Round two sees the 16 who made it to the postseason reduced to eight as we head into the division finals of the Calder Cup 2019. This round will see the remaining teams battle it out to be the first team with four wins in a best of seven series. I take a brief look at which teams have progressed and the upcoming schedule.

Link to Round 1 article.

Round Two Match-Ups

Charlotte Checkers vs Hershey Bears

Hershey Bears
Charlotte Checkers

The schedule;
Fri. May 03, 2019 – 7:00PM HER  @  CHA
Sat. May 04, 2019 – 6:00PM HER  @  CHA
Tue. May 07, 2019 – 7:00PM CHA  @  HER
Wed. May 08, 2019 – 7:00PM CHA  @  HER
Fri. May 10, 2019 – 7:00PM CHA  @  HER
Sun. May 12, 2019 – 5:00PM HER  @  CHA
Tue. May 14, 2019 – 7:00PM HER  @  CHA

Qualifying with a convincing 3-1 series win over the Providence Bruins, the Charlotte Checkers look strong seeming to have continued into the playoffs with the same gusto they completed the regular season with.

Hershey Bears needed the full five games to progress; beating the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in overtime in the final game of round one. This series saw three of the five games going to OT with Hershey Bears taking two of the OT wins.

All of the overtime and a full 5 game series could turn out to be a factor in this next match up with Charlotte Checkers having played a game less in the previous series and qualifying a day earlier.

Toronto Marlies vs Cleveland Monsters

The Schedule;

Cleveland Monsters
Toronto Marlies

Wed. May 01, 2019 – 7:00PM CLE  @  TOR
Fri. May 03, 2019 – 7:00PM CLE  @  TOR
Sun. May 05, 2019 – 3:00PM TOR  @  CLE
Tue. May 07, 2019 – 7:00PM TOR  @  CLE
Sat. May 11, 2019 – 4:00PM CLE  @  TOR
Mon. May 13, 2019 – 7:00PM TOR  @  CLE
Wed. May 15, 2019 – 7:00PM CLE  @  TOR

The Toronto Marlies look to be strong contenders to retain the Calder Cup based on their first-round performance which saw them dispatch the Rochester Americans in three straight games. Such a seemingly straight forward series win has also provided the Marlies with a week-long break before commencing round two.

Finishing the regular season fourth in the division, Cleveland Monsters beat division winners Syracuse Crunch 3-1. The final game, a 3-0 win came just a day after the Marlies had secured their place in round two. Cleveland scored 14 goals in the four games and look to have no trouble finding the net when it counts.

This next round matchup again looks set to excite. The Monsters continue to find form and will be hoping to knock out another division champion in the Marlies on their quest to be Calder Cup Champions. Of course, the Marlies will surely be wary of the Monsters but will also know they have a strong and consistent team in which every line can be relied upon; they also want to make sure the cup stays in Toronto.

Bakersfield Condors vs San Diego Gulls

The Schedule;

San Diego Gulls Round 2 team 2019
Bakersfield Condors Round 2 team 2019

Fri. May 03, 2019 – 7:00PM SD  @  BAK
Sat. May 04, 2019 – 7:00PM SD  @  BAK
Wed. May 08, 2019 – 7:00PM BAK  @  SD
Fri. May 10, 2019 – 7:00PM BAK  @  SD
Sat. May 11, 2019 – 7:00PM SD  @  BAK
Mon. May 13, 2019 – 7:00PM BAK  @  SD
Wed. May 15, 2019 – 7:00PM SD  @  BAK

The conference-leading Bakersfield Condors swiftly dispatched the recently soaring newcomers, the Colorado Eagles with a fairly straight forward 3-1 series win. They continue to play a tight disciplined game making them hard to challenge.

San Diego Gulls were able to avenge a late regular-season defeat and a loss of home ice advantage in the first round when they knocked out the San Jose Barracuda; Gulls beat Barracuda in four games 3-1. The series saw some high scoring games with the Gulls notching up 18 goals, although they did also concede 14 goals; which could be dangerous against the more than competent Condors.

Both of these teams will want their good fortune to continue. Bakersfield Condors are playing with real discipline and a structure which is hard to penetrate, but the San Diego Gulls are on a strong bounce back with growing confidence that playoff advancement will continue to feed. This matchup really could go either way.

Chicago Wolves vs Iowa Wild

Iowa Wild Round 2 team 2019
Iowa Wild
Chicago Wolves Round 2 team 2019
Chicago Wolves

The Schedule;
Wed. May 01, 2019 – 7:00PM IA  @  CHI
Thu. May 02, 2019 – 7:00PM IA  @  CHI
Sun. May 05, 2019 – 3:00PM CHI  @  IA
Wed. May 08, 2019 – 7:00PM CHI  @  IA
Fri. May 10, 2019 – 7:00PM CHI  @  IA
Mon. May 13, 2019 – 7:00PM IA  @  CHI
Wed. May 15, 2019 – 7:00PM IA  @  CHI

The Chicago Wolves went to five games against Grand Rapids Griffins before securing a place in the next round. Round one saw the Wolves concede 17 goals while also scoring 19; defense here again needs to be sharpened.

Iowa Wild also needed the full five games to secure a place in round two after defeating the Milwaukee Admirals which really should have been over before it was. Wild smashed the Admirals 7-0 in the first game and again 6-1 in the second but then faltered when playing away to lose games three and four before clinching the final game 2-1.

This division has been closely contested for most of the regular season and both round one matchups required the full five games to decide who would advance, this matchup looks set to be a similar challenge.

Final Thoughts

Calder Cup Round 2
This is play off hockey, AHL Calder Cup Play Offs 2019

The next round looks set to continue to excite with matchups to tantalize any hockey fan.

Who Do I Think Will Advance to Round three?

This is a tough question with so many games having the potential to go either way…….
Charlotte Checkers – the bears are always a popular team but the Checkers are on form currently and will also be fresher.
Cleveland Monsters – a controversial pick but I feel on their day, the Monsters have what it takes to cause an upset and dispatch the current holders.
San Diego Gulls – more determined than ever and flying in terms of scoring at the minute, if they can tighten up the D they can shut down the Condors.
Chicago Wolves – confident division champions; again after making it back to back division wins last year. Structured and organized with a point to prove going into 25 years as a franchise.

Round 2 brackets
Who will progress to the conference finals?

More information about the AHL, teams, and the Calder Cup can be found by clicking on the team’s logo or at AHL online. You can also view highlights and purchase packages to watch the live action on AHL TV.

Feature Image Credit: theahl.com

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My introduction to ice hockey came in the mid 1990s as my dad went to work in Detroit, MI during a work secondment. I travelled to see him and was encouraged by the locals to watch the Red Wings play - I don't think I could have picked a better time to find the sport and I have never looked back since. I regularly travel to America taking in hockey at NHL, AHL and ECHL. Following Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Grand Rapids Griffins and Kalamazoo Wings. I am also a season ticket holder at my local EIHL club the Coventry Blaze. Outside of a rink in the slightly warmer months I will often be found out and about travelling and enjoying life with my camper van, Hamish.