CALDER CUP UPDATE:
The Calder Cup 2002 Final blows into the Windy City with Game 3 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., tonight (7:00 CT, 8:00 ET). The teams have been off since the Eastern Conference champion Bridgeport Sound Tigers earned a split of the first two games with a 2-1 victory back home on Saturday night. Marko Tuomainen, who had two goals over his final 39 regular-season games, beat fellow Finn Pasi Nurminen for his first goal of the postseason midway through the second period of Game 2, providing the margin of victory.
Bridgeport shored up their defensive play and outshot the Wolves by a 30-16 margin in Game 2, holding the opposition to fewer than 20 shots for the fourth time in eight contests. Former Wolves goaltender Rick DiPietro made 15 saves and lowered his league-leading goals against average to 1.91, despite a save percentage of .894 since the start of the conference finals. Nurminen made 28 stops, but Chicago’s winning streak was halted at five games.
Chicago enters Game 3 with six consecutive home victories… Defenseman Kirill Safronov, who scored the Wolves’ lone goal in Game 2, was teammates last season with Bridgeport’s Jason Krog, Juraj Kolnik, Trent Hunter and Steve Valiquette in Springfield… Chicago’s Steve Maltais-Andreas Karlsson-Rob Brown line has combined for 12 points and a plus-12 rating in the first two games of the series… After the Wolves were a perfect 32-for-32 killing penalties against Houston in the conference finals, Bridgeport is 2-for-7 (28.6%) on the power play this series… A best-of-seven Calder Cup Final series has been tied at 1-1 on 24 occasions; the Game 3 winner has gone on to win the Cup 17 times, including all 11 times since 1978… All the action of Game 3 can be heard via cybercast by following the links at caldercup.com.
Calder Cup 2002 Final Bridgeport vs. Chicago Game 1 - Chicago 5, BRIDGEPORT 4 (OT) Game 2 - BRIDGEPORT 2, Chicago 1 Game 3 - Thu 5/30 at Chicago, 7:00 Game 4 - Fri 5/31 at Chicago, 7:30 Game 5 - Mon 6/3 at Chicago, 7:00 *Game 6 - Thu 6/6 at Bridgeport, 7:05 *Game 7 - Fri 6/7 at Bridgeport, 7:35 (Series tied, 1-1) *if necessary… All times local
BY THE NUMBERS:
2 – Cities that have won both a Calder Cup and a Stanley Cup championship… Chicago (Blackhawks 1934, ’38, ’61) is three wins away from joining Philadelphia (Flyers 1974, ’75; Phantoms ’98) and Pittsburgh (Penguins 1991, ’92; Hornets 1952, ’55, ’67).
52-26 – Home teams’ record during the Calder Cup 2002 Playoffs (.667)… Home-ice advantage was good for a .558 winning percentage in the 2001-02 regular season, and a .557 clip in last year’s postseason (39-31).
FROM CALDER TO STANLEY:
The Carolina Hurricanes captured the franchise’s first Prince of Wales Trophy with a 2-1 overtime win over Toronto on Tuesday night, advancing to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals. Bates Battaglia, who scored two goals in the 1998 AHL All-Star Game, leads the ’Canes in scoring through three rounds with 14 points.
“My parents always taught me that there are people who are less fortunate than us…. For me to give what I can so maybe their weekends go by a little smoother by coming out here and enjoying themselves, it’s a privilege.” — Aeros defenseman Travis Roche, whose charitable work with Houston-area kids earned him the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award as the AHL’s man of the year. (Houston Chronicle, 5/30/02)
ON THE AIR:
*Game 6 - Chicago at Bridgeport - AT&T Broadband (Chicago) - 6:05 CT
*Game 7 - Chicago at Bridgeport - AT&T Broadband (Chicago) - 6:35 CT
Rogers Sportsnet (East), 10:30 pm ET
New England Sports Network, 1:30 pm ET
Leafs TV, 11:00 am ET