November 18 2013 11:36AM
Everything is bigger in Texas, including their AHL team's spot in the standings entering todays game. Sitting in fourth place, the Texas Stars, affiliate of Dallas, were six spots ahead of the Toronto Marlies and looking to maintain that gap. On the other hand a win for the blue and white would tie them with Oklahoma City for the last playoff spot in the west (yes, it's very early, but still accurate). The result? A little bit of both; Texas picked up a point to help their push, and the Marlies grabbed a big pair with a shootout win.
The first period didn't start well for the home team. Just two and a half minutes in, Justin Dowling scored his first of the year, beating Drew MacIntyre glove side with a wrist shot. The Stars kept pressing (taking 8 of 11 shots in the period), but it was Jame Devane who scored next, tapping in a short range, cross crease pass for new member of the team Brad Staubitz. Penalties to Troy Bodie and Andrew Crescenzi handicapped the Malries in the closing minutes of the period, and Texas Captain Maxime Fortunus capitalized on the opportunity, firing a slapshot from the point to give his team the lead.
Toronto developed early momentum in the second period, having control of the puck and taking most of the shots in the first ten minutes. Some time with the man advantage helped the process, but the tipping point came at even strength, as Korbinian Holzer scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at two. By the buzzer, the Marlies had taken 15 of the period's 19 shots, and things were looking up.
The third period brought little new to the table. Neither team took any penalties, they only combined for fourteen shots in twenty minutes, and more importantly, no goals for either side. Overtime was much of the same, which lead to a shootout. Maximizing the bang-for-buck for the fans in the stands, the shootout lasted ten rounds and provided just five goals, with three coming from Spencer Abbott, John-Michael Liles, and Sam Carrick to seal the deal for Toronto.
- Drew MacIntyre started in goal tonight again, and had a solid performance. HIgh glove tends to be the weak spot of every goaltender ever, especially when the shooters are picking the corner spot on, and that was his issue in the first period. He was lights out afterwards, including a stellar run in the shootout.
- Spencer Abbott's team record-setting point streak ended at thirteen games, but the shootout goal meant he still made an offensive impact on the scoreboard.
- That second period, despite only resulting in one goal, was easily the most dominant the Marlies have been this year. Maybe a bit of score effects, but it definitely lead to results.
- Brad Staubitz seemed to be playing the chippy grinder role more than the expected enforcer. With that said, there really wasn't much physicality in this game, and he's likely looking to establish a spot in the lineup, but he really did look ready to actually play.
- The Marlies play their next game on Tuesday, at home, against Charlotte. It's a 7PM start.
- Sorry for the delay in posting this recap; long story short, I had to get uptown quickly and this game dragged itself on for dear life.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com