After it looked like that it would be Hamilton's night after going up 2-0 and out-shooting the Stars 34-11 through 2 periods. The Stars looked light years away from advancing to the Calder Cup Championship. But thinks to Matt Climie's performance and a unexpected goal from Ethan Graham with just under 6 minutes left in the 2nd period, that gave the Stars some life and a fighting chance.
However, the 3rd period began as the Stars found new life to comeback in this game as Mathieu Beaudoin scored near the midway point of the 3rd period to comeback to tie the game at 2-2.
Then the Stars put it away with goals from Perttu Lindgren and Jamie Benn's playoff leading 14th of the playoffs with just under 90 seconds left to win 4-2 and win the Western Conference Title in 7 games over the North Division Champion Hamilton Bulldogs.
Now the Stars will have to wait a week as they will now get a chance to get some rest before heading to Hershey, Penn. for the start of the AHL Calder Cup Finals against the defending League Champion Hershey Bears which will start on June 3.
Regardless of how the league championship series goes, this has been a surreal season for the Stars to have this much success for the Texas Stars this year.
From the Texas Stars Website: www.texasstarshockey.com
In Hamilton, Ontario: The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 on Wednesday Night in front of 5121 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. The Stars scored 4 unanswered goals after trailing Hamilton 2-0 early on in the 2nd period, including three goals in the 3rd period alone. Forwards Mathieu Beaudoin and Perttu Lindgren each had a goal and an assist in the decisive Game 7. Texas goalie Matt Climie made 41 saves, including 32 in the first two periods, giving the Stars their 2nd Game 7 win this postseason. Rookie Jamie Benn and defensemen Ethan Graham also netted goals in the teams sixth road win of the Calder Cup Playoffs. Hamilton Goalie Curtis Sanford stopped 16 Texas Saves in the defeat. With the win, Texas will meet Hershey in the Calder Cup Finals.
The first period was nearly scoreless before a late goal by the Bulldogs at 19:51. Aaron Palushaj's centering pass bounced to center David Desharnais, who carried the puck to the bottom of the left wing circle and snapped a shot to the Stars net. Texas Goalie Matt Climie lunged for the save, but the puck deflected off his stick and into the net for the 1-0 Hamilton lead after one period of play. Desharnais tenth goal of the playoffs marked the seventh straight playoff game Hamilton opened the scoring against Texas.
In the 2nd period, the Bulldogs doubled their lead at 5:32 for a 2-0 cushion. Hamilton forward Max Pacioretty picked up a rebound off his second attempt and scored on the third try for his first goal of the playoffs. Texas would counter with an odd bounce in the Hamilton zone. Stars defensemen Ethan Graham floated a puck to the Bulldogs net and it bounced over the glove of goalie Curtis Sanford. Graham's 2nd of the postseason was assisted by Warren Peters and Perttu Lindgren, trimming the Hamilton 2-1 after two periods of play.
Texas continued to press Hamilton and tied the game at 9:15 of the third period. Right wing Mathieu Beaudoin snapped a shot past Sanford in his third goal of the playoffs and a 2-2 score. Texas added its third goal of the night with 6:00 left in the game. Beaudoin centered a pass for Perttu Lindgren for his sixth goal of the playoffs and a 3-2 Texas lead. The Stars rounded out the scoring with 1:27 left in regulation, as Jamie Benn finished off a two-on-one from Colton Sceviour for his 14th of the playoffs and a 4-2 final.
Western Conference Finals Update:
Game 1: Texas Stars 2 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (OT) (1-2, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1)
Game 2: Texas Stars 1 Hamilton Bulldogs 3 (0-0, 1-2, 0-1)
Game 3: Hamilton Bulldogs 4 Texas Stars 5 (OT) (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 0-1)
Game 4: Hamilton Bulldogs 1 Texas Stars 2 (OT) (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
Game 5: Hamilton Bulldogs 3 Texas Stars 0 (1-0, 2-0, 0-0)
Game 6: Texas Stars 3 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (OT) (0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0)
Game 7: Texas Stars 4 Hamilton Bulldogs 2 (0-1, 1-1, 3-0)
To purchase a Calder Cup Finals Package, which offers fans the same seat for all three possible home games, fans may call 512-GO-STARS (512-467-8277). To rent a suite for a playoff home game or book a group, those interestred may call 512-GO-STARS. Individual tickets for playoff home games at Cedar Park Center also can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, visiting any ticketmaster outlet or the Cedar Park Center Boxoffice, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
2010-2011 Season Ticket Packages to the see the Stars play in the Cedar Park Center are on sale now, starting as low as $12.00 a seat. For more info. on Texas Stars Season Tickets call 512-GO-STARS (512-467-8277) or visit www.texasstarshockey.com Anyone interestred in ordering season tickets, suites, group tickets or mini-plans may call the Texas Stars Front Office.
AHL Calder Cup Championship Schedule
#1E Hershey Bears VS. #2W Texas Stars (All Start Times are CDT)
Game 1, 6/3: @ Hershey 6:00 PM
Game 2, 6/5: @ Hershey 6:00 PM
Game 3, 6/7: @ Texas 7:30 PM
Game 4, 6/9: @ Texas 7:30 PM
Game 5, 6/11: @ Texas 7:30 PM*
Game 6, 6/14: @ Hershey 6:00 PM*
Game 7, 6/16: @ Hrshey 6:00 PM*
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