Saturday's Morning Skate 5/21

Saturday, May 21, 2016
Toronto dominated the start of the game before ultimately falling short in Game 1 at Giant Center Friday night. Photo: Amanda Statland.
While the NHL's Conference Finals are already well underway, the AHL's Eastern Conference Finals got underway Friday night at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. as the Hershey Bears and Toronto Marlies met for just the third time this year (the two teams split their two-game regular season series).

The 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs are down to their final four teams with the Bears and Marlies battling it out in the East, while the Lake Erie Monsters and Ontario Reign battle in the West with the winners of each series playing for the Calder Cup Championship.

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

Saturday's AHL Postseason Schedule

Toronto at Hershey - 7:00 p.m. ET (HER leads series 1-0)
Lake Erie at Ontario - 11:00 p.m. ET (Series tied 0-0)

Friday's Eastern Conference Finals Action

Toronto - 1 at Hershey - 3 (HER leads series 1-0)

Rapid Recap: Early on in Game One, it looked like the Bears were in trouble and going to be in for a long night. The Marlies dominated the opening minutes and William Nylander put Toronto in front on a feed from Kasperi Kapanen.

The Marlies took the 1-0 lead in the opening frame and held the Hershey Bears without a shot in the first 12 minutes of the contest, but the home team got it together late in the first period and evened things up early in the second period on Carter Camper's 5th of the postseason.

The goal extended Camper's point streak to seven games (five goals, four assists) and turned the tides for the Bears, who out shot the Marlies 9-5 in the middle frame and headed to the third deadlocked at 1-1.

In the third period, it was the unlikely heroes giving the Bears their first lead of the contest as Liam O'Brien tallied the go-ahead goal early in the final frame and Zach Sill added a power play goal with 11:48 left in regulation to lift Hershey to the Game 1 win at Giant Center.

Goalies: Justin Peters stopped all but one of the 20 shots he faced, while Antoine Bibeau surrendered three goals on 23 shots in the loss.

Up Next: These two teams are right back at it in Hershey at 7:00 p.m. tonight before the series shifts to Toronto for Games Three, Four and Five in an odd 2-3-1-1 series format due to building availability.

Hershey's Lines (Starters in Bold&Italics)

Chris Bourque (A) - Travis Boyd - Jakub Vrana
Nathan Walker - Carter Camper - Dustin Gazley
Liam O'Brien - Chandler Stephenson - Garrett Mitchell (C)
Ryan Bourque - Zach Sill (A) - Sean Collins

Ryan Stanton - Madison Bowey
Aaron Ness - Tyler Lewington
Christian Djoos - Erik Burgdoerfer

Justin Peters - Dan Ellis

Toronto's Lines (Starters in Bold&Italics)

Josh Leivo - Mark Arcobello - Connor Brown
Brendan Liepsic - William Nylander - Kasperi Kapanen
Tobias Lindberg - Frederik Gauthier - Zach Hyman
Richard Clune - Ben Smith - Nikita Soshnikov

Andrew Campbell (C) - Connor Carrick
Viktor Loov - Stuart Percy
T.J. Brennan (A) -Justin  Holl

Antoine Bibeau - Garret Sparks


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