HOUGHTON, Mich. – Five former Michigan Tech hockey players are on AHL teams for the Calder Cup Playoffs that begin on Thursday. Chris Conner and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms play Pheonix Copley and the Hershey Bears, Blake Pietila and the Albany Devils open up against the Toronto Marlies, and Angus Redmond's San Diego Gulls matchup against Matt Roy's Ontario Reign.
Reid Sturos' Texas Stars and Jamie Phillips' Manitoba Moose didn't qualify for the playoffs.
Conner (Forward/Westland, Michigan) finished the regular season tied for 15th in AHL scoring with 56 points on 22 goals and 34 assists. The 56 points matched a career-high from the 2009-10 season. He has played 11 seasons of pro hockey and has 21 career points (seven goals, 14 assists) in 34 Calder Cup Playoff games. Conner played in 151 games at Tech from 2002-06 with 129 career points (69 goals, 60 assists). He was named an All-American in 2004 and holds the school record for most shorthanded goals in a season (8) and career (15).
Copley (Goaltender/North Pole, Alaska) is seventh in the AHL with a 2.25 goals against average and eighth with a .924 save percentage. He played 25 games for the Chicago Wolves before getting traded to the Hershey Bears on February 27. He has appeared in 16 games for the Bears. Copley played two seasons for Tech (2012-14), winning 18 games with four shutouts. He had a 10-13-6 record with a 2.51 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 2013-14 and an 8-15-1 record in 2012-13 with three shutouts, a .900 save percentage, and a 3.22 goals-against average. Copley was named the MVP of the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational after a pair of shutouts to lift the Huskies to their first GLI title in 32 years.
Pietila (Forward/Brighton, Michigan) is in his second full season with the Devils. He has 33 points in 49 games, scoring 17 goals and adding 16 assists. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in eight games in the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs. Pietila played 153 games for Tech from 2011-15 and was a two-time captain. He had 106 career points on 46 goals and 60 assists, leading Huskies to the best start in program history in 2014-15, and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 34 years later that season.
Roy (Defenseman/Canton, Michigan) appeared in eight games at the end of the season for the Reign, recording his first professional point with an assist on April 1. He signed a two-year contract with the LA Kings after 115 games over his three seasons (2014-17) with the Huskies, recording 55 points on 12 goals and 43 assists. Roy was the team leader in assists with 21 this season and had the assist on the game-winning goal six times. He was a two-time All-WCHA selection.
Redmond (Goaltender/Langley, British Columbia) was assigned to the San Diego Gulls after signing a three-year NHL contract with the Anaheim Ducks and signed an amateur tryout deal on Monday (April 17). He appeared in 38 games for the Huskies in 2016-17, starting the final 37. Redmond ranked third in the country, and second in the WCHA, with a 1.85 goals against average. His .917 save percentage was fifth in the league and 20th in the nation, and he was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team.
Sturos (Forward/Brighton, Michigan) appeared in nine games at the end of the season for the Stars, tallying assists on April 1 and April 8. He signed a tryout deal with the Stars on March 30 after appearing in 149 games at Tech from 2013-17. He was second on the 2016-17 team with 76 career points (29 goals, 47 assists), was an assistant captain this season, and the 2017 Winter Carnival MVP.
Phillips' (Goaltender/Caledonia, Ontario) appeared in 11 games for the Moose in his first full season in the pros. He had a 2-4-2-0 record with a 2.97 goals against average and .906 save percentage. Phillips also played 31 games for the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL. He played four seasons (2012-16) for the Huskies posting a 2.00 goals against average and a .922 save percentage in his career. He had a .678 (57-25-8) winning percentage and is Tech's all-time shutout leader with 10. Phillips was a two-time All-WCHA selection and named the WCHA Outstanding Student-Athlete as a senior. He was also a finalist for the Senior Class Award in 2015-16 and the Mike Richter Award in 2014-15.
The division semifinals are best-of-five series; all other series are in a best-of-seven format.
Atlantic Division Semifinals
No. 2 Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. No. 3 Hershey Bears
• Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.
• Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.
• Game 3* – Wed., Apr. 26 – Lehigh Valley at Hershey, 7 p.m.
• Game 4* – Sat., Apr. 29 – Lehigh Valley at Hershey, 7 p.m.
• Game 5* – Sun., Apr. 30 – Hershey at Lehigh Valley, 5:05 p.m.
North Division Semifinals
No. 2 Toronto Marlies vs. No. 3 Albany Devils
• Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 20 – Toronto at Albany, 7 p.m.
• Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Toronto at Albany, 5 p.m.
• Game 3* – Wed., Apr. 26 – Albany at Toronto, 7 p.m.
• Game 4* – Fri., Apr. 28 – Albany at Toronto, 7 p.m.
• Game 5* – Sat., Apr. 29 – Albany at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Pacific Division Semifinals
No. 2 San Diego Gulls vs. No. 4 Ontario Reign
• Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – Ontario at San Diego, 10 p.m.
• Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – San Diego at Ontario, 10 p.m.
• Game 3* – Fri., Apr. 28 – Ontario at San Diego, 10 p.m.
• Game 4* – Mon., May 1 – San Diego at Ontario, 10 p.m.
• Game 5* – Tue., May 2 – Ontario at San Diego, 10 p.m.