Game 1 HARTFORD 5, Providence 1 (HFD leads, 1-0)
Game 1 HERSHEY 3, Albany 2 (HER leads, 1-0)
Game 1 MANCHESTER 5, Worcester 2 (MCH leads, 1-0)
WEDNESDAYS THREE STARS:
1. Nigel Dawes scored two goals and assisted on three others to lead Hartford to a Game 1 win over Providence.
2. Alex Bourret netted two goals and two assists in his postseason debut for the Wolf Pack.
3. Two-time Stanley Cup champion Oleg Tverdovsky recorded three points (1g, 2a) for Manchester.
THURSDAYS SCHEDULE (all times ET):
Game 2 Albany at Hershey, 7:00
Game 1 Hamilton at Rochester, 7:05
Game 1 Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
2007 CALDER CUP PLAYOFFS:
Atlantic Division Semifinal -- Series "A" (best-of-7)
A1-Manchester Monarchs vs. A4-Worcester Sharks || Preview
Game 1 Wed., Apr. 18 MANCHESTER 5, Worcester 2
Game 2 Fri., Apr. 20 Worcester at Manchester, 7:35
Game 3 Sat., Apr. 21 Manchester at Worcester, 7:00
Game 4 Wed., Apr. 25 Manchester at Worcester, 7:00
*Game 5 Fri., Apr. 27 Worcester at Manchester, 7:35
*Game 6 Sat., Apr. 28 Manchester at Worcester, 7:00
*Game 7 Mon., Apr. 30 Worcester at Manchester, 7:05
Atlantic Division Semifinal -- Series "B" (best-of-7)
A2-Hartford Wolf Pack vs. A3-Providence Bruins || Preview
Game 1 Wed., Apr. 18 HARTFORD 5, Providence 1
Game 2 Fri., Apr. 20 Providence at Hartford, 7:00
Game 3 Sat., Apr. 21 Hartford at Providence, 7:05
Game 4 Tue., Apr. 24 Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*Game 5 Thu., Apr. 26 Hartford at Providence, 7:05
*Game 6 Sat., Apr. 28 Providence at Hartford, 7:00
*Game 7 Sun., Apr. 29 Providence at Hartford, 7:00
East Division Semifinal -- Series "C" (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. E4-Albany River Rats || Preview
Game 1 Wed., Apr. 18 HERSHEY 3, Albany 2
Game 2 Thu., Apr. 19 Albany at Hershey, 7:00
Game 3 Sun., Apr. 22 Hershey vs. Albany, 5:00 (GF)
Game 4 Mon., Apr. 23 Hershey vs. Albany, 7:00 (GF)
*Game 5 Wed., Apr. 25 Hershey vs. Albany, 7:00 (GF)
*Game 6 Sat., Apr. 28 Albany at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 Sun., Apr. 29 Albany at Hershey, 5:00
East Division Semifinal -- Series "D" (best-of-7)
E2-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E3-Norfolk Admirals || Preview
Game 1 Fri., Apr. 20 Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 2 Sat., Apr. 21 Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 3 Mon., Apr. 23 W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:15
Game 4 Wed., Apr. 25 W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:15
*Game 5 Fri., Apr. 27 W-B/Scranton at Norfolk, 7:15
*Game 6 Sun., Apr. 29 Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 5:05
*Game 7 Tue., May 1 Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
North Division Semifinal -- Series "E" (best-of-7)
N1-Manitoba Moose vs. N4-Grand Rapids Griffins || Preview
Game 1 Thu., Apr. 19 Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 2 Sat., Apr. 21 Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
Game 3 Mon., Apr. 23 Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
Game 4 Wed., Apr. 25 Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 Fri., Apr. 27 Manitoba at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 6 Sun., Apr. 29 Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
*Game 7 Tue., May 1 Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
North Division Semifinal -- Series "F" (best-of-7)
N2-Rochester Americans vs. N3-Hamilton Bulldogs || Preview
