After a pair of losses on the road, Chicago will try for the third time to clinch the Calder Cup championship tonight when it hosts Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game 6 at the Allstate Arena… The Penguins posted 3-2 and 5-1 victories on Friday and Saturday and became the first team in Calder Cup Finals history to force a sixth game after falling into a 3-0 series deficit… Saturday’s win improved the Pens to 4-0 in elimination games this postseason, but tonight will be their first such game on the road… The Penguins have dropped three straight road games overall… Chicago rookie Bryan Little gave his team a 1-0 lead in the second period of Game 5, but the Penguins answered with five straight goals en route to the victory… It marked the Wolves’ first loss this postseason when scoring the game’s first goal (11-1)… Dave Gove and Connor James scored just 2:01 apart in the second period to begin Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s flurry, and Mark Ardelan made it a 3-1 game with his second tally of the series… Rookie Luca Caputi broke a 13-game goal-scoring drought in the third period, and Ben Lovejoy added a power play marker… Tim Brent contributed an assist to extend his scoring streak to seven games (2-6-8)… Nathan Smith had two helpers on Saturday and now shows four points (1-3-4) over the last two contests… The five goals were the most scored by the Penguins in 13 games, dating back to an 8-4 win at Philadelphia on May 7 in Game 4 of the division finals… Pens rookie goaltender John Curry earned the win on Saturday with 33 saves, his highest total of the playoffs… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has tallied 10 of its 15 goals in this series on the power play (66.6%)… The Wolves’ 33 power play goals overall remain two back of the AHL record for a single postseason (35 – Hershey, 1997)… Top Chicago snipers Jason Krog (13 games) and Darren Haydar (12 games) each had a long scoring streak snapped in the Game 5 loss on Saturday… Krog was held to just two assists in the three games in Wilkes-Barre, but he has tallied 24 points in 12 home games this postseason… Eight of Haydar’s 12 playoff goals have been scored at the Allstate Arena, including a pair in Game 2 of this series… The Wolves entered the playoffs at 12-4 all-time with a chance to close out a Calder Cup Playoff series, but they are 3-3 in such games this spring… Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is trying to force the first Game 7 in the Calder Cup Finals since 2003, when Houston defeated Hamilton… Only three teams in AHL history have won both Game 6 and Game 7 of a playoff series on the road, most recently Providence over Hartford in the 2007 division semifinals.
All-Time Calder Cup Playoff Leaders
1. Darren Haydar
1. Darren Haydar
1. Willie Marshall
2. Willie Marshall
2. Jody Gage
2. Darren Haydar
3. Jody Gage
3(t). Willie Marshall
3. Mike Nykoluk
4. Fred Glover
3(t). Fred Glover
4. Domenic Pittis
5. Bob Solinger
5. Brad Smyth
5. Jody Gage
12(t). Jason Krog
25(t). Jason Krog
6. Jason Krog
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.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ improbable run at AHL history continues tonight in suburban Chicago.It could end there too, of course. By rallying to win two games at home last weekend, the Penguins became the first team in AHL history to get up off the canvas and force a Game 6 after losing the first three games of the Calder Cup finals. But all it will take for the remarkable run to end – and for the Chicago Wolves to skate around the Allstate Arena’s ice with the AHL’s championship trophy – is one more loss by the Penguins. http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19760076&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=460522&rfi=6
BONVIE LOOKS BACK ON COLORFUL CAREER
Tom Venesky, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Boris Protsenko stickhandled pucks in the corner of the rink at the Ice Box in JenkinsTownship while dozens of other players skated around the ice warming up. It was 1999, and the newly-formed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins were getting ready for their first practice. The players on the ice ranged from those who already had a spot on the roster to others trying to break into the American Hockey League. A group of about 50 fans gathered to catch the first glimpse of the Penguins. Many didn’t know anything about the players on their new hometown team, so it was no surprise that no one cheered or even acknowledged when Dennis Bonvie took the ice. Little did they know that the player who had fought legendary NHL heavyweights Tony Twist, Bob Probert, Stu Grimson and Tie Domi, among others, was about to embark on a journey that would see Wilkes-Barre embrace the Nova Scotia native as one of their own, and vice-versa.
Who wanted to win a Calder Cup in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton anyway? Instead, the Wolves try to shake their back-to-back hits off the Pennsylvania Turnpike tonight in the electric confines of Allstate Arena, where they can close out the Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Penguins in Game 6 of the American Hockey League championship series. The Wolves will play for the Calder Cup Championship on Tuesday. Coach John Anderson and Co. took a commanding 3-0 series lead with a 6-1 victory Wednesday at Wachovia Arena. But the host Penguins got up off the floe for power-play-powered victories Friday (3-2) and Saturday (5-1).
The Chicago Wolves aren’t happy to be home. Wilkes-Barre, PA, may not be the ideal place to celebrate much outside of an office marathon, but the Wolves do wish they had discovered more about the city’s nightlife. Instead of having carried around the Calder Cup in the streets of Wilkes-Barre, they have returned home with more business to do. "I would have loved to finish it there," said Wolves veteran Steve Martins, who had his family travel with him in hopes of doing such. But after once holding a 3-0 lead, the Wolves are now down to two chances at Allstate Arena (Game 6 tonight, Game 7 Thursday if necessary) to put away the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for good.
On his very first day on the ice as a member of the Penguins organization, at a rookie camp in Pittsburgh last June, defenseman Ben Lovejoy stated his objective for the upcoming season. “I want to play 100 games this year,” Lovejoy said. “That’s my goal.” With three games in the preseason, 72 in the regular season and 22 more in the playoffs after Game 5 of the Calder Cup finals Saturday night, Lovejoy’s games-played total for the year hit 97. Not 100, but certainly close enough to consider his rookie season a rousing success. “I’m not going to make it quite there,” he said. “But this year, I’ve played the same amount as my three years at Dartmouth – 31 each year.” Needless to say, the rigorous pro schedule has been an adjustment for Lovejoy physically.