46-27-3-4, 99 pts
#2 West Division
60-17-0-3, 123 pts
#1 East Division
Bears lead 3-2
June 14th at 6:00 PM
Giant Center, Hershey, PA
It's been said before in this series that the Stars were in "must-win" games. In fact, I think it's been stated that every game in Texas was a "must-win". Tonight's game is a must-win without quotation marks. A loss tonight hands the Hershey Bears the Calder Cup. It would also mark the end of an historic comeback for the Bears, trailing 0-2 after losing both games on home ice, they would be the first team to come back from such a deficit to win the Cup.
So far in the series, no team has won a home game. Despite 4 consecutive stadium record crowds in the series (1 at Giant Center in Game 2 and 3 at the Cedar Park Center in Games 3-5), no one's fans have gone home happy after the game. If the peculiar trend continues, the Stars will be the victors in the series.
Regarding Friday's effort, Stars captain Landon Wilson shared, "We played our game and we played it well." A 2-1 game is more the Stars style than the game earlier in the week that was a score of 6-3. When the score stays lower, Texas has a better chance to use that opportunistic offense and jump up on the rush. Perhaps with three games in Texas under their belt, the Stars can take advantage of the Bears defensemen getting overconfident and jumping into the play and create odd-man rushes if they are disciplined on the breakout.
What to do in net has been a question for the Stars for some of the series. Matt Climie has earned the right to play in Game 6 with his play through previous series and in Hershey early in this series. Even Friday's Game 5, in which he was named the second star, was a great goaltending effort. The other guy was just one shot better. Coach Gulutzan can't chance Game 6 of the Calder Cup finals on a goaltender coming off of a concussion. He would have to be 120% confident in Krahn to do it and have doubts about Climie's play. I don't think either is true, so 33 gets the start.
Tonight's game will be broadcast on the NHL Network.
Stars injury/call up report:
Hutchinson (lower body/knee, day-to-day)
Twitter (play-by-play): @jwaltonhockey
Blog (unofficial): Hershey Bears Hockey
Blog (unofficial): Stack the Pads