Gameday Preview: Stars v. Toronto Marlies

Texas Stars
4-2-2-0, 10 pts
#7 Western Conference
v.Toronto Marlies
4-4-0-0, 8 pts
#11 Western Conference
November 5th at 7:30 PM
Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, TX

Teams turn over, but this game is certainly a memorable rematch. The last time these two squads played it was June 3rd. Game 7 winner take all for the chance to represent the Western Conference in the Calder Cup Finals. A physical Toronto squad was up 2-0 early and it looked like the Stars' season was over. Then the tide shifted. With time winding down in the second period, Mike Hedden and Dustin Jeffrey scored within a minute of each other and the Marlies were the ones on their heels. Four goals in the third period, all by Texas, put the team into the Finals. The players would later comment that they knew as soon as they tied Game 7 that they would win the Cup. Team of destiny indeed.

Texas, of course, lost many of the big players from that series including the aforementioned Hedden and Jeffrey. The Marlies are absolutely not the same team either. The biggest name from the series, Drew MacIntyre, is no longer on the roster. The veteran goalie who frustrated the heck out of the high-powered Stars offense is now in Charlotte. TJ Brennan, who powered the Marlies power play, is in Rockford.

Rookie Connor Brown leads the team on offense with 2-4=6. Familair faces Spencer Abbott and Greg McKegg follow. Part of the sure frustration for Marlies fans is seeing players like Frazer McLaren and Colton Orr taking up fourth line minutes on one-way contracts. The two players more known for their pugilism are giving the Marlies' fourth line a look that is easy to exploit for opposing teams.

In net, the Marlies have two relative newcomers. Before this season, the pairing of Antoine Bibeau and Christopher Gibson had just 12 games in the AHL, all Gibson's. Bibeau has been the brighter of the two early. They are both 2-2-0, but Bibeau has a .946 SV% and 1.68 GAA.

Stars injury/call up report:
Dowling (questionable)

Blog (official): Marlies Blog
Play by play voice: @HockeyCrock
Twitter: @TorontoMarlies