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AHL Morning Skate: Wolves eye title again tonight

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.


2008 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:

Complete Results || Scoring Leaders || Goaltending Leaders

 

2008 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)

W1-Chicago Wolves vs. E1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins

Game 1 – Thu., May 29 – CHICAGO 5, W-B/Scranton 4

Game 2 – Sun., June 1 – CHICAGO 4, W-B/Scranton 2

Game 3 – Wed., June 4 – Chicago 6, W-B/SCRANTON 1

Game 4 – Fri., June 6 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Chicago 2 (CHI leads, 3-1)

Game 5 – Sat., June 7 – Chicago at W-B/Scranton, 7:35

*Game 6 – Tue., June 10 – W-B/Scranton at Chicago, 8:00

*Game 7 – Thu., June 12 – W-B/Scranton at Chicago, 8:00

   *if necessary… All times Eastern


FRIDAY’S THREE STARS:

1. Nathan Smith tallied the game-winning goal in the third period to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over Chicago in Game 4.

2. Darren Haydar scored a pair of power-play goals to pull the Wolves out of an early 2-0 deficit.

3. Dave Gove notched a goal and assisted on the game-winning marker for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


GAME NOTES (all times ET):

Game 5 – Chicago at W-B/Scranton, 7:35

TV: NHL Network, Comcast Channel 100 (Chicago)

Video Webcast: B2 Networks
Official Media Notes (PDF – 503 KB)
chi-wbs5_200.jpgChicago takes its second shot at winning the Calder Cup title tonight in Game 5 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza… The Penguins extended their season and avoided a sweep with a 3-2 victory in Game 4 on Friday night, scoring all three of their goals on the power play… Captain Nathan Smith and Dave Gove were without a point through the first three games of the series, but both tallied a goal and an assist for the Penguins in Game 4… Smith’s marker at 2:21 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and turned out to be the game-winner… Chris Minard opened the game’s scoring for the Pens in the first period with his first goal of the Finals and 11th of the playoffs… John Curry earned the victory last night with 17 saves, improving his postseason mark to 13-8 (2.81, .897)… Alex Goligoski (4-23-27) was held scoreless in Game 4 and remains one point shy of the AHL rookie record for points in a single postseason (Mike Sillinger, 1992)… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improved to 3-0 in elimination games this postseason – all at home – and snapped a nine-game Calder Cup Finals losing streak which dated back to Game 4 of the 2001 championship round against Saint JohnChicago’s Darren Haydar scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period of Game 4 to tie the score, and now shows 22 points (11-11-22) in 14 career Calder Cup Finals games… The Wolves’ power play is clicking at 37.5 percent (6-for-16) in the Finals, while the Pens have converted 40.0 percent of their chances (8-for-20)… Chicago’s 33 power-play goals are two shy of the AHL record for a single postseason (35 – Hershey, 1997)… Haydar extended his scoring streak to 12 games (6-15-21), and linemate Jason Krog picked up an assist to run his streak to 13 contests (9-14-23)… Jesse Schultz assisted on both of Haydar’s tallies… Chicago defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski’s seven-game goal-scoring streak came to an end… The Wolves are 1-6 this postseason when they fail to score at least three goals… Wilkes-Barre is 10-2 this postseason when getting on the scoresheet first; Chicago is a perfect 11-0 when it scores first… The Penguins’ win last night marked the first time since Hamilton’s Game 6 victory over Houston in 2003 that a team successfully staved off elimination in a Calder Cup Finals game… Of the 21 teams in AHL history to fall into a 3-0 series hole in the Finals, the Penguins are just the sixth to force a Game 5, and they are looking to become the first team to win twice and force Game 6… In AHL history, 14 clubs have come back from 3-1 down to win a best-of-seven series, including Toronto (vs. Syracuse) this postseason… A comeback from a 3-1 deficit last happened in a Calder Cup Final in 1949 (Pittsburgh vs. Hershey).

