The Marlies 2019 Calder Cup run came to an end Sunday night as the Checkers finished the series on home ice with a win in double overtime.
Charlotte struck first late in the first period with a goal from Patrick Brown to take a 1-0 lead. They extended their lead to 2-0 at 5:15 of the second period after Clark Bishop potted a shorthanded goal. Just under a minute later, the Marlies saw an opportunity as Dmytro Timashov was granted a penalty shot and he made no mistake fooling Alex Nedeljkovic with the no move. Minutes later, Andreas Borgman caught Nedeljkovic out of the goal and put the Marlies back in it, evening the score 2-2. At 16:38, Calle Rosen gave the Marlies their first lead of the night, wiring a shot from the point past Nedeljkovic. The Marlies then got caught with too many men and the Checkers responded with a power play goal to even things up 3-3.
The game remained tied through the third period and first overtime before Morgan Geekie provided the overtime heroics for Charlotte with a goal 1:52 into the double overtime frame.
Toronto: D. Timashov (4) PS, PP, A. Borgman (1) (Unassisted), C. Rosen (1) (J. Bracco) Goaltender: K. Kaskisuo (32/36)
Charlotte: P. Brown (3) (M. Necas, T. Jurco), C. Bishop (3) SH Unassisted), P. Brown (4) PP (T. Jurco, M. Geekie), M. Geekie (7) (S. Lorentz, H. Fleury) Goaltender: A. Nedeljkovic (43/46)
ON THE SCORESHEET
Dmytro Timashov scored a power play goal on a penalty shot at 6:10 of the second period. Timashov has 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) through 13 playoff games.
Andreas Borgman scored at 11:35 of the second period. This was Borgman’s first goal of the postseason.
Calle Rosen scored at 16:48 of the second period. This was Rosen’s first goal of the postseason.
Jeremy Bracco picked up the lone assist on Rosen’s second period goal. Bracco’s 12 assists in 13 playoff games lead the AHL.
Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped 32 of 36 shots he faced. Kaskisuo is now 9-3-0-0 in the playoffs with a .927 Save Percentage and a 2.14 Goals Against Average.
Toronto was 2-for-3 on the penalty kill and was 1-for-9 on the power play.
Toronto had a 46-36 edge in shots in all situations. Calle Rosen led the Marlies with seven shots on goal.
Goals: A. Brooks, M. Carcone (6)
Assists: J. Bracco (12)*
Points: J. Bracco (16)
PPG: T. Moore, C. Mueller (4)*
Shots: M. Carcone (35)
+/-: A. Borgman, M. Carcone (6)
PIMS: M. Marchment (22) *AHL-leading
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
Jeremy Bracco has points (1-2-3) in three consecutive games.
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On how Charlotte’s penalty kill affected the series: It’s a six game series. There’s a lot of things that go into every game. Certainly, the back half of the series, their penalty kill was the difference. Obviously, our power play didn’t get it done. That’s a coaching thing, we’ve 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.
On the adversity the team faced through the season and the playoffs:
It just speaks to the people that we have on the team, the character of the group. Today’s game’s a great example. We’re facing elimination on the road and get down two and the team didn’t quit, fought its way back and even got a lead. There’s a lot to feel good about with this team. This team here goes to double overtime in Game 6 against the top team in the league and finishes 16 regulation wins more than we did in the season. We’re a group that clinched a playoff spot in the first week of April and just worked and got better and persevered enough to find its way here. So, there’s a ton to be proud of and our guys grew a lot. We got a lot of experience and exposure for our young players. It’s a terrible feeling to lose. I feel like we could have done better in this series but when you look at big picture which we’ll do that at some point, we’ll look fondly on this season and this group.
On what he’ll remember of this team:
Perspective is important in everything that you do. What I’ll remember about this team is what we just talked about, this game, we were down and we just keep fighting. The emotions that our team went through in the early going of the season, really all the way up to Christmas, it’s pretty remarkable to be here, to be part of that and just to see how much our players invested into this. It was a privilege for me to coach this group.
On tonight’s game:
I’m incredibly proud of this team. It seems like a long time ago now but we went down one or two early and this team never thought we were out of it, never quit. We still had morale. I mean it just speaks to the leadership in the room and the kind of character we have here.
On going deep into the postseason with this group:
It was awesome. I know that people didn’t think much of us at the start of the playoffs. When you have a coaching staff like this and a leadership group, like I said, it makes this place so special to play and we’re really fortunate.
On his line mates Adam Brooks and Mason Marchment:
They’re two really good buddies of mine. They’re unbelievable hockey players and people and just competitive as all heck. I’m really proud to play with them.
On the experience of Toronto throughout the postseason:
It’s really hard right now because of how much sacrifice and work and effort, the whole organization, all the guys, all the coaching staff, our families put into it. I mean this game pretty much sums it up, going into double OT. The chances we had and not being able to pull through but I mean I couldn’t be more proud of the effort, of the progression. Like you said, I don’t think a lot of people gave us chances at the start of the year with the graduations, whatever you want to call it but just with the way that the guys stuck with the process – we use that word a lot but it is a process, it is a program and we stuck to it, stuck to what Sheldon was believing in and Kyle and Laurence and we got rewarded with getting to come to Charlotte, a great city, and play against a really good hockey team in the conference final. This organization since I’ve been here has played a lot of hockey and that’s a privilege but we’ve earned that, the coaching staff, the players, everybody involved has earned that and that’s what makes it so hard right now. I’m just fortunate to be a part of a great group of guys the last two years. I just couldn’t be more proud of the effort and the sacrifice that we did all year, not just this playoffs but all year.
The Toronto Marlies will be fighting for their postseason lives tonight as the Eastern Conference Finals head to Charlotte for Game 6 with the Checkers up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
The Marlies have a tough task ahead, but have shown perseverance all season long, and have been especially strong when playing away from the Coliseum. “We’ve played very well on the road as a team and we’ve played very well in Charlotte,” said head coach Sheldon Keefe following Friday night’s game. “We are very comfortable there. So, no reason for us to panic or anything like that. We got to settle in and win a hockey game. At this point it’s a tough task ahead, we know that, and the biggest challenge of all is you’re facing a very good team, but we believe in our group.”
Generating offence and capitalizing in special teams’ situations have proven to be challenging for the Marlies this series, and that’s something they’ll need to correct if they want to extend their stay in Charlotte and force a Game 7. “We got a lot of shots and a lot of things happening on the perimeter, we couldn’t really get grade A chances especially after the first period, there wasn’t a lot going on for us offensively there,” added Keefe. The Marlies went 1/6 on the power play and put up 41 shots in Friday’s game, but couldn’t get much going in the offensive zone.
The approach now is to take things one game at a time. “Stay positive, just take it day by day, shift by shift, we’re just going to keep pushing,” said Trevor Moore. “There’s nothing else you can do; you know we got confidence in this group and we know we can win two in a row.”
Puck drops at 7:00PM on Leafs Nation Network and AHLTV. Fans across Canada can also stream the game live in the Maple Leafs app.