When significant distance lays between opponents, the American Hockey League may switch the format of the seven game series from the accustomed 2-2-1-1-1 to a modified 2-3-2. In effect cutting out a trip by giving the lower seeded team three at home.
And that’s where we find ourselves today. Grand Rapids returns home having split the first two games in Toronto and the Griffins now have three straight on home soil ahead of them.
This however is not unfamiliar territory for the Marlies. After a long break last season following a first round sweep, the Toronto club dropped game one to Abbotsford. Having won game two they headed to the West coast for three straight. The Marlies defeated the Heat without the need to return back to Ricoh, collecting all three wins in Abbotsford.
Ahead of the third game in this series, I offer six things to think about ahead of puck drop:
- Joe Colborne, Jesse Blacker and Korbinian Holzer have all been returned to the Marlies following their time with the Maple Leafs – Ryan Hamilton is also eligible to return
- In each of the Marlies last two victories the game winning tally came off the stick of Will Acton
- Spencer Abbott practiced with the team on Monday, the Marlies rookie was banged up in game one
- Historically Toronto is 6-4 in game three, but 4-1 when that game is played on the road
- Griffins magic number is three – losing all three games in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs when surrendering three goals against
- Tune into all the action starting at 7pm on AHL Live
As usual, catch me on twitter (@chansler) for lineup news and notes closer to game time.
As of noon, Captain Ryan Hamilton is noted as being on the Marlies roster.
EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP
IN GOAL: #34 Drew MacIntyre
Abbott – Colborne – Connolly
Hamilton – Zigomanis – Lasch
D’Amigo – McKegg – Scott
Ashton – Acton – Ryan
Ranger – Holzer
Marshall – Komisarek
Rielly – Mottau
It looks as if Dylan Yeo will factor in with Morgan Rielly and Mike Mottau will not play.