After a first round sweep of the Western Conference Quarter Finals, here is a little Marlies info to wet your whistle before round 2.
Toronto’s 3-2 overtime win in-game 3 of the 1st round vs Rochester provided them with a sweep over the Americans in the first round, for the second straight post-season. Marlies forward Will Acton was the hero scoring at the 5:14 mark of the 20 minute extra frame. When it was all said and done, Toronto had 14 skaters pick up at least a point in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs. The damage to the net was done by 6 players, however, with Scott/D’amigo/McKegg/Zigomanis/Acton/Ranger totaling 11 goals. Greg Scott was this year’s Jerry D’amigo, as the British Columbia boy tallied 5 goals in 3 games vs the Amerks.
On a roster note heading into the 2nd round, Toronto has added defenceman Corey Syvret to their playoff roster. After playing 11 regular season games with Toronto, he was returned to Alasksa in the ECHL, where he started the season. Syvret collected 4 points in 11 playoff games, helping the Aces to reach the semi-finals.
The Marlies have a fantastic fan base in Toronto. They also feel fortunate to have support from fans in the U.S.A and overseas. Taking the recognition to a new level, with no intention of his own, was Drew MacIntyre. This outstanding save MacIntyre’s unreal stop has reached over 1 million people world-wide. In a perfect world all of them would know his story. MacIntyre last week was called up, on emergency basis, by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although the P.E.I. boy did not get into a game, he did practice and that alone caps off an incredible journey.
MacIntyre started this year in the KHL with Prague. After an injury left him without a place to play, he joined Reading in the ECHL. Following that he was up to the AHL and eventually caught on with the Toronto franchise. MacIntyre would move from PTO and AHL deals with the Marlies to an NHL contract with the Leafs, capped by a call-up during the playoffs. MacIntyre has played in 56 career AHL playoff games and upon entering a series that could be a goaltenders dual (vs Petr Mrazek), I believe the Marlies like their chances. Over 3 games in the 1st round his 1.62 gaa and .949 sv % rank in the top 3. Facing a former team, in fact the first team he played AHL post-season hockey with, he’ll once again be a big part of Toronto’s success.
The 2 teams that will meet in the upcoming AHL Outdoor Classic next December will first ignite their rivalry in the post season. Toronto will host the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. The pair met 4 times in the regular season, with Toronto winning 2 games in regulation and losing 2 in shootouts. It is hard to judge how these teams will stack up by those stats, though, as each roster has changed considerably since the final meeting on December 29th, 2012. One factor may be how long the parent clubs continue to play in the NHL playoffs. The Griffins are without the services of Joakim Anderson, Gustav Nyquist, Brian Lashoff, Brendan Smith and Danny DeKeyser. It took 5 games to get past Houston in 1st round. The Marlies too, are missing key players who are now up at the NHL level, but have had time to rest the group that exists at Ricoh, with home ice looming. Both clubs have faced adversity, each have top notch goaltending and finding ways to win have been the story of their playoff births and playoff existence. Sit back and enjoy what could be one heck of a battle between 2 teams that are used to it!
Games 1 and 2 are at Ricoh Coliseum. You can be in the stands by ordering tickets over the phone at 416-597-PUCK.
If you can not make it out, tune in on Rogers TV cable 10. Puck drop is 7pm on Friday May 10 and 3pm on Saturday May 11.
The next edition will arrive from Michigan as the Marlies continue their #Unfinishedbusiness in Grand Rapids for games 3,4 and 5* if necessary.
*Photo’s courtesy of Christian at tsgphoto.com