Saturday's Morning Skate 6/4

Saturday, June 4, 2016
Down, but not out. Hershey heads to Cleveland trailing Lake Erie two games to none in the 2016 Calder Cup Finals. Photo: Amanda Statland
Playoff hockey is in its final round across the top three pro leagues in North America and so far, they have been mainly one-sided affairs. Both in the NHL and AHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Lake Erie Monsters have opened up 2-0 series leads on the San Jose Sharks and Hershey Bears, respectively.

In the ECHL, the Kelly Cup Final between the Allen Americans and Wheeling Nailers (oddly enough the ECHL affiliates of San Jose and Pittsburgh, respectively) enter tonight's Game Five in Wheeling in a 2-2 series that saw the Americans take last night's Game Four. In the 27 ECHL Finals matchups in the league's history, eight have entered Game Five tied 2-2. The team that won Game Five went on to win the championship all eight times.

While the Hershey Bears squeaked past Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the Eastern Conference Semifinals round and out-gunned the heavily favored Toronto Marlies in the conference final, they seem to have fallen between a rock and a hard place in their finals match up against Lake Erie.

Interestingly enough, Hershey trailed the Texas Stars two games to none back in the 2010 Calder Cup Finals and ended up winning the next four games to win the championship. Until a team has one four games and claimed the trophy, it is anyone's series.

You can keep up to date with the AHL's postseason by following me on Twitter ->@TonyAndrock/@H_P_Hockey.

Saturday's Playoff Hockey Schedule

(NHL) Stanley Cup Finals: Pittsburgh at San Jose - 8:00 p.m. ET (PIT leads series 2-0)
(ECHL) Kelly Cup Finals: Allen at Wheeling - 7:35 p.m. ET (Series tied 2-2)

Friday's Calder Cup Finals Action

Lake Erie - 5 at Hershey - 3 (LKE leads series 2-0)

The Lake Erie Monsters stole both games in Hershey to start the Calder Cup Finals, and will be heading home for Games 3, 4 and if neccesary Game 5 with a 2-0 series lead following Friday night's 5-3 win at Giant Center.

The Monsters jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Zach Werenski and Olivier Bjorkstrand before Zach Sill got the Bears on the board with a power play tally near the midway point of regulation. Lake Erie tallied two more to break open the score to 4-1 early in the third period on goals from Lukas Sedlak and a second tally by Bjorkstrand before a too little too late comeback by Hershey made it a one-goal game.

Tyler Lewington and Liam O'Brien tallied third period goals less than two minutes apart to put the pressure on Lake Erie in the final 8:09 of regulation, but the Monsters iced it with an empty net goal by Daniel Zaar to complete the 5-3 win in Game Two.

Anton Forsberg stopped 27 of 30 shots for Lake Erie in the win, while Justin Peters surrendered four goals on 28 shots in the loss.

Next Game: The Calder Cup Finals shifts to the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio for three games starting Monday 6/6 at 7 p.m. ET.

You can help keep me on the road covering AHL hockey next season by making a donation via GoFundMe or PayPal.


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