Just the like NHL the AHL is officially down to their last two teams in the battle for the Calder Cup. The Texas Stars and St. John’s IceCaps proved to the best two teams from their respective conferences and now one of them will walk away with the Calder Cup and the title of the best team in the American Hockey League.
Neither the Stars or IceCaps have won the CalderCup before and both are looking to etch their name in the record book as the 2014 Calder Cup Champions. Who will reclaim the CalderCup; the Eastern Conference or the Western Conference?
Time for a little review of how each team got to the Calder Cup Championship.
#1 Texas Stars
The Stars squared off a very tough opponent in the Western Conference Finals against the Toronto Marlies. Heading into their series the Marlies had not lost a game in the AHL post season and the Stars had been through a tough trail. However, the Stars took the Marlies to the brink in game 7 and came out on top in a dominating 6-2 victory in which they overcame a two nothing deficit.
Veteran goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp has come up big for the Stars this post season posting a 9-4 record with a 2.14 GAA, 0.914 SV%. The Stars have been led on offence by Travis Morin, 4 goals and 11 assists this post season, and Mike Hedden 6goals and 9assists. Kicking in on defence is Derek Meech with 3 goals and 8assists.
The on aspect the Stars will need to improve on is their 16.2% power-play this post season. The IceCaps have the best penalty killing squad in the post season, killing penalties at a 90.4% rate.
The Stars were the best team in the AHL after the regular season and they’re looking to follow up their impressive regular season with a Calder Cup Championship.
#4 St. John’s IceCaps
Next we have the St. John’s IceCaps who are coming back-to-back six-game series wins. They’ve never faced a game 7 in this postseason, being able to get the job done in game 6 in both of the last two rounds. They successfully tackled the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last round and handed them a 4-2 series loss.
Goaltender Michael Hutchinson has been lights out this post season netting 16 wins so far with a 11-5 record, 1.61 GAA with a 0.946 SV% with three shutouts this post season. Aside from Drew McIntyre with the Marlies throughout the first three rounds, Hutchinson has been the best goaltender in this years playoffs. They’ve been led on offence by Andrew Gordon who leads all active scorers with 8 goals and 8 assists along with Eric O’Dell who has 9 goals and 2 assists. Captain Captain Jason Jaffray, has four goals and six helpers while leading his team to the AHL Finals.
The IceCaps have the better goaltending, while the Stars have some of the best offence in this years post season. It might just come down to special teams when these two square off.