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Marner Named CHL Player Of The Year

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

RED DEER, Alta. — Mitch Marner’s dad built him a display case for his accomplishments while he was still playing minor hockey. His latest trophy might need its own stand.

The London Knights forward was named Canadian Hockey League player of the year on Saturday — a trophy so big in size that two people had to carry it for Marner when it was time for him to take pictures with it.

“My dad got (a trophy case) made when I won my first one, it was special at that time with little trophies,” said Marner. “It’s special to be named to this, (but) I don’t know if this one will fit in the trophy case.”

The 19-year-old Marner, who the Toronto Maple Leafs selected fourth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, tore up the Ontario Hockey League this season, and has been picking up awards with ease.

He was named the OHL’s most outstanding player in the regular season after producing 39 goals and 116 points in 57 games. He followed that up by winning the OHL playoff MVP with 44 points in 18 games, leading his Knights to a spot in the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Marner, from Thornhill, Ont., has played the entire season on a line with Matthew Tkachuk and Christian Dvorak. All three broke the 100-point mark for London, finished 1-2-3 in playoff scoring and have been unstoppable at the Memorial Cup. He believes the award wouldn’t be his without their help.

“Those two could be on the trophy just as much as I can,” said Marner, who has 13 points in three games at the Memorial Cup — just three off the tournament record.

Connor McDavid earned the award last season.

“There’s a lot of big names on (the trophy), but like I said all year it wouldn’t be possible without the players and the coaching staff. Without those guys on my (line) who knows what would have happened?”

Dvorak says playing with Marner has made hockey an easier game to play.

“He can do anything out there, makes a lot of plays, knows where we are on the ice without even looking,” said Dvorak.

“Awesome player, not only finding people but being able to bury it too. You can rely on him in all situations,” added Tkachuk.

Marner beat out Dryden Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Francis Perron of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for the honour.

When he called his parents to tell them the news, they didn’t know what to say.

“They were speechless,” said Marner. “They are the reason why I am here today. It’s crazy what they’ve done for me. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

The CHL gave out nine other awards on Saturday.

Mississauga’s Alex Nylander won rookie of the year, Everett’s Carter Hart earned goaltender of the year and Brandon’s Ivan Provorov took home defenceman of the year.

Moncton’s Conor Garland won the top scorer with 128 points in 62 games, Cape Breton’s Pierre-Luc Dubois earned top NHL draft prospect, sportsman of the year went to Shawinigan’s Samuel Girard, Saginaw’s Will Petschenig won humanitarian of the year, the scholastic player award was given to Alexis D’Aoust of Shawinigan and Rouyn-Noranda’s Gilles Bouchard was named coach of the year.

Marner and his Knights will face Perron and the Huskies in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.

His advice to upcoming players trying to do what he’s done this past season is simple: “Sacrifice, work as hard as you can every day and just buy into the system that every day you are prepared.”

Source: Marner Named CHL Player Of The Year

Marner Named CHL Player Of The Year

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

RED DEER, Alta. — Mitch Marner’s dad built him a display case for his accomplishments while he was still playing minor hockey. His latest trophy might need its own stand.

The London Knights forward was named Canadian Hockey League player of the year on Saturday — a trophy so big in size that two people had to carry it for Marner when it was time for him to take pictures with it.

“My dad got (a trophy case) made when I won my first one, it was special at that time with little trophies,” said Marner. “It’s special to be named to this, (but) I don’t know if this one will fit in the trophy case.”

The 19-year-old Marner, who the Toronto Maple Leafs selected fourth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, tore up the Ontario Hockey League this season, and has been picking up awards with ease.

He was named the OHL’s most outstanding player in the regular season after producing 39 goals and 116 points in 57 games. He followed that up by winning the OHL playoff MVP with 44 points in 18 games, leading his Knights to a spot in the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Marner, from Thornhill, Ont., has played the entire season on a line with Matthew Tkachuk and Christian Dvorak. All three broke the 100-point mark for London, finished 1-2-3 in playoff scoring and have been unstoppable at the Memorial Cup. He believes the award wouldn’t be his without their help.

“Those two could be on the trophy just as much as I can,” said Marner, who has 13 points in three games at the Memorial Cup — just three off the tournament record.

Connor McDavid earned the award last season.

“There’s a lot of big names on (the trophy), but like I said all year it wouldn’t be possible without the players and the coaching staff. Without those guys on my (line) who knows what would have happened?”

Dvorak says playing with Marner has made hockey an easier game to play.

“He can do anything out there, makes a lot of plays, knows where we are on the ice without even looking,” said Dvorak.

