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2003 Calder Cup Playoffs

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The 2003 Calder Cup Playoffs of the American Hockey League began on April 9, 2003. Twenty teams, the top ten from each conference, qualified for the playoffs. The seventh-, eighth-, ninth-, and tenth-placed teams in each conference played best-of-3 series in the qualifying round. The four winners, in addition to the other twelve teams that qualified, played best-of-5 series for conference quarterfinals. The remaining 8 teams played best-of-7 series for conference semifinals and conference finals. The conference champions played a best-of-7 series for the Calder Cup. The Calder Cup Final ended on June 12, 2003 with the Houston Aeros defeating the Hamilton Bulldogs four games to three to win the first Calder Cup in team history.

Houston's Johan Holmqvist won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as AHL playoff MVP and also set a record for most minutes played by a goaltender in a single playoff with 1498. Jarret Stoll of the Hamilton Bulldogs set an AHL playoff record for the fastest goal from the start of a period by scoring 4 seconds into the 3rd period on May 22, 2003 against Binghamton. Hamilton's Michael Ryder ended the longest game in AHL history when he scored at 14:56 of the fourth overtime in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Final. However, this record was eclipsed during the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Playoff SeedsEdit

After the 2002–03 AHL regular season, 20 teams qualified for the playoffs. The top ten teams from each conference qualified for the playoffs. The Hamilton Bulldogs were the Eastern Conference regular season champions as well as the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy winners with the best overall regular season record. The Grand Rapids Griffins were the Western Conference regular season champions. Division champions were automatically ranked 1-3.

Eastern ConferenceEdit

  1. Hamilton Bulldogs - Canadian Division and Eastern Conference regular season champions; Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy winners, 110 points
  2. Providence Bruins - North Division champions, 104 points
  3. Binghamton Senators - East Division champions, 97 points
  4. Manchester Monarchs - 97 points
  5. Bridgeport Sound Tigers - 94 points
  6. Worcester IceCats - 88 points
  7. Hartford Wolf Pack - 86 points
  8. Portland Pirates - 85 points
  9. Manitoba Moose - 84 points
  10. Springfield Falcons - 76 points

Western ConferenceEdit

  1. Grand Rapids Griffins - Central Division and Western Conference regular season champions, 106 points
  2. Houston Aeros - West Division champions, 104 points
  3. Norfolk Admirals - South Division champions, 91 points
  4. Chicago Wolves - 98 points
  5. Hershey Bears - 89 points
  6. San Antonio Rampage - 87 points
  7. Milwaukee Admirals - 85 points
  8. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins - 84 points
  9. Utah Grizzlies - 83 points
  10. Rochester Americans - 81 points

BracketEdit

  Eastern Conference Qualifier
                 
7 Hartford Wolf Pack 0
10 Springfield Falcons 2
  Eastern Conference Qualifier
                 
8 Portland Pirates 1
9 Manitoba Moose 2
  Western Conference Qualifier
                 
7 Milwaukee Admirals 2
10 Rochester Americans 1
  Western Conference Qualifier
                 
8 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
9 Utah Grizzlies 0
  Conference Quarterfinals Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Calder Cup Final
                                     
1  Hamilton 3     1  Hamilton 4  
8  Springfield 1     9  Manitoba 3  


2  Providence 1 Eastern Conference
7  Manitoba 3  
    1  Hamilton 4  
  3  Binghamton 1  
3  Binghamton 3  
6  Worcester 0  
4  Manchester 0   3  Binghamton 4
5  Bridgeport 3     5  Bridgeport 2  


  E1  Hamilton 3
(Pairings are re-seeded after the first round.)
  W2  Houston 4
1  Grand Rapids 3     1  Grand Rapids 4
8  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1     4  Chicago 0  
2  Houston 3
7  Milwaukee 0  
  1  Grand Rapids 3
  2  Houston 4  
3  Norfolk 3  
6  San Antonio 0   Western Conference
4  Chicago 3   2  Houston 4
5  Hershey 2     3  Norfolk 2  
  • During the first three rounds home ice is determined by seeding number, not position on the bracket. In the Finals the team with the better regular season record has home ice.

The top 6 teams in each conference receive byes to the Conference Quarterfinals. In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. In the qualification round, all games are played at the arena of the higher seed. In each round the higher seed receives home ice advantage, meaning they receive the "extra" game on home-ice if the series reaches the maximum number of games. There is no set series format for each series after the Qualification Round due to arena scheduling conflicts and travel considerations.

Conference QualifiersEdit

Note 1: All times are in Eastern Time (UTC-4).
Note 2: Game times in italics signify games to be played only if necessary.
Note 3: Home team is listed first.

Eastern ConferenceEdit

(7) Hartford Wolf Pack vs. (10) Springfield FalconsEdit

Springfield won series 2 – 0


(8) Portland Pirates vs. (9) Manitoba MooseEdit

Manitoba won series 2 – 1


Western ConferenceEdit

(7) Milwaukee Admirals vs. (10) Rochester AmericansEdit

Milwaukee won series 2 – 1


(8) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. (9) Utah GrizzliesEdit

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won series 2 – 0


Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

(1) Hamilton Bulldogs vs. (10) Springfield FalconsEdit

Hamilton won series 3 – 1


(2) Providence Bruins vs. (9) Manitoba MooseEdit

Manitoba won series 3 – 1


(3) Binghamton Senators vs. (6) Worcester IceCatsEdit

Binghamton won series 3 – 0


(4) Manchester Monarchs vs. (5) Bridgeport Sound TigersEdit

Bridgeport won series 3 - 0


Western ConferenceEdit

(1) Grand Rapids Griffins vs. (8) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsEdit

Grand Rapids won series 3 - 1


(2) Houston Aeros vs. (7) Milwaukee AdmiralsEdit

Houston won series 3 - 0


(3) Norfolk Admirals vs. (6) San Antonio RampageEdit

Norfolk won series 3 - 0


(4) Chicago Wolves vs. (5) Hershey BearsEdit

Chicago won series 3 - 2


Conference SemifinalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

(1) Hamilton Bulldogs vs. (9) Manitoba MooseEdit

Hamilton won series 4 - 3


(3) Binghamton Senators vs. (5) Bridgeport Sound TigersEdit

Binghamton won series 4 - 2


Western ConferenceEdit

(1) Grand Rapids Griffins vs. (4) Chicago WolvesEdit

Grand Rapids won series 4 - 0


(2) Houston Aeros vs. (3) Norfolk AdmiralsEdit

Houston won series 4 - 2


Conference finalsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

(1) Hamilton Bulldogs vs. (3) Binghamton SenatorsEdit

Hamilton won series 4 - 1


Western ConferenceEdit

(1) Grand Rapids Griffins vs. (2) Houston AerosEdit

Houston won series 4 - 3


Calder Cup FinalEdit

(E1) Hamilton Bulldogs vs. (W2) Houston AerosEdit

Houston won series 4 - 3


See AlsoEdit

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