The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime on Monday night in front of 2,613 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Center Aaron Gagnon
scored the game-winning goal 18:32 into overtime, tying the best-of-seven series 3-3 and forcing Game 7 on Wednesday night in Hamilton. Goalie Matt Climie
(4-3) made 51 saves, including 28 in the third period and overtime combined to preserve the overtime victory. Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford (5-3) stopped 35 Texas shots in his third overtime loss of the playoffs. All of Sanford's overtime losses in the playoffs have been to Texas. Stars forward Scott McCulloch and defenseman Garrett Stafford
also scored in the win. Stars rookie forwards Jamie Benn
and Travis Morin
each had two assists.
CANADIENS SEND TWO PLAYERS TO HAMILTON
The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday that forward Ben Maxwell and defenseman P.K. Subban have been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Both players are scheduled to join the ‘Dogs for their Western Conference Finals Game 7 match-up with the Texas Stars Wednesday night at Copps Coliseum.
Maxwell, 22, played in one post-season game with the Canadiens in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs but was held pointless. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward played in 13 regular season games with Montreal but was also held pointless. The native of North Vancouver, British Columbia ranked fourth on the Bulldogs in points with 44 (16 goals, 28 assists) after playing in 57 regular season games with Hamilton. Maxwell was drafted in the 2nd round, 49th overall by the Canadiens in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Subban, 21, played in the Bulldogs’ first six post-season games in the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, scoring two game-winning goals and earning nine points (three goals, six assists) before getting recalled to Montreal on April 26th. In 14 Stanley Cup playoff games with the Canadiens, the 6-foot, 202-pound defenseman recorded eight points (one goal, seven assists) and helped Montreal advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. During the regular season, Subban ranked third on Hamilton and third amongst AHL defenseman in scoring with 53 points (18 goals, 35 assists) in 77 games. The native of Toronto, Ontario ranked second in the AHL in plus/minus with a rating of +46 and also broke five franchise records for the Bulldogs including most goals and points by a ‘Dogs defenseman in a single season. Western Conference Finals Schedule
Game 1 - Texas 2 at Hamilton 3 (OT)
Game 2 – Texas 1 at Hamilton 3
Game 3 – Hamilton 4 at Texas 5 (OT)
Game 4 – Hamilton 1 at Texas 2 (OT)
Game 5 – Hamilton 3 at Texas 0
Game 6 - Texas 3 at Hamilton 2 (OT) (Series tied 3-3)Game 7 – Wed., May 26 – Texas at Hamilton, 6:30 pm CTTUESDAY’S GAME:
Game 6 - Texas 3 at Hamilton 2 (OT) (Series tied 3-3)HERSHEY WAITS FOR THE WINNER OF WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
After beating the Manchester Monarchs in Game 6 of their best-of-seven series at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., on Saturday night, the Hershey Bears will wait to play the winner of the Hamilton –Texas series for the Calder Cup. The Bears are in the Calder Cup Finals for the fourth time in the five years and for the 22nd time overall. Hershey has won a record 10 Calder Cups in franchise history, most recently in 2006 and 2009.SERIES SUBPLOTS
• All three Texas wins in the Western Conference Finals have come in overtime.
• Texas goalie Matt Climie
set a team playoff record with 51 saves in Game 6.
• Stars rookie Jamie Benn
leads all scorers in the Calder Cup Playoffs with 13 goals and is tied for the league lead with 23 points in 17 games played.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.