15 May Dallas Stars Prospects: Texas Stars Gearing Up For Conference Finals
The AHL is closing in on conference finals action, and the Dallas Stars’ AHL affiliate is still involved. The Texas Stars are eight wins away from another Calder Cup championship. Here’s what you need to know.
The Dallas Stars organization still has a chance at landing a championship this year.
Though Dallas is over a month into their early summer vacation, their AHL affiliate is raging on in the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Texas Stars sit just one series victory short of the Calder Cup Finals and eight wins short of their second Calder Cup championship in franchise history.
Texas wrapped up Western Conference semifinal play on Friday, May 11 when they defeated the Tucson Roadrunners 3-2 in overtime. The victory sealed the series and granted the Stars the 4-1 advantage.
Though the Stars won the series by a decisive margin, the five-game battle was much closer than it appeared. Three of the five games went to overtime, with Texas prevailing in two of the three to improve their playoff overtime record to 4-1 on the year. The Roadrunners were the no. 1 team in the Pacific Division, but Texas held out.
And now here they are. Halfway to the Calder Cup. The last time the Stars were in the Western Conference Finals was 2014, and they capped the year off with their first ever championship. Can they do it again this time around?
They certainly have the right team to get it done. Veteran goaltender Mike McKenna has proven to be a heavily beneficial addition from the 2017 offseason and is one of the best goalies in the postseason so far. On top of that, the Stars are using a solid mixture of balance and depth in their lineup to charge forward in the race.
Their next opponent, however, will present them with their biggest challenge yet. And rightly so. There is a finals berth on the line, after all.
The Rockford IceHogs are a perfect 7-0 this postseason so far, sweeping both the Central Division champion Chicago Wolves in the first round and the Manitoba Moose in the second. They averaged 4.50 goals per game in their most recent series and are riding an impressive hot streak.
This is their first time in the Western Conference Finals in franchise history since their inaugural season in 2007-08. Like Texas, this is their first year back in the Calder Cup Playoffs after missing the mark in 2016-17.
Oh, and if you didn’t already know, the IceHogs are the AHL affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks. So that’s bound to make things even more exciting.
Here is the schedule for the seven game series:
Game 1: Friday, May 18 – 7:00 p.m. – H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, TX
Game 2: Sunday, May 20 – 5:00 p.m. – H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, TX
Game 3: Tuesday, May 22 – 7:00 p.m. – BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL
Game 4: Thursday, May 24 – 7:00 p.m. – BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL
Game 5 (if necessary): Friday, May 25 – 7:00 p.m. – BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, IL
Game 6 (if necessary): Monday, May 28 – 7:00 p.m. – H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, TX
Game 7 (if necessary): Tuesday, May 29 – 7:00 p.m. – H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, TX
If you live in or near Cedar Park, make sure to pull the Victory Green out of your closet and get a ticket to the game. The Texas Stars will need all of the help they can get as they push for their second championship.
If you’re a member of the Dallas Stars faithful, make sure to stay tuned. It’s promising to be quite the series showdown.