Stars Take 3-2 Series Lead, On Brink of 2014 Calder Cup Finals
TORONTO, ON – Scott Glennie and Taylor Peters each found the net to lead the Texas Stars to a 2-1 win over the Toronto Marlies in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum. The Stars now have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, which returns to Cedar Park Center on Monday, June 2nd at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Fresh off his natural hat trick in Game 4, Toronto forward Spencer Abbott received some good fortune in the opening minute of Game 5. Abbott’s centering pass from deep in the right wing corner ricocheted off defenseman Patrick Nemeth and into the Stars’ net just 41 seconds into the game. Otherwise, Texas dominated the offense in the first period, out-shooting the Marlies 16-5. Dustin Jeffrey was the closest to scoring, as his wrist shot from the left circle beat Toronto goaltender Drew MacIntyre, but rang harmlessly off the far post.
Texas faced more adversity in the second period when the Marlies received a prolonged five-on-three power play at the 8:50 mark. However, the Stars penalty kill came up big and held Toronto off the board. With the momentum squarely in their favor, Texas finally cashed in as Scott Glennie tied the game at 11:10. After a long offensive zone possession, Derek Meech had the puck at the blue line, when he sighted Glennie hop over the boards on a line change. Meech fed a pass to Glennie and the Stars’ winger unleashed a scorching shot that blazed over the blocker of MacIntyre and into the top left corner of the net to level the score at one.
The tightly contested match would continue in the third period, until finally the Stars found an edge thanks to the rookie duo of Taylor Peters and Matej Stransky. At 9:02 of the final frame, Stransky took a shot from the high slot that was stopped by MacIntyre, but Peters collected the rebound and broke the tie by shoveling a backhand shot past the glove of the Marlies goaltender for his first goal of the playoffs and a 2-1 Texas lead. It was assisted by Stransky and Meech, which was Meech’s second assist of the game. Toronto pulled their netminder for a late comeback attempt, only for the Stars to buckle down and close out the victory.
Cristopher Nilstorp (8-3) finished with 17 saves on 18 shot to record his eighth win of the playoffs, turning in another superb performance in goal for Texas. Drew MacIntyre (9-3) suffered his third loss of the playoffs, stopping 31-of-33 shots in net for Toronto. The Stars out-shot the Marlies 33-18 in the game and went 0-for-4 on the power play; Toronto was 0-for-3 with the man-advantage.
The Texas Stars now hold a 3-2 lead in the 2014 Western Conference Finals, which return to Cedar Park Center for Game 6 against the Toronto Marlies on Monday, June 2nd at 7:30 p.m. CT. Monday’s contest is H-E-B Night and a Texas Lottery Lucky Row Night. If necessary, Game 7 will be on Tuesday, June 3rd, also at 7:30 p.m. CT. Texas Stars season ticket packages for the 2014-15 season are on sale now. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit www.TexasStarsHockey.com.
-- Texas Stars --
Photo credit: Graig Abel