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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com

Marlies come out swinging, tie series at two

We officially have a series in Toronto. 24 hours after nearly going down 3-0 in their series against the Syracuse Crunch, the Marlies added an exclamation point to their Game 3 comeback by adding another win to their column on Wednesday night, tying an ever-dramatic series at two games.

The two teams wasted no time in making this an interesting game. Just five minutes in, Syracuse opened up the scoring thanks to Adam Erne being in just the right place to pick up a bounce. It was certainly more than just luck, though; Erne quickly found just the right spot along the post to ring his shot off of to beat Kasimir Kaskisuo.

But Toronto were quick to respond. The Marlies came out with two lines to shift the tide back in their favour; the trio of Carl Grundstrom, Cal O’Reilly, and Kasperi Kapanen to slow down potential supplementary pressure, and the checking squad of Kerby Rychel, Brett Findlay, and Rich Clune to re-establish the offensive zone with a strong forecheck. They did more than just that, though, as Clune was able to find a chance to beat Mike McKenna and made no mistake in doing so, evening the game back up just a minute after the icebreaker. Not long after, the team found themselves on the powerplay, and that led to the tables completely turning; Rychel accepted a pass from Kasperi Kapanen and impressively tucked it into an opening.

Two huge swings in momentum, leaving two fully alert sides. The pace of the game had ramped up, with both sides throwing the body and putting on pressure in bursts. But Toronto had the bulk of it, and when their opponents went down a man once again, they doubled their money; this time, Trevor Moore banked one off of McKenna to give his team the game’s first two-goal lead.

That differential lasted for the remainder of the period, but it didn’t survive for much of the second. Just two and a half minutes into the frame, Ben Thomas found a clear lane from the point and wired a slapshot into the top corner. Toronto’s response from there was to simply prevent Syracuse from shooting anymore, limiting them to just four shots in the period.

At the same time, they found themselves struggling to beat Kristers Gudlevskis, who replaced McKenna to start the second. Just controlling the pace was key, though. While the momentum started to shift the other way late in the third period, and Toronto missed a couple of empty net opportunities in the final minutes, they did just enough to hang on for the win.

The victory ties up the series for Toronto ahead of their return to Syracuse, which will happen on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. It also guarantees at last one more home game; Game 6 will come on Monday.

  • Gary Empey

    Richard Clune (1) ASST: Kerby Rychel (3)
    Kerby Rychel (2) ASST: Kasperi Kapanen (5) (PP)
    Trevor Moore (2) ASST: Cal O’Reilly (3), Seth Griffith (5) (PP)

  • Harte of a Lion

    Great overall effort by the Marlies. For a team that had its guts ripped out via promotion to the Leafs this season,
    *Brown, Nylander, Hyman, Connor Carrick and Josh Leivo* it took the team until the halfway point of the season to put the pieces together. It is not surprising that Laich and Michalek had nothing to offer the kids and their attitudes were jettisoned to the Marlies version of Robidas Island.
    After losing a close game to Rochester 3-2 on January 14th, the Marlies fell to 16-21-2 and were occupying the last spot in the in the North division.
    Adding rookies Jonsson, Moore, Timashov, Dermott and Nielsen plus Rychel from the Blue Jackets, it took the team half the season to mesh. From January 15th onwards, they went 27-8-2-1 and would have captured the division had Syracuse not won their final game. Though this team does not have the star power of last years squad, they have developed a fabulous work ethic and rather than outscoring their opponents into submission, they play a far more structured game than last years group. Led by Colin Greening, this team has found success by outworking their opponents and playing sound defence. They allowed only 25 shots in yesterday’s 5-3 win and limited the Crunch to only 19 shots this evening. If they continue their sound defensive play, get timely scoring and Kaskisuo continues to shine, this team can do some damage in their quest for the Calder cup.
    With another influx of talent next season, the future of this team continues to look bright.
    Go Marlies, let’s Crunch Syeacuse in game 5 and 6.

  • Glen

    Great to see the young Marlies doing well. Early on in the season I wondered about sour veterans hurting the team and it looks like it was an issue, good on the team for sorting it out.

  • lukewarmwater

    Not sure what is wrong with the leafs nation posting system. But it appears to be out of kilter. I’ve had some similar problems with the Jays nation, though they have been better recently and appreciated knowing that there were problems in the system.