SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have won the Richard F. Canning Trophy as the AHL’s Eastern Conference champions for 2007-08, claiming the title with a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Portland Pirates at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Saturday night.
The Penguins will be making their third Calder Cup Finals appearance all-time, and will face the Western Conference champion Chicago Wolves in the best-of-seven championship series beginning Thursday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
Tim Brent, an Anaheim draft pick who spent two seasons (2005-07) with Portland, scored the winning goal for the Penguins with just 30 seconds left in regulation in Game 7. With the Pittsburgh Penguins competing in the Stanley Cup Finals, Wilkes-Barre and Pittsburgh become the first set of AHL/NHL affiliates to reach their respective league championship series in the same season since the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Americans in 1999.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is returning to the Calder Cup championship series for the first time since 2004. Under second-year head coach Todd Richards, the Penguins finished first in the East Division with a regular-season record of 47-26-3-4 (101 points) before defeating Hershey in the division semifinals (4-1) and Philadelphia in the division finals (4-1), then outlasting Portland in the conference finals (4-3).
Established in 1990, the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship trophy honors Richard F. Canning, who served the AHL for more than 50 years during his career, including a term as league president from 1958-61. Mr. Canning is recognized as the author of the AHL’s constitution, by-laws and regulations.
Game 1 – Thu., May 29 – W-B/Scranton at Chicago, 8:00
Game 2 – Sun., June 1 – W-B/Scranton at Chicago, 4:00
Game 3 – Wed., June 4 – Chicago at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., June 6 – Chicago at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., June 7 – Chicago at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 6 – Tue., June 10 – W-B/Scranton at Chicago, 8:00
*Game 7 – Thu., June 12 – W-B/Scranton at Chicago, 8:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern