Much like how my bracket went on the NHL side of things my pick to win on the AHL side was eliminated in the Conference Finals. The Utica Comets have just eliminated the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 to advance to the 2015 AHL Calder Cup Final where the Manchester Monarchs are waiting. The top two teams from both respective Conferences? Competing for the Calder Cup? Get right out of town!
~2015 Calder Cup Finals~
(1 – East) Manchester Monarchs vs. (1 – West) Utica Comets
Game 1 – Sat, June 6 – @ Manchester, 5pm CST
Game 2 – Sun, June 7 – @ Manchester, 4pm CST
Game 3 – Wed, June 10 – @ Utica, 6pm CST
Game 4 – Fri, June 12 – @ Utica, 6pm CST
Game 5 – Sat, June 13 – @ Utica, 6pm CST
Game 6 – Tue, June 16 – @ Manchester, 6pm CST
Game 7 – Wed, June 17 – @ Manchester, 6pm CST
The Monarchs road to the Calder Cup: Round 1, won 3-2 in a best-of-five game series over the Portland Pirates… Round 2, won 4-1 in a best-of-seven game series over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins… Round 3, won 4-0 in a best-of-seven game series over the Hartford Wold Pack.
The Comets road to the Calder Cup: Round 1, won 3-2 in a best-of-five game series over the Chicago Wolves… Round 2, won 4-3 in a best-of-seven game series over the Oklahoma City Barons… Round 3, won 4-2 in a best-of-seven game series over the Grand Rapids Griffins.
For me, I still don’t know enough about the Monarchs to give an appropriate assessment of how good they truly are. The simple logic says look at how strong they have been on their route to the Calder Cup Finals – that’s how good they are. Then you look at a team like the Comets who could have been run ragged by being pushed to the brink in their opening two series of the playoffs only to shove aside the tough -tough- Griffins in six games.
This is a really fun match-up for the AHL. Their best of the best locking horns. I put my imaginary money down on the Comets to get the edge in seven games with Jacob Markström continuing to be sensational in net: 18 games, 2 shutouts, 1.87 goals against average, 0.931 save percentage.