MGD Game 3: Unlikely, but not Impossible

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

Game two was a heartbreaker for the Toronto Marlies. They outshot the Hershey Bears 40-23, including a 15-2 spread in the first period, but even that wasn’t enough to secure a series-tying result. The bad news for the Marlies is that they’re behind by two games in this series. The good news? There’s lots of time left to turn things around.

The Marlies

Lineups for both teams are being held to the respective coaches chests’ closer than a touchdown pass during the Super Bowl, and I didn’t have a recap for Game 2 (sorry again), so let’s talk a bit about players we wouldn’t expect to drop out of the lineup.

Connor Brown opened the scoring in Game 2, and Mark Arcobello was the one who tied it up late in the second. Josh Leivo had the primary assist on both tallies, and Connor Carrick and Justin Holl provided secondary support from the point.

TJ Brennan was held off the scoresheet but had seven shots on goal, leading the team. William Nylander was in a similar boat with five shots over the course of the contest. Together, the two had an offensive output that combined to half of the Bears’ efforts; though with fewer results.

Colin Smith and Kasperi Kapanen were the only two players on the roster without a point or a shot.

The Bears

Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephensen were the regulation scorers for Hershey before Carter Camper played hero in overtime. Camper also had a secondary assist on Vrana’s goal and was the game’s first star. Vrana’s four shots co-led the team; Nathan Walker was the other volume-blaster in the lineup.

The Marlies did a good job keeping Chris Bourque away from the net, limiting him to just one shot, but he set up Vrana’s goal.

Starting Goalies

The Marlies ran with Antoine Bibeau for quite some time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they go back to him tonight. Garret Sparks stopped 20 of 23 shots on goal on Saturday and still has the better full postseason numbers, but he didn’t dominate and as such may have lost his opportunity for now.

Justin Peters will almost assuredly be Hershey’s starter again. He’s playing the best hockey of his career right now, which makes you wonder if he realizes that he hasn’t been draft-eligible in over a decade. 

What To Expect

Crazy thought; Toronto needs to attempt to repeat their efforts in Game 2. They put more than enough offensive pressure to win most of the time and they kept the puck away from their net for the bulk of the game as well. If you play a 40-23 game a hundred times over, you win almost every time. The Marlies saw it last series with Scott Wedgewood; hot goalies are breakable, especially when they don’t have an extensive reputation for being good.

Puck drop is at 7:30 PM.