CALDER CUP UPDATE:
It was a big night for comebacks on Friday, as three teams rallied from two-goal deficits to post overtime wins in Calder Cup Playoff action… In Grand Rapids, Jiri Hudler’s blast from the point 2:21 into the third OT period gave the Griffins a 6-5 win over Toronto; Game 2 is tonight (7:00 ET)… Grand Rapids, which led the AHL with 10 regular-season wins when trailing after two periods, overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third to take a lead before Jeremy Williams’ goal tied things up for the Marlies… League MVP Donald MacLean scored twice for the Griffins… Aleksander Suglobov had two goals and an assist for Toronto, and J.S. Aubin, who finished the regular season on a 9-0-2 run for the parent Maple Leafs, turned aside 57 shots in defeat.
Down 2-0 early, Manchester got a goal from Jeff Giuliano 1:46 into the second overtime, his second of the night, for a 6-5 win over visiting Hartford and a 2-1 series lead… Game 4 is Sunday… Noah Clarke also scored twice and Alexandre Daigle had four assists for the Monarchs, who coughed up a 5-2 lead in the third before pulling out the win… Dwight Helminen had a goal and two assists and Chad Wiseman notched three assists for the Wolf Pack… Ex-Monarch Brad Smyth scored the tying goal with 58.6 seconds left in OT, his 46th career Calder Cup Playoff goal (fourth all-time).
Houston rallied from 4-2 down in the third period to post a 5-4 overtime win over Peoria… Game 2 is tonight (7:35 CT)… Kirby Law, the AHL’s leading scorer with 110 points in the regular season, netted the game-winner 4:51 into OT… Bryan Lundbohm and Peter Olvecky tied things up with goals 23 seconds apart early in the third… Lundbohm and Joel Ward had a goal and an assist each for the Aeros, who won a playoff game at the Toyota Center for the first time in six tries since the building opened in 2003-04… Mike Zigomanis had two goals and an assist and Lee Stempniak had three assists for the Rivermen.
Graham Mink scored his first three career playoff goals in the second period as Hershey took a 2-0 series lead over Norfolk with a 5-2 victory over the Admirals at Scope last night… Game 3 is tonight in Norfolk (7:15 ET)… Mink finished the night with four points, assisting on Tomas Fleischmann’s second goal of the series as well… Fleischmann added two assists of his own for a three-point game… Frederic Cassivi made 31 saves as the Bears moved closer to their first series victory since 2002… Dustin Byfuglien and Mark Cullen scored for the Admirals.
Tyler Kolarik’s shorthanded goal with 2:08 left in the second period was all the offense needed as Syracuse opened its North Division semifinal with a 1-0 home win over Manitoba… Game 2 is tonight (7:30 ET)… Kolarik put home a rebound of a Ben Simon shot for the game’s only goal… Moose goaltender Wade Flaherty made 34 saves in the loss, while Pascal Leclaire stopped 32 shots to earn the shutout and the second win of his Calder Cup Playoff career.
Brian Finley made 22 saves as Milwaukee shut down a high-flying Iowa club, 3-1, in Game 1 of their West Division semifinal last night… They go back at it in Game 2 tonight (7:00 CT)… The Stars had scored 44 goals while winning 11 of their final 13 games to end the regular season as one of the AHL’s hottest teams… Rich Peverley, Steve Lingren and Simon Gamache scored for the Admirals, while Greg Classen and Darren Haydar each had two assists.
The other two series resume tonight, with Portland hosting Providence (7:05 ET) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton entertaining Bridgeport (7:05 ET) in a pair of Game 2’s… The Pirates took their opener on Thursday by a 6-0 score, while the Sound Tigers pulled out a 2-1 road win to take a 1-0 series lead.
BY THE NUMBERS:
4-0 — Overtime record of home teams already in the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs… Home teams have now won 11 of the last 12 OT games in AHL postseason play.
AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:
B2 Networks brings all the action of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs to your computer with live video webcasts of every game… Click here for details.