Calder Cup Quick Hits: April 25

The 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs could have their first division finalists tonight as a pair of teams go for sweeps… In Hershey, the Bears host Norfolk in Game 4 (7:00 ET) with a chance to earn its first four-game sweep since ’94… Hershey is 10-2 all-time in postseason games against the Admirals… Tomas Fleischmann leads the Bears with six points in the series, and now has a point in 14 of his last 15 AHL games (11g, 12a)… With wins in the first three games, Frederic Cassivi has improved his career AHL playoff record to 19-18, including 10-3 in a Bears uniform… Norfolk has lost five straight road playoff games… Admirals forwards Mark Cullen (2g, 2a), Carl Corazzini (1g, 2a) and Pavel Vorobiev (1g, 2a) have all recorded points in each of the first three games.

Portland takes a 3-0 series lead into Game 4 in Providence tonight (7:05 ET)… The Pirates have not won a best-of-seven playoff series since 1996, and have won their last five postseason games against the Bruins by a combined score of 27-9… Portland defenseman Maxim Kondratiev leads the entire AHL in scoring with eight playoff points (4g, 4a)… Throw in Shane O’Brien (two) and Kent Huskins (one), and rearguards have scored half of the Pirates’ 14 goals in the series… Nathan Robinson had three points for Providence in Sunday’s Game 3 loss, including his first two career playoff goals… The B’s have lost six of seven home games against Portland this season.

Game 5 of the Atlantic Division semifinal between Hartford and Manchester faces off at the Hartford Civic Center tonight (7:00 ET) with the Wolf Pack coming off a 7-0 rout on Sunday… Colby Genoway recorded two goals and three assists in the win… Nigel Dawes added two goals and two assists, as did Brandon Dubinsky, playing in just his third career game as a professional… After allowing four goals on 20 shots and being lifted from Game 2, Al Montoya made 30 saves for the shutout on Sunday… Monarchs goaltender Barry Brust has yielded 10 goals in his last 95:22 of work (6.29 gaa) after giving up five in his first 182:30 (1.64 gaa)… In Calder Cup Playoff history, 85 best-of-seven series have been tied at 2-2; the Game 5 winner has taken the series 69 times (81.2 percent).

The Sound Tigers still have a 2-1 series lead, and they are home tonight trying to stop the all-too-familiar march of the Penguins in Game 4 (7:35 ET)… Today is the second anniversary of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Game 7 overtime win in Bridgeport to cap their comeback from 3-1 down in that series… In eight series since 2003, the Pens are 2-14 in Games 1 and 2, and 17-9 thereafter… Bridgeport and Wilkes-Barre have played five playoff games all-time at the Arena at Harbor Yard, and all five have gone to overtime… Rob Collins has scored a goal in each of the three games for the Sound Tigers… Thanks to Sunday’s victory, Penguins goaltenders Dany Sabourin (1-3) and Marc-Andre Fleury (0-4) now own a combined one career Calder Cup Playoff win.

Game 4 in Des Moines tonight pits Iowa against Milwaukee, 24 hours after the Admirals took a 2-1 series lead with a 3-2 victory in Game 3… Simon Gamache scored twice and Darren Haydar added a goal and two assists in last night’s win… Haydar, who ranks second in the league with seven points this postseason, has 45 points (17g, 28a) in 38 career AHL playoff games, while Gamache has 46 points (22g, 24a) in 41 Calder Cup contests… The Stars had won six of their previous seven home games before last night… Marius Holtet and Toby Petersen scored for Iowa in Game 3.

In Monday’s other AHL action, Josh Green had a goal and an assist as Manitoba got in the win column with a 2-1 win over Syracuse in Game 3… Tomas Kopecky scored twice and Jimmy Howard made 35 saves as Grand Rapids beat Toronto, 4-1, to take a 2-1 series lead… Kirby Law and Matt Foy each scored twice and Josh Harding made 45 saves as Houston rolled past Peoria, 6-1, to go up three games to none.

Complete Calder Cup Playoff schedules and results

On Monday night, 1999 AHL All-Star John Madden recorded a hat trick to lead New Jersey past the N.Y. Rangers, 4-1… 1999 AHL All-Star J.P. Dumont and Jason Pominville, who scored 19 goals in 18 games for Rochester this season, each picked up a hat trick in Buffalo’s 8-2 rout of Philadelphia… Michael Ryder, who scored the winning goal in the longest game in AHL history back in the 2003 Calder Cup Final, scored in double overtime to give Montreal a 6-5 win over Carolina… Brett Clark’s shorthanded goal with 2:04 remaining in regulation set the stage for Colorado to post a 5-4 overtime win in Dallas.

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