Notes from Wednesday’s action in the AHL’s 2005 Calder Cup conference final series:
Chicago claimed its second AHL conference championship in four seasons with a 4-1 win over Manitoba, completing a four-game sweep of the Moose.
Dating back to their days in the International Hockey League, the Wolves will be playing in a league championship series for the fifth time in eight years… They won the IHL’s Turner Cup in 1998 and 2000, lost in the last IHL final in 2001, and won the Calder Cup in 2002.
Chicago continued its postseason domination of Manitoba, eliminating the Moose for the fourth time in the franchises’ history… The Wolves are 14-2 in 16 playoff games against Manitoba.
The Wolves have steamrolled through the first three rounds of the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs, winning 11 of their last 12 games and going 12-2 overall in eliminating Houston, Cincinnati and Manitoba.
The Moose’s loss guarantees an end to one AHL streak: there had been 14 different Calder Cup champions over the last 14 seasons… Chicago (2002), Providence (1999) and Philadelphia (1998) have already won a championship during that time.
J.P. Vigier, a native of Notre Dame de Lourdes, Man., a village two hours outside Winnipeg, recorded two goals and two assists in the series and scored the series-winning goal in Game 4… Native Winnipegger Lonny Bohonos had a goal and an assist in the clinching game.
Manitoba was 0-for-24 on the power play in the series… Chicago didn’t fare much better, finishing 2-for-23.
For winning the Western Conference playoff championship, the Wolves have claimed the Robert W. Clarke Trophy… Established in 1990, the trophy honors the late Mr. Clarke, who served as the Chairman of the AHL’s Board of Governors from 1967-94 and played an instrumental role in the formation of the Rochester Americans in 1956.
The game drew 8,282 fans to the MTS Centre… Manitoba ends its 2005 postseason with an average attendance of 9,568, the highest in the AHL since Philadelphia averaged 10,664 fans per game during the 1998 playoffs.
Philadelphia has pushed Providence to the brink of elimination in the Eastern Conference final.
In the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia took a 3-1 series lead with a 2-1 win over Providence last night.
Jon Sim scored the winning goal on a fluke play midway through the third period, converting a feed from R.J. Umberger that became a pass when Umberger’s stick broke on his shot attempt.
John Slaney opened the scoring for the Phantoms at the 7:45 mark of the second period with his 10th career Calder Cup Playoff goal… Slaney is looking to reach a league championship series for the first time in his 13 pro seasons.
Andy Hilbert scored a power-play goal for the Bruins, his league-best 19th point of the postseason… Providence has just two goals at full strength in the series.
Antero Niittymaki made 34 saves in the win, improving his playoff record to 10-4… Niittymaki has a 1.18 GAA and .962 save percentage in four games against the Bruins.
Hannu Toivonen, who made 29 saves in Game 4, has allowed just eight goals in the series (1.91, .938).
QUOTABLE:“It’s killing me. I want to be out there so bad. This is the first game I’ve missed as a pro, and it’s probably the biggest game of my pro career.” — Providence forward Brad Boyes, who was suspended for Wednesday’s match after a post-game altercation following Game 3. Boyes played 80 games each in 2002-03 and 2004-05, and 78 in the AHL and one in the NHL in 2003-04. (Providence Journal)
ON THIS DATE:May 26, 2004 — Wade Flaherty makes 44 saves as Milwaukee advances to the Calder Cup Final with a 4-1 win at Rochester in Game 5 of their Western Conference championship series. May 26, 2000 — J.P. Dumont scores twice for Rochester in a 4-1 win at Hartford in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Final. May 26, 1995 — In his professional debut, 18-year-old Jose Theodore makes 26 saves, but Albany earns a 3-0 win at Fredericton to complete a four-game sweep and win the Calder Cup. May 26, 1993 — Cape Breton takes a 2-1 series lead with a 5-2 win over Rochester in Game 3 of the Calder Cup Final, the Oilers’ seventh straight home win.
Eastern Conference schedule
Western Conference schedule