Texas Stars relish Calder Cup championship

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Maxime Fortunus drinks from the Calder Cup.
Maxime Fortunus drinks from the Calder Cup.

Travis Morin knew winning a Calder Cup title would be special, but how the Texas Stars finished off the championship series against the St. John’s IceCaps on Tuesday — on the road, in overtime — made it even more memorable.

“That was something else. The way we did it here makes it even more special,” Morin said. “To come from behind (in Game 4) then again (in Game 5). That’s something you’ll never forget.”

It was also record breaking.

Texas won Games 3, 4 and 5 in overtime, finishing the postseason a perfect 6-for-6 in overtime games on the road, smashing the old AHL record of 4-0 held by four teams.

“I’ve been in some good series. I’ve never been in something like that,” Stars coach Willie Desjardins said Tuesday night, by phone. “You have three back-to-back overtimes and you’re on the road for all three? That’s so tough and I’m so happy for these guys.”

Desjardins was particularly happy for Morin and captain Maxime Fortunus. Both have been with the Stars since the franchise’s opening game against the San Antonio Rampage on Oct. 2, 2009.

In that inaugural season, Texas reached the Calder Cup finals against the Hershey Bears and had built a 2-0 series lead on the road. The Stars then had a chance to clinch that Calder Cup at the Cedar Park Center, but lost four straight games.

While that playoff run helped boost the franchise’s fan base, team president Rick McLaughlin said before the start of this year’s Finals that he felt winning the title would mean even more to the Stars and their fans.

“I think our fans probably didn’t realize five years ago what it took and how close we came,” McLaughlin said. “With missing the playoffs (in 2012) and clawing back, the fans want this and are excited about it. They’ll appreciate it even more this year if we’re able to win it all.”

McLaughlin’s statement held true when Fortunus hoisted the cup Tuesday night at St. John’s. While Texas didn’t win at home, nearly 1,000 fans watched the game at the Cedar Park Center on the center-hung scoreboard, and the team is expecting a strong showing at victory rally Thursday at 6 p.m.

Continue reading this story in the Austin American-Statesman.

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