Hershey Bears Win Calder Cup
The Bears have played in the Calder Cup Finals in four of the past five seasons, and this year's championship is the 11th in the storied 74-year history of the franchise.
Monday's game was a thoroughly dominating performance, as the Bears outshot Texas by a 36-22 margin, while Hershey goaltender Michael Neuvirth was rarely tested.
Dominating performances were quite common for the Bears throughout the year, finishing the regular season with an incredible 60-17-3 record, and rolling through the playoffs by winning 16 of 21 games, including a second-round sweep against Albany. Over the past two championship campaigns, Hershey has won 32 of 44 playoff games.
All four Hershey goals on Monday were provided by the defense, including a pair from Patrick McNeill, and one each from top prospects John Carlson and Karl Alzner.
Carlson opened the scoring at the 12:29 mark of the first period with what proved to be the game-winning goal. It completes quite an individual year for the 2008 first-round draft pick (28th overall), who not only made his NHL debut and recorded his first NHL points, but also scored the game-winning goal in the Gold Medal game of the World Junior Championships. He finished the AHL regular season with four goals and 35 assists in 48 games, and pitched in two goals and four assists in the playoffs.