CEDAR PARK, Texas — The Texas Stars broke open a 1-1 second-period tie by scoring on three of the four shots on goal they generated in the middle frame and went on to a 6-3 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps in Sunday night’s first game of the Calder Cup final.
After St. John’s’ Will O’Neill tied the game early in the second, Chris Mueller, Winnipeg native Scott Glennie and Travis Morin scored for the home team to establish full control of the game.
IceCaps goalie Michael Hutchinson had zero chance on any of the shots, Glennie’s and Mueller’s perfectly placed under the crossbar.
Morin, whose goal came shorthanded, was left alone in front of the St. John’s net when three IceCaps became mesmerized by the puck in their corner.
Kael Mouillierat and Jordan Hill scored for the IceCaps in the third, but playing catch-up was too much to ask against the high-powered Stars, the regular-season champions of the AHL.
St. John’s outshot the Stars 13-4 in the second period and 29-23 overall.
Game 2 goes Monday night at the Cedar Park Center and holds several questions.
The IceCaps initiated the majority of the heavy contact Sunday night, even late in the game, will they continue to do it as they roll four lines? Will they sharpen up their decision-making, which cost them dearly on Sunday?
Will the Stars be able to continue their lethal attack given all the contact, and that the series’ first three games will be played in a four-day stretch that includes the long haul back to Newfoundland and Labrador for Wednesday’s Game 3?