Marlies Start Second Round Series With A Statement
There was no shortage of goals in the opening round of the North Division Finals as the Toronto Marlies opened the series with a 6-4 victory over the visiting Syracuse Crunch.
Labelled a potential ‘track meet’ before the series started, there were no doubts about the potential firepower both teams possessed. Syracuse entered the game after scoring six goals in their previous three outings while Toronto scored five times twice in the opening round. On Thursday, it was a balanced attack from the Marlies that provided them with an early series lead.
Adam Brooks opened the scoring with his first career AHL playoff goal eight and a half minutes into the game, deflecting a Martin Marincin point shot past goaltender Eddie Pasquale. Mason Marchment had the secondary assist on the goal.
With under a minute and a half to go in the first, Mathieu Joseph put Syracuse on the board to tie things up.
Dmytro Timashov had a quick response for the Marlies, knocking in a one-timer after some quick passing on the power play. Trevor Moore and Chris Mueller collected the assists as the Marlies took a 2-1 lead at the intermission.
Midway through the second, Syracuse tied things up again on a goal by Carter Verhaeghe.
Back on the power play with under five minutes remaining in the middle frame, Travis Dermott directed a shot from distance through traffic and into the net for his first since rejoining the Marlies. Andreas Johnsson and Carl Grundstrom had the helpers.
Eight minutes into the third, Mason Marchment drove hard to the far post and redirected a pass from Frederik Gauthier to double the lead before Kevin Lynch responded for the Crunch just one minute later.
Pierre Engvall reinstated the lead minutes later as we found some space in the slot and buried a one-timer after a great pass from Moore. Brooks had the second assist.
Lynch would score his second of the night and cut the lead to one with just over a minute remaining before Ben Smith found the empty net from his own blueline to seal the 6-4 victory.
With the victory, the Marlies jump out to a 1-0 series lead and improve to 4-0 at home throughout this year’s playoffs.
Garret Sparks made 28 saves for his fourth victory of the postseason while Pasquale made 15 saves in a losing effort for Syracuse.
The Marlies converted on two of four power play opportunities in the game while Syracuse were one-for-two, and scored another on a delayed penalty call.
Brooks, Dermott, Marchment and Smith all scored their first goals of the playoffs in the win.
Game 2 is set for Saturday afternoon at 4:00 and tickets are still available.
Syracuse: M. Joseph (3) SH (Unassisted), C. Verhaeghe (1) PP (M. Stephens), K. Lynch (1) (E. Condra, A. Volkov), K. Lynch (2) (M. Joseph, C. Verhaeghe)
Goaltender: E. Pasquale (15/20)
Toronto: A. Brooks (1) (M. Marincin, M. Marchment), D. Timashov (4) PP (T. Moore, C. Mueller), T. Dermott (1) PP (A. Johnsson, C. Grundström), M. Marchment (1) (F. Gauthier, M. Marincin), P. Engvall (3) (T. Moore, A. Brooks), B. Smith (1) EN (F. Gauthier)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (28/32)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
Adam Brooks scored his first American Hockey League playoff goal at 8:33 of the first period and later added the secondary assist on Engvall’s third period goal. Brooks’ first period goal was his first point in six playoff games.
Dmytro Timashov scored on the power play at 19:16 of the second period. Timashov’s fourth goal of the postseason is his fourth point on the power play (3 goals, 1 assist).
Travis Dermott scored on the power play at 15:15 of the second period. Dermott has two points (1 goal, 1 assist) through two games this postseason.
Mason Marchment scored at 7:56 of the third period and earlier registered the secondary assist on Brooks’ first period goal. Marchment has two points (1 goal, 1 assist) through six games in the postseason.
Pierre Engvall scored at 12:46 of third period. Engvall has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) through six games this postseason.
Ben Smith scored an empty net goal at 19:23 of the third period. Smith’s goal was his first of postseason.
Martin Marincin recorded the primary assist on Brooks’ first period goal and later added the secondary assist on Marchment’s third period goal. Marincin has six assists in six playoff games.
