48-18-3-7, 106 pts
#1 Western Conference
|St. John's IceCaps
46-23-2-5, 99 pts
#4 Eastern Conference
Series tied 0-0
June 8th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX
This is it. The big one for all the marbles is here, and it starts tonight in Cedar Park.
After a few days off, the St. John's IceCaps have made the long journey to central Texas for their first ever game in the state. In all actuality, it's their first game west of Toronto in their history.
That makes them an unknown quantity to the Texas Stars. The coaches have done their homework. Willie Desjardins worked the phones this week talking to former players and others who have played against the IceCaps this season. Doug Lidster went to the tape and reviewed St. John's previous series to learn more about their style and systems. Here on the blog, we've talked to Charles Dart, who gave us a preview of the team yesterday.
Travis Morin and Coach Desjardins agreed that Game 1 is going to be a feeling out process more so than any other series to date in these playoffs. The Barons and Stars were extremely familiar. Grand Rapids and Toronto were somewhat familiar. St. John's is an unknown quantity.
Lidster revealed that the IceCaps are a hard forechecking team. That means they are liable to put pressure on the Texas breakout and transition, which has been been a strength all year. Dart further revealed that depth scoring is a strength of the IceCaps. Texas has also had scoring up and down the lineup. In that way, the clubs are similar.
Players to watch for on the opposite side of the puck include Andrew Gordon, who leads the playoffs in scoring with eight goals and eight assists and is making his second trip to Texas for a Calder Cup Final; Will O'Neill, top defenseman in the postseason at two goals and 11 assists; Eric O'Dell and Zach Redmond, who come in next with eleven points; center John Albert, who is looking for a breakout this series with only a goal and five assists in the postseason so far.
We'll know more, including lines, etc. at morning skate.
Stars injury/call up report:
Klingberg, Campbell, Petersen (injury)
Blog (official): IceCaps News
Beat reporter (print): St. John's Telegram
Beat reporter (web): @CharlesMDart