The Toronto Marlies began their week south of the border for a game against the Milwaukee Admirals, the series opener for their Western conference quarterfinal. The Marlies lost both regular season meetings between the teams this year, they would start veteran Drew MacIntyre in net for the game. Some of the team’s leading offensive threats in Peter Holland, Carter Ashton, and Spencer Abbott did not play.
Sam Carrick opened scoring with 2:14 remaining in the first period, he capitalized off a mistake by Milwaukee’s defense.
The Marlies doubled their lead shortly after the second period began, this time Josh Leivo got credit as he sniped in a goal on the powerplay.
Patrick Cehlin got the Admirals back into the game late in the frame, scoring when he was left alone in front of the Toronto net. The Marlies restored their two goal cushion before the break, T.J. Brennan the scorer.
Jerry D’Amigo scored quickly after the intermission to make it 4-1 Marlies, Filip Forsberg replied seconds after to leave it at 4-2. Neither team found the scoreboard again until the dying seconds, the Marlies adding to their total with empty-net goals from Carrick and Kenny Ryan.
Both teams seemed to make an effort to start and finish each period well, all eight goals coming within 2:14 of the start or end of a period. Head coach Steve Spott was pleased with his team’s effort, saying that his team put forth “one of [their] best games for a full 60 minutes.”
The series’ next game was played the following Saturday night, the final game before the Marlies return to Toronto for the remainder of the series.
Brandon Kozun scored to put the Marlies on top at the end of the first period, his wrist shot finding its way through traffic with 1:09 to go in the opening frame. The Marlies made it 2-0 in the next period when [Sam Carrick netted his 3rd goal of the series on a five-on-three man advantage] (http://gfycat.com/CheeryAlarmedDesertpupfish) Credit to /u/moresound17 via /r/leafs.
Scoring increased in the final period, first Calle Jarnkrok got the Admirals back into the game with a goal in the first minute, but this was followed by two powerplay goals by the Marlies to put the game out of reach. The final score ended up 5-2 when the teams traded goals in the final minutes.
After the game, Spott preached diligence going into the final games of the series.
“We won’t give them an edge, I can tell you that… we still got one game to win and that’s a tough one,” Spott said. The Marlies are known for their ability to hold onto leads, having a record of 28-2-1-1 when leading after two periods.
The third game of the series will be played on Thursday, May 1st, at Ricoh Coliseum.