Toronto bounces back, regains Finals lead

Photo: Derek Sparta

CEDAR PARK, Texas ( … Toronto rebounded from its first loss in more than five weeks and retook the lead in the Calder Cup Finals with a 2-1 victory over the Texas Stars on Tuesday night.

The Marlies own a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game 4 set for Thursday night in Cedar Park (8 p.m. ET, TSN2, Fox Sports Southwest Plus, Leafs Nation Network).

Calle Rosen scored what proved to be the decisive goal with 7:32 to play in the second period, sending a wrist shot from the center point through traffic and past Stars netminder Mike McKenna.

Toronto allowed only 20 shots on goal in the contest, including just six in the third period as the Stars looked for the equalizer.

After a scoreless first period, Sheldon Dries gave Texas a 1-0 lead 55 seconds into the second when he took a cross-ice pass from Remi Elie, skated down the left wing with room and picked the top corner over the catching glove of Garret Sparks.

It was the eighth goal of the playoffs for Dries, tying him for the league lead.

The Marlies tied things up three minutes later as Andreas Johnsson found Chris Mueller with a back-door feed and the former Stars forward knocked in his second goal of the Finals and fourth of the playoffs, making it 1-1.

Sparks (12-3) finished Game 3 with 19 saves to help the Marlies to their fifth consecutive road win.

McKenna (12-6) turned away 22 of 24 shots in the loss, which snapped the Stars’ six-game home winning streak.

NOTES: Attendance at H-E-B Center at Cedar Park was 6,863, the third consecutive sellout in the series… This is just the ninth time in AHL history that the first three games of the Calder Cup Finals have all ended in one-goal margins… Thirteen of the Stars’ 18 playoff games have been decided by a single goal… The team scoring the first goal of the game is now 0-3 in the series… The Marlies allowed two goals or fewer for the 11th time in 16 games this postseason… Only one penalty was called in the game; Toronto was 0-for-1 on the power play.

2018 Calder Cup Finals (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. P2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Sat., June 2 – TORONTO 6, Texas 5 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sun., June 3 – Texas 2, TORONTO 1 | Recap/Highlights
Game 3 – Tue., June 5 – Toronto 2, TEXAS 1
Game 4 – Thu., June 7 – Toronto at Texas, 8:00, TSN2, LNN, FSSW+
Game 5 – Sat., June 9 – Toronto at Texas, 8:00, TSN2, NHLN, LNN, FSSW, FSSW+
*Game 6 – Tue., June 12 – Texas at Toronto, 7:00, TSN2, NHLN, LNN
*Game 7 – Thu., June 14 – Texas at Toronto, 7:00, TSN2, NHLN, LNN
*if necessary… All times Eastern