May 13, 1997

Three conference semifinal series to be decided in game seven

Falcons advance past Bruins

Three of four Conference Semifinal series have been extended to deciding seventh games. In Game #6 action played on Sunday, the Hershey Bears defeated the Philadelphia Phantoms at home 3-2 in triple overtime, the Rochester Americans continued their climb from a 3-1 series deficit with a 6-2 victory at Albany, and the Hamilton Bulldogs defeated the St. John's Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime at Copps Coliseum.

In the other Conference Semifinal series, the Springfield Falcons defeated the Providence Bruins 3-1 on Saturday at the Springfield Civic Center to win the series 4-1.


TV Tues. May 13 Hamilton at St. John's 7:30 p.m. Nfld./6:00 p.m. EST-Cable Atlantic
Wed. May 14 Albany at Rochester 7:35 p.m. EST-Empire Sports

Wed. May 14 Hershey at Philadelphia 7:00 p.m. EST

Both Northern Conference Semifinal games will be broadcast live and will be available on DirectTV and Primestar home satellite systems. Satellite coordinates for the St. John's/Hamilton game are ANIK E1 KU BAND Transponder 29.

St. John's (0-1) vs. Hamilton (0-0)
Rochester (7-1) vs. Albany (0-0)
Philadelphia (0-0) vs. Hershey (4-7)

The Rochester Americans will attempt to become only the 9th team in AHL history to come back from a 3-1 series defict to win a best-of-seven series. The other eight teams to do so include:

Yr. Series Winner Series Loser Series
1946 Buffalo Bisons vs. Cleveland Barons Calder Cup Final
1947 Hershey Bears vs. Pittsburgh Hornets Calder Cup Final
1949 Providence Reds vs. Hershey Bears Calder Cup Final
1960 Rochester Americans vs. Cleveland Barons League Semifinal
1973 Virginia Red Wings vs. Hershey Bears Division Semifinal
1989 Adirondack Red Wings vs. Hershey Bears Division Final
1991 Springfield Indians vs. Fredericton Canadiens Division Semifinal
1992 Rochester Americans vs. Binghamton Rangers Division Final

BEARS AND PHANTOMS PLAY FIRST TRIPLE OT GAME IN 11 YEARS: The Hershey Bears' 3-2 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Phantoms Sunday marked the first triple overtime game in the Calder Cup Playoffs in almost 11 years. The last such game occurred on May 17, 1986 when Eddie Johnstone of the Adirondack Red Wings scored at 15:50 of the third overtime to lift the Wings to a 4-3 victory over the Hershey Bears in Game #4 of the Calder Cup Finals. On April 18, 1986, the Moncton Golden Flames defeated the Maine Mariners 4-3 in Game #2 of first round action on a Yves Courteau tally at 6:06 of the third overtime.

Blair Atcheynum scored his second OT winner of the 1997 Calder Cup Playoffs, scoring unassisted at 42 seconds of the third overtime. Atcheynum had scored at 51 seconds of the second overtime in Game #1 of a 4-3 victory against the Kentucky Thoroughblades in the Conference Quarterfinals on April 18. Bears' netminder Jean-Francois Labbe stopped 62 of 64 shots while Phantoms' goaltender Neil Little saved 54 of 57 shots.

The AHL's longest Calder Cup playoff game lasted for 134 minutes, 8 seconds of overtime on April 10, 1982. Warren Holmes scored at 14:08 of the fourth overtime to lift the New Haven Nighthawks to a 3-2 victory over the Rochester Americans in Game #3 of the 1982 Quarterfinals.

OT EXTRAS: There have been 11 overtime games played thus far in the 1997 Calder Cup Playoffs, with the home team victorious in seven of those affairs. The AHL record for overtime games in one playoff year is 19, set last season.

The all-time Calder Cup overtime records for the seven AHL teams still active in the 1997 Calder Cup Playoffs are as follows: St. John's Maple Leafs (3-7), Hamilton Bulldogs (1-1), Rochester Americans (24-31), Albany River Rats (3-1), Philadelphia Phantoms (1-1), Hershey Bears (34-37), Springfield Falcons (5-0).

Blair Atcheynum of the Hershey Bears leads all AHL players still participating in the AHL Playoffs with two career overtime goals in Calder Cup action. Twelve other players still playing have one career overtime goal (team at time of goal in parentheses): Terry Yake (Springfield), John Stevens (Springfield), Scott Levins (Moncton), Mike McHugh* (Hershey), Dane Jackson* (Rochester), Scott Nichol (Rochester), Reggie Savage (Springfield), Kevin Brown* (Springfield), Sheldon Souray (Albany), Rob Pattison (Albany), Chris Longo (Springfield ), and Colin Forbes (Philadelphia). * - series clinching overtime goals

PHANTOMS RECORD AHL'S THIRD LARGEST PLAYOFF CROWD: The Philadelphia Phantoms recorded a crowd of 14,208 at CoreStates Spectrum for Game #5 Saturday, marking the third largest crowd in AHL Calder Cup history. The Phantoms lead the AHL in playoff attendance with an average of 11,446. The AHL has drawn 291,011 fans in 56 Calder Cup games, an average of 5,197 per game.

1 15,019 5/15/73 Buffalo Auditorium Cincinnati vs. Nova Scotia
2 14,995 1971-72 Boston Garden Boston, vs. Providence, vs. Nova Scotia
3 14,208 5/10/97 CoreStates Spectrum Philadelphia vs. Hershey
4 13,577 4/20/97 CoreStates Spectrum Philadelphia vs. Baltimore
5 13,507 4/19/97 CoreStates Spectrum Philadelphia vs. Baltimore

AHL ALUMNI REPORT: Buffalo Sabres forward Ed Ronan scored the game winning goal at 6:24 of overtime and goaltender Steve Shields made 39 saves as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 on Friday. The Flyers rebounded to win the best-of-seven series 4-1 with a 6-3 victory on Sunday. Shields helped lead the Rochester Americans to the Calder Cup Championship last season, setting a Calder Cup record with 15 wins in one playoff, while Ronan played last season for the Springfield Falcons and 47 games this season with the Amerks.

Adam Graves of the New York Rangers notched the overtime game and series winner Sunday in New Jersey as the Rangers defeated the Devils 2-1 and won the best-of-seven series 4-1. Graves played with the 1989 Calder Cup Champion Adirondack Red Wings and scored 11 goals in 14 post-season games. The two time Stanley Cup winner scored the game winning goal at 10:31 of overtime in Game #7 of the 1989 Division Finals against the Hershey Bears (4/30/89), enabling the Red Wings to become only the second team in AHL history to win a series after trailing 3 games to 0.

RINKSIDE: The AHL's weekly television magazine show, RINKSIDE, will be aired at the following times this week:

The Sports Network (TSN): Fri. May 16 1:00 p.m./6:00 p.m./Sat. May 17 3:00 p.m.
Empire Sports Network (ESN): Sun. May 18 6:30 p.m.
Fox Sports Pittsburgh (FSP): Fri. May 16 5:30 p.m.
Madison Square Garden (MSG): Sat. May 17 6:00 p.m.
SportsChannel Philadelphia (SCP): Sat. May 17 11:30 a.m.
NOTE: All times are E.S.T.