“Awesome player, not only finding people but being able to bury it too. You can rely on him in all situations,” added Tkachuk.

Marner beat out Dryden Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Francis Perron of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for the honour.

When he called his parents to tell them the news, they didn’t know what to say.

“They were speechless,” said Marner. “They are the reason why I am here today. It’s crazy what they’ve done for me. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

The CHL gave out nine other awards on Saturday.

Mississauga’s Alex Nylander won rookie of the year, Everett’s Carter Hart earned goaltender of the year and Brandon’s Ivan Provorov took home defenceman of the year.

Moncton’s Conor Garland won the top scorer with 128 points in 62 games, Cape Breton’s Pierre-Luc Dubois earned top NHL draft prospect, sportsman of the year went to Shawinigan’s Samuel Girard, Saginaw’s Will Petschenig won humanitarian of the year, the scholastic player award was given to Alexis D’Aoust of Shawinigan and Rouyn-Noranda’s Gilles Bouchard was named coach of the year.

Marner and his Knights will face Perron and the Huskies in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.

His advice to upcoming players trying to do what he’s done this past season is simple: “Sacrifice, work as hard as you can every day and just buy into the system that every day you are prepared.”

Source: Marner Named CHL Player Of The Year

Marner Named CHL Player Of The Year

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

RED DEER, Alta. — Mitch Marner’s dad built him a display case for his accomplishments while he was still playing minor hockey. His latest trophy might need its own stand.

The London Knights forward was named Canadian Hockey League player of the year on Saturday — a trophy so big in size that two people had to carry it for Marner when it was time for him to take pictures with it.

“My dad got (a trophy case) made when I won my first one, it was special at that time with little trophies,” said Marner. “It’s special to be named to this, (but) I don’t know if this one will fit in the trophy case.”

The 19-year-old Marner, who the Toronto Maple Leafs selected fourth overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, tore up the Ontario Hockey League this season, and has been picking up awards with ease.

He was named the OHL’s most outstanding player in the regular season after producing 39 goals and 116 points in 57 games. He followed that up by winning the OHL playoff MVP with 44 points in 18 games, leading his Knights to a spot in the 2016 Memorial Cup.

Marner, from Thornhill, Ont., has played the entire season on a line with Matthew Tkachuk and Christian Dvorak. All three broke the 100-point mark for London, finished 1-2-3 in playoff scoring and have been unstoppable at the Memorial Cup. He believes the award wouldn’t be his without their help.

“Those two could be on the trophy just as much as I can,” said Marner, who has 13 points in three games at the Memorial Cup — just three off the tournament record.

Connor McDavid earned the award last season.

“There’s a lot of big names on (the trophy), but like I said all year it wouldn’t be possible without the players and the coaching staff. Without those guys on my (line) who knows what would have happened?”

Dvorak says playing with Marner has made hockey an easier game to play.

“He can do anything out there, makes a lot of plays, knows where we are on the ice without even looking,” said Dvorak.

“Awesome player, not only finding people but being able to bury it too. You can rely on him in all situations,” added Tkachuk.

Marner beat out Dryden Hunt of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Francis Perron of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for the honour.

When he called his parents to tell them the news, they didn’t know what to say.

“They were speechless,” said Marner. “They are the reason why I am here today. It’s crazy what they’ve done for me. I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

The CHL gave out nine other awards on Saturday.

Mississauga’s Alex Nylander won rookie of the year, Everett’s Carter Hart earned goaltender of the year and Brandon’s Ivan Provorov took home defenceman of the year.

Moncton’s Conor Garland won the top scorer with 128 points in 62 games, Cape Breton’s Pierre-Luc Dubois earned top NHL draft prospect, sportsman of the year went to Shawinigan’s Samuel Girard, Saginaw’s Will Petschenig won humanitarian of the year, the scholastic player award was given to Alexis D’Aoust of Shawinigan and Rouyn-Noranda’s Gilles Bouchard was named coach of the year.

Marner and his Knights will face Perron and the Huskies in the Memorial Cup final on Sunday.

His advice to upcoming players trying to do what he’s done this past season is simple: “Sacrifice, work as hard as you can every day and just buy into the system that every day you are prepared.”

Source: Marner Named CHL Player Of The Year

James van Riemsdyk named to Team USA for 2016 World Cup of Hockey

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

The United States announced their final roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Friday. Named to the final roster for the USA was Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk.

The 27-year-old has represented the United States on multiple occasions, beginning in 2005-06 when he played for the American U-17 and U-18 teams. He has played in a World U-17 Championship, two World U-18 Championships, three World Juniors, a World Championship and an Olympic games. This will be his first World Cup.

