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Sunday, June 6, 2010
Calder Cup Finals:


The Stars will take a 2-0 series lead over the Hershey Bears into Monday night's
Game 3 at Cedar Park Center. The first two games in Hershey were both tight,
tied heading into the third period. But overall, the stingy, defensive minded
Stars have been truer to their style of play, which has frustrated the high
scoring Bears.
Following Game 2 a reporter suggested the Stars' style bordered on boring. Texas
goalie Matt Climie chose to describe it a different way.
"We're just doing a good job of getting in lanes and playing Texas Stars hockey.
We're not playing selfish hockey at all. We've got that team identity and we're
playing as a team," Climie responded. "We're playing the game right way, where
guys are sacrificing the body and taking the puck to the net which in the end is
extremely effective, especially against a team like Hershey.
"They're extremely offensive and at times it seems they are trying to make that
extra pass or two and we're doing a good job of filling those lanes, not
panicking and not running around in our own zone. It has been effective so far."
The Stars' ability to stick to their plan has made it hard for the league's top
scoring team to generate scoring chances.
"We don't have the patience to continue to [cycle the puck down low]. It's like
we want to be rewarded right away and if doesn't work we throw our hands up and
says that's not working," said Hershey coach Mark French. "Time of possession in
the offensive zone is a good thing. I think we've got to attack seams more to
draw some more penalties and more scoring chances. I thought at times in
offensive play we'd have it for 15 or 20 seconds and then we'd throw it blindly
into the slot area and turn it over.
"Maybe it's not a fun way to play that we're asking the guys to play, but it is
an effective way to play. Until they understand that, then were are going to
struggle offensively. I think we did it better in spots [Saturday night]."
The Stars tend to give up a lot of shots on goal. The ranked 21st of out 29
teams during the regular season and 11th out of the 16 teams in the playoffs.
But it's the quality of the shots they are concerned about and that's why they
are so focused on one part of the ice.
"You want to control the middle of the ice and keep everything to the outside,"
said Gulutzan. "What we tell our guys is, if they shoot from the outside, that's
the reason that guy in net there has different equipment than you because he's
supposed to save it. So we try to make sure if we are going to give up shots
they are from the outside. Territorially, the middle of the ice is what we want
to own."
Hershey has yet to have much success in the middle of the ice and around the
net.
"We've got to find ways to get the puck to the net. This team is a very good
defensive team and they collapse down low and make it real hard for you to bring
it to the net," said Hershey forward Jay Beagle. "We got a find a way to get it
to the point, get shots on net and find rebounds, get tips and get those ugly,
greasy goals. It's not going to be pretty. It's just going to be back to the
basics."
If the Bears don't get back to basics that impatience will continue to creep in
and so will mistakes, which have played into the Stars' hands so far.
"Two of [their goals Saturday night] were the result of turnovers when our No. 1
key point was to get pucks behind their D," said French. "If we continue to make
those errors they'll get to four [wins] faster than we will."
And the Stars are two wins closer already thanks to that identity thing.
Notes
Monday's game will be the Stars first at Cedar Park since May 22, when they
lost 3-0 to Hamilton in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. "
It should be fun. We haven't got to play back there for a little bit," said
Texas forward Travis Morin. "I'm sure our fans will be excited and we're
excited to get home and hopefully keep this thing going."
Texas Stars goalie Matt Climie has stopped 143 of 151 shots over his last four
games - all wins - for a .947 save percentage.
Hershey has scored 12 goals in regulation over its last 7 games.
Eight teams have lost the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals at home.
All eight teams went on to lose the series.
Series Schedule (Texas Leads 2-0)
GmDayDateLocationTime (Central)/Results
1ThursdayJune 3 HersheyTexas 2, Hershey 1
2SaturdayJune 5 HersheyTexas 4, Hershey 3
3MondayJune 7 Texas7:30 pm
4WednesdayJune 9 Texas7:30 pm
5Friday*June 11 Texas7:30 pm
6Monday*June 14 Hershey6:00 pm
7Wednesday*June 16 Hershey6:00 pm
*If necessary