Dominant Effort Deep in the Heart of Texas
For a second straight game, the Toronto Marlies scored a pair of goals in under a minute. This time, the two goals kickstarted a six-goal performance as the Marlies dominated deep in the heart of Texas to take a 3-2 series lead back home.
Andreas Johnsson broke in alone and buried a shot with the backhand just 1:32 into the game, scoring his eighth of the postseason.
Trevor Moore made it a two-goal game 47 seconds later, reaching for a loose puck and scooping it between the legs of Mike McKenna. Adam Brooks and Mason Marchment had the assists on the goal.
The Marlies would outshoot Texas 11-6 in the opening frame and take the two-goal lead into the second.
Gavin Bayreuther cut the lead in half just over four minutes into the second, scoring on a point shot through traffic.
Colin Greening had a response three and a half minutes later, beating Mike McKenna’s blocker after a spinning setup pass from Chris Mueller. Timothy Liljegren had the secondary assist.
1:02 later, Calle Rosen danced his way through the zone and buried a shot top shelf after passes from Johnsson and and Carl Grundstrom.
Rosen scored his second straight in the final minutes of the middle frame, going end-to-end before finishing it off with a quick wrist shot.
Midway through the third, Grundstrom finished off a great feed from Miro Aaltonen to give the Marlies six goals for the second time this series. Johnsson had the secondary assist.
Sheldon Dries had a final response for Texas fifteen seconds later but that would prove to be the final as Toronto skated to a 6-2 win.
Johnsson finished with three points while Grundstrom and Rosen each had two.
Garret Sparks made 23 saves for his thirteenth win of the postseason.
Mike McKenna had 17 saves in the Texas net before being relieved by Landon Bow, who stopped 7 of 8 shots.
Game 6 will go Tuesday back home in Toronto and limited tickets are still available.
Toronto: A. Johnsson (8) (Unassisted), T. Moore (6) (A. Brooks, M. Marchment), C. Greening (4) (C. Mueller, T. Liljegren), C. Rosen (3) (A. Johnsson, C. Grundström), C. Rosen (4) (Unassisted), C. Grundström (7) (M. Aaltonen, A. Johnsson)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (22/24)
Texas: G. Bayreuther (3) (R. Hintz, B. Flynn), S. Dries (9) (R. Elie, M. Mangene)
Goaltender: M. McKenna (17/22), L. Bow (4/5)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring unassisted at 1:32 of the first period. He later added the primary assist on Rosen’s first goal in the second period and the secondary assist on Grundstrom’s goal in the third period Johnsson has 20 points (8 goals, 12 assists) through 14 games this postseason. He leads the AHL in points this postseason.
- Trevor Moore scored at 2:19 of the first period. Moore has 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) through 18 games this postseason.
- Colin Greening scored at 7:43 of the second period. Greening has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) through 18 games this postseason. He leads Toronto in shots (51).
- Calle Rosen scored his first goal at 8:45 and his second unassisted at 17:07, both in the second period. Rosen has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 14 games this postseason.
- Carl Grundström scored at 11:07 of the third period and earlier had the secondary assist on Rosen’s second period goal. Grundström has 12 points (7 goals, 5 assists) in 18 games this postseason.
- Adam Brooks recorded the primary assist on Moore’s first period goal. Brooks has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 18 games this postseason.
- Mason Marchment registered the secondary assist on Moore’s first period goal. Marchment has seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in 18 games this postseason.
- Chris Mueller had the primary assist on Greening’s second period goal. Mueller has 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) in 18 games his postseason.
- Timothy Liljegren recorded the secondary assist on Greening’s second period goal. Liljegren has four assists through 18 games this postseason.
- Miro Aaltonen had the primary assist on Grundström’s third period goal. Aaltonen has 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 18 games this postseason.
- Garret Sparks stopped 22 of 24 shots he faced against the Texas Stars. Sparks is now 13-4 in the playoffs with a .918 Save Percentage and a 2.15 Goals Against Average.