Named to Team USA are:

F Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings

F David Backes, St. Louis Blues

F Ryan Callahan, Tampa Bay Lightning

F Brandon Dubinsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

F Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

F Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks

F T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals

F Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens

F Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild

F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

F Derek Stepan, New York Rangers

F James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs

F Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets

D Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets

D John Carlson, Washington Capitals

D Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche

D Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets

D Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers

D Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals

D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild

G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils

Source: James van Riemsdyk named to Team USA for 2016 World Cup of Hockey

Maple Leafs put in strong showing at 2016 World Championships

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 05.24.2016 / 5:30 PM ET / News

By Chris Lund

The Toronto Maple Leafs had four players taking part at the 2016 IIHF World Championships in Russia this month. Here’s how they fared…

Morgan Rielly – Canada

Rielly captured a gold medal at the World Championships, playing in all 10 games for Canada and recording a goal — a game-winner — and three points. He led Canada in ice time in four of his 10 games, including a semifinal win over the United States and a win over Finland in the gold medal game where he put in 25:53 on the blueline. He was named a Player of the Tournament for Team Canada.

Leo Komarov – Finland

Komarov took home a silver medal from the Worlds following a 2-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal game. Despite what was surely a disappointing result for the Finns, Komarov had a quality showing at the 2016 edition of the tournament. In 10 games for Finland he recorded three goals (two game-winners) and seven points.

Nikita Zaitsev – Russia

The newest Leafs blueliner had a solid tournament for the host Russians at the World Championships. Zaitsev recorded a goal and four points in 10 games en route to a bronze medal win over the United States. He was also a plus-12 and was not on the ice for an even-strength goal-against. For his efforts, he was named to the 2016 IIHF World Championship All-Star team.

Martin Marincin – Slovakia

Marincin built on his solid conclusion to the 2015-16 NHL season with his performance at the 2016 Worlds. Despite Slovakia’s struggles at the tournament, he was a standout and recorded a pair of points and a plus-3 in seven games for his country. He was named a Player of the Tournament for Slovakia.

Source: Maple Leafs put in strong showing at 2016 World Championships

Maple Leafs put in strong showing at 2016 World Championships

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

Tuesday, 05.24.2016 / 5:30 PM ET / News

By Chris Lund

The Toronto Maple Leafs had four players taking part at the 2016 IIHF World Championships in Russia this month. Here’s how they fared…

Morgan Rielly – Canada

Rielly captured a gold medal at the World Championships, playing in all 10 games for Canada and recording a goal — a game-winner — and three points. He led Canada in ice time in four of his 10 games, including a semifinal win over the United States and a win over Finland in the gold medal game where he put in 25:53 on the blueline. He was named a Player of the Tournament for Team Canada.

Leo Komarov – Finland

Komarov took home a silver medal from the Worlds following a 2-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal game. Despite what was surely a disappointing result for the Finns, Komarov had a quality showing at the 2016 edition of the tournament. In 10 games for Finland he recorded three goals (two game-winners) and seven points.

Nikita Zaitsev – Russia

The newest Leafs blueliner had a solid tournament for the host Russians at the World Championships. Zaitsev recorded a goal and four points in 10 games en route to a bronze medal win over the United States. He was also a plus-12 and was not on the ice for an even-strength goal-against. For his efforts, he was named to the 2016 IIHF World Championship All-Star team.

Martin Marincin – Slovakia

Marincin built on his solid conclusion to the 2015-16 NHL season with his performance at the 2016 Worlds. Despite Slovakia’s struggles at the tournament, he was a standout and recorded a pair of points and a plus-3 in seven games for his country. He was named a Player of the Tournament for Slovakia.

Source: Maple Leafs put in strong showing at 2016 World Championships

Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Marlies looking to win first Calder Cup for a Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982

The final four teams in the Calder Cup Playoffs are set, but it took an eventful spring for them to get there.

The American Hockey League’s postseason second round featured two Game 7s, a near rally from a 3-0 deficit and a long, physical slog series between two Southern California rivals that included two overtime games.

The final spot in the conference final was clinched Monday when the Toronto Marlies, who are chasing the first Calder Cup for a Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982, scored three third-period goals in a Game 7 win over the Albany Devils.

Marlies forward Richard Clune put the series away with a tie-breaking goal in the final minutes of Game 7, giving Toronto a 4-3 victory. Albany had rallied with a 4-1 win in Game 6 and held a 2-1 third-period lead in Game 7 before Toronto came back. The Marlies have reached the conference final three times in the past five seasons.

This season they will play the Hershey Bears, who endured a seven-game struggle with archrival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Travis Boyd ended Game 7 and the series on a goal 10:57 into overtime.

