Wednesday, June 2, 2010

AHL Calder Cup Finals Preview

Here's a look at the American Hockey League's Calder Cup Preview from the American Hockey League website. It's the tale of the tape of the familiar team who's looking to win their 11th career Calder Cup Title against the Texas Stars who are looking to win the championship in their first year in the league. The Title Series begins on Thursday Night in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the Giant Center.

From the American Hockey League Website:

From Hershey, Pennsylvania: A familiar face meets the new kid in town when the 2010 Calder Cup Championship Series - the 74th American Hockey League Championship Series - get underway on Thursday.

The Hershey Bears are in the Finals after knocking off Bridgeport, Albany, & Manchester in their first three playoff series, but the road to the Calder Cup has been far from a smooth one. The Bears, whose 60 regular season wins (60-17-3 123 PTS) set an all time mark, have gone 12-3 in the playoffs but have needed nine third period comebacks and an AHL Record seven OT Wins to capture the Richard F. Canning Trophy and the Eastern Conference Title.

Hershey's roster features 18 members of last year's Calder Cup Championship Team including the dynamic offensive duo in Keith Aucoin and Alexander Giroux - who have combined for 203 goals and 290 assists for 493 points in Hershey's 197 regular season games and playoff games over the last two years.

After a 4 game sweep of Rockford in the 1st round, the Texas Stars ousted Chicago with a game 7 OT Victory in the division finals before stunning Hamilton with road wins in Game 6 & 7 of the Conference Finals to claim the Robert W. Clark Trophy as the Western Conference Champions.

Texas, in its inaugural AHL Campaign, with a 46-27-7 record (99 PTS) in the regular season and finished tied for 2nd with Hershey in team defense with 2.48 goals per game. Jamie Benn has been the offensive catalyst since joining the team from the Dallas Stars at the end of the Regular Season, leading the AHL with 14 goals and 24 points in 18 playoff contests.

The best-of-7 Calder Cup Finals begin on Thursday and Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA, which will also host Games 6 & 7, if necessary. The middle three games of the series are scheduled for the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Stay connected to the American Hockey League Website at for live scores, live broadcasts and webcast info and the latest news from the AHL Championship Series

AHL Championship Quick Hits

Hershey's four appearances in five years coincide with the beginning of their affiliation with the Washington Capitals in 2005. The Bears have won seven straight playoff series, tied for the longest streak in AHL History. Hershey's 22 finals appearances overall are a league record, as are their 10 championships. Hershey finished first overall during the regular season in goals scored, power play efficiency and penalty killing, and was tied for 2nd (with Texas) in goals against. The Stars were 2nd in the regular season on the penalty kill but have been successful just 74% of the time in the playoffs. Texas is the fourth team in the AHL history to win 2 Road Game 7's in the same post-season. The Calder Cup Finals are being contested in Pennsylvania for the 7th year in a row and in the state of Texas for the first time since 2003. Terry Koharski (Third Finals) Frederic L'Ecuyer (2nd Finals), Kyle Rehman (2nd Finals) and David Banfield (1st Finals) are going to be the refs in this series.

AHL Calder Cup Championship Schedule (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: @ Hershey 6:00 PM*

*If Necessary

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