Marlies Win 2018 Calder Cup
The Toronto Marlies defeated the Texas Stars by a 6-1 final on Thursday to secure the first Calder Cup victory in franchise history.
Andreas Johnsson and Mason Marchment each scored twice, while Carl Grundstrom and Ben Smith also found the back of the net to power the Marlies offense.
Garret Sparks made 29 saves and was named the game’s first star in the victory.
Johnsson opened the scoring in the first period, as he drove hard to the net and knocked in a pass from Miro Aaltonen.
Marchment extended the lead later in the opening frame, as he fired a one-timer from the slot after passes from Trevor Moore and Chris Mueller.
Neither team found the scoresheet in the second but Grundstrom was able to connect on a one-timer after a saucer pass from Johnsson just three and a half minutes into the final frame.
Austin Fyten brought the Stars back within two midway through the period, but Johnsson reinstated the three-goal lead with under four to play as he broke in and beat Mike McKenna. LoVerde had an assist on goal.
Smith added an empty net goal (LoVerde assist) before Marchment added a final dagger with 56 seconds left. Adam Brooks and Andrew Nielsen had the assists there.
The Marlies take the best-of-7 series by a final decision of 4-3 to claim their first Calder Cup since moving to Toronto at the beginning of the 2005-06 season.
The Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars will face off in a winner-takes-all Game 7 on Thursday with the Calder Cup on the line.
It’s the first time the Finals have gone a full seven games since 2003 and will cap off a back-and-forth series where neither side has been able to string together consecutive wins.
After three straight low-scoring, tight-checking games, each team has seen an offensive outbreak in Games 5 and 6.
The Marlies scored six on the road in Game 5 on Saturday while Texas responded with five goals in Tuesday’s Game 6.
Including Game 6, the Marlies have lost only twice at home throughout the postseason while Texas is 6-4 on the road.
Andreas Johnsson earned an assist in Tuesday’s loss and remains the Marlies leading point-getter, with eight goals and 13 assists in the postseason.
Johnsson is averaging a point-per-game in this series, with two goals and four assists. Calle Rosen (4G, 2A) and Chris Mueller (2G, 4A) are also producing at a point-per-game pace against the Stars.
Texas’ top line of Justin Dowling, Travis Morin and Curtis McKenzie remains the main source of production for the Stars, with the three players recording eight, seven and six points, respectively, throughout the series.
The Marlies are searching for their first Calder Cup since moving to Toronto at the start of the 2005-06 season while Texas is looking for its second all-time and first since 2014.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM and fans can tune in on Leafs Nation Network, TSN 2, NHL Network and TSN Radio 1050.
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Head to Head (2018 Playoffs)