CALDER CUP UPDATE:
The best road team in the league needs to work some of its magic as the Eastern Conference Final resumes… Portland set an AHL record by winning 27 games away from home in the regular season, and head to Hershey for tonight’s Game 3 (7:00 ET) trailing the series two games to none… The Bears rallied for a 2-1 win in Game 2 on Thursday, securing their 10th straight playoff win and 12th straight overall on Graham Mink’s goal 1:52 into overtime… Hershey has outscored the opposition by a 40-15 count this postseason, including 17-2 over the last five games… The Bears enter Game 3 having gone 317:07 – nearly 16 full periods – without allowing an even-strength goal… Portland will try to become the sixth team in AHL history (and second this season, joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first two games at home… Shane O’Brien, who netted eight goals in the regular season, scored his fifth playoff goal on Thursday, tops among league defensemen.
Grand Rapids looks to get on the scoreboard and in the win column in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final tonight (7:00 ET)… The Griffins dropped a 4-0 decision to Milwaukee in Thursday’s opener, their fourth loss in seven home games this postseason… The Admirals got four goals in the third period of Game 1 including two more from Darren Haydar, who now has 10 goals and six assists in his last seven games… Chris Durno and Simon Gamache also scored in the win for Milwaukee, and Pekka Rinne stopped 36 shots for his fifth win – and second shutout – in five playoff games… Drew MacIntyre allowed three goals on 30 shots in the loss, but still boasts a 1.62 goals-against average during the AHL postseason… The Griffins’ Terry Virtue played his 103rd career Calder Cup Playoff game on Thursday, a new AHL record for a defenseman and good for eighth overall… It was Milwaukee’s seventh straight Game 1 victory, and Grand Rapids’ fourth loss in its last five series starters.
Eastern Conference Final — Series "M" (best-of-7)
A1-Portland Pirates vs. E2-Hershey Bears
Game 1 – Wed., May 17 – Hershey 5, PORTLAND 0
Game 2 – Thu., May 18 – Hershey 2, PORTLAND 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Sat., May 20 – at Hershey, 7:00
Game 4 – Sun., May 21 – at Hershey, 6:00
*Game 5 – Tue., May 23 – at Portland, 7:05
*Game 6 – Wed., May 24 – at Portland, 7:05
*Game 7 – Tue., May 30 – at Hershey, 7:00
Western Conference Final — Series "N" (best-of-7)
N1-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. W1-Milwaukee Admirals
Game 1 – Thu., May 18 – Milwaukee 4, GRAND RAPIDS 0
Game 2 – Sat., May 20 – at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 3 – Mon., May 22 – at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 24 – at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 – Fri., May 26 – at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 27 – at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 7 – Mon., May 29 – at Grand Rapids, 7:00
All times Eastern… *if necessary
On Friday night, three-time AHL All-Star Dwayne Roloson made 31 saves and assisted on Michael Peca’s shorthanded goal as Edmonton opened the NHL’s Western Conference Final with a 3-1 win over Anaheim.
BY THE NUMBERS:
23 — Points recorded by the Philadelphia Phantoms’ Jeff Carter during the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs, tops in the AHL… Two players – Milwaukee’s Darren Haydar and Portland’s Zenon Konopka – already have 24 points each this postseason.
ON THIS DATE (May 20):
2002 – Louie DeBrusk scores 9:10 into overtime as Hamilton forces a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Final with a 3-2 win at Bridgeport… 1994 – Olaf Kolzig makes 32 saves as Portland opens the Calder Cup Final with a 5-1 win over Moncton… 1991 – Springfield squares the Calder Cup Final at two games apiece with a 2-1 win over Rochester on Yvon Corriveau’s overtime goal… 1987 – Rochester sends the Calder Cup Final to a seventh game for the first time in 24 years, defeating Sherbrooke in Game 6 by a 7-4 score… 1981 – Adirondack beats Maine, 5-2, to win its first Calder Cup.
AHL ON B2 NETWORKS:
B2 Networks brings all the action of the 2006 Calder Cup Playoffs to your computer with live video webcasts of every game… Click here for details.