The Texas Stars won their first Calder Cup on Tuesday night, defeating the St. John’s IceCaps, 4-3 in overtime, in Game 5 of the American Hockey League's championship series at Mile One Centre.
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, a second-round pick by the Dallas Stars in the 2010 NHL draft, scored the Cup-clinching goal at 14:30 of overtime, giving Texas its third consecutive OT win to finish the series.
The Stars, Dallas’ top development team, won the Cup after finishing first overall during the regular season. Under second-year coach Willie Desjardins, Texas went 48-18-3-7 (106 points) in the regular season and eliminated the Oklahoma City Barons (3-0), the Grand Rapids Griffins (4-2) and the Toronto Marlies (4-3) before defeating St. John’s in the final. The Stars’ 2014 playoff roster featured nine players who played in the NHL with Dallas this season.
Travis Morin, who was the AHL’s most valuable player and scoring champion during the regular season, captured the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the MVP in the Calder Cup playoffs after totalling a league-best 22 points in 21 playoff games. Morin led all scorers with seven points in the final, including three game-winning goals.
Texas’ victory brings an end to the AHL’s 78th season. In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 NHL teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are AHL graduates, and this season marked the 13th consecutive year in which more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America.