A hockey cham­pi­onship for Toronto

Toronto Marlies beat Texas Stars 6 1 to win Calder Cup fi­nal in seven games

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

An­dreas Johns­son scored two goals and added an as­sist as the Toronto Marlies beat the Texas Stars 6-1 on Thursday night to win the Calder Cup fi­nal in seven games.

Ma­son March­ment also had a pair for the home­town Marlies while Carl Grund­strom and Ben Smith added sin­gles.

Austin Fyten scored the lone goal for the Stars, end­ing Gar­ret Sparks’ shutout bid mid­way through the third pe­riod. Toronto out­shot Texas 46-30.

The vic­tory capped a dream sea­son for the top development team of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Marlies led the Amer­i­can Hockey League with 112 points in the reg­u­lar sea­son and con­tin­ued their strong play in the post-sea­son, win­ning 10 straight games at one point be­fore be­ing pushed the dis­tance by the Stars.

It’s the first Calder Cup ti­tle for the fran­chise since it moved to Toronto from St. John’s for the 2005-06 sea­son. The last Toronto AHL af­fil­i­ate to win the Calder Cup was the New Brunswick Hawks in 1982.

The teams al­ter­nated wins in the 2-3-2 se­ries af­ter Toronto took Game 1. The Marlies en­tered the de­ci­sive game with only a slight 19-18 edge in to­tal goals.

Game 7 — the first in an AHL fi­nal since 2003 — of­fered a wide-open style as both teams used free­wheel­ing at­tacks to gen­er­ate chances.

Sparks was back in net for the Marlies af­ter be­ing pulled early in the third pe­riod of Game 6. He caught an early break as Sheldon Dries snapped a puck off the post just a few min­utes into the game.

Johns­son con­verted a goal­mouth pass from Grund­strom at 10:35 to get the all-im­por­tant first goal. It was his team-lead­ing ninth goal of the play­offs and league-lead­ing 22nd point.

March­ment made it 2-0 with 17.2 sec­onds left in the pe­riod.

He was left open in the slot and wired a shot past Stars goalie Mike McKenna af­ter a slick pass by Trevor Moore.

McKenna did well to keep it a two-goal game. Toronto out­shot Texas 19-7 in the open­ing stanza.

The Stars came close to halv­ing the deficit mid­way through the sec­ond pe­riod.

Texas for­ward Matt Man­gene chipped the puck in­side the post as Sparks was sprawled in the crease. Toronto de­fence­man Calle Rosen slid across and used his leg to help pre­vent the puck from cross­ing the line.

On-ice of­fi­cials checked the video re­play to con­firm the no­goal call.

The ref­er­ees put the whis­tles away for the de­ci­sive game. The first penalty came at 18:39 of the sec­ond pe­riod when Stars blue­liner Dil­lon Heather­ing­ton was called for in­ter­fer­ence.

Toronto came out charg­ing in the third pe­riod and was re­warded at 3:35 as Grund­strom one-timed a pass from Johns­son.

CP PHOTO

Toronto Marlies goal­tender Gar­ret Sparks (40) makes a save on Texas Stars de­fence­man Dil­lon Heather­ing­ton (3) dur­ing sec­ond pe­riod AHL Calder Cup play­off ac­tion in Toronto on Thursday.

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