One streak has ended, as the Texas Stars handed the Toronto Marlies their first loss of the postseason Monday in AHL Western Conference Finals action.
The Marlies were undefeated heading into Monday’s game, having first swept the Milwaukee Admirals 3-0 before sweeping the Chicago Wolves 4-0 in round two. They also took game one of the series against the Stars with a 5-1 win on Friday.
All good things must come to an end, of course, as the Stars defeated the Marlies 6-3 on Monday to tie up the series at one game apiece.
Toronto opened the scoring, as Jerry D’Amigo notched his fifth goal of the postseason just 4:22 into the opening period.
It was a good start for the Marlies, but Texas would score the next two goals to take the lead. Brett Ritchie and Scott Glennie notched each of their first goals of the night, and Texas had a 2-1 lead halfway through the second period.
The Marlies would tie it up on a goal by Josh Leivo before Ritchie scored again to regain the lead for the Stars. Peter Holland would tie things up for Toronto once more, but it would last just 48 seconds before Chris Mueller gave Texas the lead.
After that, Toronto was never able to catch up, and the game simply got away from them. Glennie scored his second of the night, and Travis Morin added an empty-netter to seal the 6-3 victory for the Stars. Cristopher Nilstorp had 27 saves in the win.
The teams will now head back to Toronto for game three on Wednesday; game four is on Thursday, and game five – also in Toronto – will be held on Saturday afternoon.
One thing the Marlies will have to take control of is how many shots Texas is putting up. Drew MacIntrye has been spectacular, putting up 49- and 46-save performances in the first two games of the series, but let’s face it: that’s a lot of shots.
At this rate, MacIntrye may end up seeing 250+ shots in this series, if not more if the series extends longer than five games. Even if a goalie is top-notch, allowing that many shots through on an every-game basis is not going to be good moving forward.