Trinity Western University’s Talor Joseph played the role of David Bowie to the Toronto Marlies’ Queen on 80s night at the Abbotsford Centre on Tuesday (March 29).
The emergency back-up goalie was ‘under pressure’ for most of the game, but managed to stop 34 of 37 shots to earn his first-ever American Hockey League win as the Marlies edged the Abbotsford Canucks 5-3.
Joseph was called up because Toronto goalies Keith Petruzzelli and Micheal Hutchison were not available. He was signed to an amateur try-out contract on Tuesday and then was told he was going to start at around 5 p.m. Burnaby’s Tavin Grant was also signed to an ATO, but dressed as the back-up.
“I thought they were going introduce me and say ‘good luck, just be ready,’ and they said I was starting,” he said. “It was pretty exciting news.”
Joseph praised the players in front of him for helping him secure the win.
“I find it easier the structure up here and just easier to read plays,” he said, comparing the AHL to his time with TWU. “Obviously the guys up here can shoot the puck really well and if they catch you then they catch you. But those guys made my life easy tonight.”
Earlier this season Joseph was signed to an ATO by Abbotsford, but he did not see any game action.
Toronto gave Joseph some breathing room early, as they opened up a 3-0 lead after one. Nick Robertson scored twice and Curtis Douglas opened the scoring at 7:44.
The Canucks got on the board when John Stevens notched his 14th at 15:43, but Toronto’s Alex Steeves scored Toronto’s second power play goal of the game at 17:45 to make it 4-1 after two.
Abbotsford made a late push with two power play goals from Sheldon Dries, but Steeves scored his second into an empty net at 18:50 to earn the 5-3 win. Jospeh recorded an assist on the game’s final goal.
The Canucks out shot Toronto 37-25 and Sheldon Rempal led Abbotsford with five shots on goal.
Abbotsford Canucks head coach Trent Cull said that he believed his team underestimated the Marlies.
“I think our guys got a little bit goal hungry,” he said. “I think they were thinking we were going to have a dominant night and it got us off.”
The two teams meet again tonight (Wednesday) at the Abbotsford Centre. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. The Canucks then welcome the Laval Rocket on Saturday (April 2) and Sunday (April 3).