AHL Morning Skate: May 9

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 6 – MILWAUKEE 5, Houston 4 (OT) (Series tied, 3-3)
Game 6 – Manitoba 1, HAMILTON 0 (Series tied, 3-3)

1. Milwaukee forward Kelsey Wilson capped a three-point effort with the game-winning goal 61 seconds into overtime as the Admirals forced a Game 7 with a 5-4 win over Houston.

2. AHL All-Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack made 25 saves to help Manitoba stretch the North Division Finals to Game 7 courtesy of a 1-0 victory at Hamilton.

3. Moose forward Alexandre Bolduc scored on a shorthanded breakaway for the only goal in Sunday’s win.

Game 7 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30 (Series tied 3-3)

Playoff Bracket || Scoring Leaders || Goaltending Leaders

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. E5-Binghamton Senators
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 27 – Binghamton 3, PORTLAND 2
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Binghamton 5, PORTLAND 3
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 30 – Portland 3, BINGHAMTON 2
Game 4 – Mon., May 2 – BINGHAMTON 6, Portland 1
Game 5 – Tue., May 3 – Portland 6, BINGHAMTON 2
Game 6 – Fri., May 6 – Binghamton 3, PORTLAND 0

East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Charlotte 3, W-B/SCRANTON 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 30 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Charlotte 0
Game 3 – Mon., May 2 – CHARLOTTE 2, W-B/Scranton 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – CHARLOTTE 1, W-B/Scranton 0
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – W-B/Scranton 1, CHARLOTTE 0
Game 6 – Sat., May 7 – Charlotte 4, W-B/SCRANTON 3

North Division Finals – Series “K” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. N3-Manitoba Moose

Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 28 – HAMILTON 4, Manitoba 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – HAMILTON 4, Manitoba 2
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – MANITOBA 5, Hamilton 4
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – MANITOBA 2, Hamilton 1 (2OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – Hamilton 5, MANITOBA 1
Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – Manitoba 1, HAMILTON 0
Game 7 – Mon., May 9 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30

West Division Finals – Series “L” (best-of-7)
W1-Milwaukee Admirals vs. W2-Houston Aeros
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 29 – MILWAUKEE 3, Houston 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 1 – Houston 2, MILWAUKEE 0
Game 3 – Tue., May 3 – Milwaukee 5, HOUSTON 3
Game 4 – Thu., May 5 – HOUSTON 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – HOUSTON 3, Milwaukee 2 (OT)
Game 6 – Sun., May 8 – MILWAUKEE 5, Houston 4 (OT)
Game 7 – Tue., May 10 – Houston at Milwaukee, 8:00

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 7 – Manitoba at Hamilton, 7:30 (Series tied, 3-3)
Webcast: AHLLive.com
A berth in the AHL’s final four is up for grabs tonight when Manitoba visits Hamilton in the 82nd Game 7 in Calder Cup Playoffs history… The Moose forced this winner-take-all contest by eking out a 1-0 victory in Game 6 last night at Copps Coliseum, improving to 4-0 in potential elimination games this spring (including 3-0 on the road)… Manitoba, which rallied from a 3-1 series deficit in the first round vs. Lake Erie by winning the final two contests in Cleveland, is looking to become the first team in AHL history to win Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series on the road twice in the same postseason… AHL All-Rookie goaltender Eddie Lack posted a 25-save shutout for the Moose in Game 6, and the 22-year-old native of Sweden has now allowed two goals on 113 shots (4-0, 0.50 GAA, .982 sv%, 2 SO) with Manitoba facing elimination this postseason… Alexandre Bolduc tallied the game’s lone goal last night when he forced a turnover and converted a shorthanded breakaway at 3:40 of the second period… It marked Bolduc’s team-high third goal of this series and fourth of the postseason overall… Besides Bolduc, Marco Rosa (2-2-4) is the only other Moose skater with more than one goal in the series… Rosa paces Manitoba with 16 points (6-10-16) in the playoffs, nine more than anyone else… Sergei Shirokov (6-3-9) and Jason Jaffray (3-5-8) rank second and third, respectively, but both players bring three-game scoring droughts into tonight’s Game 7… Hamilton had been 5-0 at home this postseason prior to last night’s loss, and the Bulldogs failed to put a puck in the net just two days after beating Lack four times en route to a 5-1 victory in Game 5 of the series… Drew MacIntyre, who made his 33rd consecutive start for Hamilton and stopped 33 shots in the Game 6 defeat, ranks second in the AHL in goals-against average (1.77) and third in save percentage (.937), and he has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 12 playoff appearances… MacIntyre is 2-2 for his career in AHL Game 7’s, including a win over Manitoba with Grand Rapids in 2006 when he came on in relief of Jimmy Howard… Defenseman Kyle Klubertanz is Hamilton’s leading scorer this round with six points, all assists… Rookie Gabriel Dumont (4-1-5) and veteran Nigel Dawes (4-1-5) show five points apiece in the series, and Dawes boasts a team-best eight goals and 13 points for the playoffs… Among the remaining playoff teams, Hamilton ranks second in penalty-killing (93.0 percent), and Manitoba is last on the power play (8.8 percent)… This postseason, 17 of the Moose’s 32 goals have been scored in the third period or overtime… As members of the AHL, Manitoba is 4-2 all-time in winner-take-all contests, including a 2-2 mark in Game 7’s… Hamilton, 2-3 lifetime in Game 7’s, is looking for its first Game 7 victory since beating the Moose in the 2003 conference semifinals… The Bulldogs are also trying to avoid losing Games 6 and 7 of a playoff series at home for the second straight year, having suffered that fate to Texas in the 2010 Western Conference Finals.


