The Hamilton coaching staff have paid extra special attention to Jamie Benn in their quotes. The Hamilton radio broadcast pins any game Texas wins solely on their "NHL player" and notes that the Bulldogs NHL players are "in the NHL." Tonight that finally comes to an end because Maxwell and Subban are back from their exploits in Montreal and ready to help their AHL club get to the Calder Cup Finals.
For the Stars, this means the team that already badly outshouts them most nights gets their 3rd and 4th leading scorers (regular season) back. Subban led the entire team with a +46 number in the regular season. This instantly gives the Bulldogs entire lineup a face lift and adds dangerous new wrinkles to yet another game seven on the road.
Texas was fortunate enough to win one game seven on the road already this year in Chicago. All three of their wins in this series have come in overtime, and Matt Climie has been increasingly relied upon in each. Four of the six games have gone to the extra session.
Adding insult to the attendance woes in Hamilton, the Spectator brings word of a lackluster ice surface:
They've got a nice team, but that place is evidently a mess.
Meanwhile, at Cedar Park Center (anything but a mess) you can watch the game with your fellow Stars fans if you happen to live in the area, free of charge. Otherwise the rest of us can can watch online for $10 at theahl.com, or check out the radio broadcast for free.
Check out Stephen at Hundred Degree Hockey for a full game preview.
The release about the game from the Stars is after the jump.
Here is the full release from the Stars:
TEXAS FORCES GAME 7 WITH DRAMATIC 3-2 OT WIN IN HAMILTON
STARS AND BULLDOGS MEET ON WEDNESDAY TO DECIDE WESTERN CONFERENCE CROWN
GAME 7 IS AT 6:30 pm (CDT)
The Texas Stars defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime on Monday night in front of 2,613 fans at Copps Coliseum in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. Center Aaron Gagnon scored the game-winning goal 18:32 into overtime, tying the best-of-seven series 3-3 and forcing Game 7 on Wednesday night in Hamilton. Goalie Matt Climie (4-3) made 51 saves, including 28 in the third period and overtime combined to preserve the overtime victory. Bulldogs goaltender Curtis Sanford (5-3) stopped 35 Texas shots in his third overtime loss of the playoffs. All of Sanford's overtime losses in the playoffs have been to Texas. Stars forward Scott McCulloch and defenseman Garrett Stafford also scored in the win. Stars rookie forwards Jamie Benn and Travis Morin each had two assists.
CANADIENS SEND TWO PLAYERS TO HAMILTON
The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday that forward Ben Maxwell and defenseman P.K. Subban have been assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Both players are scheduled to join the 'Dogs for their Western Conference Finals Game 7 match-up with the Texas Stars Wednesday night at Copps Coliseum.
Maxwell, 22, played in one post-season game with the Canadiens in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs but was held pointless. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward played in 13 regular season games with Montreal but was also held pointless. The native of North Vancouver, British Columbia ranked fourth on the Bulldogs in points with 44 (16 goals, 28 assists) after playing in 57 regular season games with Hamilton. Maxwell was drafted in the 2nd round, 49th overall by the Canadiens in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Subban, 21, played in the Bulldogs' first six post-season games in the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, scoring two game-winning goals and earning nine points (three goals, six assists) before getting recalled to Montreal on April 26th. In 14 Stanley Cup playoff games with the Canadiens, the 6-foot, 202-pound defenseman recorded eight points (one goal, seven assists) and helped Montreal advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. During the regular season, Subban ranked third on Hamilton and third amongst AHL defenseman in scoring with 53 points (18 goals, 35 assists) in 77 games. The native of Toronto, Ontario ranked second in the AHL in plus/minus with a rating of +46 and also broke five franchise records for the Bulldogs including most goals and points by a 'Dogs defenseman in a single season.
Western Conference Finals Schedule (best of seven)
Game 1 - Texas 2 at Hamilton 3 (OT)
Game 2 - Texas 1 at Hamilton 3
Game 3 - Hamilton 4 at Texas 5 (OT)
Game 4 - Hamilton 1 at Texas 2 (OT)
Game 5 - Hamilton 3 at Texas 0
Game 6 - Texas 3 at Hamilton 2 (OT) (Series tied 3-3)
Game 7 - Wed., May 26 - Texas at Hamilton, 6:30 pm CT
HERSHEY WAITS FOR THE WINNER OF WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
After beating the Manchester Monarchs in Game 6 of their best-of-seven series at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa., on Saturday night, the Hershey Bears will wait to play the winner of the Hamilton -Texas series for the Calder Cup Finals. The Bears are in the Calder Cup Finals for the fourth time in the five years and for the 22nd time overall. Hershey has won a record 10 Calder Cups in franchise history, most recently in 2006 and 2009.
* All three Texas wins in the Western Conference Finals have come in overtime.
* Texas goalie Matt Climie set a team playoff record with 51 saves in Game 6.
* Stars rookie Jamie Benn leads all scorers in the Calder Cup Playoffs with 13 goals and is tied for the league lead with 23 points in 17 games played.