After pulling out a 5-4 overtime win in Game 3 on Wednesday, Texas looks to even up the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series tonight when it hosts Hamilton for Game 4. The home team has won each of the first three games of this series, two of which have required overtime to decide, and the Stars improved to 5-1 at the Cedar Park Center this postseason with Wednesday’s victory.
Hamilton erased deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 in Game 3 before Ethan Graham’s first career Calder Cup Playoff goal won it for Texas 2:13 into the extra session. Former AHL defenseman of the year Andrew Hutchinson earned an assist on the game-winning marker, one of his three helpers on the night. Hutchinson now ranks second among AHL defensemen with 13 points (4-9-13) this postseason, trailing only the Bulldogs’ Andre Benoit (3-11-14).
The Stars went 3-for-4 on the power play in Game 3, receiving man-advantage markers from Perttu Lindgren
, Jamie Benn
and Aaron Gagnon
, and are now 5-for-12 in the series. Benn’s 11 goals in 14 playoff games are tied for the AHL lead along with Hershey’s Alexandre Giroux. Stars center Warren Peters
also scored for Texas on Wednesday, giving his club a 4-3 lead late in the third period before Hamilton’s Ryan Russell tied it up with 1:33 to play. Russell, who added an assist on the night, is now riding a three-game scoring streak (2-2-4) and has a point in six of his last seven contests (4-3-7). Bulldogs forward Brock Trotter also posted a goal and an assist in the Game 3, extending his scoring streak to four contests (4-3-7). With 16 points overall (8-8-16), Trotter continues to rank second on Hamilton in postseason scoring behind David Desharnais (7-11-18), who chipped in an assist on Wednesday to run his own points streak to five games (3-5-8). Mike Glumac notched his team-leading 10th goal of the postseason in Game 3. Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford had surrendered five goals on 100 shots (.950) through his first four playoff appearances – all wins – prior to allowing five goals on 34 shots (.853) in Wednesday’s loss.Western Conference Finals Schedule
Game 1 - Texas 2 at Hamilton 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Texas 1 at Hamilton 3 (HAM leads series 2-0)Game 3 – Hamilton 4 at Texas 5 (OT) (HAM leads series 2-1)
Game 4 – Fri., May 21 – Hamilton at Texas, 7:30 pm CT
*Game 5 – Sat., May 22 – Hamilton at Texas, 7:00 pm CT
*Game 6 – Mon., May 24 – Texas at Hamilton, 6:30 pm CT
*Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 6:30 pm CT*if necessaryFRIDAY’S GAME 5-21-10:
Game 4 – Hamilton at Texas, at 7:30 pm (CT) (HAM leads series 2-1)THURSDAY’S SCORE:
Game 5 – Hershey 3 at Manchester 2 (OT) (HER leads series 3-2)HERSHEY CLAIMS 3-2 SERIES LEAD OVER MANCHESTER WITH GAME 5 OT ROAD WIN
Hershey forward Chris Bourque tied the game at 19:09 of the third period, and Francois Bouchard scored 10:38 into the extra session to give Hershey a dramatic 3-2 road win over Manchester in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Hershey improved to an impressive 6-1 in overtime this postseason and handed Manchester just its second loss at home (6-2). Bears goaltender Michael Neuvirth (9-2) finished with 27 saves on 29 shots in the winning effort, while Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier (10-5) took the loss after making 32 stops. The Bears took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series and can clinch their second straight trip to the Calder Cup Finals – and fourth in the last five years – with a win at home in Game 6 on Saturday night.SERIES SUBPLOTS
• The Game 3 defeat was the Bulldogs’ first playoff overtime loss since 2004, ending an eight-game OT winning streak.
• Stars rookie winger Jamie Benn
’s 19 post-season points place him third in Calder Cup Playoff scoring.
• Texas defender Ethan Graham scored for Texas in Game 3 on Wednesday, his first tally since February 21st at Grand Rapids.Playoff Format
Four rounds, with each round slated as a best of seven series. The top four teams in each division qualify for playoffs. The teams play within their division for the first two rounds. The division winners will meet in the conference finals. The winner of the Western Conference will play the winner of the Eastern Conference for the Calder Cup. In order to take the Calder Cup, a team must win 16 games.The 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.