With last Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Barons in Oklahoma City, the Texas Stars’ run for the 2012-2013 Calder Cup has come to an end. The victory clinched a spot in the Western Conference finals for the Barons, who took the seven-game semi-finals series against Texas in five games. The Stars only victory came May 11 in Texas’ final game on home ice.
The Barons took the lead late in the first period when Teemu Haritkainen grabbed the puck off a faceoff, sent it ricocheting it off the left post and into the Stars net. Despite heading into the first intermission down 1-0, the Stars outshot the Barons 12-8 in the period.
Just a minute and a half into the second period, the Barons launched into a four-on-two breakaway that paved the way for Taylor Fedun to send a backhanded puck over the glove of Texas goalie Cristopher Nilstorp. Oklahoma stretched the lead to 3-0 halfway through the period off a two-on-one breakaway that allowed C.J. Stretch to tap in a rebound off a Toni Rajala shot that bounced off the post. Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden returned the two-on-one, but Hedden’s pass missed Dowling, leaving the Stars down 3-0 headed into the second intermission.
Taking advantage of an early-period power play, the Barons went up 4-0 a minute and a half into the third with a goal by Garrett Stafford. Despite a valiant effort by Texas’ offense, Oklahoma’s Mark Arcobello scored the final goal of the game for the Barons. Despite being denied by Oklahoma’s goaltender Yann Dannis all night, the Stars refused to allow another shutout in the series. With three minutes remaining in regulation, Reilly Smith and Alex Chaisson fed Dowling for his first goal of the playoffs, and Texas’ only goal in the game.
In total, both teams launched 34 shots on net.
The Barons advance to the Western Conference final where Oklahoma City will face the Grand Rapids Griffins for a coveted spot in the Calder Cup final. In the Eastern Conference, the Syracuse Crunch hold a spot in the Eastern Conference final while the Providence Bruins and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head into game seven tomorrow night.