Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Around the League: Upsets Out East Shake Up Calder Cup Playoffs

(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)
Throughout the summer, we'll take a look at some of the stories around the league. Today's article arrives on the opening day of the second round of the playoffs, which is full of surprises.
  • Prohibitive favorite for Calder Cup Finalist (and potentially league champ) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was bounced in a decisive Game 5 by the Providence Bruins. It was a completely unexpected outcome for nearly everyone. The Penguins led 2-1 after three games but had a disappointing Game 4 where they went down 3-0 in the first period. That set up a deciding Game 5, which the Bruins won 2-1. More from Chirps from Center Ice and Seth Lakso at Citizen's Voice.

  • Another Atlantic Division favorite, Lehigh Valley, was knocked out in Round 1 by Hershey. The road team won every game in the series. More from Tony Androckitis at Highland Park Hockey.

  • Everywhere else, things went according to plan. The higher seeded team won six of the eight first round matchups. Three of those series ended up in a decisive fifth game, including San Jose and Stockton, a surprise given the strength of the Barracuda all season. It even took overtime to settle the series in Game 5. San Jose advanced on Ryan Carpenter's OT goal. More from the Mercury News.

  • Jack Campbell was bounced from the playoffs as his Ontario Reign had goalie injury issues that pressed their third goalie into service. Campbell was expected to be out for the deciding Game 5 against San Diego until Jeff Zatkoff, the expected starter, was injured in warmups. Campbell dressed as the backup as Jack Flinn started. After Flinn allowed three goals int he first, Campbell played through injury, allowing only one goal the rest of the way. The Reign offense could not activate for him and the club fell 4-1. More from LA Kings Insider.

  • Elsewhere, Syracuse and Toronto advanced with 3-1 series wins over St. John's and Albany. Both series wins put an end to hockey in the losing club's cities. The Canadiens will be moving their franchise from St. John's to Laval, QC, next season. The Devils will head to Binghamton, replacing the departed Senators, who will head to Belleville, ON.

  • Grand Rapids and Chicago round out the Round 2 slate. Chicago had fits against a tough Checkers club while the Griffins swept Milwaukee.

  • The upcoming series will take two weeks at most with the last game in three of the four taking place on May 17th, if necessary.

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