Saturday's Morning Skate 4/18

Saturday, April 18, 2015
The Phantoms are in Hershey tonight in the midst of a three-game weekend.
It's the final weekend of the AHL's 2014-15 regular season and with a game or two left on everyone's schedule, three teams are all fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The W-B/Scranton Penguins saw their chances at an East Division title evaporate last night after a shutout loss combined with a win by Hershey clinched the Bears the East Division crown and a guaranteed top-three seed in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Norfolk Admirals played their final home game as an AHL franchise and ended things with a 4-2 win over Lehigh Valley. The Admirals play their final regular season game tonight in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins.

Eastern Conference Standings (through 4/17's games)

* = division leader
x = clinched playoff spot
y = clinched division title

y*-1. Manchester: 2 games remaining, 49-16-6-3 = 17 points
y*-2. Hershey: 1 game remaining, 45-22-5-3 = 99 points
x*-3. Hartford: 2 games remaining, 42-23-5-4 = 93 points
x-4. W-B/Scranton: 2 games remaining, 43-24-3-4 = 93 points
x-5. Syracuse: 1 game remaining, 41-24-10-0 = 92 points
x-6. Providence: 2 games remaining, 40-25-7-2 = 89 points
x-7. Worcester: 2 games remaining, 41-27-4-2 = 88 points
8. Springfield: 1 game remaining, 37-28-8-2 = 84 points
9. Portland: 2 games remaining, 37-28-7-2 = 83 points
10. Albany: 1 game remaining, 36-28-5-6 = 83 points

Lehigh Valley - 2 at Norfolk - 4

In the last AHL game at The Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA, the Admirals gave their fans a last hurrah with a 4-2 win over East Division foe Lehigh Valley.

Shea Theodore set up the game-winning goal and added an insurance marker to lead the way for the Admirals, while Ryan Faragher stopped 23 of 25 in the win for Norfolk. Rob Zepp stopped 40 of the 44 shots he faced in the loss, while Nick Cousins and Scott Laughton tallied goals for the Phantoms.

Norfolk finishes their last game as an AHL franchise tonight in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins, while Lehigh Valley travels to Hershey for a Saturday night match up against the rival Bears.

Binghamton - 2 at Hershey - 3

The Hershey Bears clinched the regular season East Division title in a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators at Giant Center last night.

With Philipp Grubauer recalled to Washington, Pheonix Copley got the start in net and was dominant - stopping 42 of the 44 shots that came his way. Claimed off of AHL waivers mid-season, Jim O'Brien led the Bears offense with three assists in the win.

The BSens took an early 1-0 lead on AHL Defenseman of the Year Chris Wideman's 19th of the season, but three straight goals by Hershey proved too much for Binghamton. Alex Guptill brought the BSens within a goal with 11 seconds left but it was too little too late. Scott Greenham stopped 36 of 39 in the loss.

Hershey remains home to host Lehigh Valley in their regular season finale, while Binghamton hosts Rochester tonight in their final game of the season.

Albany - 4 at W-B/Scranton - 0

With a chance to tighten the East Division race, the Penguins instead laid an egg in a shutout loss to Albany at home - losing a chance at a top-three seed in the process.

Scott Clemmensen stopped all 22 shots that came his way for his 2nd shutout of the season. Joe Whitney and Darcy Zajac recorded a goal and an assist each in the win for the Devils. Matt Murray was victimized for four goals on 26 shots - the first time he's allowed four or more goals since December 27th.

The Penguins host Norfolk tonight in their final home game of the regular season, while Albany keeps their playoff hopes alive heading into their regular season finale at home against Hartford.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

Springfield - 4 at St. John's - 3 (SO)
Bridgeport - 2 at Hartford - 3
Portland - 2 at Manchester - 3
Adirondack - 5 at Syracuse - 4 (OT)
Worcester - 5 at Providence - 2

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Hartford at Albany, 5:00 p.m. EDT
Springfield at St. John's, 6:00 p.m. EDT
Lehigh Valley at Hershey, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Worcester at Manchester, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Providence at Portland, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Bridgeport at Syracuse, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Rochester at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. EDT
Norfolk at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m. EDT


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