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Marlies win first Calder Cup title, defeat Stars in Game 7

Johnsson, Marchment each scores two goals for AHL champions @NHLdotcom

The Toronto Marlies won the Calder Cup for the first time with a 6-1 victory against the Texas Stars in Game 7 of the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Finals at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto on Thursday.

Andreas Johnsson and Mason Marchment each scored two goals for the Marlies, who are the first AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Calder Cup since New Brunswick in 1981-82, according to The Canadian Press. Garret Sparks made 29 saves.

"There have been a lot of emotions going up and down (between the Maple Leafs and Marlies late this season), and I'm happy to stand here now," said Johnsson, who won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP.

Photo credit: Thomas Skrlj/AHL

Johnsson put Toronto ahead 1-0 at 10:41 of the first period.

Marchment gave the Marlies a 2-0 lead when he scored with 18 seconds left in the period.

After Carl Grundstrom scored at 3:35 of the third period to make it 3-0, Austin Fyten got the Stars within 3-1 at 11:01.

But Toronto scored three straight goals in 2:50 late in the period.

Johnsson, who made his NHL debut March 14 and played nine regular-season games and six Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Maple Leafs, scored his second of the night at 16:14 to give the Marlies a 4-1 lead. It was his 10th goal of the playoffs, second behind Texas forward Curtis McKenzie (11).

"This season, it clicked for him right around December," Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe said of Johnsson. "Offensively, it seemed like the game started to slow down for him at this level, and it seemed like he came to a point where it was obvious that he didn't belong here."

Photo credit: Christian Bonin/Toronto Marlies

Ben Smith scored into an empty net at 18:29 to make it 5-1, and Marchment made it 6-1 with his second of the night at 19:04.

Mike McKenna made 40 saves for Texas, which won the Calder Cup in 2014.

The Stars forced Game 7 with a 5-2 win in Game 6 on Tuesday.

"I felt a personal responsibility to step up (after Game 6), and I thought I did that," Sparks said. "... Good guys in the room, amazing talent, great leadership on and off the ice, incredible management, incredible training staff. All of the factors that I listed played a role in this."

It was the first Game 7 in the AHL championship series since 2003, when Houston defeated Hamilton 3-0, and the 11th in league history.

Photo credit: Hannah Bevis/AHL

The Marlies lost in the Finals to Norfolk in 2012.

Keefe, 37, is the youngest coach to win the Calder Cup since Todd McLellan (Edmonton Oilers) did so with Houston at 35 in 2003. correspondent Patrick Williams contributed to this report.

Lead photo credit: Thomas Skrlj/AHL

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