Marlies capture Calder Cup with Game 7 win vs. Stars

TORONTO — Andreas Johnsson scored two goals and added an assist as the Toronto Marlies beat the Texas Stars 6-1 on Thursday night to win the Calder Cup final in seven games.

Mason Marchment also had a pair for the hometown Marlies while Carl Grundstrom and Ben Smith added singles.

Austin Fyten scored the lone goal for the Stars, ending Garret Sparks’ shutout bid midway through the third period. Toronto outshot Texas 46-30.

The victory capped a dream season for the top development team of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Marlies led the American Hockey League with 112 points in the regular season and continued their strong play in the post-season, winning 10 straight games at one point before being pushed the distance by the Stars.

It’s the first Calder Cup title for the franchise since it moved to Toronto from St. John’s for the 2005-06 season. The last Toronto AHL affiliate to win the Calder Cup was the New Brunswick Hawks in 1982.

The teams alternated wins in the 2-3-2 series after Toronto took Game 1. The Marlies entered the decisive game with only a slight 19-18 edge in total goals.

Game 7 — the first in an AHL final since 2003 — offered a wide-open style as both teams used freewheeling attacks to generate chances.

Sparks was back in net for the Marlies after being pulled early in the third period of Game 6. He caught an early break as Sheldon Dries snapped a puck off the post just a few minutes into the game.

Johnsson converted a goalmouth pass from Grundstrom at 10:35 to get the all-important first goal. It was his team-leading ninth goal of the playoffs and league-leading 22nd point.

Marchment made it 2-0 with 17.2 seconds left in the period. He was left open in the slot and wired a shot past Stars goalie Mike McKenna after a slick pass by Trevor Moore.

McKenna did well to keep it a two-goal game. Toronto outshot Texas 19-7 in the opening stanza.

The Stars came close to halving the deficit midway through the second period.

Texas forward Matt Mangene chipped the puck inside the post as …read more


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