The Toronto Marlies advance for the eighth time in franchise history to the North Division Finals following tonight’s 3-1 win over the Rochester Americans to close out the North Division Semifinals. The Marlies become first team to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs, sweeping Rochester in the best-of-five series.
Adam Brooks led the way for the Marlies, scoring a hat trick to complete the series sweep on home ice. Brooks has four goals in the series against Rochester and now leads the AHL in goals. Kasimir Kaskisuo made 28 saves, including 16 in the final frame for the win. Kaskisuo is now 3-0-0-0 in the playoffs with a .960 Save Percentage and a 1.32 Goals Against Average. In the series, Kaskisuo stopped 97 of 101 shots through three games.
The Marlies will face the winner of the Syracuse-Cleveland series in the North Division Finals.
Rochester: T. Thompson (2) PP (C. Smith, K. Porter) Goaltender: S. Wedgewood (17/19)
Toronto: A. Brooks (2) (M. Carcone, M. Marchment), A. Brooks (3) (V. LoVerde), A. Brooks (4) EN (D. Timashov) Goaltender: K. Kaskisuo (28/29)
ON THE SCORESHEET
Adam Brooks opened the scoring at 1:26 of the first period, added the game-winning goal at 11:37 of the second period and completed his first AHL career hattrick with an empty net goal at 19:24 of the third period. Brooks has four goals in the series against Rochester and now leads the AHL in goals.
Michael Carcone recorded the primary assist on Brooks’ first period goal. This was his first point of the series.
Mason Marchment registered the secondary assist on Brooks’ first period goal. This was his first point of the series and his 10th point (6 goals, 4 assists) through 23 postseason games.
Vincent LoVerde picked up the lone assist on Brooks’ second period goal. LoVerde has assists (2) in consecutive games.
Dmytro Timashov collected the lone assist on Brooks’ third period empty net goal. Timashov has assists (3) in consecutive games.
Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped 28 of 29 shots he faced. Kaskisuo is now 3-0-0-0 in the playoffs with a .960 Save Percentage and a 1.32 Goals Against Average. In the series, Kaskisuo stopped 97 of 101 shots through three games.
The Toronto Marlies are the first team to advance to the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs, sweeping the Rochester Americans in the best-of-five series.
The Toronto Marlies are 7-1 in five-game series, sweeping the first round four times including three against Rochester. Toronto has never lost a playoff game to Rochester (9-0).
Toronto was 2-for-3 for on the penalty kill and was 0-for-3 on the power play. This is the first time this series Toronto gave up a goal on the penalty kill and also did not score on the power play.
Rochester had a 29-20 edge in shots in all situations. Adam Brooks and Colin Greening led the Marlies with three shots on goal.
Goals: A. Brooks (4)*
Assists: R. Sandin (4)*
Points: C. Mueller (5)*
PPG: C. Mueller (2)*
Shots: A. Brooks (8)
+/-: J. Bracco (+4)
PIMS: S. Oleksy (5) *AHL-leading
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
Vincent LoVerde has assists (2) in consecutive games.
Dmytro Timashov has assists (3) in three consecutive games.
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On the team’s play and hunger:
First of all, I think I want to talk about Rochester because I think that, you know, you look back on those first two games especially, I think that they gave us all that we could handle and we clearly, especially in those first two periods that could have gone entirely different. We got great goaltending and lots of luck and we stuck with it and found ways to win those games and put us in a good position. So, hats off to them, that’s a great hockey team that gave us all that we could handle and then some. As far as our team, obviously very proud. First of all, we were resilient enough to find our way back and to win those games on the road and I thought we were full marks for our win here today. Just played a really great hockey game. Adjustments that we asked our guys to make, I thought they went out and executed very well, they responded very well, they tied the game and we’re holding on there in the third period. That’s a desperate team. But I just liked a lot about our team today. So just lots of pride in terms of how they worked and how they came together during this series.
On Kasimir Kaskisuo:
I think his development in finding that confidence, in finding the consistency, I think it mirrors our team and our team’s development and our team’s confidence and our team’s consistency. We knew coming into this series that it was going to be very difficult to match this team at even strength, at five-on-five, so we thought our edge could be on special teams, which especially in the first two games and goaltending, we thought we needed our goaltender to be our best player and he was, so credit to him for all the work that he’s put in and riding the emotions of the season and we lose Michael Hutchinson and you know, it’s a downer for the team but Kaskisuo just has not faltered a second since Hutchinson has been gone and even it goes back further than that and even when Hutchy was here. It’s been a couple months now and Kas has been as good as any goaltender in the American Hockey League and he proved that here in this first round. We don’t win this series the way that we did without him clearly.
KASIMIR KASKISUO (28 OF 29 SAVES)
On stopping 97 out of 101 shots in three games:
It’s something we’ve kind of worked towards, just have to peak at the right time. It’s worked so far and the team is really clicking and kind of working really good together with the defence, so it’s making my life pretty easy.
On what’s been the biggest difference with the team in the playoffs:
There’s no giving up and there’s no cracking. All three games (Rochester) had, all the time they’ve come hard. We’ve really just weathered those storms they’ve thrown our way, so that’s been good to see that nobody’s bending under pressure.
On game two and the confidence coming into today’s game: Just comes from the whole season, I mean just gradually building up but just trying to eliminate the weaknesses that might have been there in the start of the year and just kind of get in the right places at the right time here in the playoffs.
ADAM BROOKS (3 GOALS)
Thoughts on his hattrick:
Going on to round two. I think that’s obviously the goal any time you slip into a playoff series is to win. In a series where we were probably the underdogs and not a lot of people probably expected us to come out of this series especially with Buffalo finishing early and sending down some of their good players, so you know we’re happy to be moving on, especially to do it in that kind of fashion. Obviously, we still think we have more. We didn’t play our best hockey but we’re definitely happy to be moving on.
On confidence moving forward:
I think when you play more, you know you go through what we went through last year, you’re getting that opportunity to go the Finals. To be a part of the lineup every day in the playoffs, I think you develop confidence and coming into the season I thought I started off very well. Obviously there were some setbacks, you know kind of hindered my performance, but I think overall with the amount of ice time I got and the situations that Keefer has put me in over the last two years, I was able to develop confidence, especially you know playing for a coach like that so it’s a lot of fun.
Schedule for North Division Finals to be confirmed.
The Marlies have an opportunity to advance to the North Division finals tonight as they host the Rochester Americans at Coca-Cola Coliseum for game three of the best-of-five series. Toronto stumped the Americans with back-to-back wins in Rochester over the weekend to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
Through two games, Toronto has outscored Rochester 7-3. The Marlies’ penalty kill has been perfect, turning aside six Rochester power plays and adding a shorthanded goal. Kasimir Kaskisuo has continued to shine in goal with 69 saves through two games, posting a 1.48 goals against average and a .958 save percentage. Special teams and strong goaltending will continue to be key factors for the Marlies as the series comes to Toronto.
Players to watch: Chris Mueller leads the Marlies with five postseason points (three goals, two assists). Rasmus Sandin recorded three assists in his first Calder Cup playoff appearance on Friday and followed that up with an assist on Sunday. He currently leads AHL defencemen and rookies with four points in two games. Jeremy Bracco scored the overtime winner on Sunday and has collected four points (two goals, two assists) through two games.
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. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for behind the scenes action from Coca-Cola Coliseum.