St. John’s clinched the first berth in the Calder Cup Final with a 5-0 win tonight at Mile One. Blair Riley’s first of the playoffs was the first in a three-goal third period to put it away. He, Kael Mouillierat and Jordan Hill have a chance to become former Sound Tigers to win the Calder Cup. (Here’s Brendan McCarthy’s gamer.)
Next up: The best team in the league all year, the one that finished off what has to be one of the more dominant seven-game series in league history: Texas, which came from behind with six unanswered goals in a 6-2 win in Game 7. The Marlies scored early yet again (14 playoff games, 14 first goals), but the Stars tied it with goals 51 seconds apart late in the second, then won it with goals 17 seconds apart a little bit into the third.
The Stars put 50 or more shots on goal in three of the seven games. Only one game was even in shots; the Stars led each of the others. For the seven games, Texas outshot the Marlies 280-169.
So another Calder Cup will have to wait for Trevor Smith. The final begins Sunday in Cedar Park; building availability will make for a long layoff in St. John’s. There are many worse places to spend a week.
For the heck of it, while I was listening to Owen Newkirk, thinking about that Marlies score-first curiosity, I did this: AHL teams’ records in the playoffs when scoring the Xth goal.
|Goal||Record||(OT goals)||Overall pct.||Pct. w/o OT|
There is an empty-net factor at the higher numbers — if I’d thought about it earlier, I’d have kept it, but I’m just playin’ around, anyway, not like when we were more serious about it* — but still, obviously**, scoring first is not nearly as important** as scoring second, third or sixth.
Elsewhere, some other series starts Wednesday in Los Angeles. Steve Politi catches up with the guys who held up the famous “Now I Can Die In Peace” sign at the Garden on June 14, 1994. And Timo Seppa, who’s picked the Stanley Cup Final on the dot five years in a row, made his call last night. Should still be fun to watch, though we know how it’s going to end.
*-Hey, still, don’t score fourth.
**-May not be entirely accurate.