IT’S GOING TO GAME 7 – Hamilton Spectator
The Hamilton Bulldogs will have to come up with a much better performance tonight or their season will be over. The Dogs were flat last night in dropping a 1-0 decision to the Manitoba Moose at Copps Coliseum to deadlock their AHL North Division final series at 3-3. “We were way more than a little off. That was just not fun to watch,” said Hamilton goaltender Drew MacIntyre. “We got totally outcompeted and they beat us in every little detail and that’s tough to swallow."

Alexandre Bolduc‘s keen eye and defensive timing made all the difference for the Manitoba Moose on Sunday. Bolduc scored while killing a penalty and Eddie Lack stopped all 25 shots he faced as the Moose blanked the Hamilton Bulldogs 1-0 to force Game 7 in their American Hockey League Western Conference semifinal. Manitoba got the short-handed goal after Nigel Dawes tried to force a pass past Bolduc. The Moose forward blocked the puck with his stick and beat Bulldogs goalie Drew MacIntyre blocker side on a breakaway.

The identity that was so elusive all season for these Manitoba Moose is coming into clear focus in May. In a tight spot, the Moose have delivered what their coach likes to call the "A" game. Facing their fourth elimination of game of these playoffs, and without two experienced competitors who were suspended, the Moose put together another excellent road game and stopped the Hamilton Bulldogs 1-0. That squared the best-of-seven AHL North Division final series at 3-3.

Eddie Lack is quickly becoming the poster child for remaining calm under pressure. With his team facing elimination for the fourth time in two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs, Lack wouldn’t allow a puck to get behind him, making 25 saves Sunday to propel the Manitoba Moose to a 1-0 victory over the Bulldogs in Hamilton. Lack, who was the regular season MVP for the Moose, lost his starting job in the first game of the post-season but has been in spectacular form since returning to the net.

At first, Kelsey Wilson didn’t know he saved Milwaukee’s season. Then the rest of the Admirals quickly filled him in. Wilson scored a goal just 1 minute, 1 second into overtime Sunday to lead Milwaukee to a wild 5-4 victory over visiting Houston in Game 6 of the West Division Finals. "It was unbelievable," Wilson said. "I didn’t even know it went in right away until the bench was going crazy. Game 7, right? Here we come."

When the Aeros and Milwaukee Admirals started this Calder Cup divisional championship series, most expected a long tight series. Six games and three overtime contests later, the teams head into a Game 7 on Tuesday in Milwaukee, where the winner moves on and the loser cleans out its lockers. The Aeros went through massive swings of emotion in Sunday’s sixth game. They fell behind 3-0, rallied to take a 4-3 lead then surrendered a tying goal late in the third period and lost 5-4 when Kelsey Wilson scored 1:01 into overtime.

For the second time in three years, the Houston Aeros will play a Game 7 in Milwaukee for the right to advance and play in the AHL’s Western Conference Finals. Game 7 will take place Tuesday night at the Bradley Center. The Aeros suffered a 5-4 overtime loss Sunday night when Kelsey Wilson redirected a Ryan Thang shot 1:01 into the extra session to stave off elimination for the Admirals. The loss was a disappointing one for the Aeros, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit with three second-period goals in a span of 3:54.

Last night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, former AHL All-Stars Niklas Kronwall (goal, assist) and Jimmy Howard (39 saves) helped Detroit stave off elimination again with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory at San Jose in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal… 2010 AHL All-Rookie forward Logan Couture tallied a goal for the Sharks.

43-38 – Record of home teams all-time in AHL Game 7’s.

2-7 – Record of home teams in Game 7’s since 2009, including five consecutive losses.

16 – Calder Cup Playoff Game 7’s that have gone into overtime… Road teams are 8-2 in Game 7 overtime contests since 1992.

4 – Goals scored in four career Game 7’s by Manitoba forward Jason Jaffray, including his hat trick in the Moose’s 4-1 win vs. Grand Rapids in 2007.

8 – Players in Hamilton’s 20-man lineup for their Game 7 loss to Texas last year who are with the Bulldogs this postseason.

May 9, 2010Drew MacIntyre makes 28 saves as Chicago staves off elimination with a 2-0 win over Texas in Game 6 of the West Division Finals.

May 9, 2008Andrew Ebbett records three assists as Portland defeats Providence, 5-4, to win the Atlantic Division finals in six games.

May 9, 2006Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula record a goal and an assist each in Grand Rapids’ 5-4 overtime win over Manitoba in Game 3 of the North Division finals.

May 9, 2001 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton plays its fifth consecutive overtime game and wins its fourth straight, both AHL records, defeating Hershey by a score of 5-4… Michal Rozsival caps a four-point night with the game-winner in OT for the Penguins.

May 9, 1980 – Future Calder Cup winning head coach Claude Noel, now bench boss of the Manitoba Moose, scores the winning goal in Hershey’s 5-3 win over the New Brunswick Hawks in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals.

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