Monday, June 7, 2010

Matt Climie making a statement to the NHL, looking to win the Calder Cup

Here's a recent article that Lindsay Kramer did recently about Texas Stars Goalie Matt Climie as the Stars are leading the Hershey Bears for the Calder Cup Championship!

By Lindsay Kramer of the National Hockey League Website:

Goalie Matt Climie began the season making history for the Texas Stars, and he hopes to end it the same way. That's the easy part. The bigger challenge is not getting a chance to put your name in the record books at all.

"I think it's harder to watch a game from the bench when you get actually playing," he said. "When you are playing, you are a factor. You get on the ice, you get in a zone out there."

Climie has made that type of neighborhood his home the past couple of weeks. As a result, the first year Stars have moved into the high rent district of the American Hockey League with a Calder Cup Finals date against the defending Champion Hershey.

Climie's gut has been forged out of steel lately. He came in relief of injured starter Brent Krahn in Game 6 of the West Division Finals against Chicago, then beat the host Wolves in a Game 7 OT. With Krahn out the entire Western Conference Final against Hamilton, Climie played every contest and stole Games 6 & 7 on the road by making a total of 92 saves. In the postseason, he's 5-3 with a .922 SV% and a 2.62 GAA in 10 playoff appearances.

"The nerves are definitely there. I just have fun out there," he said. "When I'm away at the rink, I don't put too much thought into it. I relax. I fell good, stretched out. When the puck drops, I leave it out on the ice."

Climie, 27, got a wide range of seasoning in 2008-2009, playing for Idaho of the East Coast Hockey League, Dallas of the NHL and then Houston of the AHL. His five games with the Aeros all came in the playoffs, where he posted a 1-1 record with a .945 SV% and a 1.88 GAA.

"The experience was definitely good. It goes a long way," he said of his first AHL Playoff Minutes.

Climie got credit for the first win in Texas history on October 3, a 3-2 victory over San Antonio. He also stopped 25 shots for the first Stars Shutout, a 2-0 win against Grand Rapids on October 15. Overall he was 21-17-3 with a 2.46 GAA and a .919 SV% in the regular season.

"I'm not surprised," Climie said of his success. "I've had a couple of pro seasons. I fell I'm a good goaltender. You look at our D-Corps, we have a lot of experience out there."

The numbers would suggest that Climie and the Stars (AHL Affiliate of the Dallas Stars) are simply the final from Hershey (AHL Affiliate of the Washington Capitals) has to finish off to place its order for a second straight Calder Cup Title. But Texas two Game 7 wins on the road - becoming the 4th team in AHL History to pull that off in the same postseason - speaks to the group ability to fight its way upstream.

"That's just the character of the guys on the team. We're confident in ourselves," Climie said. "There's still games to be played. It's been a great ride so far. You start worrying about (being an underdog), it gets in your head. We have the team identity, we find a to win."

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