Against the Marlies, the Bears will see a familiar face on the opposing blue line. Marlies defenseman Connor Carrick, who is tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with 14 points (six goals, eight assists), spent most of the season with Hershey before he was traded by the Washington Capitals along with Brooks Laich to the Maple Leafs prior to the NHL Trade Deadline in February for Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Hershey goaltender Justin Peters will face a Toronto offense that scored 25 goals in seven games against Albany, which was the second-best defensive team in the AHL during the regular season. Peters, who has played in 80 NHL games, has a 7-4 playoff record, a 1.78 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. The Marlies’ 3.80 goals per game top all playoff teams, and their power play ranks third.

In the West, the Lake Erie Monsters will play the defending Calder Cup champion Ontario Reign.

Lake Erie took a 3-0 series lead against the Grand Rapids Griffins and led 4-1 lead in Game 4, but Grand Rapids stormed back to win 5-4. The Griffins won 6-1 in Game 5 and took a 2-0 lead in Game 6, but Lake Erie chipped away and tied the game early in the third period. In overtime, 18-year-old defenseman Zach Werenski, selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the eighth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ended the series with an overtime goal. Werenski is tied for fourth in playoff scoring with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine games and has found a home on one of the best blue lines in the AHL.

Ontario, which was locked in a season-long struggle with the San Diego Gulls, needed five games to move on.

Veteran goaltender Peter Budaj, the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender this season, has a 1.73 GAA in the postseason to lead all goaltenders. Ontario has allowed 1.89 goals per game in the playoffs, best in the AHL.

Source: Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Marlies looking to win first Calder Cup for a Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982

The final four teams in the Calder Cup Playoffs are set, but it took an eventful spring for them to get there.

The American Hockey League’s postseason second round featured two Game 7s, a near rally from a 3-0 deficit and a long, physical slog series between two Southern California rivals that included two overtime games.

The final spot in the conference final was clinched Monday when the Toronto Marlies, who are chasing the first Calder Cup for a Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982, scored three third-period goals in a Game 7 win over the Albany Devils.

Marlies forward Richard Clune put the series away with a tie-breaking goal in the final minutes of Game 7, giving Toronto a 4-3 victory. Albany had rallied with a 4-1 win in Game 6 and held a 2-1 third-period lead in Game 7 before Toronto came back. The Marlies have reached the conference final three times in the past five seasons.

This season they will play the Hershey Bears, who endured a seven-game struggle with archrival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Travis Boyd ended Game 7 and the series on a goal 10:57 into overtime.

Against the Marlies, the Bears will see a familiar face on the opposing blue line. Marlies defenseman Connor Carrick, who is tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with 14 points (six goals, eight assists), spent most of the season with Hershey before he was traded by the Washington Capitals along with Brooks Laich to the Maple Leafs prior to the NHL Trade Deadline in February for Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Hershey goaltender Justin Peters will face a Toronto offense that scored 25 goals in seven games against Albany, which was the second-best defensive team in the AHL during the regular season. Peters, who has played in 80 NHL games, has a 7-4 playoff record, a 1.78 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. The Marlies’ 3.80 goals per game top all playoff teams, and their power play ranks third.

In the West, the Lake Erie Monsters will play the defending Calder Cup champion Ontario Reign.

Lake Erie took a 3-0 series lead against the Grand Rapids Griffins and led 4-1 lead in Game 4, but Grand Rapids stormed back to win 5-4. The Griffins won 6-1 in Game 5 and took a 2-0 lead in Game 6, but Lake Erie chipped away and tied the game early in the third period. In overtime, 18-year-old defenseman Zach Werenski, selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the eighth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ended the series with an overtime goal. Werenski is tied for fourth in playoff scoring with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine games and has found a home on one of the best blue lines in the AHL.

Ontario, which was locked in a season-long struggle with the San Diego Gulls, needed five games to move on.

Veteran goaltender Peter Budaj, the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender this season, has a 1.73 GAA in the postseason to lead all goaltenders. Ontario has allowed 1.89 goals per game in the playoffs, best in the AHL.

Source: Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Marlies looking to win first Calder Cup for a Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982

The final four teams in the Calder Cup Playoffs are set, but it took an eventful spring for them to get there.

The American Hockey League’s postseason second round featured two Game 7s, a near rally from a 3-0 deficit and a long, physical slog series between two Southern California rivals that included two overtime games.

The final spot in the conference final was clinched Monday when the Toronto Marlies, who are chasing the first Calder Cup for a Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982, scored three third-period goals in a Game 7 win over the Albany Devils.

