The Calder Cup Finals continued Wednesday night, as Texas and St. John’s prepared for battle, each having won one game so far. The stalemate broke with an eventual 2-1 Stars victory in overtime, giving Texas the lead in the Calder Cup Finals series — at least for now.
For the second consecutive game, the goaltenders were two of the top performers. Stars netminder Cristopher Nilstorp had a 31-save performance and was named first star; Michael Hutchinson, his IceCaps equal, had a 34-save performance and got second star. Last game, it was Hutchinson who got top honors after a 49-save game, with Nilstorp rallying in a 33-save performance for second star honors.
After more than half the game passed without a goal on either end, the 0-0 tie was eventually broken by Texas Stars right winger Brett Ritchie. Ritchie scored his fifth of the playoffs at the 15:54 mark of the second period to give Texas the lead.
The Stars would hang on to that lead for the rest of the second period and half of the third, before St. John’s left winger Kael Mouillierat notched his sixth of the playoffs to tie the game at one.
Just like that, things got interesting, and eventually, the teams would be forced to an overtime for the first time in this year’s Calder Cup Finals.
Eventually, it was Stars center Travis Morin who would be the hero. Morin scored his seventh of the playoffs at the 7:20 mark of overtime to capture the win for Texas. He was a plus-1 on the night, had three shots on goal and was named third star of the game.
Derek Meech and Kael Mouillierat led their teams with seven shots each.
The Stars and the IceCaps will return to the ice for game four on Monday at 6 p.m. EST. Game five will be held the following day, with both games in St. John’s. If necessary, games six and seven would both be in Texas on June 19 and June 23, respectively.
Last night’s game was the first Calder Cup Finals game to be decided in overtime since June 7, 2012, when the Toronto Marlies fell to the Norfolk Admirals, 1-0, in game three of the series.