Nothing would keep these Texas Stars down tonight. Despite being outshot 34-11 in the first 40 minutes, Texas turned it on in the third period to score three goals and take the game 4-2 and advance to the Calder Cup Finals.
Texas got massively outshot in the first period 15-5. For the most part, Hamilton didn't get as many quality scoring chances as the total would suggest, but Coach Gulutzan's law of averages came into play. With nine seconds left in the first, David Desharnais buried a rebound from the left side on a rebound of Aaron Palushaj's shot.
The shots counter was anymore friendly to the Stars in the second. Texas's Matt Climie saw 13 shots on goal before his teammates had mounted a single shot on Curtis Sanford. At 5:32 of the second, Max Pacioretty grabbed his own 2nd rebound off Climie's left pad and pushed it past him for a 2-0 lead.
Texas got one of its own to get the goose egg off the board. On a rather routine and simple play, Ethan Graham tossed on a shot on Sanford from the left point. Really it was just a dump-in more than anything else, but the bouncing rolling puck flipped up on Sanford and beat him on the far side. It was Texas's 10th shot of the game. The Stars would finish the period at a 34-11 SOG deficit.
The Texas Stars would not be kept down though. Texas had an epic third period for the ages. Mathieu Beaudoin scored his third of the playoffs stickside high on Sanford to make it 2-2. The craziness had only begun as Texas wouldn't let up. Perttu Lindgren put another one past Sanford to make it 3-2 with 6 minutes left. Hamilton tried to bring the pressure but to no avail.
And just as Sanford was about to be pulled for the extra attacker, Colton Sceviour and Jamie Benn broke in 2-on-1. Benn beat Sanford on the pass from Sceviour to seal up the game tight.
Texas talked a good game about character for this entire series and really left it all out on the ice in games 6 and 7 of the series. Texas, at one time in the game down 2-0, scored four unanswered goals to win the game. Matt Climie stopped 41 of 43 shots on goal and has now stopped 92 the last 96 he's faced. Postgame quotes and pictures are sure to follow.
Texas will start their series against Hershey on June 3rd in Pennsylvania.
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Wilson (day-to-day, unspecified injury)
Korostin, Shelast, Ty. Ludwig, Tr. Ludwig, Gazdic (scratched)
Tonight's attendance was 5,121.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas at Hamilton - May 26 2010