Game 1 Thu., Apr. 19 Hamilton at Rochester, 7:05
Game 2 Sat., Apr. 21 Hamilton at Rochester, 8:05
Game 3 Sun., Apr. 22 Rochester at Hamilton, 6:00
Game 4 Tue., Apr. 24 Rochester at Hamilton, 7:30
*Game 5 Thu., Apr. 26 Hamilton at Rochester, 7:05
*Game 6 Sat., Apr. 28 Rochester at Hamilton, 7:00
*Game 7 Mon., Apr. 30 Hamilton at Rochester, 7:05
West Division Semifinal -- Series "G" (best-of-7)
W1-Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights vs. W4-Iowa Stars || Preview
Game 1 Fri., Apr. 20 Iowa at Omaha, 8:00
Game 2 Sat., Apr. 21 Iowa at Omaha, 8:00
Game 3 Mon., Apr. 23 Omaha at Iowa, 8:05
Game 4 Wed., Apr. 25 Omaha at Iowa, 8:05
*Game 5 Fri., Apr. 27 Iowa at Omaha, 8:00
*Game 6 Sat., Apr. 28 Omaha at Iowa, 8:05
*Game 7 Tue., May 1 Iowa at Omaha, 8:00
West Division Semifinal -- Series "H" (best-of-7)
W2-Chicago Wolves vs. W3-Milwaukee Admirals || Preview
Game 1 Fri., Apr. 20 Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:30
Game 2 Sun., Apr. 22 Milwaukee at Chicago, 5:00
Game 3 Tue., Apr. 24 Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
Game 4 Wed., Apr. 25 Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:00
*Game 5 Fri., Apr. 27 Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:30
*Game 6 Sat., Apr. 28 Chicago at Milwaukee, 8:30
*Game 7 Tue., May 1 Milwaukee at Chicago, 8:00
All times Eastern
GAME NOTES (all times ET):
Game 2 Albany at Hershey, 7:00
Hershey scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period to edge Albany, 3-2, in Game 1 last night... The Bears owned a 20-2 edge in shots in the final period to win for the 17th time in 22 postseason games going back to last spring... The River Rats were 7-11-0-3 in the regular season in games following a one-goal loss... Tomas Fleischmann, Hershey's leading scorer with 32 points in the 2006 playoffs, scored in Game 1... Cody McCormick's second-period goal was the first Albany goal in a road playoff game since Apr. 30, 1999, spanning 207:04 of playing time; the River Rats were shut out in all three of their games at Rochester during their 2000 first-round loss.
Game 1 Hamilton at Rochester, 7:05
This is the third postseason meeting in the last four years between and Hamilton; both teams failed to make the Calder Cup Playoffs in 2006... The Bulldogs have lost nine straight playoff games to the Americans entering tonight's Game 1, including four-game sweeps in 2004 and 2005... Rochester closed out the regular season with three straight wins, capped by a 2-1 victory over Hamilton in Sunday's finale... The Bulldogs scored 40.5 percent of their goals (17 of 42) in the season series with the Amerks on the power play... The third-place team has defeated the second-place team in the North Division semifinals in each of the last three postseasons.
Game 1 Grand Rapids at Manitoba, 8:30
Manitoba and Grand Rapids renew their rivalry in the North Division semifinals, their second straight postseason clash... The Griffins' Darryl Bootland recorded seven points in last year's series between the teams, including the series-winning goal with 2:06 remaining in Game 7... Drew MacIntyre, the winning goalie for Grand Rapids in that Game 7, was 24-12-2 and ranked third in the AHL with a 2.17 GAA this year for the Moose... Grand Rapids was 1-7-1-2 in its last 11 road games during the regular season... Manitoba is 6-0 in first-round playoff games since moving into the MTS Centre in 2004-05... The Moose were 26-8-3-3 within the North Division this season; the Griffins were 15-18-1-4.
