Emptying the notebook as teams prepare for Saturday’s Game 3 in (darn it) sunny, warm Virginia
Some bits and pieces about the St. John’s IceCaps, the Norfolk Admirals, their second-round American Hockey League playoff series, and some other related stuff as the two teams settle away in Norfolk, Va., after a travel day Thursday:
It probably can’t be overstated how important it was for the IceCaps to get a 2-1 win Wednesday night at Mile One Centre to tie the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal at a game apiece, especially with the series having a 2-3-2 format and the next three games at the Norfolk Scope, beginning Saturday night.
Since 2009 — and including this 2014 post-season — there have been 17 Calder Cup playoff series (both best-of-five and best-of-seven) which have seen the visitors win the first two games. In only three of those cases has the loser of those first two contests come back to take the series. Read More…
Nashville Predators Extend Affiliation Agreement with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals
By Press Release – Nashville Predators
Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has extended its affiliation agreement with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League through the 2016-17 season.
“Our organization has been philosophically committed to an affiliation in which the road to Nashville goes through Milwaukee,” Poile said. “Our current roster supports this philosophy. The Milwaukee Admirals have cultivated a winning tradition, as evidenced by their 12 consecutive trips to the playoffs – including a Calder Cup Championship in 2004 and another appearance in the Calder Cup Finals in 2006. Led by Harris Turer, the Milwaukee ownership group has assembled a bright and dedicated staff headed by President Jon Greenberg, that has created a major league environment for our prospects.
“With the Milwaukee organization working together with ours, led by Paul Fenton [Milwaukee’s general manager and Nashville’s assistant GM], this has been and will continue to be a partnership that rewards both teams, and most importantly, the hockey fans in both cities.” Read More…
Matt Fraser lifts Bruins past Canadiens, 1-0 in OT
By Sports Illustrated
MONTREAL (AP) — Matt Fraser fantasized about a night like this as a kid in Red Deer, Alberta.
Making his NHL playoff debut after being called up Wednesday from Providence of the American Hockey League, the 23-year-old Fraser scored at 1:19 of overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
” It’s something I dreamed about many times on the outdoor rinks growing up,” Fraser said. ” It’s every kid’s dream to score in overtime. … Words can’t even describe that feeling. I just watched the replay of it and I don’t even want to begin to try to explain that because it’s something I wish that every kid could feel.”
The goal tied the Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-2.
Fraser scored after Johnny Boychuk’s shot from the point took a high hop off the end boards and Price and defenseman Mike Weaver had trouble controlling the bouncing puck.
” It was bouncing around and I was just swatting at it as hard as I could and hoping it would hit something,” Fraser said. ” Price is such a good goalie. He doesn’t give out a lot of rebounds. I might have got lucky there, but the puck wound up in the back of the net.”
Price lost sight of the puck. Read More…
Read also on Matt Fraser: Bruins’ Fraser proving time in AHL was well-spent
Comets players in world championships
Utica Comets goalie Joacim Eriksson of Sweden, winger Nicklas Jensen of Denmark and defenseman Yannick Weber of Switzerland are playing in the International Ice Hockey Federation champions that began Friday in Minsk, Belarus. Read more…
Penguins’ success begins in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Veteran forward, Chuck Kobasew was moved to WB/S to allow room for younger talent. A move that has been great for both teams.
(Photo by Bob Howard)
By Alyssa Dombrowski – Special to NHL.com
Between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League and their NHL affiliate in Pittsburgh, much more is shared than simply a synonymous mascot. The success of the Pittsburgh Penguins and their partners in Northeastern Pennsylvania has been actively intertwined since their affiliation began in 1999.
“The way we view it, it’s really one team,” said John Hynes, the AHL’s 2011 Coach of the Year who is in his fourth season at the helm for Wilkes-Barre. “Between the management and coaches, we’re on the same page as far as how we like to run the two teams and the values we want to have within our locker room.”
It’s a sense of unity that resonates across the board. Through the years, Pittsburgh has looked to Wilkes-Barre for the development of players such as goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemenKris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Ben Lovejoy, Rob Scuderi, Michal Rozsival and Brooks Orpik and forwards Mark Letestu and Maxime Talbot.
The latest crop to graduate from Wilkes-Barre — players like defenseman Olli Maattaand forwards Beau Bennett, Joe Vitale and 2014 AHL All-Star Brian Gibbons — have reinforced Pittsburgh’s injury-riddled lineup this season. Read More…
Hershey Bears Lose Great Hockey Mind
Mike Haviland Leaves Hershey
May 10, 2014 | by Matthew Speck
In terms of job security at the professional level of hockey, there’s almost none for head coaches and their assistants. Two Calder Cup championships for Mark French followed by three consecutive first round exits caused a move to the KHL for the former Bears coach after the Washington Capitals decided not to renew his contract. Mike Haviland, coach for the Hershey Bears during the 2013-14 season, wouldn’t take that chance.
Haviland moved on to the collegiate ranks in hockey, joining Colorado College as head coach after just one season behind the Bears’ bench. He’ll look to aid a well-known program in one of the toughest divisions in college hockey, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).
“Mike has decided to move onto the collegiate scene to continue his coaching career,” Hershey Bears General Manager Doug Yingst stated in a press release on Friday. “He can now take additional professional experience back to that stage. We certainly thank him for his services in Hershey and wish him the very best in Colorado.”
Haviland, the 24th coach in Bears history, finished 39-27-5-5 in his lone year with Washington’s AHL affiliate, but just missed out on a playoff spot. He previously coached for Norfolk and Rockford in the AHL. Haviland brought accountability to the Bears’ locker room along with an extremely likeable and honest relationship to his players. Read More…
CAMPBELL’S NEW MASK GIVES CENTRAL TEXAS SOME ADDED FACE TIME
May 9, 2014 · by Sean Shapiro · in AHL
CEDAR PARK — A few of Central Texas’ prominent landmarks welcomed some additional face time Thursday night at Cedar Park Center.
As the Texas Stars faced Grand Rapids to open a second-round playoff series, Stars goalie Jack Campbell donned a new mask that depicted the Capitol, the Pennybacker Bridge, the Frost Bank building and, of course, bats.
“It looks real nice,” Campbell said. “I’ve been trying out the new mask in practice for a little while, and I really like it. So we wanted to see if we could get something (painted) … and have one ready for the playoffs.”
For most of his career, Campbell has used a protective mask made by Bauer, and he didn’t have plans to change until SportsMask sent him a sample to try out. Read More…