Trevor Moore had the primary assists on Timashov’s first period power play goal and Engvall’s third period goal. Moore has six points (1 goal, 5 assists) in six playoff games.
Chris Mueller recorded the secondary assist on Timashov’s power play goal in the first period. Mueller has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) through six games this postseason.
Andreas Johnsson registered the primary assist on Dermott’s second period power play goal. Johnsson has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) through two games in this postseason.
Carl Grundström had the secondary assist on Dermott’s second period power play goal. Grundström had four points (3 goals, 1 assist) through six games in the postseason.
Frederik Gauthier recorded the primary assist on Marchment’s third period goal and the lone assist on Smith’s empty net goal. Gauthier has five assists through six games this postseason.
Garret Sparks stopped 28 of 32 shots he faced against the Syracuse Crunch. Sparks is now 4-2 in the playoffs with a .897 Save Percentage and a 2.90 Goals Against Average.
Toronto went 1-for-2 on the penalty kill and 2-for-4 on the power play.
Syracuse had a 32-21 edge in shots in all situations.
Adam Brooks, Trevor Moore and Ben Smith led the Marlies with three shots on goal.
Goals: D. Timashov (4) Assists: M. Marincin (6) Points: M. Marincin, T. Moore, D. Timashov (6) PPG: D. Timashov (3) Shots: C. Greening (23) +/-: V. LoVerde, M. Marincin (+5) PIMS: C. Greening, M. Marchment (8)
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On today’s game:
Well, you’re going to be happy with the win. You’re in a playoff series, you need to get the wins so we are happy with that. We are well aware that we need to be a whole lot better than we were today. It was a sloppy hockey game and one that we were not very good in.
They have been (putting up a good fight) all year, they are that kind of team, they don’t give up much. We got a lot of attention this year for keeping the puck out of our net and all that kind of stuff and being good defensively. But they gave up the least amount of goals next to us in the division so they are right there. That’s how they play and regardless of who they have in net, they are going to play that way. We know we are in for a fight here and that’s what we’ve got.
On Mason Marchment (1 goal, 1 assist) and Trevor Moore (2 assists):
I really liked Marchment today. I thought he was probably the one guy, he and (Trevor) Moore, that really stood out for me. They were just guys that I thought were really good on the ice so we changed our lines up a little bit. That’s a real positive for us to have from two guys that started at the bottom of the lineup. Marchment was physical and was hard and heavy on the puck in the offensive zone and he goes to the net and gets a goal.
May 5 vs Syracuse – 4:00 p.m. ET
May 6 at Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
May 8 at Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
*May 12 vs Toronto – 4:00 p.m. ET
*May 14 at Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
*May 16 vs Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies and Syracuse Crunch will kick off the North Division Finals series on Thursday night at Ricoh Coliseum in a rematch of last year’s second round matchup.
The Marlies were pushed to a Game 5 by the Utica Comets in the opening round but advanced after a commanding 4-0 victory on Sunday, led by a pair of goals from Carl Grundstrom, a three-point night by Andreas Johnsson and a 37-save shutout performance by Garret Sparks.
Dmytro Timashov provided the offence for the Marlies in the opening round, averaging a point-per-game with three goals and two assists. Trevor Moore, Martin Marincin and Ben Smith all finished with four points in the victory over the Comets.
Syracuse advanced to the second round after a decisive series sweep over Rochester, scoring six goals in every game of the first round series against the Amerks.
The offensive charge for the Crunch starts with Matthew Peca, who scored a pair of goals and eight points in the first round sweep. Mathieu Joseph, Gabriel Dumont and Alexander Volkov all finished the opening round series with five points.
Regular Season Review
Throughout the regular season, the Marlies posted a 5-2-1-0 record over the Crunch, with Toronto going 2-0-1 in the final three meetings of the season. Andreas Johnsson was the Syracuse slayer during the regular season, putting up 11 points (7G, 4A) in eight games.
Home Sweet Home
In last year’s playoff matchup, the home team won all seven games between Toronto and Syracuse. So far throughout this year’s postseason, Toronto is 3-0 at home while Syracuse is 2-0.