Morning Skate: ‘Dogs, Stars ready for Game 2

Every game day from now until the end of the Calder Cup Playoffs, the AHL Morning Skate takes a spin around the AHL ice with recaps and previews, news and notes, facts and figures, and the top headlines from around the American Hockey League.

Game 2 – HERSHEY 3, Manchester 2 (OT) (HER leads series, 2-0)

1. Chris Bourque tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner midway through overtime, as Hershey rallied for a 3-2 win over Manchester and a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

2. Bears goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped 31 of 33 shots in net, improving to a perfect 8-0 (2.27, .903) this postseason.

3. Baz Bastien Award winner Jonathan Bernier took the loss despite making 37 saves for the Monarchs.

Game 2 – Texas at Hamilton, 2:00 (HAM leads series, 1-0)

Complete Results II Scoring Leaders II Goaltending Leaders

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. A3-Manchester Monarchs

Game 1 – Wed., May 12 – HERSHEY 4, Manchester 2
Game 2 – Sat., May 15 – HERSHEY 3, Manchester 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Mon., May 17 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00
Game 4 – Tue., May 18 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 5 – Thu., May 20 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 22 – Manchester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Sun., May 23 – Manchester at Hershey, 5:00

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
N1-Hamilton Bulldogs vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Fri., May 14 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 2
Game 2 – Sun., May 16 – Texas at Hamilton, 2:00
Game 3 – Wed., May 19 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
Game 4 – Fri., May 21 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:30
*Game 5 – Sat., May 22 – Hamilton at Texas, 8:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 24 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 7:30

*if necessary… All times Eastern

GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 2 – Texas at Hamilton, 2:00 (HAM leads series, 1-0)
Video Webcast: AHL Live
TV: Cable 14 Hamilton

Hamilton is out to hold serve on home ice and take a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals when it hosts Texas for Game 2 this afternoon at Copps Coliseum… The Bulldogs, who collected a 3-2 overtime decision on Friday night, are 15-0 all-time in Calder Cup Playoff series after winning Game 1… Brock Trotter scored twice for Hamilton on Friday, including the game-winning goal on the power play just 14 seconds into the extra session… Trotter now has three goals in his last two games after going his previous four outings without finding the back of the net… Bulldogs leading playoff scorer David Desharnais (7-9-16) factored into all three of his club’s goals in Game 1, scoring once and assisting on both of Trotter’s tallies… Desharnais, who also paced Hamilton in the regular season with 78 points (27-51-78), has notched a goal in three straight outings (3-3-6) and shows at least one point in 11 of his 13 postseason contests… Hamilton defenseman Andre Benoit, a 2007 Calder Cup champion with the Bulldogs, picked up an assist in the series opener and leads all AHL defensemen with nine assists and 12 points in 13 playoff games… Curtis Sanford made 18 saves in the Game 1 win, improving to 3-0 (1.34, .951) since returning to Hamilton’s lineup from injury… Texas received both of its Game 1 goals off the red-hot stick of rookie Jamie Benn, who scored twice on the power play for his third multiple-goal performance of the playoffs… Benn’s 10 goals (10-7-17) lead the Stars, while Andrew Hutchinson (4-5-9), Perttu Lindgren (4-5-9) and Aaron Gagnon (4-3-7) are tied for second on the team with four goals apiece… Hamilton had surrendered just two power-play goals on home ice in 28 man-down situations (92.9 percent) this postseason prior to Friday, when the Stars went 2-for-4 on the power play… Matt Climie (1-1, 3.20, .900) suffered his first playoff loss in net for the Stars despite making 35 saves, as his club was outshot by a 38-20 margin… Texas dropped Game 1 for the first time this postseason… Friday’s win was the Bulldogs’ eighth consecutive playoff overtime win dating back to their last loss in 2004; Hamilton is now 18-3 in its last 21 playoff OT games and 20-7 all-time.


Chris Bourque was briefly knocked out of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night at Giant Center on a first-period hit by Oscar Moller. The left winger wasn’t absent long, and his overtime game-winner was the ultimate knockout blow as the Hershey Bears beat the Manchester Monarchs 3-2.