- The Toronto Marlies finish the 2017-18 season with 36 wins in 47 road games
- Toronto did not take a penalty for the second games in this series and went 0-for-1 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 30-25 edge in shots in all situations.
- Mason Marchment and Chris Mueller led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
Goals: A. Johnsson (8)
Assists: A. Johnsson (12)
Points: A. Johnsson (20)
PPG: D. Timashov (4)
Shots: C. Greening (51)
+/-: V. LoVerde (+17)
PIMS: T. Dermott (18)
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On the series on the road:
We knew coming in here for three games was going to be a real challenge obviously. Getting the first one felt real good and then you don’t get the second there, so you’re anxious going into the third one knowing just how much it means. For us to come out with that kind of start felt real good and obviously that fueled us all the way through the game. We got the two out of three. We were close to getting all three. We felt with a little more luck, we could have come away with that second one but to get the response here today feels real good. But we recognize of course just how challenging it’s going to be at home. They’ve taken a game from us at home here already. I’m sure they feel good and comfortable playing in Toronto. We like the fact that we’re going home with a chance to win.
On the play of Justin Holl and Calle Rosen:
Great. Great speed, great initiative, jumped up at the right times. Two guys that have the legs to make a difference with how they skate. Some nights it works out where the difference shows up on the scoreboard and a lot of nights, it shows up in terms of just keeping pucks out of our area and putting our forwards in good spots in the offensive zone.
On the start of the game:
They had a good shift there, close to scoring. We got a bit of a lucky bounce there, we get the one goal lead. It’s important to get the first goal and then we get the second one too. And then I feel like we can play off that the rest of the game. We need to be aware of them coming of course, but I think we handled it well.
On the attention he’s received and contributing in this game:
There’s been pressure all season. You have to play your best game all the time so, in the beginning, we didn’t really get the points we wanted but I feel like every game, our line had been growing and growing and we’ve been calm because we feel like every game we create something.
On Toronto’s quick start:
We’re a team that likes to start fast so any time we can score a goal early, we feel really good about ourselves. It’s great to see Johnny get that one. Weather the storm and then get a goa, it’s even better to have that fourth line answer immediately after and get another one. They ended up getting close in the second. We responded beautifully once again by just playing our game and getting right back to it.
On limited shooting opportunities from Texas over the three road games:
We know that if we play our game and stick to our structure that we’re not going to give up that many chances and when we do, it’s my job to be there. 63 times (over three games) really isn’t that bad when you’re playing a team that can create offence as well as this team.
On Toronto’s defence:
It’s a gritty game. It’s the Calder Cup Finals. Those are the kind of guys that you need, that have been there before. Calle Rosen was great. Justin Holl was great. Marty Marincin was great, a couple of blocks. Vinny (LoVerde) was rock solid. Andrew Nielsen stepped in and was amazing. Timmy Liljegren had his best game of the series too. Any time your six defenceman step up like that, you’re going to have a lot of success.
June 12 vs Texas – 7:00 p.m. ET
*June 14 vs Texas – 7:00 p.m. ET
With the Calder Cup Finals series squared at two wins apiece, the Toronto Marlies and Texas Stars will face off for a Saturday night showdown from the Lone Star State.
The teams have traded wins with all four games being decided by just a single goal.
Andreas Johnsson scored his team-leading seventh goal of the postseason on Thursday and continues to lead the Marlies in points with 17 throughout the playoffs.
At the other end, Curtis McKenzie scored twice for the Stars on Thursday and leads Texas with 10 goals and 19 points this postseason.
A main goal of the Marlies will be shutting down McKenzie’s line, as he has five points this series while linemates Justin Dowling and Travis Morin each have six.
The Marlies will also look to shut down Texas’ power play, which is 4-for-10 throughout the Finals.
Since the two teams combined for 11 goals in Game 1, they’ve only scored that many over the past three contests as both have played strong, shutdown defensive hockey.
Puck drop is set for 8:00 PM and fans can tune in on Leafs Nation Network, TSN 2, NHL Network, TSN 1050 Radio and AHL Live.
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Head to Head (2018 Playoffs)