Sunday, March 28, 2010

Texas clinches Calder Cup playoff berth, sinks Chicago 5-0

It was a sparkling effort from the net on out as the Texas Stars closed the door on the Chicago Wolves and punched their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs with a 5-0 win today.

Texas took the early advantage on a rather strange play. Colton Sceviour threw the puck at the net casually and it managed to squeak between MacIntyre's leg pads. The goal, Sceviour's 8th of the year, was originally unassisted but Aaron Gagnon was added as the primary assist later in the game. The goal was scored on the first Texas shot of the night just 139 seconds into the game.

Texas and Chicago both hit a lot of posts in the first period and each netminder had to make a lot of stops. Toward the end of the first, Travis Morin beat Drew MacIntyre from the right side on a roofed puck. Morin was wide open and had no one molesting him for his 20th of the year.

Seven minutes into the second, Colton Sceviour broke out the puck of the Stars zone and shot in on MacIntyre. Mathieu Tousignant, trailing the play, followed up on the backhand to beat the tender to make it 3-0. It was his 4th of the year and Sceviour's 2nd point of the night.

Only 21 seconds later, Ray Sawada fed a puck to Luke Gazdic who scored his 3rd of the year to make it 4-0. Texas broke their team record for fastest goals in team histroy, previously 23 seconds and only set last night in Grand Rapids. The goal by Gazdic would end Drew MacIntyre's night. MacIntyre stopped 13 of 17 shots and played a total of 27:44. Peter Mannino, whose last game action was on Friday night against the Stars, would replace the goalie. MacIntyre started last night as well in Rockford, shutting out the IceHogs on 33 shots.

At the 12 minute mark of the second, newcomer Cody Chupp laid a nasty hit on the Wolves' Nathan Oystrick. There was no call on the play, and Oystrick was not so happy with that. He chirped at the Texas bench and would not leave the ice, so the linesman escorted him off, giving him a ten-minute misconduct and a game misconduct under AHL Rule 75.4. The Wolves took a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct only 4 minutes later. It was clear the 4-0 deficit was not sitting well with Chicago.

Francis Wathier decided that 4-0 wasn't enough though with 22 seconds left in the period. He took a faceoff win from Warren Peters and ripped it on net for his 16th of the year and a 5-0 Texas lead.

Both teams took the 3rd period relatively easy, and there was no more scoring. After about 10 minutes, Chicago seemed to want to just hit the showers. With only a few minutes left in the game, Brent Krahn got sat on by a Chicago player and looked like he might need to come off the ice. He shook it off and finished the game. Krahn completed his 5th shutout of the year.

With the win, Texas is only six points behind Chicago for the West Division lead and now has opened up a five point lead on #3 Rockford. The Stars still have one game in hand over the IceHogs. And of course, most importantly, Texas will be playing in their first Calder Cup playoff in their first season in the AHL!

Tonight's lines:
Wathier-Peters-Sawada
Sceviour-Gagnon-Tousignant
Morin-Lindgren-Beaudoin
Gazdic-Chupp

Jancevski-Stafford
Graham-Fortunus
Hutchinson-Tr. Ludwig
Ty. Ludwig

Krahn

Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson, Rallo, and McCulloch (injured)
Graham and Shelast (scratched)
Benn (call-up)

Tonight's attendance was 9,816.

AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Chicago - March 28 2010

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