Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Dallas Stars

Calder Cup Finals: Texas Stars even series with Toronto on late goal

Bayreuther's third-period winner lifts Dallas' AHL affiliate to a 2-1 victory in Game 2

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

The Calder Cup Finals between the Texas Stars and Toronto Marlies is now a best-of-five, and the Stars have home-ice advantage after winning, 2-1, at Ricoh Coliseum Sunday to even the AHL championship series 1-1.

The next three games of the series are in Cedar Park, starting with Game 3 Tuesday night.

"This is a big win for our group tonight, getting a split in Toronto, especially after [losing Game 1] when having a 4-2 lead," Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the game. "We're settling into the series now, every game is going to have its own story and tonight was a different story."

After a wild first game of the series -- a 6-5 Toronto win on Saturday -- Game 2 was a more structured and more tightly played.

"We don't play each other conference-wise, and we didn't know what to expect. Now, we know," Stars defenseman Gavin Bayreuther told the Leafs Nation Network following the game.

The Stars fell behind 1-0 late in the first period on Sunday but tied the game early in the second on a goal by Curtis McKenzie and then got the game-winner early in the third when Bayreuther scored on the power play. Goaltender Mike McKenna stopped 21 of 22 shots for the Stars.

Ben Smith scored the lone goal, and Garret Sparks stopped 22 shots for the Marlies, who had a ten-game winning streak come to an end and lost for the first time at home since Mar. 24. The Marlies had won 13 straight at home, including eight straight during the playoffs. 

"They played a great game tonight, and they took our best guys out of the game and went from there," Toronto defenseman Travis Dermott told Marlies TV. "We had a tough time, and we're going to have to figure it out for the next game."

Toronto had the better of play in the first period, and scored late in the frame to take a 1-0 lead. Toronto captain Ben Smith passed the puck to the point, went to the front of the net and then deflected home a Trevor Dermott shot to put the Marlies up 1-0 with 2:09 left in the period.

The Stars had the better of the play in the second and pulled even early in the period. After killing off the remaining part of a Toronto power play to start the period, the Stars tied the game a short time later when Dillon Heatherington hit McKenzie with a long pass and the Texas captain scored on a breakaway at the 2:45 mark.

The Stars had a great chance to take the lead just a couple of minutes later with 1:40 of five-on-three power play time but couldn't take advantage.

But it was a power-play goal early in the third period that proved to be the game-winner for the Stars. Justin Dowling set up Bayreuther who scored off a blast from the point at the 4:31 mark that put Texas up 2-1.

"Justin Dowling made an unbelievable play to set the puck up right on a platter," Bayreuther told Leafs Nation Network. "And I hammered it home."

And the Stars made sure that goal held up, limiting the Marlies to just four shots in the third period and sending the series back to Texas tied 1-1.


  • Texas outshot the Marlies 24-22 Sunday, including 18-9 over the final two periods.

  • Curtis McKenzie led Texas with five shots on goal.

  •  McKenzie's goal Sunday was his league-leading eighth of the playoffs.

  • Texas was 1-4 on the power play and 3-3 on the penalty kill.

  • Texas is 4-0 when tied after two periods in the playoffs.

  • Toronto lost for the first time when tied after two periods (3-1) during the postseason.

  • The Stars are 4-4 when allowing the first goal of the game in the postseason.

  • Toronto lost for the first time when scoring the first goal of the game (9-1).

  • Texas made some lineup adjustments for Sunday, scratching defenseman John Nyberg, moving Matt Mangene from forward to defense, and inserting forward Samuel Laberge onto the fourth line.

  • Texas forward Denis Gurianov, the first-round pick of Dallas in the 2015 NHL Draft, was scratched for a third straight game.


Texas lineup

Travis Morin - Justin Dowling - Curtis McKenzie
Jason Dickinson - Sheldon Dries - Remi Elie
Colin Markison - Roope Hintz - Brian Flynn
Samuel Laberge - Austin Fyten - Joel L'Esperance

Dillon Heatherington - Brett Regner
Andrew Bodnarchuk - Reece Scarlett
Gavin Bayreuther - Matt Mangene

Mike McKenna
Landon Bow


Calder Cup Finals (Series tied 1-1)

Game 1 - Sat., June 2 - Texas at Toronto: Marlies 6, Stars 5
Game 2 - Sun., June 3 - Texas at Toronto: Stars 2, Marlies 1
Game 3 - Tue., June 5 - Toronto at Texas, 7:00 p.m. CT (Fox Sports Southwest PLUS, NHL Network)
Game 4 - Thu., June 7 - Toronto at Texas, 7:00 p.m. CT (Fox Sports Southwest PLUS, NHL Network)
Game 5 - Sat., June 9 - Toronto at Texas, 7:00 p.m. CT (Fox Sports Southwest & PLUS, NHL Network)
*Game 6 - Tue., June 12 - Texas at Toronto, 6:00 p.m. CT (NHL Network)
*Game 7 - Thu., June 14 - Texas at Toronto, 6:00 p.m. CT (NHL Network)
*if necessary

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. Follow him on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

View More