It was a night full of nerves, young prospects showing off what they’ve got and controversy. However when all was said and done the Toronto Marlies emerged victorious marking the first professional hockey championship for the city of Toronto since 1967.
The night started with plenty of pressure for the Marlies however it was the Texas Stars who got the first good look as they wrung a shot off the post and the Ricoh let out a collective sigh of relief. Andreas Johnsson was the next player to get a good look and he didn’t miss as he potted his 9th of the postseason. Continued sustained pressure saw Marchment make the score 2-0 just before the end of the first.
The second period went scoreless but not for lack of trying from the Stars’ contingent. They had several chances dribble past Sparks and then inches past the goal posts. One such chance needed a lengthy review which would ultimately be called a no goal but this break gave the Marlies enough chance to regroup and hold out until the third.
Early in the third, a beautiful feed from Johnsson set up Grundstrom, who made no mistake, and made it 3-0. Now here is where the controversy of the night lies. Here is the play in question which ultimately was called a good goal for the Stars.
It’s not a great view but the TV replays and replays shown in the arena clearly show that the puck never crossed the line, neither before the whistle is blown or after. Sparks was rightfully furious as was Marlies coach, Sheldon Keefe. Luckily it wouldn’t determine the end result as Johnsson would once again get on the scoresheet. An empty net goal by smith and a lovely last minute snipe by Marchment brought the scoreline up to 6-1. The game was much closer than the score suggests but in the end, the Marlies claimed the crown.
Following Johnsson’s 3 point night, bringing his playoff total up to 23, he won the Calder Cup playoff MVP title.
The Toronto Maple Leafs general Manager, Kyle Dubas, and ultimately the key architect for this iteration of the Marlies was over the moon with the result, as you can see.