Game 4 of the AHL Calder Cup Final on Monday ended the same way as Game 3 on Friday. After going up 2-1 in the series with a Travis Morin overtime goal in Game 3, the Texas Stars once again scored an overtime goal and now are up in the series 3-1. Travis Morin had the overtime game winner again. Game 4, which was in St. John's, Newfoundland - as was Game 3 and as will be Game 5 on Tuesday - started off swimmingly for the IceCaps. They took a 3-0 lead by the midway point of the second period on a power play goal before Texas began their comeback.
Ben Chariot opened the scoring in the game at 13:02 of the first period with a shorthanded goal. Carl Klingsberg then put St. John's up 2-0 less than a minute into the second. The first period shot total favored the IceCaps 21-5, and it appeared they were on pace to do the same in the middle frame.
The second period turned after the IceCaps went up 3-0. After Kael Mouillierat's power play goal, the Texas Stars stormed back. The second period shot total was 10-17 in favor of the Stars, who scored two goals in the final five minutes of the second period to come within one goal. After the IceCaps third goal, the Stars would continue to outshoot and out-chance them. In the third period, the Stars held the IceCaps to only 4 shots.
Although the Stars appeared to tie the game in the third period on this play, the referees reviewed the play and determined it never crossed the goal line:
While the play was under review (in the AHL, the referee reviews the goal individually with a monitor in the pressbox), this awesome guy in the crowd let everyone know it was not a good goal:
It reminded me of a similar scene in the stands of an NHL game earlier this season while a play was under review.
These two fans had it out in the St. Louis Blues/Colorado Avalanche game in St. Louis:
Anyway, the Stars ended up coming back to tie the game despite this goal being waived off. With just 2:09 left in regulation, Brett Ritchie converted on this pretty passing play to send the two teams to overtime for the second straight game.
Texas scored on the only shot on net in overtime. At 2:24, Travis Morin scored the OT winner for the second game in a row. It was his 9th goal of the postseason.
To me, the replay makes the play look like it was probably offsides. Sadly, the AHL doesn't provide additional angles or better quality replays - although the game is supposed to be replaying on NHL Network sometime tomorrow/today (Tuesday morning/afternoon).
The win put Texas up 3-1 in the Calder Cup Final which means they are one win away from capturing the AHL championship. Game 5 will again take place in St. John's as the AHL uses the 2-3-2 format to make traveling easier and some other crap reasons. The game starts at 7:30 Newfoundland time, which is 6pm normal time (EST). According to a press release before the series, the game should be airing live on NHL Network!
If the IceCaps can pull off the win tomorrow, they will head back to Texas for games six and seven if necessary. Although I think Texas is too much of a powerhouse for St. John's to hold off, I would like to see the IceCaps find a way to win for two reasons. First of all, I would like hockey to continue to go on as long as possible (I'm already dying inside from missing the NHL). Secondly and more importantly, the Western Conference superiority in the AHL leaves the league unfair and unbalanced. The league will be expanding west soon to top it off. So, go IceCaps!