TORONTO - Jiri Tlusty had the first five-goal game in Marlies history as Toronto took a wild 8-5 win over the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday in the AHL.
Tlusty scored on his first two shifts of the game and had the hat trick before the second period was six minutes old.
But the Marlies still needed a game-winner from Josh Engel in the third to hold off Syracuse and earn their fifth-straight win.
Tlusty blasted his fourth goal of the game with less than two minutes to play and added an empty-netter to complete the scoring.
Bates Battaglia had three assists for Toronto, including a pass on Engel's winner. He now has assists in five straight games with nine helpers over that stretch.
Alex Foster also scored for Toronto, while Ryan Hamilton scored his first goal in nine games with the Marlies since coming over from the Houston Aeros.
Kevin Harvey, Craig MacDonald, Dan Smith, Mike York and Kyle Wharton all scored for the Crunch.
Syracuse fell behind by three goals early in the game, but pulled even 2:59 into the third when Wharton's seemingly harmless shot from the point floated by Marlies goalie Adam Munro to square the affair 5-5.
However, Engel restored his team's lead for good when his one-timer from the high slot beat Crunch goalie Sebastien Dahm. Dan LaCosta started the game for Syracuse, but was replaced after the Marlies' fifth goal in the second period.
The teams scored at a frenetic pace in the opening half of every period, combining for four goals before the first stanza was 10 minutes old and bagging five goals between them by 8:08 of the middle frame.
Two third-period markers occurred by the 6:14 mark before Tlusty's late goals.
Syracuse coach Ross Yates called a time out when his team fell behind 3-0 less than nine minutes into the game and the Crunch responded by scoring on their next shift. The visitors twice pulled to within one goal of the Marlies in the second before Wharton tied it in the third.
Tlusty's first goal opened the scoring when Stapleton, who was standing along the boards just inside the Crunch blue-line, threaded a beautiful feed through a cluster of sticks and skates right to his streaking teammate. Tlusty charged in and beat LaCosta through the legs with a quick, low shot.
Stapleton was a key figure in Tlusty's next goal as well, this time dropping a backhand pass to the young sniper. Tlusty, standing at the side of the crease, fired a one-timer to the back of the net to make it 2-0.
The 20-year-old completed his hat trick by roofing a pass from Battaglia just under the crossbar, chasing LaCosta from the Crunch net. However, York answered less than three minutes later on a Syracuse power play, making it a one-goal game again.
Tlusty and Stapleton have been on fire lately, with the linemates each stringing together eight-game point streaks. Tlusty has 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points over that stretch, while Stapleton has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points.
NOTES: Jeremy Williams and Ryan Hollweg did not dress for the Marlies. Toronto has scored five or more goals in four of its last five contests.