The Manchester Monarchs and Philadelphia Phantoms clinched Calder Cup Playoff berths on Saturday night, the seventh and eighth teams to reserve a spot in this year’s field of 20.
Manchester secured a berth and moved to within one point of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 3-0 win at Hershey. The Monarchs will head down the road to the Calder Cup for the third straight spring since joining the AHL in 2001-02; they failed to win a playoff series in each of their first two postseasons.
Philadelphia, which missed the playoff party last year for the first time in its seven-year history, is back among the AHL’s elite in 2003-04, leading the East Division by four points over Bridgeport with eight games remaining. The Phantoms’ most successful postseason run came in 1998, when they captured the Calder Cup championship. They clinched this season’s playoff berth with a 1-0 overtime win in Binghamton on Saturday.