 

All-Time Calder Cup Playoff Leaders

 

Points

 

 

Goals

 

 

Assists

1. Darren Haydar

124

 

1. Darren Haydar

55

 

1. Willie Marshall

71

2. Willie Marshall

119

 

2. Jody Gage

51

 

2. Darren Haydar

69

3. Jody Gage

110

 

3(t). Willie Marshall

48

 

3. Mike Nykoluk

62

4. Fred Glover

104

 

3(t). Fred Glover

48

 

4. Domenic Pittis

61

5. Bob Solinger

92

 

5. Brad Smyth

46

 

5. Jody Gage

59

 

 

 

 

 

12(t). Jason Krog

80

 

25(t). Jason Krog

26

 

6. Jason Krog

54

 


2008 CALDER CUP FINALS LIVE ON NHL NETWORK:

The American Hockey League has announced that the entire the 2008 Calder Cup Finals series between the Chicago Wolves and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be televised live on NHL Network in the United States and Canada. The Wolves’ broadcast team of veteran play-by-play announcer Pat Foley, analyst Bill Gardner and rinkside reporter Judd Sirott will handle the call.

http://theahl.com/news/league/index.html?article_id=8748


MORNING HEADLINES:

 

PENGUINS STAY ALIVE

Jonathan Bombulie, The Citizens’ Voice

Is it the last gasp of a proud team or the start of something truly remarkable? Either way, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins went to bed Friday night finally knowing what success in the Calder Cup finals feels like. Captain Nathan Smith scored the game-winning goal on the power play early in the third period and the Penguins desperately held on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Wolves to avoid a sweep Friday night. The Penguins host the Wolves in Game 5 tonight. “You have to believe. You have to have hope,” coach Todd Richards said. “That’s what keeps you going.” “We’re down 3-0 (in the series),” Smith said. “Statistically, we’re not supposed to win. So we were playing loose and giving it all we got.”

http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19754905&BRD=2185&PAG=461&dept_id=416049&rfi=6

 

PENS FEND OFF ELIMINATION

Tom Venesky, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

In Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals, the referee ruled that Nathan Smith used his skate to kick the puck in the net. What would have been the tying goal was disallowed and the Chicago Wolves went on to win. In Game 5, Smith used a skate to put the puck in the net. This time, the skate was worn by a Wolves defenseman and the game-winning goal stood. Smith’s power play goal at 2:21 in the third period topped the Wolves, 3-2, and gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins their first win in the series. The Wolves are up 3-1 and can close it out tonight in Game 5 at the Wachovia Arena. Facing elimination, the Penguins opened the first period playing a fast-paced, hard-hitting game. “It was exactly what I expected,” Penguins head coach Todd Richards said. “Come out of the gate and play hard and with passion.”

http://www.timesleader.com/sports/Pens_fend_off_elimination_06-07-2008.html

 

WBS EXECUTES FLAWLESS DEFENSE

Dave Konopki, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

Head coach Todd Richards says it was a matter of execution. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy says it was a matter of desperation. Regardless of the reason, it was near perfection. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins played nearly flawless defense in the third period and in the process lived to fight another day with a 3-2 win against the Chicago Wolves in Game 4 of the Calder Cup finals Friday. The teams will meet in Game 5 at 7:35 p.m. (ET) today at Wachovia Arena with the Wolves holding a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series. “I liked the way we played,” said Richards. “We played hard and we played with passion. Our defense played great. Those penalty kills in the third period were huge.”

http://www.timesleader.com/sports/WBS_executes_flawless_defense_06-07-2008.html

 

WOLVES UNABLE TO SWEEP AWAY PENGUINS

Southtown Star Staff

For one more day, at least, the Wolves have to put a cork in it. The Wolves rallied from a two-goal deficit to force a tie, but couldn’t overcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, who scored a fluke third-period goal for a 3-2 win in Game 4 of the AHL Calder Cup Finals. The Wolves lead the best-of-7 series three games to one, with Game 5 scheduled for today at Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza. “Wilkes-Barre played a much better game defensively. We had our chances, but their goalie really stepped up tonight,” Wolves coach John Anderson said. “We have to elevate our game like they elevated theirs. They’re a good hockey team, and to win four straight against them is very, very difficult.”

http://www.southtownstar.com/sports/993301,060708sptwolves.article

 

NO SWEEP FOR WOLVES IN CALDER CUP

Tom Robinson, Chicago Tribune

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins avoided a sweep Friday night, but they still need three more victories to prevent the Wolves from claim