim Lindstrom tallied his second overtime game-winner of the playoffs to propel Syracuse to a 5-4 comeback win over Toronto, giving the Crunch a 3-1 lead in the North Division finals.

3. Troy Brouwer notched a pair of goals to help Rockford over Chicago, 3-2, evening the West Division finals at two games apiece.


No games scheduled


Game 6 – Portland at Providence, 7:05 (POR leads, 3-2)

Game 5 – Philadelphia at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 (WBS leads, 3-1)

Game 5 – Syracuse at Toronto, 7:30 (SYR leads, 3-1)

Game 5 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:30 (Series tied, 2-2)


Complete Results || Scoring Leaders || Goaltending Leaders

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)

A1-Providence Bruins vs. A3-Portland Pirates || Preview

Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 26 – PROVIDENCE 4, Portland 0

Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 27 – PROVIDENCE 7, Portland 1

Game 3 – Fri., May 2 – PORTLAND 4, Providence 3 (OT)

Game 4 – Sun., May 4 – PORTLAND 3, Providence 2 (OT)

Game 5 – Tue., May 6 – PORTLAND 3, Providence 2

Game 6 – Fri., May 9 – Portland at Providence, 7:05

*Game 7 – Sat., May 10 – Portland at Providence, 7:05


East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)

E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E2-Philadelphia Phantoms || Preview

Game 1 – Thu., May 1 – Philadelphia 5, W-B/SCRANTON 2

Game 2 – Sat., May 3 – W-B/SCRANTON 5, Philadelphia 4 (OT)

Game 3 – Mon., May 5 – W-B/Scranton 3, PHILADELPHIA 2 (WC)

Game 4 – Wed., May 7 – W-B/Scranton 8, PHILADELPHIA 4 (WC)

Game 5 – Fri., May 9 – Philadelphia at W-B/Scranton, 7:05

*Game 6 – Sat., May 10 – W-B/Scranton at Philadelphia, 7:05 (WC)

*Game 7 – Mon., May 12 – Philadelphia at W-B/Scranton, 7:05


North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)

N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N2-Syracuse Crunch || Preview

Game 1 – Fri., May 2 – Syracuse 5, TORONTO 1

Game 2 – Sun., May 4 – Syracuse 3, TORONTO 1

Game 3 – Tue., May 6 – Toronto 8, SYRACUSE 2

Game 4 – Wed., May 7 – SYRACUSE 5, Toronto 4 (OT)

Game 5 – Fri., May 9 – Syracuse at Toronto, 7:30

*Game 6 – Sat., May 10 – Toronto at Syracuse, 7:30

*Game 7 – Mon., May 12 – Syracuse at Toronto, 7:30


West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)

W1-Chicago Wolves vs. W2-Rockford IceHogs || Preview

Game 1 – Thu., May 1 – CHICAGO 4, Rockford 1

Game 2 – Sat., May 3 – CHICAGO 7, Rockford 3

Game 3 – Sun., May 4 – ROCKFORD 3, Chicago 1

Game 4 – Wed., May 7 – ROCKFORD 3, Chicago 2

Game 5 – Fri., May 9 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:30

Game 6 – Sun., May 11 – Chicago at Rockford, 5:05

*Game 7 – Tue., May 13 – Rockford at Chicago, 8:00


*if necessary… All times Eastern… (WC) – Wachovia Center




Reed Schreck, Rockford Register Star

Mike Haviland called Martin St. Pierre, Troy Brouwer and Derek Nesbitt into his office. “I challenged them after Game 2,” the Rockford IceHogs head coach said, “and they responded.” Never more than in Wednesday’s 3-2 Game 4 victory over the Chicago Wolves, and never at a more important time. Rockford’s win evened the AHL West Division best-of-seven finals at 2-2, and continued the season-long domination by the home team going into Friday’s Game 5 at Allstate Arena. Rockford is winless in seven tries there; Chicago is slightly better in the MetroCentre, having won once in seven chances. “We didn’t play as well as we wanted the first two games,” said St. Pierre, who had a goal and two assists.




Len Ziehm, Chicago Sun-Times

Home ice seems to mean everything in the American Hockey League’s West Division championship series. The Rockford IceHogs evened the best-of-seven series with the Wolves at 2-2 with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday at the MetroCentre. Now the series goes back to Allstate Arena for Game 5 on Friday. During the regular season and playoffs, the IceHogs – the Blackhawks’ top farm team – are 6-1 against the Wolves in Rockford but 0-7 at Allstate. “Obviously, we need momentum,” said IceHogs winger Troy Brouwer, who scored two goals. “We haven’t won in their building all year, but we’re confident.” If the series goes the full seven games, the Wolves will have the deciding game on their home ice Tuesday.




