Morning Skate: Monarchs, Bears back at it

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 3 – MANCHESTER 3, Hershey 2 (OT) (HER leads series, 2-1)

1. Justin Azevedo netted the game-winning goal in overtime as Manchester got in the win column in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-2 victory over Hershey.

2. Rookie Andrei Loktionov contributed an assist in the winning effort.

3. Hershey forward Chris Bourque assisted on both of his team’s tallies.

Game 4 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00 (HER leads series, 2-1)

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 – MANCHESTER 3, Hershey 2 (OT)
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 – HAMILTON 3, Texas 1
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 4 – Hershey at Manchester, 7:00 (HER leads series, 2-1)
Video Webcast: AHL Live
Less than 24 hours after pulling out a dramatic 3-2 overtime win over Hershey, Manchester has a chance to even up the Eastern Conference Finals when it hosts the Bears for Game 4 tonight at the Verizon Wireless Arena… The Monarchs faced a 2-0 deficit in the third period of Game 3 but rallied to tie it up, and Justin Azevedo notched the game-winner 2:43 into overtime… Rookie Dwight King picked up the lone assist on Azevedo’s goal, which was his third of the playoffs but first since Game 4 of the division finals vs. Worcester on May 1… The Monarchs, who improved to 4-1 in overtime and 5-1 at home this postseason, had lost each of their first six conference finals games – all to Hershey – before last night’s victory… The loss also snapped multiple streaks for the Bears, who had won seven consecutive games overall and five straight overtime tilts to begin the playoffs… Hershey is now 10-2 in the postseason, its only other loss coming 29 days prior to last night’s defeat – a 4-1 decision at Bridgeport on Apr. 18… Alexandre Giroux began Monday’s scoring on the power play late in the first period, and his 47th career Calder Cup Playoff goal moved him past former Monarch Brad Smyth and into fifth place on the AHL’s all-time list… Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Bears, and Chris Bourque picked up an assist on both Hershey tallies… Bourque, who is now riding an eight-game scoring streak (6-11-17), moved atop the AHL’s playoff scoring list with 20 points (6-14-20) in 12 games, one more than Giroux’s 19 points (11-8-19)… For a 12th consecutive contest to begin the playoffs, AHL MVP Keith Aucoin (1-16-17) registered an assist; Aucoin had a 16-game assist streak during the 2009-10 regular season… John Zeiler and Gabe Gauthier notched third-period goals just 1:38 apart to turn Manchester’s 2-0 deficit into a 2-2 deadlock… Gauthier recorded his team-leading seventh goal of the playoffs (7-3-10), all of which have come in the last seven contests, while Zeiler broke a seven-game drought with his first goal since Game 1 at Worcester on Apr. 25… Rookie Thomas Hickey, drafted fourth overall by Los Angeles in 2007, made his Calder Cup Playoffs debut and earned an assist on Gauthier’s marker… Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 23 shots and moved to 9-4 (1.80, .941) this postseason; Bernier is 9-0 when allowing two or fewer goals and 0-4 when he lets in three or more… Michal Neuvirth, meanwhile, made 37 saves but suffered his first defeat of the 2010 postseason (8-1, 2.33, .906)… Manchester moved to 3-1 this postseason when trailing after two periods; Hershey is 4-1 in that situation… Five of the Monarchs’ seven goals in the series have been scored in the third period or overtime… Of the 17 OT games played during the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, 10 have been decided within the first five minutes of extra play… Excluding shootouts, Hershey lost consecutive games only twice during the entire regular season (Oct. 11-16, Oct. 23-24).


1. Darren Haydar, 135
2. Willie Marshall, 119
3. Jason Krog, 118
4. Jody Gage, 110
5. Fred Glover, 104
6(t). Bob Solinger, 92
6(t).Alexandre Giroux, 92

1. Darren Haydar, 59
2. Jody Gage, 51
3(t). Willie Marshall, 48
3(t). Fred Glover, 48
5. Alexandre Giroux, 47
6. Brad Smyth, 46
7(t). Jason Krog, 42

1(t). Darren Haydar, 76
1(t). Jason Krog, 76
3. Willie Marshall, 71
4. Mike Nykoluk, 62
5. Domenic Pittis, 61

Games Played
1. Bryan Helmer, 129
2. Ken Gernander, 123
3. Fred Glover, 120
4. Jody Gage, 115

13(t). Alexandre Giroux, 103
Boyd Kane, 103


The Manchester Monarchs have some life. Justin Azevedo scored 2:43 into overtime to give the Monarchs a 3-2 win over Hershey in Game 3 of the AHL Eastern Conference finals last night at Verizon Wireless Arena. “We know they’re beatable. It feels awfully good to get a win under our belt and get a little bit of puck luck,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “All our guys believe we can win. It’s going to help us find our groove.”

