Monday, May 02, 2005

The apple never falls far from the tree

The AHL playoffs continue along towards the Calder Cup finals. With the first round out of the way now, there are some surprising entries for the championship trophy. The Manitoba Moose dismissed the St. John's Maple Leafs with consecutive wins at the MTS centre to send the Leafs packing (for good as it turns out, they now move on to life in Toronto and a new home at the Ricoh centre). Rochester swept the Hamilton Bulldogs out of the playoff race in record time, sending the Bulldogs to the golf courses in four straight games.

Cincinnati surprised a heavy favorite in Milwaukee taking the series in seven games. Likewise Providence and Lowell played giant slayers toppling favored Hartford and Manchester teams in the first round.

But by far the biggest surprise (but then again maybe not) was the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins toppling of the Binghampton Senators in six games, coming back from a two game deficit to knock off the Sens in four straight. The Senators were high flyers all year, stocked with a number of NHL stars courtesy of the NHL lockout. Unfortunately the NHLers must have brought some of that Ottawa playoff karma with them. Like the big boys, the Jr Sens were prime time in the regular season and off the air in the playoffs. Sometimes you can stick to a game plan a little too closely!

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