CALDER CUP UPDATE:
Mark Beaufait scored on a partial breakaway 6:02 into the second overtime period to give Houston a 3-2 victory over Hershey on Saturday night and a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series. Curtis Murphy scored on a power play 1:58 into the third period to tie the score, as the Bears lost for just the second time all year when leading after 40 minutes. It was the sixth multiple-overtime game in the AHL this postseason; the home team has won five of the six.
J-F. Labbe was the difference again, turning aside 35 shots as Syracuse grabbed a 2-0 series lead over Chicago with a 3-1 win on Saturday night. Labbe, a two-time Calder Cup champion, has stopped 65 of 66 Wolves shots in the series. Syracuse killed off 101 seconds of a two-man disadvantage early in the second period, and Chris Nielsen netted the eventual game-winning goal shortly after. Jeremy Reich and Brad Moran also scored for the Crunch, who are 5-0 during the Calder Cup 2002 Playoffs.
Rookie Raffi Torres ended the first playoff overtime game in Sound Tigers history at 7:44 of the extra session as Bridgeport won for the 30th time in 44 home games this year to take a 2-0 series lead over St. John’s. Juraj Kolnik opened the scoring just 1:41 into the game, and Craig Mills got the Leafs’ goal midway through the third period. Rick DiPietro made 26 saves for Bridgeport, and saw his goals against average drop to 1.54, third best in the AHL for the postseason. This is the fifth series in a row (dating back to 1997) that St. John’s has fallen behind 0-2.
The only conference semifinal series to see a split of the first two games shifts this afternoon to Copps Coliseum (4:00 ET), where Hamilton will entertain Hartford. A couple of overtime games at the Hartford Civic Center left the series even at 1-1, with Alex Henry giving the Bulldogs the jump in Game 1 and Marty Wilford responding for the Wolf Pack in double OT in Game 2. The ’Dogs have played just one home game during these playoffs, a series-clinching win over Quebec in the first round.
TONIGHT’S GAMES:Game 3 – Hartford at Hamilton, 4:00
SERIES SCHEDULES: Western Conference Semifinals 1-Syracuse vs. 7-Chicago Game 1 - SYRACUSE 3, Chicago 0 Game 2 - SYRACUSE 3, Chicago 1 Game 3 - Mon 4/29 at Chicago, 7:00 Game 4 - Wed 5/1 at Chicago, 7:00 *Game 5 - Fri 5/3 at Chicago, 7:30 *Game 6 - Sun 5/5 at Syracuse, 5:00 *Game 7 - Tue 5/7 at Syracuse, 7:00 (Syracuse leads series, 2-0) 4-Houston vs. 6-Hershey Game 1 - HOUSTON 3, Hershey 0 Game 2 - HOUSTON 3, Hershey 2 (2OT) Game 3 - Wed 5/1 at Hershey, 7:30 Game 4 - Fri 5/3 at Hershey, 7:30 *Game 5 - Sun 5/5 at Hershey, 6:00 *Game 6 - Tue 5/7 at Houston, 7:00 *Game 7 - Wed 5/8 at Houston, 7:00 (Houston leads series, 2-0) Eastern Conference Semifinals 1-Bridgeport vs. 7-St. John’s Game 1 - BRIDGEPORT 4, St. John’s 2 Game 2 - BRIDGEPORT 2, St. John’s 1 (OT) Game 3 - Mon 4/29 at St. John’s, 7:35 Game 4 - Wed 5/1 at St. John’s, 7:35 *Game 5 - Fri 5/3 at St. John’s, 7:35 *Game 6 - Sun 5/5 at Bridgeport, 5:05 *Game 7 - Mon 5/6 at Bridgeport, 7:05 (Bridgeport leads series, 2-0) 4-Hartford vs. 6-Hamilton Game 1 - Hamilton 3, HARTFORD 2 (OT) Game 2 - HARTFORD 3, Hamilton 2 (2OT) Game 3 - Sun 4/28 at Hamilton, 4:00 Game 4 - Tue 4/30 at Hamilton, 7:30 Game 5 - Thu 5/2 at Hamilton, 7:30 *Game 6 - Sat 5/4 at Hartford, 7:05 *Game 7 - Sun 5/5 at Hartford, 4:05 (Series tied, 1-1)
*if necessary… All times local
FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
Brett Hull’s hat trick, his first three goals of the series, lifted Detroit to a 6-4 win over Vancouver on Saturday, eliminating the Canucks, four games to two. Hull was voted the winner of the Dudley “Red” Garrett Award as the AHL’s top rookie during the 1986-87 season.
Jose Theodore made 43 saves and Oleg Petrov scored the game-winning goal as Montreal took a 3-2 series lead with a 2-1 win in Boston on Saturday. Theodore and Petrov both reached the Calder Cup Finals with Fredericton in 1995.
Leafs TV, 12:00 pm ET… New England Sports Network, 12:30 pm ET… CN8 (Comcast), 12:30 pm ET… Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh, 1:30 pm ET… Empire Sports Network, 6:30 pm ET
Empire Sports Network, 4:00 pm ET
Leafs TV, 11:00 am ET