A 49-save performance by goaltender Drew MacIntyre led the Toronto Marlies to capturing game one of the AHL’s Western Conference Finals on Friday. Sam Carrick led Toronto Marlies skaters with a two-point performance in Friday’s victory.
The Marlies opened the scoring on Friday, as Brandon Kozun notched his fourth goal of the postseason at the 3:11 mark of the first period.
Marlies defenseman T.J. Brennan would make it 2-0 on a power-play in the second period for his fourth goal of the playoffs.
Peter Holland then scored his fifth of the postseason, just 13 seconds after Brennan’s marker, to give the Toronto Marlies a 3-0 lead.
The Texas Stars would get on the board in the third period, with a power-play goal by Chris Mueller to make it 3-1 with under five minutes to go in regulation.
With a two-goal deficit, the Stars pulled netminder Cristopher Nilstorp, who allowed three goals on 17 shots.
The Toronto Marlies weren’t about to let the game get out of their hands.
They took advantage of the empty net, first on a goal by Sam Carrick, marking the center’s fifth goal of the playoffs at the 17:50 mark.
Petter Granberg was then served an inference penalty with just under two to go in regulation, so the Stars pulled out Nilstorp to have a two-man advantage. They were unable to capitalize, but the Marlies once again took control and added a second empty-netter. This time, it was at the hands of of center Jerred Smithson, who scored his first of the playoffs.
The 5-1 victory means that the Toronto Marlies maintain a perfect winning record in this year’s AHL playoffs. Carrick led the Marlies with a goal and an assist, but the best player on the Marlies Friday was hands-down goaltender Drew MacIntyre, who had 49 saves in the win.
Next up for the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars is game two of the AHL Western Conference Finals on Monday in Cedar Park, Texas. Game time is 7:30 pm CDT.