Devils' special teams lethal as Marlies fall behind 2-1 in series

Jeff Veillette
May 08 2016 06:18PM

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com (From Game 2)

Tonight was a night for those who trends to be bucked. The Toronto Marlies have had a few players who have stepped up for them over the course of these playoffs, but a few of their most consistent contributors have fallen off the map. Goals from a pair of the team's top youngsters moved the team forward in regulation, but both of the Albany Devils' special teams units were lethal in what ultimately became a 3-2 Toronto loss.

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MGD Game 3: It's Another Best of 5

Jeff Veillette
May 08 2016 01:18PM

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

Today, the most anticipated series of the Calder Cup Playoffs switches cities, as the Marlies and the Devils move their battle to Albany for the next three games. Albany, known by many as the Steamed Ham capital of the world, is a place where the Devils feel mighty comfortable; they were a league-best 0.763 at home. Toronto, however, had an identical 0.763 on the road, and in their season series, Toronto won two of their three games at the Times Union Center. Can they keep that up, though? We'll see this week, starting in just a few hours.

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Matthews, Laine, and my street hockey reality check

Jeff Veillette
May 08 2016 10:52AM

I was overweight my entire childhood. By my late teens, that was even more apparent; you don't find many 5'10, 350-pound teenagers who have any interest in playing sports. Even football players with that build tend to be a bit taller. But I loved playing soccer and street/ball hockey with my friends and we kept ourselves out of trouble by hitting the mean side streets of Keele and Wilson every single afternoon with a couple of plastic nets, sticks, and beat up tennis balls. 

I didn't have the stamina (not even close) to play up front in soccer games, so I became a full-time goalkeeper. In hockey, though, I loved to score goals, so I watched NHL highlights every night and taught myself every trademark deke and shot I could in hopes that if I couldn't out-run them, I'd out-skill them.

For the most part, it worked. I became the last person you ever wanted to leave remotely uncovered on my block. I'd pretty much only lose breakaway relays when I got bored. All of my friends thought that I was a superb hockey player that could have maybe done great things if I was in shape and on skates. I started to buy into it too.

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Connor Carrick leading the way for Marlies down the stretch

Jeff Veillette
May 07 2016 10:01AM

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There was a noticeable, bold mark under Connor Carrick's eye after last night's Calder Cup Playoff game against the Albany Devils. It's been there for a couple of days now, though if you said it came from the scrum the two teams had at the end of the third period, nobody would have doubted you. "Things happen in the playoffs." the young defenceman said afterward. "It happens in the NHL, happens in the AHL, it's a physical game out there."

Carrick hasn't been shy to stick up for himself this postseason, often finding himself pushing and shoving after whistles and throwing his body in spite of his 5'10, 190-pound frame. But that's not the only place where he's made his presence known; this spring, he's been no stranger to the scoresheet.

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Huge third period leads to Marlies tying series against Albany

Jeff Veillette
May 06 2016 08:18PM

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

Being second best isn't something that this Toronto Marlies roster is used to. They've had the entire league in their rearview mirror since December, and they made the Bridgeport Sound Tigers look a couple of leagues below at times in their first-round sweep. But the Albany Devils reminded them that they're not the league's only juggernaut on Wednesday, and as such, the blue and white came into Ricoh Coliseum playing an unfamiliar game: Catch Up.

At times, it looked like that wasn't going to happen, but after Albany took "setting the tone" a bit too far, the Marlies took off. A four-goal third period was enough to crack Scott Wedgewood's rain of dominance and bring the Marlies back into the series with a 5-3 victory.

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