Abbott shaves slump, and beard, as Marlies win

Marlies forward Spencer Abbott ended a personal seven-game playoff goal drought in convincing fashion, scoring a natural hat trick in Toronto’s 4-1 win over the Texas Stars on Thursday night at Ricoh Coliseum.

And while Abbott used his hockey stick to fire three goals past Stars goalie Christopher Nilstorp to help the Marlies even the Western Conference Finals series at two games apiece, his coach and teammates said that a non-traditional piece of equipment was instrumental in the feat: razors.

Abbott had yet to score in the Calder Cup playoffs prior to last night’s Game 4. He shunned the traditional playoff beard just prior to registering his first career playoff hat trick. The customary ribbing from his peers was a worthwhile sacrifice. “I was hearing it from them when I first did it, but I guess right now they can’t say a whole lot.” said Abbott of the friendly chirps. “I was in a bit of a slump, but it was nice to get that off my back. Getting three goals was a bonus.”

It was an opportunistic night for Abbott, who scored each of his three goals on the power-play. Special teams were the key ingredient in the Marlies’ win as Toronto went-3-for-6 with the man advantage, while killing all five of their penalties against them.

“Someone’s got to shave their beard, and put him on the point on the power-play I guess!” said Peter Holland who had two assists to extend his playoff scoring streak to eight games.

Jerry D’Amigo had an empty-netter while Radek Faksa had the lone goal for Texas.

Marlies coach Steve Spott, tongue-in-cheek, considered going to a local drugstore to find razors to help safeguard against offensive slumps for his players. “It’s funny how superstition plays a part in this, whatever works. But it definitely worked for Spencer tonight,” said Spott.

Game 5 is Saturday at 3pm at Ricoh Coliseum.

Marlies Lines:
Carrick-Smith-Ashton
Kozun-Holland-D’Amigo
Leivo-McKegg-Abbott
Ross-Smithson-Ryan

Defence Pairings:
Yeo-MacWilliam
Brennan-Marshall
Percy-Granberg

Goalies:
MacIntyre (win)
Sparks (backup)


Rob Del Mundo is the author of Off The Post, and is a regular columnist at TMLfans.ca

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