ST. JOHN’S, NL — Travis Morin scored 7:20 into overtime to lead the Texas Stars to a 2-1 Game 3 win over the St. John’s IceCaps Wednesday night at Mile One Centre, giving the Stars a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals.
Kael Mouillierat picked up the lone goal for the IceCaps while Michael Hutchinson made 34 saves in a losing effort.
Brett Ritchie scored the other Stars’ tally and Christopher Nilstorp made 31 saves to earn the win.
After a scoreless opening period, Hutchinson made a highlight-reel glove save midway through the second frame with Texas on the man advantage, flashing the leather to stone Morin’s wrist shot from in tight and keep things scoreless.
The Stars broke the scoreless tie with less than five minutes remaining in the period, however, when Ritchie fired in a rebound through the legs of Hutchinson from in tight to make it 1-0.
The IceCaps came out strong in the third and Mouillierat, picking up his third goal of the Calder Cup Final, evened the score at a goal apiece 11:44 into the third period. With the IceCaps pressing in the attacking zone, Zach Redmond took the feed from Carl Klingberg at the point before wristing a shot on goal, which Mouillierat redirected over the glove of Nilstorp to tie things up 1-1.
In the extra frame, St. John’s appeared to win the game on a goal by Josh Lunden, but the referee had blown the whistle when Nilstorp appeared to have control of the puck and waived off the goal immediately.
After a hooking call to Patrice Cormier, Hutchinson made perhaps his best stop of the night on the ensuing power play. Sitting on the ice, presumably down and out, Hutchinson somehow managed to block a drive from Ritchie in tight that would have ended the game.
Then, after stepping out of the penalty box, Cormier was sprung on a breakaway but was unable to solve Nilstorp with a wrist shot.
The puck came back the other way and it was Morin who ended it for the Stars. Taking the feed from Brendan Ranford while breaking in on the rush, Morin tapped it in past Hutchinson from the bottom of the circle to give the Stars a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup Final series.
Games 4 and 5 of the Calder Cup Finals go Monday and Tuesday night (7:30 PM NT) at Mile One Centre. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers on Rogers TV, Eastlink TV and AHL Live, or listen at www.stjohnsicecaps.com or 930AM. Pregame show gets underway at 7:00.
NOTES: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Ryan Olsen, Jordan Hill, Cody Lampl, J.C. Lipon, Ryan Schnell, Julian Melchiori Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Jussi Olkinuora, Eddie Pasquale… Mouillierat has goals in each of the three Calder Cup Finals games thus far (3)… Michael Hutchinson has made a combined 80 saves in his last two games, allowing just three goals… St. John’s went 0-for-5 on the man advantage, and killed off 3-of-3 shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Christopher Nilstorp 2. Michael Hutchinson 3. Travis Morin… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Zach Redmond.