TORONTO — Andreas Johnsson had two goals and an assist to help the Toronto Marlies win the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup, 6-1 over the Texas Stars in Game 7 on Thursday night.
“We got the first goal, we got the second goal too and we could play on that,” said Johnsson, selected the playoffs MVP. “It made it a little bit easier.”
The Marlies led the AHL with 112 points during the regular season and won 10 straight playoff games before being pushed to the distance by the Stars, Dallas’ top development team.
“We seemed like we had all those answers,” Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe said. “That just showed how resilient we were as a team and how competitive we are. And just the fact that we weren’t going to be denied.”
The last Toronto AHL affiliate to win the Calder Cup was the New Brunswick Hawks in 1982.
“This has been a championship group all season,” Keefe said. “To get the final reward here is the icing on the cake. I’ve never been a part of a group that’s been more deserving.”
Austin Fyten scored for Texas, ending Sparks’ shutout bid midway through the third period.
Sparks was back in goal after being pulled early in the third period Tuesday night in a Game 6 loss.
“I felt a personal responsibility to step up and I thought I did that,” Sparks said.