Calder Cup Playoff Hockey is Heading to Tucson
With a 4-3 road win and the sweep of a two-game road series against the Iowa Wild last weekend, the Tucson Roadrunners clinched their first playoff appearance in team history. They were the first team in both the AHL’s Pacific Division and Western Conference to punch their ticket to the playoffs.
The Roadrunners’ first-ever Pacific Division Championship is Tucson’s to lose at this point, considering the slumping performances of the Ontario Reign and the San Diego Gulls, the second and third place teams in the division respectively. Also, now that Tucson is in first place in the Western Conference, home-ice advantage in the first three rounds of the playoff is looking like a real possibility.
This is a tremendous accomplishment for the young Roadrunners, who are still looking like the team to beat in the AHL’s western conference this year. As of today, Tucson would play the Texas Stars, the fourth-place team in the Pacific in a first round best-of-five series and would play the winner of the San Diego Gulls-Ontario Reign series in a second round best-of-seven series.
Push to the Playoff Podcast
In collaboration with Arizona Desert Swarm’s Tucson Roadrunners writer, Rob Leano, I appeared on Inside the Glass’ The Push for the Playoffs podcast. If you would like an in-depth analysis of potential playoff matchups, of who’s in and who’s out, and of what the Roadrunners’ road ahead looks like, I highly recommend giving it a listen. We give our thoughts on the NHL playoffs in the first half, the AHL playoffs in the second half and the Roadrunners’ road ahead in the final portion.
To listen to the podcast CLICK HERE, and to download the podcast on iTunes, search for Inside the Glass on iTunes, and click on The Push for the Playoffs episode.
AHL Playoff Picture- April 2nd, 2018
The top four teams in each of the AHL’s four divisions, compete in the 16-team Calder Cup Playoffs each season. The first two rounds are played entirely in the division, with the first seed playing the fourth seed and the second seed playing the third seed in the first round. For example, in the case of the Pacific Division, Tucson would play Texas and Ontario would play San Diego, with the higher-seeded team having home-ice in the first round, best-of-five series if the current standings remain the same.
All three series after the first round are best-of-seven, the winning teams from each division’s two first-round series compete for the division championship in the second round, each division champion competes for their respective conference championships in round three, and each conference champion advances to the Calder Cup Final (round four).
Teams that have clinched spots are highlighted, and teams that have not clinched have the “Magic Number” of wins to clinch indicated. If a team has been eliminated, an “E” appears in the “Magic Number” column.
If you would still like to see a Roadrunners game before the regular season is over, I am selling tickets as part of a project in one of my classes. Tickets are $13 including all taxes and processing fees. I am only getting a grade based off of the number of tickets I sell, and I will not profit from the sales. For more details on this offer, CLICK HERE.