In the midst of the Stanley Cup Final, the AHL Calder Cup Final is set to start on Sunday. The Calder Cup is awarded each season to the champion of the American Hockey League. It has been in existence since 1937 when the Syracuse Stars won the trophy for winning what was then known as the International-American Hockey League (you can read about it here).
This season, the Western Conference champion Chicago Wolves will face off against the Eastern Conference Champion Springfield Thunderbirds in a best-of-seven series to determine the AHL champion. The Wolves NHL parent club is the Carolina Hurricanes, while the Thunderbirds are the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues. Chicago finished the regular season in first place in the Central Division with a record of 50-16-5-5 for 110 points. In comparison, Springfield finished the regular season in second place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 43-24-5-3 for 95 points. To get to the championship round, Chicago defeated the Rockford IceHogs, Milwaukee Admirals, and Stockton Heat. To represent the Eastern Conference, Springfield eliminated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Charlotte Checkers, and Laval Rocket.
Game one between the Chicago Wolves and the Springfield Thunderbirds will be on Sunday, June 19th, at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, starting at 4:00 pm EDT. The series will be a 2-3-2 format, with the first two games in Chicago, the next three in Springfield’s home rink, the MassMutual Center, and the final two games returning to the Allstate Arena. Games five, six, and seven will be played if necessary. TV coverage of the games will be on AHLTV.