AHL Calder Cup Playoffs: Weekly Postseason Update

AHL Calder Cup Playoffs: Weekly Update/News – Round 2 Begins to Heat Up

AHL Calder Cup Playoffs second round is now underway with eight teams remaining.

Four of eight winners in the opening round swept their opponent in a best-of-5 series.

Toronto made quick work of Bridgeport, Wilkes-Barre plowed through Providence, Lake Erie dominated Blackhawks affiliate Rockford, while Red Wings affiliate Grand Rapids walked all over Milwaukee. 

Only one game has been played in each of the second round match-up’s so far. AHL action is set to heat up this weekend with game’s two and three of each series on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

AHL Calder Cup Playoffs: Round 1 Quick Review (Best-of-5 series)

Hershey (WSH) defeats Portland (FLA) 3-2
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (PIT) defeats Providence (BOS) 3-0
Toronto (TOR) defeats Bridgeport (NYI) 3-0
Albany (NJ) defeats Utica (VAN) 3-1
Grand Rapids (DET) defeats Milwaukee (NSH) 3-0
Lake Erie (CLB) defeats Rockford (CHI) 3-0
Ontario (LA) defeats San Jose (SJ) 3-1
San Diego (ANA) defeats Texas (DAL) 3-1

Notable Early Performers

Jake Guentzel, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (PIT) – 3rd rounder from 2013, Guentzel is tied for the league-lead with eight points in four games. Guentzel just wrapped his final year at the University of North Dakota – he had six points in 11 games to close out the AHL regular season.

Connor Carrick, Toronto (TOR) – After an impressive stint with the big club following his trade out of Washington, Carrick is now tied with Guentzel for the league-lead (eight points in four games). Marlies defenders continue to dominate, first T.J. Brennan in the regular season, and now a likely full-time NHLer in the Fall.

Daniel Sprong, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (PIT) – The Dutch-born teenager turned heads in training camp, forcing the Pens to keep him to open the season. He eventually made his way back to QMJHL Charlottetown, but has returned for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. Six points in four games ties him with several players for third in league scoring.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, Lake Erie (CLB) – A late call-up for the Blue Jackets, Bjorkstrand impressed in his 12-game stint. He finished with eight points, and closed the NHL season on a five-game seven-point streak. His production was somewhat limited in the regular season with Lake Erie, but it’s good to see his hot play continue with five points in four games in the postseason. 

Jakub Vrana, Hershey (WSH) – The 13th overall pick from 2014 has done nothing but progress since making the jump to North America late in 2014-15. He had a decent regular season with 34 points in 36 games, and now has five points in six playoff games. Vrana continues to find ways to adapt with his size.

Blake Pietila, Albany (NJ) – A projected top nine gritty type of forward, Pietila was an AHL rookie in 2015-16 after playing the previous four years at Michigan Tech (NCAA). 17 points in 58 games was a bit disappointing, but he enjoyed a solid seven-game stint (two points) with the Devils. Blake has only appeared in two postseason games for Albany so far, but two goals, two assists is an encouraging sign. Expect him to challenge for full-time NHL duties in the Fall.

AHL Calder Cup Playoffs: Round 2 Match-Up’s (best-of-7 series)

(Atlantic Division Finals)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (PIT) leads Hershey (WSH) 1-0
Gm 2 – Fri May 6th @ HER
Gm 3 – Sat May 7th @ WB
Gm 4 – Mon May 9th @ WB
Gm 5 – Wed May 11th @ HER (if necessary)
Gm 6 – Fri May 13th @ WB (if necessary)
Gm 7 – Sun May 15th @ HER (if necessary)

(North Division Finals)
Albany (NJ) leads Toronto (TOR) 1-0
Gm 2 – Fri May 6th @ TOR
Gm 3 – Sun May 8th @ ALB
Gm 4 – Tues May 10th @ ALB
Gm 5 – Thurs May 12th @ ALB
Gm 6 – Sat May 14th @ TOR (if necessary)
Gm 7 – Mon May 16th @ TOR (if necessary)

(Central Division Finals)
Lake Erie (CLB) leads Grand Rapids (DET) 1-0
Gm 2 – Sat May 7th @ LE
Gm 3 – Sun May 8th @ GR
Gm 4 – Tues May 10th @ GR
Gm 5 – Sat May 14th @ LE (if necessary)
Gm 6 – Mon May 16th @ GR (if necessary)
Gm 7 – Tues May 17th @ LE (if necessary)

(Pacific Division Finals)
Ontario (LA) leads San Diego (ANA) 1-0
Gm 2 – Sat May 7th @ SD
Gm 3 – Sun May 8th @ ONT
Gm 4 – Fri May 13th @ SD
Gm 5 – Sat May 14th @ ONT (if necessary)
Gm 6 – Mon May 16th @ SD (if necessary)
Gm 7 – Wed May 18th @ ONT (if necessary)