Center Justin Azevedo scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the Manchester Monarchs over the Hershey Bears, 3-2, in overtime at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Monday evening. Manchester cut Hershey’s series lead in half to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series of the 2010 Calder Cup Eastern Conference Final. “We have a character bunch of guys,” explained Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “They realize the magnitude of this game and there is a big difference between a 2-1 series and being down 3-0, especially against this club.”

It’s just not typical of the Hershey Bears to surrender a two-goal third period lead, yet such un-Bear like behavior cost them as they fell to the Monarchs in overtime, 3-2, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference championship series. “We can use it as a wake-up call,” said center Keith Aucoin. “We’ll make sure we address what we need to address. It’s a quick turnaround, and we’ll fix it by (game time).”

Having gone 5-0 in overtime games, the Hershey Bears had defied hockey odds this postseason. Kismet caught up Monday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals as the Manchester Monarchs clawed back into the series with a 3-2 OT triumph at Verizon Wireless Arena. Dwight King made a strong play up the left wall to set up Justin Azevedo for the game-winner at 2:43.

DOGS WON’T STAND PAT – Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher is planning a few changes for Game 3 of the AHL Western Conference final here tomorrow against the Texas Stars. Well, let’s clarify that. Boucher is talking about making a few changes. What coaches in the playoffs say publicly and what they actually do aren’t always the same thing.

Scott Arniel remains the head coach of the Manitoba Moose, while he waits patiently for a second chance to impress one NHL general manager and a first chance to win over another. Arniel, who expressed his desire to pursue an NHL job at his year-end meeting with the media, went through an interview with the Columbus Blue Jackets on May 1 and could meet with the Atlanta Thrashers before this week is over.

The Peoria Rivermen are getting younger in their quest to get better. The parent club St. Louis Blues signed prospects Tyler Shattock and Anthony Nigro, and both project to the Rivermen in the fall. The Blues also reached agreement with restricted free-agent right wing Adam Cracknell.

He is the king of the continental breakfasts, the master of the LaQuintas and Marriotts and hundreds of other anonymous hotels that are the currency of a life lived on the edge of the NHL. In his family’s home, the basement is festooned with jerseys of the teams that have marked Michael Leighton’s journey across the hockey map: Norfolk, Chicago, Rochester, Portland, Nashville, Philadelphia, Albany, Carolina. Each stop along the way, there has been a chance to learn, an opportunity to prove he belonged.

2009 AHL All-Star Petri Kontiola tallied a goal and two-time AHL All-Star Pekka Rinne stopped 27 of 29 shots as Finland captured a 5-2 win over Slovakia on Monday at the IIHF World Championships in Germany… 2010 AHL All-Rookie forward Lars Eller potted Denmark’s lone goal in a 2-1 loss to Belarus.

21 – Shots on goal by Manchester forward Bud Holloway through the first two playoff rounds (10 games), six of which resulted in goals (28.6 percent)

14 – Shots on goal by Holloway through the first three games of the conference finals vs. Hershey, none of which have resulted in goals.

May 18, 2007Kyle Chipchura records two goals and two assists in Hamilton’s 6-5 double-overtime win at Chicago in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

May 18, 2006 – Hershey improves its postseason record to 10-0 as Graham Mink’s goal 1:52 into overtime gives the Bears a 2-1 win at Portland in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

May 18, 1997Brad Isbister and Chad Kilger pick up a goal and an assist each and Manny Legace makes 43 saves as Springfield opens the Southern Conference Finals with a 6-2 win at Hershey in Game 1.

May 18, 1996Andrew Brunette registers a goal and two assists in Portland’s 7-1 win at Saint John in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

May 18, 1993 – Led by Mike Sillinger with two goals and an assist, the Adirondack Red Wings earn a 6-3 win in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals at St. John’s.

May 18, 1990 – Jeff Rohlicek scores 23 seconds into overtime as the Springfield Indians win the Calder Cup with a 4-3 win over Rochester in Game 6.

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