CEDAR PARK – Texas Stars rookie Brendan Ranford scored his team-leading eighth playoff goal and Travis Morin notched his team-leading 12th assist, but St. John’s goaltender Michael Hutchinson made 49 saves to hand the Stars a 2-1 loss on Monday night in front of 5,224 fans at Cedar Park Center in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals. The series is now tied at one and will shift to Newfoundland for Games 3-5 at Mile One Centre.
The IceCaps opened up the scoring at 4:05 in the first period when an Eric O’Dell shot snuck through the pads of goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp and Kael Mouillierat was the quickest to react, tapping in the puck to an open net. Texas would put pressure on St. John’s goaltender Michael Hutchinson, out-shooting the IceCaps 16-9, but they would not find their way onto the scoreboard in the first twenty minutes.
Stars rookie Brendan Ranford evened the score at one just 29 seconds into the second frame. Travis Morin sent a pass across the slot through traffic to Ranford at the far post, who ripped a one-timer into the open net for his team-leading eighth goal of the playoffs. St. John’s would be quick to answer, taking back the lead just 44 seconds later with Blair Riley snapping a one-timer past Nilstorp from the slot on a pass by Kyle MacKinnon from behind the goal line.
Texas continued to put heat on Hutchinson in the third period out-shooting the IceCaps 20-8, but they failed to tie the game and finished with a 2-1 loss. St. John’s had an empty net goal waved off with seconds remaining in regulation due to an offside infraction.
Michael Hutchinson (12-6) finished with 49 saves on 50 shots and earned his 12th win of the playoffs in goal for St. John’s. Cristopher Nilstorp (10-5) stopped 33-of-35 shots faced and took the loss for Texas. The Stars out-shot the IceCaps 50-35 in the game and did not have a power play opportunity for the first time in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. St. John’s was 0-for-1 on the man-advantage.
With the series tied at one, the 2014 Calder Cup Finals will now shift to St. John’s, Newfoundland for Games 3, 4, & 5 at Mile One Centre beginning with Game 3 on Wednesday, June 11th at 7:30 p.m. NDT (5:00 p.m. CT). If necessary, Games 6 & 7 will be back at Cedar Park Center on Thursday, June 19th and Monday June 23rd, both at 7:30 p.m. CT. 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.