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Toronto Marlies advance to North Division Finals after eliminating Utica Comets in Game 4

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Nick Barden
9 months ago
The Toronto Marlies are headed to the next round of the Calder Cup Playoffs — the North Division Finals — after defeating the Utica Comets in four games.
It was a heck of a start to the series between Toronto and Utica as we were treated to some overtime hockey in Game 1 with the Marlies winning that one. Excitement would be an understatement as the Marlies clawed their way back from being down 3-0 in the game.
There was hope that Game 2 would bring the same exhilaration, and it did, just not for the home side.
The Marlies allowed seven goals in the second game of the series, halting any elation from Toronto following a thriller two nights prior. What the Marlies did have, though, was determination, and the no-quit attitude they’ve displayed all year long.
“We’re gonna stay positive. It’s a series for a reason.” Stated Marlies head coach Greg Moore after Game 2.
And that they did.
After a couple days of practice, the team travelled to Utica where they’d play the next two games not knowing whether or not they’d play another game in Coca-Cola Coliseum this year.
But before the wheels hit the road, they were able to get Erik Kallgren back from the Maple Leafs — a massive addition after Keith Petruzzelli allowed 12 goals in the first two games of the series.
Kallgren, with both NHL and SHL playoff experience, proved not only that he could be relied upon, but also that he’s going to be their guy for the future of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
The 26-year-old only allowed three goals through two games in Utica, securing both wins, and leaving New York with a .945 save percentage. That’s big for Toronto, but also for Kallgren who had a tough regular season in the AHL.
In this series, there wasn’t a single player the Marlies relied upon. Every player stepped up massively.
Of all the players who got into every game this series, only Marshall Rifai was held of the scoresheet. Logan Shaw, Kyle Clifford, and Joseph Blandisi — the Marlies’ leadership group — each had five points in the series.
Nick Abruzzese was the lone player with four points. Ryan Chyzowski, who had two huge goals for Toronto in Game 3, put up three points in the series, as did Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Pontus Holmberg, Alex Steeves, and Topi Niemela.
This was a hard-fought series by the Marlies that was won by every single player in that dressing room.
Toronto will either face the Syracuse Crunch or Rochester Americans in the North Division Finals. They finish out their series on Saturday night.
The Marlies, though, have already announced the scheduling of the next round. Since Toronto has home-ice advantage, Games 1, 2, and 5 will be played at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
Game 1 – Thursday, May 11th at 7PM EST
Game 2 – Saturday, May 13th at 4PM EST
Game 3 – TBD
*Game 4 – TBD
*Game 5 – Sunday, May 21st at 4PM EST
*if necessary
The city of Toronto has been rocking with both hockey teams in the postseason as well as the Blue Jays’ season in mid-swing. And the fun will live on as the Marlies continue their quest for the Calder Cup. 11 more wins to go.

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