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Texas Stars Rally Past Toronto, Advance to Calder Cup Finals

Wednesday, 06.04.2014 / 1:11 AM / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Texas Stars Rally Past Toronto, Advance to Calder Cup Finals
Next up for the Texas Stars: The Calder Cup Finals and the St. John\u2019s IceCaps. The Stars advanced to the AHL\u2019s championship series with a 6-2 win over Toronto in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night at Cedar Park Center.

Next up for the Texas Stars: The Calder Cup Finals and the St. John’s IceCaps. The Stars advanced to the AHL’s championship series with a 6-2 win over Toronto in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night at Cedar Park Center.

The Stars rallied from a 2-0 deficit Tuesday, scoring six unanswered goals including four in the third period. Brett Ritchie’s goal at 6:28 of the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and held up as the game-winner. Ritchie, Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden each had one goal and two assists in the game. Dustin Jeffrey tallied two goals and Matej Stransky also scored. Cristopher Nilstorp stopped 25 of 27 shots.

This will be the Stars second trip to the Calder Cup Finals in their five-year existence. They made it in their inaugural season (2009-10), losing to Hershey in six games. Their series with St. John’s opens Sunday in Cedar Park.

Tuesday’s game opened in familiar fashion. For the seventh straight time in the series the Marlies scored the first goal of the game. After Jerred Smithson won an offensive zone draw, Frazer McClaren scored off a shot from the top of the left circle to put the Marlies up 1-0 at the 2:19 mark of the first period.

The Marlies extended their lead to 2-0 just 23 seconds into the second period when Peter Holland directed a Carter Ashton pass on net off the rush, Nilstorp made the stop but then the puck found its way into the net.

Nilstorp had a couple of big stops just before the midway point of the period to keep the Stars within two goals and the Marlies held the 2-0 lead until late in the second, when the Stars struck for two goals in less than a minute to tie the game.

A little more than one minute after the Stars killed off a Toronto power play, Ritchie centered a puck from the corner to Hedden, who redirected the puck past Marlies goaltender Drew MacIntyre to make it a 2-1 game with 2:38 left in the period.

Just 51 seconds later the Stars scored on the power play to tie the game 2-2. After taking a pass from Dowling, Hedden sent a cross-ice pass to Jeffrey, who roofed a shot from the bottom of the left circle with 1:47 left in the second.

That set the stage for the Stars’ four-goal explosion in the third, which would propel them to the Calder Cup Finals.

With the Stars on the rush, Dowling set up Ritchie, who tapped the puck past MacIntyre from close range to put the Stars up 3-2 with 13:32 remaining. Just 17 seconds later, Stransky circled behind the net and scored off a shot from the right circle to make it a 4-2 game. Dowling tallied with 5:28 remaining to make it 5-2 and Jeffrey rounded out the scoring with a goal into an empty net.

Notes

*The Stars outshot Toronto 50-27. It was the third time in the series that the Stars hit the 50 shot mark.

*Brett Ritchie, Jamie Oleksiak and Maxime Fortunus led the Stars with five shots on goal each.

*The Stars were 1-4 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.

*The Stars have outscored their opponents 22-6 in the third period during the playoffs.

*Toronto scored first in all 14 of its playoff games.

*The Stars are now 3-0 all-time in Game 7’s.

*Texas forward Justin Dowling was back in the lineup after missing the last seven games with an injury. With Dowling in, Taylor Peters was a healthy scratch.

Calder Cup Finals Schedule

Game 1: Sun., June 8, St. John’s at Texas, 7:30
Game 2: Mon., June 9, St. John’s at Texas, 7:30
Game 3: Wed., June 11, Texas at St. John’s, 5:00
Game 4: Mon., June 16, Texas at St. John’s, 5:00
*Game 5: Tue., June 17, Texas at St. John’s, 5:00
*Game 6: Thu., June 19, St. John’s at Texas, 7:30
*Game 7: Mon., June 23, St. John’s at Texas, 7:30

Texas Stars lineup

Curtis McKenzieTravis Morin – Brendan Ranford
Dustin JeffreyChris MuellerScott Glennie
Mike Hedden – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Kevin Henderson – Radek FaksaMatej Stransky

Patrik NemethJyrki Jokipakka
Jamie OleksiakCameron Gaunce
Derek Meech – Maxime Fortunus

Cristopher Nilstorp
Josh Robinson

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
12 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 64 23 38 -4 61
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 64 15 37 -5 52
J. Klingberg 50 10 24 2 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
C. Eakin 61 15 15 0 30
A. Hemsky 58 9 17 -9 26
A. Goligoski 64 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 62 12 12 -10 24
S. Horcoff 60 8 13 3 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 26 13 10 .906 2.95
J. Enroth 13 25 2 .900 3.30
 
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