Former Chicago Blackhawk forward Ben Smith scored an empty-net goal in the Toronto Marlies 6-1 win over the Texas Stars in Game 7 to win the Calder Cup on Thursday at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto.
The Marlies are Calder Cup Champions! pic.twitter.com/PY6Zsu2HvT— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) June 15, 2018
Smith, who was drafted by Chicago with the 169th overall pick in the sixth round in 2008, tallied 39 points (23 goals, 16 assists) in 156 career games with the Blackhawks. The 29-year-old won the 2013 Stanley Cup with Chicago. He notched nine points (five goals, four assists) in 61 games with Chicago during the 2014-15 season before being dealt to San Jose.
The Marlies captain scored seven goals and 15 points during this year’s Calder Cup playoffs. It’s the third major title for Smith during his career. He also won two NCAA championships with Boston College in 2008 and 2010.
Smith is the first Stanley Cup winner in the coach Joel Quenneville era to win a Calder Cup after leaving the Hawks.
Former Blackhawk draft pick Justin Holl also won the Calder Cup. Holl, the 54th overall pick in the 2010 draft, posted two goals and two assists in the playoffs.
Chicago native Vincent LoVerde had two assists in Game 7 en route to his second Calder Cup. The defenseman previously captained the Manchester Monarchs to the title in 2015. Goaltender Garrett Sparks, an Elmhurst, Illinois native, was 14-4 in the postseason.
It’s the fourth title for the city of Toronto in less than a year. Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC won the MLS Cup and Canadian Championship while the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts claimed the Grey Cup in 2017.
A Marlies win would be the first AHL title for a Toronto Maple Leafs AHL affiliate since the 1982 New Brunswick Hawks (who was a split affiliate with Chicago).— Chris Creamer (@sportslogosnet) June 15, 2018
The last AHL team to only be affiliated with Toronto and also win the AHL Calder Cup was the 1966 Pittsburgh Hornets.