Matchups, schedules set for 2024 conference finals

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has released the schedules for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals of the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs.

For the first time since 2015, four regular-season division champions have reached the conference finals.

The Eastern Conference Finals will feature two of the most senior markets in the American Hockey League, as the Hershey Bears (top affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals) take on the Cleveland Monsters (top affiliate of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets).

The city of Cleveland was a charter member of the AHL in 1936, while Hershey joined the league in 1938. This will be the 14th time that the cities will go head-to-head in a Calder Cup Playoff series, the first since the Monsters defeated the Bears in the 2016 Finals.

Hershey, the defending Calder Cup champion, is in the AHL’s final four for the seventh time since becoming the Capitals’ affiliate in 2005; the Bears are 6-0 in conference final series over that span.

The best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals get underway Thursday night at Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

A1-Hershey Bears vs. N1-Cleveland Monsters
Game 1 – Thu., May 30 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., June 1 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 – Tue., June 4 – Hershey at Cleveland, 7:00
Game 4 – Thu., June 6 – Hershey at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 8 – Hershey at Cleveland, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 10 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 12 – Cleveland at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern


The Western Conference Finals will be a rematch of last year’s series, featuring the Coachella Valley Firebirds (top affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken) and the Milwaukee Admirals (top affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators).

The Firebirds defeated the Admirals, four games to two, to win the conference championship in 2023. Coachella Valley is the first AHL team to reach the league semifinal round in each of its first two seasons in the league since the Houston Aeros in 2002 and 2003.

The Admirals are making their fourth appearance in the Western Conference Finals. Before last year’s loss, they won the Calder Cup in 2004 and returned to the Finals in 2006.

Game 1 of this series is set for Wednesday night at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, Calif.

P1-Coachella Valley Firebirds vs. C1-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Wed., May 29 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
Game 2 – Fri., May 31 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
Game 3 – Tue., June 4 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 – Thu., June 6 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Sat., June 8 – Coachella Valley at Milwaukee, 7:00
*Game 6 – Mon., June 10 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*Game 7 – Wed., June 12 – Milwaukee at Coachella Valley, 10:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

All Calder Cup Playoff games will stream live on AHLTV.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.