LET'S SEE SOME CHAMPAGNE
Randy Turner, Winnipeg Free Press
Ten years is pretty much long enough, isn't it? Because it's been over a decade now and the Manitoba Moose remain the only professional sports franchise in this city that hasn't won a single championship. The [CFLs] Bombers? They've won 10, dating back to the Great Depression. The Goldeyes haven't taken home a Northern League title in over a decade, either, although the Fish did win a championship in the team's inaugural year in Winnipeg back in 1994. Come to think of it, this city has been without a league champion, period, for an unlucky 13 years and the last powerhouses of any note were the Bombers of the mid-1980s and the WHA's Winnipeg Jets, in the heady days of the mid-1970s. It's the Moose, however, who haven't seen a drop of champagne ever since landing on Winnipeg's doorstep in 1996. Tonight, the Moose will open their best-of-seven first round against the Grand Rapids Griffins at the MTS Centre and expectations have never been higher.
The North Division champion Manitoba Moose are 16 wins away from bringing Winnipeg its first professional hockey championship since the Jets won the last WHA Avco Cup in 1979.
PETERS' WORK CRUCIAL TO KNIGHTS
Mike Patterson, Omaha World-Herald
On every successful team, there's always one player who does the little things necessary to make victories happen. For the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights, it's forward Warren Peters. The 24-year-old from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has scored 17 goals for the playoff-bound Knights this season. But it's his work killing penalties and winning key faceoffs that draws the admiration of coaches and teammates. "Game in and game out, he always puts his character on the line," Omaha coach Ryan McGill said. "Other guys score more than he does, but he's so valuable for everything he does."
Warren Peters played in 79 of Omaha's 80 games this season and recorded 33 points, including two in the Knights' division-clinching win over Chicago on Sunday evening.
EXPERIENCE IN GOAL CRUCIAL DURING PLAYOFFS
Jonathan Bombulie, The Citizens' Voice
On the night Hersheys Frederic Cassivi raised the 2006 Calder Cup, he was playing the 62nd AHL playoff game of his career. When Milwaukees Wade Flaherty celebrated at Bennigans after winning the 2004 Calder Cup at the Wachovia Arena, he was 36 years old. Theres no doubt having a goaltender who has experienced the ups and downs of a playoff run can be a huge advantage, and its an advantage the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins dont have this year. To a certain point, yeah it does (concern me), coach Todd Richards said. We rode, the year we won (with Milwaukee), a goaltender who had lots of experience. It does give your team lots of confidence, but right now, I have lots of confidence in my goaltenders and Im sure the players do as well.
Each of the last five winners of the Jack Butterfield Trophy as MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs have been goaltenders, including current NHL'ers Johan Holmqvist of Tampa Bay (2003) and Antero Niittymaki of Philadelphia (2005).
FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
2005 AHL All-Star Zach Parise scored twice in New Jersey's 4-3 overtime win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.
1998 AHL All-Star Matt Cullen scored the winning goal in the N.Y. Rangers' series-clinching 4-2 win over Atlanta.
Jason Pominville, who had 19 points in 16 games for Rochester during the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs, scored for Buffalo in the Sabres' 4-2 win over the N.Y. Islanders.
Milan Michalek scored twice and 2001 AHL All-Star Jonathan Cheechoo had a pair of assists in San Jose's 3-2 win over Nashville.
BY THE NUMBERS:
+5 Plus/minus rating earned by Hartford linemates Nigel Dawes, Alex Bourret and Jarkko Immonen in the Wolf Packs 5-1 win over Providence last night... The last player to earn a plus-5 rating in a Calder Cup Playoff game was current Anaheim Ducks defenseman Joe DiPenta, then with the Chicago Wolves, on May 19, 2002... The last forward to garner a postseason plus-5 was Rochesters Terry Yake back on Apr. 18, 1997 exactly 10 years before the Wolf Pack trio.
ON THIS DATE:
April 19, 2000 Mika Noronen and the Rochester Americans shut out Albany for the third straight time on home ice, earning a 2-0 win in the decisive Game 5 of their first-round series.
April 19, 1996 Led by twin brothers Chris Ferraro (4g, 1a) and Peter Ferraro (1g, 5a), the Binghamton Rangers defeat Syracuse, 8-5, in Game 1 of their division semifinal.
April 19, 1970 Jim Stanfield's goal 67 seconds into overtime gives the Springfield Kings a 5-4 win in Game 7 of its first-round series vs. Hershey.