The Texas Stars will head home with two chances to advance to the Calder Cup Finals after a 2-1 win over the Toronto Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
The Stars lead the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals, three games to two, with Game 6 scheduled for Monday night in Cedar Park, Texas. Game 7, if necessary, will be Tuesday in Cedar Park.
The Stars outshot the Marlies, 33-18, in Game 5, but didn’t grab a lead until Taylor Peters netted his first career playoff goal with 10:58 to play in regulation, snapping a 1-1 tie.
Coming off his Game 4 hat trick, Toronto winger Spencer Abbott scored 41 seconds into Game 5 when his centering pass intended for Josh Leivo banked off Texas defender Patrik Nemeth and went in past Cristopher Nilstorp.
The Marlies have now scored the game’s first goal in each of their 12 contests this postseason, and have opened the scoring within the opening five minutes in four of the first five games in the Western Conference Finals.
Texas finished the first period with a 17-5 advantage in shots but still trailed heading into the second. The Stars then killed off a lengthy Toronto 5-on-3 power play, and shortly after tied the game at 1-1 as Scott Glennie snapped a shot from the top of the left-wing circle past Drew MacIntyre with 8:50 left in the middle frame.
It was Glennie’s third goal of the series and fourth of the playoffs.
The game remained tied until midway through the third period, when Peters drove to the net and chipped home the rebound of a Matej Stransky shot with 10:58 remaining in regulation.
Nilstorp (8-3) allowed the early goal on Toronto’s first shot but stopped the next 17 to earn the win.
MacIntyre (9-3) finished with 31 saves in the loss.
The Stars improved to 5-3 on the road this postseason, with all five wins coming by a single goal.
Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
1-Texas Stars vs. 3-Toronto Marlies | Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Fri., May 23 – Toronto 5, TEXAS 1
Game 2 – Mon., May 26 – TEXAS 6, Toronto 3
Game 3 – Wed., May 28 – Texas 3, TORONTO 2
Game 4 – Thu., May 29 – TORONTO 4, Texas 1
Game 5 – Sat., May 31 – Texas 2, TORONTO 1
Game 6 – Mon., June 2 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
*Game 7 – Tue., June 3 – Toronto at Texas, 8:30
*if necessary… All times Eastern