This past Sunday, the Texas Stars made a statement that not only did they NOT want to play a game 7 the following day, but that it was no fluke that they were the number one seed as they dominated the defending Calder Cup champion, Grand Rapids Griffins 7-1 and eliminated the champs, 4 games to 2.
The Stars now look ahead this week as they have the first two games of the Western Conference Final as the Toronto Marlies come to Cedar Park. The Stars fans will have to serve as the extra-attacker as the Marlies have yet to record a loss in these playoffs. Toronto swept Milwaukee in the best of 5-game first round and then dispatched the 2nd-seed Chicago Wolves in 4 games.
Below is the weekly press release from the Texas Stars.
Week 34 Preview:
For the second time in the team’s five-year history, Texas has reached the Western Conference Finals. The Stars overcame the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2010 Conference Finals in seven games to advance to the Calder Cup Finals against the Hershey Bears. This year Texas will square off with the Toronto Marlies. The Stars were 2-1-0-1 (5 pts.) in four regular season games against the Marlies, winning both home games by a combined score of 11-2, including a 6-0 shutout on February 1st at Cedar Park Center. Texas lost both road games to Toronto, falling 3-2 in a shootout at Ricoh Coliseum on November 17th and then 4-1 on February 17th at Air Canada Center, home of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
The best-of-seven series will begin on Friday, May 23rd at 7:30 p.m. at Cedar Park Center for Game 1. Friday’s game is a $3 Draft Beer and $4 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Wine Night, while all home playoff games this season are Texas Lottery Lucky Row Nights. Although technically part of the Week 35 schedule, Game 2 will be played on Monday, May 26th, also at 7:30 p.m. in Cedar Park.
LW Mike Hedden (5-4-9) ranks second on the team in points and is currently on a seven-game point streak with seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) and a +3 rating during that span. D Derek Meech (3-5-8) is currently on a three game point streak with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +5 rating during that span. C Dustin Jeffrey (5-1-6) has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and +2 rating in his last three games. C Travis Morin (2-8-10) leads the team and is tied for seventh in the Calder Cup Playoffs in points, is tied for second in the league in assists and has four assists and a +1 rating in his last five games.
· Team Notes: The Toronto Marlies have made quick work of their opponents in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Toronto swept Milwaukee Admirals in three games in round one and then swept the number two seed Chicago Wolves in four games in round two, outscoring both opponents 30-11 in seven total games. Peter Holland, Carter Ashton, Jerry D’Amigo and Trevor Smith, veterans of 121 NHL games this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, have combined for 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists), which is 38.3% of Toronto’s total offense. D’Amigo is currently the AHL playoff leader in points with 12 (4 goals, 12 assists) in seven games. The Marlies have scored first in all seven playoff games thus far and have out-scored their opponents 12-5 in the third period. Toronto is 9-for-36 (25.0%) on the power play, which ranks fourth in the AHL and is 26-for-29 (89.7%) on the penalty kill ranking second. Goaltender Drew MacIntyre has started all seven games and is a perfect 7-0, with a 1.56 goals-against average, a 0.949 save percentage and two shutouts. Holland and Spencer Abbott, who ranked second on the team in points during the regular season, both missed the first round series against Milwaukee due to injuries, but suited up for all four games against Chicago. When Game 1 begins on Friday, May 23rd, the Marlies will have had seven days since their last game. Defenseman T.J. Brennan, who won the Eddie Shore Award for the AHL’s top blue liner, led the Marlies in regular season scoring (69 pts.) and has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in seven playoff games.
· Leading Scorer: Jerry D’Amigo (LW) – 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) and a +11 rating in 7 GP.
· Leading Goaltender: Drew MacIntyre (G) – 1.56 GAA, 0.949 save pct. 7-0-0 and 2 SO in 7 GP.
Who’s Hot: LW Jerry D’Amigo (4-8-12) leads the Calder Cup Playoffs in points and plus-minus (+11), is tied for second in the league in assists and is currently on a seven-game point streak, with 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) and a +11 rating during that span. C Peter Holland (4-2-6) is currently on a four-game point streak, with six points (4 goals, 2 assists) and a +4 rating during that span. RW Carter Ashton (2-3-5) is currently on a four-game point streak, with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +4 rating during that span. C Trevor Smith (2-6-8) ranks second on the team in points and has eight points (2 goals, 6 assists) and a +8 rating in seven games.
Stars Player of the Week: (Week 33)
Derek Meech – D – #9 4 GP, 5 Points (2 G, 3 A), +5
Veteran defensemen Derek Meech was outstanding at both ends of the ice during Week 33, helping to lead the Texas Stars to the Western Conference Finals. Playing against the Grand Rapids Griffins, of whom he appeared in 304 games for over five seasons, Meech recorded five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and a +5 rating in four games during the week. He posted two assists in Texas’ pivotal win in Game 5, including a helper on Chris Mueller’s overtime-winning goal and then in Game 6, Meech picked up a goal and an assist and was on the ice for five of the Stars’ seven goals in the game. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in nine playoff games this year, sitting tied for first in goals and second in points amongst all AHL defenseman and is tied for 12th overall in points.