The Toronto Marlies’ season came to an end on a sour note, thanks to a controversial no-call right before Checkers forward Morgan Geekie scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to give Charlotte a 4-3 win and eliminate the Marlies from the Eastern Conference Finals.
1:35 into the second overtime period, Checkers forward Steven Lorentz shot the puck out of play, however, the play was not blown dead. The puck dropped back into the playing surface and then 14 seconds later, Lorentz set up Geekie for the game-winner. In a matter of seconds, the Marlies’ season came to a close on a play that should have never even occurred.
Take a look for yourself:
The puck went out of play, but no whistle was blown. The game carried on. And then, Charlotte scored the winner. Fitting end to such an atrociously called series. #Marlies are done and the #Checkers are headed to the Calder Cup Final. Brutal. @TLNdc pic.twitter.com/utkXRRwrNM
— Jacob Stoller (@JLStoller) May 27, 2019
The AHL rulebook states that if the puck hits anything that is not the boards or glass, the play shall be called to a halt. If the puck is shot out by the attacking forward (as was the case in Game 6 of the Conference Finals) the face-off will take place in the neutral zone. According to league rules, video review, which is done at the discretion of the referee, can not be conducted on a play like this.
A Comeback Cut Short
The Marlies headed into the second period down 2-0. They clawed their way back into the fight, scoring three consecutive goals and held down a 3-3 tie up until overtime.
Charlotte’s penalty kill was the difference in Game 6, shutting down Toronto’s power play on all but one of their nine power play opportunities. Charlotte’s penalty kill scored a short-handed goal, for the second straight game, too.
“Certainly, the back half of the series, their penalty kill was the difference,” Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe admitted to reporters in Charlotte, post-game. “Obviously, our power play didn’t get it done. That’s a coaching thing, we’re got to do better job there. The players gave us everything that they had in this series and through this season. It’s a shitty feeling right now but it was a pretty good season.”
To deem the Marlies’ season as “good,” is an understatement.
After heading into the 2019 postseason as the third seed in the North Division, the Marlies looked far from contenders. But the Marlies would go on to play spoiler through the first two rounds, pulling off surprising sweeps against both the Rochester Americans and the Cleveland Monsters (7-0-0-0). They’d go on to take Charlotte, the AHL’s best team, to six games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
It was an invaluable development opportunity for the Leafs’ young prospects.
“Our young players who are important people in the organization, they get to have these experiences while 90% of the top prospects in hockey are sitting on their couch tonight,” Keefe told Toronto Sun reporter Terry Koshan.
Marlies Playoff Scoring Leaders
Jeremy Bracco: 16 PTS, 13 GP
Michael Carcone: 10 PTS, 13 GP
Chris Mueller: 10 PTS, 13 GP
Dmytro Timashov: 10 PTS, 13 GP
Rasmus Sandin: 10 PTS, 13 GP
Adam Brooks: 8 PTS, 13 GP
Trevor Moore: 8 PTS, 10 GP
Mason Marchment: 7 PTS, 13 GP
Pierre Engvall: 7 PTS, 13 GP
Vincent LoVerde: 6 PTS, 13 GP