The AHL’s 74th championship series is currently tied at two wins apiece, with Game 5 set for tonight in Cedar Park, Texas. The Bears are the top affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, and the Stars are the top affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars.
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The 2010 Calder Cup Finals are deadlocked at two games apiece as Hershey visits Texas tonight for the pivotal Game 5 in what will be the Stars’ home finale at the Cedar Park Center. This marks the first time that the AHL championship series has been tied at 2-2 entering Game 5 since 2006, when Hershey ultimately took a 4-2 series win over Milwaukee. The road team has won all four Finals games thus far, as the regular-season champion Bears dropped a pair at Giant Center before winning Games 3 and 4 in Cedar Park, rallying from behind on both occasions. Hershey, which rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to take a 6-3 win in Game 3, trailed 2-1 in Wednesday’s Game 4 before scoring three unanswered goals for a 4-2 victory. Bears defenseman John Carlson netted a power-play goal for the game-winner with just 2:08 left in regulation, registering his first goal of the Calder Cup Playoffs and first AHL tally since scoring in a game vs. Lowell on Feb. 14. Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux – the AHL’s two most recent MVPs – each finished with a goal and an assist on Wednesday. Aucoin extended his points streak to three games (1-4-5) but nabbed his first goal since Game 1 of the division finals vs. Albany on Apr. 24, while Giroux broke a three-game goal-scoring drought with his marker. Giroux (13-11-24) and Aucoin (2-22-24) are tied for second on the Bears with 24 points in 19 games overall this postseason, two back of Chris Bourque’s 26 points (7-19-26). Hershey’s Jay Beagle netted his second goal of the playoffs in Game 4, and Mathieu Perreault chipped in two assists to give him a point in five of his last six outings (2-5-7). Bears goaltender Michal Neuvirth stopped 26 of 28 shots in the winning effort, and the reigning Calder Cup Playoffs MVP improved to 12-4 (2.28, .912) in 16 appearances this postseason. Greg Rallo and Perttu Lindgren
tallied Game 2 goals for the Stars, with Travis Morin
earning a helper on both markers… Lindgren now shows six points (2-4-6) in his last five games and ranks second on Texas overall with 17 points (7-10-17) in 22 playoff contests. Rallo is the only member of the Stars with more than one goal thus far in the Finals (2-1-3) – nine other players have scored once apiece. Texas defenseman Garrett Stafford
picked up an assist on Wednesday to run his scoring streak to three games (1-2-3); Stafford shows four goals (4-6-10) in the playoffs, and all four have come on the power play. Stars rookie sensation Jamie Benn
entered this round with a league-leading 14 goals and 24 points in 18 games, but Hershey has limited the 20-year-old to just two assists through the first four Finals contests. Benn’s 26 points are now tied with Hershey’s Bourque for the overall league lead. The Bears’ power play had been 1-for-11 in the series before converting on three of five opportunities in Game 4, moving them to 4-for-16 (25.0 percent) through four contests. Texas checks in at 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) with the extra man this round but has netted a power play goal in each of the last three games. In 18 previous best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals that were tied 2-2, the Game 5 winner went on to win 17 times; the only exception is the 1987 Sherbrooke Canadiens, who won Game 5 but dropped the series to Rochester. Tonight is Hershey’s 100th game of the season; they have won 74 of the first 99... Wednesday’s win by the Bears guarantees that the Calder Cup will be presented in Hershey for the first time since 1980.SERIES SUBPLOTS
Calder Cup Finals Schedule (best of seven)
- The two teams have been tied for seven of the eight intermissions in the Calder Cup Finals.
- So far in the playoffs, Texas is 1-1 in Game 5s, while Hershey is 2-0.
- None of the Calder Cup Finals games have gone to overtime. Prior to the finals, Texas had played in seven overtime contests while Hershey played in eight.
Game 1 – Texas 2 at Hershey 1
Game 2 – Texas 4 at Hershey 3
Game 3 – Hershey 6 at Texas 3
Game 4 – Hershey 4 at Texas 2 (series tied 2-2) Game 5 – Fri., June 11 – Hershey at Texas, 7:30 pm
Game 6 – Mon., June 14 – Texas at Hershey, 6:00 pm
*Game 7 – Wed., June 16 – Texas at Hershey, 6:00 pm*if necessary... All times CentralThe Calder Cup
The coveted Calder Cup has been a motivational force for American Hockey League teams throughout the League's 73-year history. It is one of our sport’s greatest challenges and ultimate honors to hoist the Calder Cup in victory.
The trophy is named for Frank Calder, who served as the National Hockey League’s first President from 1917 to 1943. During the 1920’s, Mr. Calder was instrumental in guiding hockey into the mainstream of America’s major cities including Boston, New York, Detroit and Chicago, while helping in the formation of the American League.
The Calder Cup trophy itself was actually first awarded in 1938 to the Providence Reds for winning the second International-American Hockey League championship. (In 1996, George Parsons of the Syracuse Stars was presented the Calder Cup in a ceremony at the Onondaga County War Memorial, as it is believed the Stars never received a trophy for their 1937 championship.