Toronto Marlies Report: Playoff Preview, Seven Game Streak


The Toronto Marlies have stormed to a seven game winning streak – good enough to put them in the seventh place and second last playoff spot into the Calder Cup playoffs.

The Toronto Marlies have been led by 21 year-old rookie phenom Connor Brown and the surprise emergence of 18 year-old William Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs 8th Overall draft pick in last year’s draft.

In their first of four games they would play in last week, the Marlies faced off against the last place Iowa Wild and allowed the first goal of the game, as the Wild took a 1-0 lead at the end of the first.

Three unanswered goals in the second period by Marlies forwards Greg McKegg (20), Byron Froese (17) and defence man Brendan Mikkelson (8), helped the Leafs jump into the drivers seat of a 3-1 lead.

Iowa struck with the first in the third period, cutting the lead to one goal. McKegg answered with his second goal of the game, and Matt Frattin (25) scored into the empty net to seal the deal and help the Marlies attain their fourth straight win. Christopher Gibson was in net for the win recording 30 saves on 32 shots.

Below is highlights of the Apr. 14 win against Iowa Wild

The Marlies were two points behind the Milwuakee Admirals for a playoff spot. The score was tied at three going into overtime. Nylander (12) tallied one and Sam Carrick (9) scored the game tying goal to send the game into overtime. In overtime, defence man Mikkelson got his second goal in as many games, winning it in overtime to keep the streak alive and push it to five games. Antoine Bibeau was in net for the overtime thriller stopping 27 shots on 29 attempts.

Below are highlights of the big overtime win vs. Milwuakee Admirals on Apr. 17

With all of the momentum the Marlies had from the big win the night before and their five game winning streak, the team travelled from Milwuakee to Rockford to face off against the Ice Hogs.

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The Marlies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period, with goals from Nylander (13) assisted by Frattin and defence man Matt Finn with Brown (21) scoring the team’s second goal unassisted.

After a scoreless second period, Froese scored to give the Marlies a 3-0 lead early in the third period. Ice Hogs forward Tanner Kero scored on his team’s power play with seconds remaining to spoil the chance at Gibson recording a shutout in an outstanding 40 save performance.

Below are highlights of the Apr. 18 win vs. Rockford Ice Hogs

After winning their sixth straight game, the Marlies were in a ‘win and your in’ game vs. Chicago Wolves, who already clinched a playoff spot.

The Marlies continued to score fast and often, netting the first four goals of the game, scored by McKegg (22), Erik Bradford’s first of the season, Frattin’s 26th goal and Nylander’s third goal in as many games – polishing off his fantastic year with 14 goals and 36 points.

The third period saw the Marlies give up two goals to the Wolves, cutting the 4 goal lead to two. Defenceman T.J Brennan (12) netted the empty net goal to seal the deal with Brendan Leipsic and Mikkelson recording the assists. With the win, the Marlies locked up the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Below are highlights of the Apr. 19 game vs. Chicago Wolves

A Look Ahead: Playoff Preview

The Toronto Marlies will travel to Grand Rapids on Apr. 25 and Apr. 26 to face off against the second place Griffins, whom they lost to 7-2 on Apr. 4. Click for the playoff schedule.

The recipe for the Marlies to upset the Griffins, they need to be strong defensively and shut down their top point scorer forward Andy Miele, who recorded 26 goals and 44 assists for 70 points as well as sniper Temmu Pulkinnen. As long as the offence keeps producing and the goaltenders can steal a game or two – the Marlies could make a run.

Either way, this year for the Marlies was a vital step in the Leafs rebuild, as a lot of the young prospects have played a big part in the success and will receive some type of playoff experience.

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