2014 Calder Cup Finals, Game 1: Scott Glennie Leads Texas Stars to 6-3 win over St. John's IceCaps

Glennie had two goals and an assist, while Travis Morin scored two of his own, in the big Game 1 win.

Scott Glennie's path to the NHL has not been an easy one. The 2009 first-round draft pick has struggled to live up to high expectations since leaving juniors, and under Willie Desjardins has transformed himself into a capable checking line winger and center.

With Radek Faksa quickly developing into another strong two-way center, and Chris Mueller returning from the NHL, Desjardins has been able to put Glennie back into an offensive role in the postseason -- he responded on Sunday night with perhaps his best game since coming to the AHL.

Glennie scored twice, and added an assist and a generous round of fisticuffs for the Gordie Howe hat trick, as the Texas Stars defeated the St. John's IceCaps 6-3 in Cedar Park. The Stars jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Travis Morin scored on the power play, igniting a dominant first period; the IceCaps didn't get their first shot on goal until well over the halfway mark of the frame.

The second period was a different story, as the IceCaps tied the game 1:47 into the second, dominating possession and pelting Cristopher Nilstorp in net. The Stars would score three goals on four shots, however, including a brilliant wrister from Mueller on a breakaway and goals by Glennie and Morin.

The IceCaps and Stars would trade goals in the third, with the Stars answering each time St. John's would try to pull close in the game.

Nilstorp would finish with 26 saves on 29 shots, including several Tim Thomas-esque stops in the second period. Jack Campbell suited up as the backup and has returned from injury, and could draw in on Monday night for Game 2.

Random observations:

Scott Glennie is showing himself capable of playing the type of game needed by a bottom-six winger. He's strong defensively and when he's put with a playmaking center he's a very good finisher. Playing with Mueller and Jeffrey has helped open his game up a bit, and he certainly had a great game on Sunday. Three points, five shots, and a rather spirited fight in the waning seconds of the game.

Brett Ritchie is starting to get to that point where he's capable of dominating an entire shift on his own, and he's doing it more frequently as well. He's not just a finisher -- he certainly has a great shot, but he's a strong puck possession forward who is good defensively and a surprisingly strong playmaker from the wing.

We'll see how the rest of this series plays out, but it's amazing to see just how deep the Stars have become now that most of the roster is healthy, and Radek Faksa has emerged as a legitimate AHL player right out of juniors. This is a team that is four very strong lines deep and they play a fast and overwhelming style. Despite being outshot in the second the Stars scored three goals on four shots thanks to pinpoint passes and brilliant plays off the rush.

It was amazing to see.

Jamie Oleksiak continued his improved play in the playoffs; he and Cameron Gaunce formed a wall around which the IceCaps could never figure out how to get around. Great defensive game from that pair.

Here are the highlights:

Game 2 is tonight at 7:30 p.m. CT. The game will not be broadcast live on NHL Network, but will be replayed in full tomorrow at 10 a.m. CT. Here is the full schedule for the series.

Date/Time TV Networks Satellite Radio Web
Game 1 Sun., June 8 at Texas, 8:30 ET Leafs TV
NHL Network (US)
NHL Network Radio AHL Live
Game 2 Mon., June 9 at Texas, 8:30 ET Leafs TV
^NHL Network (US)
-- AHL Live
Game 3 Wed., June 11 at St. John's, 6 ET Leafs TV
^NHL Network (US)
-- AHL Live
Game 4 Mon., June 16 at St. John's, 6 ET Leafs TV
^^NHL Network (US)
NHL Network Radio
(if no NHL game)
AHL Live
*Game 5 Tue., June 17 at St. John's, 6 ET Leafs TV
NHL Network (US)
NHL Network Radio AHL Live
*Game 6 Thu., June 19 at Texas, 8:30 ET Leafs TV
NHL Network (US)
NHL Network Radio AHL Live
*Game 7 Mon., June 23 at Texas, 8:30 ET Leafs TV
NHL Network (US)
NHL Network Radio AHL Live

*if necessary... ^next-day broadcast at 11 am ET... ^^air time TBD