CEDAR PARK – Scott Glennie, Chris Mueller, and Dustin Jeffrey each tallied three points each and AHL MVP Travis Morin added a pair of goals as the Texas Stars defeated the St. John’s IceCaps 6-3 Sunday night in front of a crowd of 5,625 fans at Cedar Park Center in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals.
The Stars struck first on the power play when Scott Glennie found Travis Morin at the right circle, where he ripped a wrist shot past the outstretched glove of St. John’s goalie Michael Hutchinson for the 1-0 lead. Texas dominated in shots on goal for the period 11-6, with the IceCaps’ first shot not coming until the 14-minute mark of the first.
St. John’s responded less than two minutes into the second period as Will O’Neill picked up the loose puck off a blocked shot in the slot and put it past a sprawling Cristopher Nilstorp, knotting the game at one. Chris Mueller broke the deadlock two minutes later after receiving a pass in the neutral zone from Dustin Jeffrey and streaking into the zone up the right side, before launching a laser wrist shot top corner. The Stars added another when, on the rush, Jeffrey dished a pass to a trailing Glennie, who sniped the puck into the same corner of the net, beating Hutchinson high on the glove-side and giving Texas a 3-1 advantage. Morin notched his second of the night late in the second, combining with rookie Brendan Ranford for a shorthanded goal. Coming into the zone on a two-on-one, Morin swung a pass across to Ranford, who whiffed on the shot, but retained possession of the puck and carried it behind the net, where he executed a beautiful spin-pass back to Morin in front for the finish and a 4-1 Stars lead.
The IceCaps cut the deficit to two early in the third when Kael Mouillierat took the rebound off a blocked shot in front and fired it through traffic and in. Texas answered at 8:27 when Mueller missed a long stretch pass, but regained the puck down low and flung a pass to Jeffrey on the left side, who then slid it across to an oncoming Glennie for a tap-in into the vacated net, extending the Stars’ lead to 5-2. Jordan Hill brought it back to a two-goal game 51 seconds later with a blast from the point that found its way through traffic before ricocheting off the post and in. Texas sealed the victory with a Mike Hedden empty netter, cementing a 6-3 win in Game 1 of the 2014 Calder Cup Finals.
Cristopher Nilstorp (10-4) stopped 26-of-29 shots faced and earned his 10th win of the playoffs in net for Texas. St. John’s goalie Michael Hutchinson (11-6) had 17 saves on 22 shots and was saddled with his sixth loss of the postseason. The IceCaps outshot the Stars 29-23 and went 0-for-4 on the power play. Texas was 1-for-2 with the man-advantage.
The Stars will continue the Calder Cup Finals against the St. Johns Ice Caps with Game 2 on Monday, June 9th for a 7:30 p.m. face off at Cedar Park Center. Monday’s game is H-E-B Night and also a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night. Texas Stars season ticket packages for the 2014-15 season are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit http://www.TexasStarsHockey.com.