|(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)|
"We knew coming into the game that if we did what we did the game before, we'd have some success," said Ritchie. "We turned [MacIntyre] into a .900 save percentage goalie this game. I think if we can do that we'll have a pretty good chance of winning."
Coach Desjardins expanded, "It was tight the whole way. It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you get the win."
The win stopped several streaks for the Marlies, including an undefeated playoffs record and a streak of over a month in which the club has not trailed at any point.
"It's huge to break their streak," said Ritchie. "They might have some doubt in their mind but it's just one game."
Texas started the game with the first six shots but yielded the first goal to Toronto on their first shot. Jyrki Jokipakka tried to execute a drop pass to Derek Meech at the offensive blue line. Jerry D'Amigo picked up the errant pass and took it in for the 1-0 lead.
The Stars continued their usual program of rifling shots on MacIntyre to no avail until a late period power play. Chris Mueller had the vision to cross the ice with his pass to an open Brett Ritchie. He buried it for the 1-1 tie.
"We needed [Ritchie] back," said Coach Desjardins. Ritchie missed most of the playoffs to now with a lower body injury. "It's good to have him back now. He makes a difference for us. He's suited for playoff hockey and he's been a good addition. We need him."
In the second, Texas would claim the first lead any team has had against the Marlies all year. Glennie netted a tap-in goal after a mad initial rush by Mike Hedden.
"[Glennie] made the good play to get it off the boards to me," said Hedden. "I just skated hard and took it to the net."
The tally ended 512:05 of hockey in which Toronto had not trailed, a streak going back over a month to April 19.
The Marlies tied it up again on a power play of their own. On what had to be the 4th or 5th rebound, Josh Leivo knocked the puck past Cristopher Nilstorp. The goal kicked off a six minute stretch that saw the teams combine for four goals.
Ritchie went again with his 3rd of the playoffs, popping it in off the pass from behind the net by Kevin Henderson. Peter Holland answered right back after the Stars failed to breakout of their own zone and were the victims of a poorly-timed broken stick.
Chris Mueller put Texas ahead going to the third period, jamming home a puck after a patient play by Ranford to wait out MacIntyre moving right to left across the net on the initial shot. The tally earned Texas the 4-3 lead after 40.
"It says good things about both teams," said Coach Desjardins of the back and forth responsiveness of the two teams in the sequence. "It says something about a team how they respond. When something doesn't go right, you want to see how they respond. It shows the character of the group."
It was punctuated by a stellar save by Cristopher Nilstorp with a Marlies forward on his lap. Hedden agreed that the save gave Texas energy heading into the third period.
|Glennie's second goal|
(Credit: Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The third period saw Texas increase its lead with a frantic goal by Glennie after initial strong efforts by Dustin Jeffrey and Hedden to create confusion and get the puck in the crease. Glennie simply had to elevate over a down-and-out MacIntyre for the 5-3 lead, as pictured.
Travis Morin got back on the scoresheet to polish off the scoring in this one, draining an empty net goal to make it 6-3 with ten seconds left.
The Stars look to steal at least one on the road in Toronto, if not more. Getting this game was a key to making sure Texas is on track for the ultimate goal of the Calder Cup.
Hedden agreed, "We've been good at home and we knew we needed a win tonight or it would be rough going there for three."
Injuries, scratches, and notes:
Labrie, Guptill, Troock, Hulak, Vause, Wrenn, Byström (scratched)
Klingberg, Dowling, Campbell, Petersen (injury)
Today's attendance was 3,767.
AHL Gamesheet - Texas v. Toronto - May 26 2014