The old overtime magic is still working. Down 2-1 heading into the third period, the Hershey Bears tied the game three and a half minutes into the third period, then wrapped up their 10th victory of playoffs when Chris Bourque scored midway through the first overtime to give the Bears a 3-2 victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday night at Giant Center.

Chris Bourque’s goal – his second of the night – at 10:28 of overtime gave the Hershey Bears a 3-2 victory in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference final series with the Manchester Monarchs at Giant Center on Saturday night. Bourque’s game-winner came off a stellar feed from Keith Aucoin to finish off a Hershey 2-on-1. “It was a 2-on-1 from about the red line,” says Bourque. “I kind of opened up there, and [Aucoin] made a really nice pass. I had to collect it a little bit there, just fired it on net and it went in. It’s nice to be up 2-0 [in the series].”

It was a pretty physical night at Giant Center, but two of the smallest guys on the ice combined for the biggest play of the evening. Chris Bourque scored his second goal of the game 10:28 into overtime on a feed from Keith Aucoin and the Hershey Bears defeated the Manchester Monarchs 3-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs.

Left wing Chris Bourque’s goal at 10:28 of the overtime period lifted the Hershey Bears over the Manchester Monarchs, 3-2, in overtime at the Giant Center on Saturday night. “We’ve got guys playing their hearts out so I’m not disappointed in their effort,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris following the game. “We didn’t have a whole lot of luck around the net. (Hershey) did a good job keeping us away from Grade-A chances.”

It’s going to take a long while before Bruins fans around the Hub can think about next season. For a while, there’s going to be a lot of bad written about and dissected on TV and radio airwaves. But how about the good? As the onion that has everyone shedding a few tears over the 2009-10 season begins to be pulled apart layer by layer, there is much to be excited about at its core, looking ahead.

Brandon Dubinsky, who began his pro career with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack in 2006-07, racked up a goal and four assists as the United States rolled to a 10-0 win over Kazakhstan on Saturday at the IIHF World Championships in Germany… 2009 AHL All-Star Ryan Potulny recorded a goal and an assist in the victory, and 2009 AHL All-Rookie forward Tim Kennedy also scored… Elsewhere, Andreas Ambuhl, who spent the 2009-10 season in the AHL with Hartford, scored twice to lead Switzerland to a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic… 2005 AHL All-Star Christian Ehrhoff tallied a goal for the host Germans in their 3-2 loss to Russia.

10,726 – Attendance at Giant Center for last night’s Hershey-Manchester game, the largest crowd for a game in the Calder Cup conference finals round since the AHL moved to two conferences in 1995-96.

6 – Overtime wins by the 1996 Saint John Flames and the 2004 Milwaukee Admirals, the most ever in a single AHL postseason… Hershey is now 5-0 in overtime during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs.

5 – Consecutive Western Conference Finals that have begun with one team taking a 2-0 series lead, since Milwaukee and Rochester split the first two games of their 2004 matchup.

May 16, 2006Valtteri Filppula scores twice and Jiri Hudler records five assists as Grand Rapids erases a three-goal Game 7 deficit and earns a trip to the conference finals with a 5-4 win over Manitoba.

May 16, 1999Richard Park picks up five points (2g, 3a) as the Philadelphia Phantoms rout Evgeni Nabokov and the Kentucky Thoroughblades, 9-3, in Game 7 of the Mid-Atlantic Division final.

May 16, 1998Martin St. Louis scores twice as Saint John downs Hartford, 5-4, in their conference final Game 1.

May 16, 1989 – Brent Fedyk’s hat trick helps the Adirondack Red Wings win their third Calder Cup of the 1980’s with a 10-7 victory over New Haven.

May 16, 1984 – The Maine Mariners defeat Rochester, 5-2, to capture their third Calder Cup title in seven years.

May 16, 1980 – Darryl Sutter nets the winning goal as New Brunswick staves off elimination with a 4-2 win over Hershey in Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals.

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