Marlies forward Richard Clune put the series away with a tie-breaking goal in the final minutes of Game 7, giving Toronto a 4-3 victory. Albany had rallied with a 4-1 win in Game 6 and held a 2-1 third-period lead in Game 7 before Toronto came back. The Marlies have reached the conference final three times in the past five seasons.

This season they will play the Hershey Bears, who endured a seven-game struggle with archrival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Travis Boyd ended Game 7 and the series on a goal 10:57 into overtime.

Against the Marlies, the Bears will see a familiar face on the opposing blue line. Marlies defenseman Connor Carrick, who is tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with 14 points (six goals, eight assists), spent most of the season with Hershey before he was traded by the Washington Capitals along with Brooks Laich to the Maple Leafs prior to the NHL Trade Deadline in February for Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Hershey goaltender Justin Peters will face a Toronto offense that scored 25 goals in seven games against Albany, which was the second-best defensive team in the AHL during the regular season. Peters, who has played in 80 NHL games, has a 7-4 playoff record, a 1.78 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. The Marlies’ 3.80 goals per game top all playoff teams, and their power play ranks third.

In the West, the Lake Erie Monsters will play the defending Calder Cup champion Ontario Reign.

Lake Erie took a 3-0 series lead against the Grand Rapids Griffins and led 4-1 lead in Game 4, but Grand Rapids stormed back to win 5-4. The Griffins won 6-1 in Game 5 and took a 2-0 lead in Game 6, but Lake Erie chipped away and tied the game early in the third period. In overtime, 18-year-old defenseman Zach Werenski, selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the eighth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ended the series with an overtime goal. Werenski is tied for fourth in playoff scoring with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine games and has found a home on one of the best blue lines in the AHL.

Ontario, which was locked in a season-long struggle with the San Diego Gulls, needed five games to move on.

Veteran goaltender Peter Budaj, the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender this season, has a 1.73 GAA in the postseason to lead all goaltenders. Ontario has allowed 1.89 goals per game in the playoffs, best in the AHL.

Source: Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

Final four teams set in AHL playoffs

From Official Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Marlies looking to win first Calder Cup for a Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982

The final four teams in the Calder Cup Playoffs are set, but it took an eventful spring for them to get there.

The American Hockey League’s postseason second round featured two Game 7s, a near rally from a 3-0 deficit and a long, physical slog series between two Southern California rivals that included two overtime games.

The final spot in the conference final was clinched Monday when the Toronto Marlies, who are chasing the first Calder Cup for a Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate since 1982, scored three third-period goals in a Game 7 win over the Albany Devils.

Marlies forward Richard Clune put the series away with a tie-breaking goal in the final minutes of Game 7, giving Toronto a 4-3 victory. Albany had rallied with a 4-1 win in Game 6 and held a 2-1 third-period lead in Game 7 before Toronto came back. The Marlies have reached the conference final three times in the past five seasons.

This season they will play the Hershey Bears, who endured a seven-game struggle with archrival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Travis Boyd ended Game 7 and the series on a goal 10:57 into overtime.

Against the Marlies, the Bears will see a familiar face on the opposing blue line. Marlies defenseman Connor Carrick, who is tied for the AHL playoff scoring lead with 14 points (six goals, eight assists), spent most of the season with Hershey before he was traded by the Washington Capitals along with Brooks Laich to the Maple Leafs prior to the NHL Trade Deadline in February for Daniel Winnik and a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Hershey goaltender Justin Peters will face a Toronto offense that scored 25 goals in seven games against Albany, which was the second-best defensive team in the AHL during the regular season. Peters, who has played in 80 NHL games, has a 7-4 playoff record, a 1.78 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. The Marlies’ 3.80 goals per game top all playoff teams, and their power play ranks third.

In the West, the Lake Erie Monsters will play the defending Calder Cup champion Ontario Reign.

Lake Erie took a 3-0 series lead against the Grand Rapids Griffins and led 4-1 lead in Game 4, but Grand Rapids stormed back to win 5-4. The Griffins won 6-1 in Game 5 and took a 2-0 lead in Game 6, but Lake Erie chipped away and tied the game early in the third period. In overtime, 18-year-old defenseman Zach Werenski, selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the eighth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, ended the series with an overtime goal. Werenski is tied for fourth in playoff scoring with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine games and has found a home on one of the best blue lines in the AHL.

Ontario, which was locked in a season-long struggle with the San Diego Gulls, needed five games to move on.

Veteran goaltender Peter Budaj, the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender this season, has a 1.73 GAA in the postseason to lead all goaltenders. Ontario has allowed 1.89 goals per game in the playoffs, best in the AHL.

Source: Final four teams set in AHL playoffs