by PuckStopsHere on 05/09/13 at 02:09 AM ET
The first round of the AHL playoffs completed today. The first round is a best of five series in an attempt to keep the AHL season a reasonable length (something I don't imagine the NHL would consider). This makes the first round results in the AHL a little more unpredictable then the NHL first round that is a best of seven series. Here is a summary of the first round series:
Providence Bruins defeat Hershey Bears three games to two. This was the last first round series as it ended tonight. It was probably the closest of the first round series. Providence is the Boston Bruins minor league affiliate and Hershey belongs to the Washington Capitals. Carter Camper was the top scorer in this series for Providence with eight points. He had support from Chris Bourque and defenceman Mark Bartkowski. Niklas Svedberg was their goaltender but he did not play a strong series posting a .887 saves percentage. Hershey was led by Peter LeBlanc who also posted eight points and Joey Crabb, with Dmitry Orlov contributing from defence. Philipp Grubauer provided their goaltending.
Springfield Falcons defeat Manchester Monarchs three games to one. Each game was a one goal game and three went into overtime making this a very close series. Springfield is Columbus's farm affiliate and Manchester belongs to the Los Angeles Kings. Springfield was led by Cody Bass and defencemen Blake Parlett and David Savard, with Curtis McElhinney playing a strong series in goal. Manchester's offence was led by defenceman Nick Deslauriers and forward Andy Andreoff, with Martin Jones in goal.
Syracuse Crunch sweep Portland Pirates in three straight. Each of the three games was a one goal game and two went to overtime making this a close series for a sweep. Syracuse is Tampa Bay's minor league affiliate and Portland belongs to Phoenix. The Syracuse offence was led by Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. Matt Taormina contributed on defence and Cedrick Desjardins was their goalie. Nick Johnson and defenceman Brandon Gormley led the way, with Chad Johnson in goal.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins defeat Binghamton Senators in three games. Each of these three games ended in a 3-2 win for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, making for a closer series than a sweep would indicate. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is the Pittsburgh Penguins farm affiliate and Binghamton belongs to Ottawa. Riley Holzapfel and Chad Kolarik led the way for the Penguins offence. Brian Dumoulin led the way on defence and Jeff Zatkoff played the majority of their goaltending. Mark Stone and defenceman Chris Wideman led the way for Binghamton with Nathan Lawson in goal.
Texas Stars defeat Milwaukee Admirals three games to one. This was a low scoring series with only twelve total goals scored in four games. Texas is the Dallas Stars farm affiliate and Milwaukee belongs to the Nashville Predators. Kevin Connauton was the top scorer for Texas from defence. Mike Hedden also played a strong series. Cristopher Nilstorp played a strong series in goal with a .963 saves percentage. Zach Hamill was the only Milwaukee player with multiple points (two). Magnus Hellberg provided their goaltending.
Toronto Marlies swept the Rochester Americans in three games. Except for the final game that went to overtime, this wasn't a close series. The Toronto Marlies are the minor league affiliate for the Maple Leafs and Rochester belongs to the Buffalo Sabres. Greg Scott and Jerry D'Amigo led the way for the Marlies offence. Drew MacIntyre provided solid goaltending. Zemgus Girgensons and Johan Larsson led the Rochester offence. David Leggio played the majority of their goaltending but did not have a strong series.
Grand Rapids Griffons defeat Houston Aeros three games to two. Grand Rapids won the final game 7-0 and that ruins the narrative of a close series. It was a back and forth series where both teams played strong games. Grand Rapids is Detroit's minor league team and Houston belongs to Minnesota. Tomas Tatar and Luke Glendening led the way offensively for Grand Rapids, with Nathan Paetsch leading the defence. Petr Mrazek was their goalie. Justin Fontaine led the Houston offence with eight points. Brian Connelly was a leader on defence. Houston's goaltending was strong under Darcy Kuemper for the first two games until injuries saw him called up to the NHL. Mike Condon took over in goal. Perhaps it was this change that cost Houston the series.
Oklahoma City Barons defeat Charlotte Checkers three games to two. This series started close but Oklahoma City won the last two games in blowouts. Oklahoma City is Edmonton's minor league team and Charlotte belongs to Carolina. Josh Green led the way for Oklahoma City with nine points and both Teemu Hartikainen and Toni Rajala both scored eight points. Yann Danis was their goaltender. Zach Boychuk and Brody Sutter led the way offensively for Charlotte. Bobby Raymond led the defence. Rob Madore provided most of their goaltending.
The second round begins with series starting tomorrow and Friday. Providence will face Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Springfield will face Syracuse, Texas will meet Oklahoma City and Toronto will meet Grand Rapids.
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