Lindsay Kramer, Syracuse Post-Standard

After the briefest of intermissions, the must-see season of the Syracuse Crunch resumed right on schedule Wednesday night. It was prime-time viewing at its finest. Syracuse’s Joakim Lindstrom scored at the 9-minute, 44-second mark of overtime to cap a wild rally and push the Crunch past Toronto 5-4 in Game 4 of their playoff series at the Onondaga County War Memorial. The victory cleansed Syracuse of its Game 3 drubbing and allowed it to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven North Division final. It was set up by clutch goals from Derek MacKenzie and Derick Brassard in the last 12:18 of regulation when it looked like the Marlies were on the cusp of pulling even in the series. “We find a way. That’s the bottom line of our season,” Brassard said. “Every good team finds a way to win.”




Paul Sokoloski, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

Tim Brent made it his mission to charge the net throughout the Calder Cup playoffs. He’s taking a host of his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins teammates with him. Brent and Ryan Stone each scored two goals and added an assist apiece Wednesday as the Penguins plastered the Philadelphia Phantoms in a record-setting 8-4 win to take a 3-1 lead in their second-round playoff series at Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center. “I’ve just kind of made it a desire that I’m going to go to the net,” said Brent, who now has nine goals in nine playoff games this season. Because he did, the Penguins can wrap up the series and a spot in the Eastern Finals during tomorrow’s Game 5 at Wilkes-Barre’s Wachovia Arena.




Dave Gross, CanWest News Service

The ingredients for a strong rivalry are already on the table: Toss the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers into the same blender, and presto. But add in some minor-league history, and this is one exceptionally potent Stanley Cup drink. Not only have a good chunk of the players involved in the upcoming Eastern Conference final locked horns as members of the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Philadelphia Phantoms, but so, too, have the coaches. “Obviously there’s a history there,” said Flyers head coach John Stevens, who saw a lot of Penguins bench boss Michel Therrien across the AHL ice. “We played two great series before, and with a lot of the players that are now playing in the National Hockey League as well.”




Mike Prisuta, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

With Michel Therrien’s Pittsburgh Penguins and John Stevens’ Philadelphia Flyers on a collision course in the Eastern Conference final, can a resumption of hostilities be far behind? “Maybe ‘hate’ is a strong word,” former Penguins winger Colby Armstrong said. “Maybe it’s not a strong word for Michel and John. I’m not sure where they stand.” If that winds up being toe to toe amid the tumult of a conference championship series, it won’t be anyplace Therrien and Stevens haven’t been before. Twice they’ve met in the American Hockey League playoffs, with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Philadelphia Phantoms trading jabs and punches and insults and series victories. It got loud. It got insulting. It got obscene. And it may be just getting started.



Three former AHL head coaches are preparing to lead their teams into the conference finals of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs… Detroit’s Mike Babcock guided Cincinnati to the AHL postseason in each of his two seasons with the Mighty Ducks (2000-02); Pittsburgh’s Michel Therrien won a Calder Cup as a player with Sherbrooke in 1985 and returned to the Finals as head coach in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2004; and Philadelphia’s John Stevens was a member of three Calder Cup champions as a defenseman before coaching the Phantoms to the title in 2005.


Marius Holtet, who has played 255 AHL games with Iowa and Houston over the last four seasons, scored a goal to help Norway rally for a 3-2 victory over Germany yesterday at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Halifax.


20 – Overtime games played so far in the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs… Of the 20, all but three have been decided in the first OT period.


0 – Multiple-overtime games played by the Syracuse Crunch in their franchise history… The Crunch are 8-8 in playoff OT games all-time (including 5-1 this spring), the longest needing 17:53 of extra time (May 1, 2004 vs. Rochester).


May 8, 2004Kari Lehtonen stops 54 of 55 shots in Chicago’s 3-1 win over Milwaukee in Game 3 of their West Division final series.

May 8, 1999John Spoltore’s second overtime goal of the series gives Providence a 5-4 win over Hartford and a 3-0 lead in their New England Division final.

May 8, 1985John Newberry scores 12:28 into the second OT period as Sherbrooke advances to the Calder Cup Final with a 6-5 win at Maine.

May 8, 1981Maine advances to the Finals for the third time in four years as Bruce Crowder scores in overtime of Game 7 for a 4-3 win over New Brunswick.

May 8, 1974 – Hershey wins the Calder Cup with a 4-3 win over the Providence Reds in Game 5 at Hersheypark Arena.


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