Philadelphia has a 2-0 lead over Chicago in the best-of-seven 2005 Calder Cup Finals, but the championship is far from won. The Phantoms and Wolves are recovering and regrouping, preparing for Wednesday night’s Game 3 at the Wachovia Center.Patrick Sharp scored 3:50 into double overtime on Saturday night to give Philadelphia a 2-1 win and control of the series heading home for the next three contests.Jeff Carter picked up two assists in the win, and is now tied for the AHL’s playoff scoring lead with 21 points (12g, 9a) in 19 games.Steve Maltais ended the Wolves’ scoreless streak at 104:13 with a goal during a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period… Chicago still has still gone more than eight periods (163:11) without scoring at even strength.Despite Maltais’s goal, the Wolves were 1-for-13 on the power play, and are now 10-for-109 (9.2%) in the postseason.John Slaney answered for the Phantoms, also on a two-man advantage in the second period… Slaney and Maltais were junior teammates with the OHL’s Cornwall Royals (1988-89).Antero Niittymaki made 48 saves in Game 2, and has now stopped 75 of 76 Chicago shots in the series (0.42, .987).The Phantoms are 4-0 in Game 1 and 4-0 in Game 2 this postseason, but 0-3 in Game 3 so far.Chicago is the only team to lose an overtime game at home during the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs, dropping Game 2 to Philadelphia and Game 2 in the division semifinals against Houston… Overall, home teams have won seven of the nine OT games played this postseason.The Wolves had only one previous two-game home losing streak this season (Nov. 27-Dec. 4), and had not lost back-to-back games played at the Allstate Arena in more than two years, since the 2003 playoffs against Grand Rapids.Alexandre Picard made his professional debut for the Phantoms in Game 2… The 19-year-old defenseman, a third-round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2003, was named team MVP for Halifax (QMJHL) in 2004-05.
QUOTABLE:“Goals are going to be tough to come by. You get one goal, you’ve got a good chance to win.” — Philadelphia forward Patrick Sharp after Saturday night’s Game 2 win. The Phantoms and Wolves have combined for just four goals on 136 shots in more than seven periods of play in the series.
ON THIS DATE:June 6, 2004 — Simon Gamache records a goal and three assists as Milwaukee scores seven times in the first 26 minutes and cruises to a 7-2 win at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, clinching the franchise’s first Calder Cup championship in a four-game sweep.June 6, 2003 — Stephane Veilleux scores with 1:46 left in regulation and again 2:22 into overtime as Houston beats Hamilton, 3-2, to even the Calder Cup Finals at two wins apiece.June 6, 1999 — Providence takes a 2-0 series lead in the Calder Cup Final with a 6-0 rout of Rochester behind 27 saves by future Stanley Cup-winning goaltender John Grahame.
2005 Calder Cup Finals schedule