Back and forth game leaves Wolves grasping for their playoff lives
TORONTO – On Wednesday night, the Toronto Marlies returned home for just their second home playoff game this post-season, game #3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals versus the Chicago Wolves. Toronto only played one home game in the opening round, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals to complete the three-game sweep. The Marlies have been dominant in the first two games of the series, taking 3-0 leads in the first period of both games one & two. On Wednesday, the Marlies were looking to move one step closer to reaching the Western Conference Finals.
In the first period came yet another dominant start. Just over five minutes into the opening period, Toronto drew first blood. With Sebastian Wannstrom in the box for closing his hand on the puck, Spencer Abbott found T.J. Brennan wide open at the point and Brennan rocketed his 3rd of the playoffs over Jake Allen’s shoulder for a 1-0 Toronto lead. Abbott’s assist is his third in as many games after missing over a month fighting an upper body injury; he hasn’t missed a beat since stepping back into the lineup.
Late in the first, Chicago would tie the game. Dimitri Jaskin has been, for the most part, unstoppable thus far in the playoffs, and played a large part in Chicago’s 5-game series win over the Rochester Americans in the 1st round. With Andrew MacWilliam in the box for closing his hand on the puck, Jaskin made Toronto pay. Mark Cundari and Joe Corvo worked the puck to Jaskin in front, who beat Drew MacIntyre off the post and in for his 4th of the post-season, tying the game at 1s.
The Marlies, however, wasted no time in responding. Just moments later, T.J. Brennan found Peter Holland all alone in front of Jake Allen and took full advantage of a defensive coverage breakdown by Chicago and buried a ‘gimme’ over the glove of Allen, restoring the Toronto lead at 2-1. To call the first period a very back and forth affair would be an understatement. Less than two minutes later, Greg McKegg turned the puck over in the slot to former Marlie Keith Aucoin, who was stopped before Adam Cracknell buried the rebound past Drew MacIntyre for his 3rd of the post season, tying the game at two. Might I remind you, that this all happened with less than three minutes remaining in the first. Eleven seconds later the roller-coaster ride continued, this time swaying in favour of Toronto. Brandon Kozun, while being tangled up by two Wolves players, somehow won the puck race and made a little chip shot from the side of the net that eluded Allen, giving the Marlies the 3-2 lead after one period of play. Shots were tied 11-11 after 20.
In the second period, the Wolves came out swinging. As the saying goes — “I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the dressing room during intermission” — I can only imagine the frustration that head coach John Anderson was feeling. Toronto was guilty of some sloppy hockey and of receiving the play in the second period. Despite getting pinned in their own end and coughing up turnovers, Drew MacIntyre continued to stand strong and make the big saves when necessary. With just over 11 minutes played in the middle frame, the Wolves tied things up once more. After Jerred Smithson missed a hit on Eric Selleck, he found Tyler Shattock at the side of the net, who corralled a bouncing puck and put it into the empty side of the net for his 1st of the post-season, bringing things back to a deadlock at three a piece heading into the third period. Shots favoured the Wolves 14-5 in the period.
After a scoreless third period, the game headed to OT. Just 3:28 into OT, after a failed clearing attempt by the Wolves, Trevor Smith fired the puck from the blue line at Jake Allen, who couldn’t corral the rebound, allowing Jerry D’Amigo to take full advantage with three separate chances to bury the puck, eventually converting for his team-leading 4th of the playoffs and securing the 4-3 Toronto victory.
- After missing over a month with an upper-body injury, Spencer Abbott now has three points (all assists) in three games
- Jerry D’Amigo leads the Marlies in all-time playoff goals with 14
- Jake Allen had another rough night but seemed to have his moments where he bounced back and re-gained a little confidence. Game #4 is on Friday and it’ll be interesting to see what John Anderson does, although I’d be surprised if Allen isn’t back in the net.
- Despite his 1st period goal, Toronto has done a stellar job in general of keeping Dimitri Jaskin quiet and off the score-sheet.
- The Wolves played a very strong game despite issues getting to Toronto on Wednesday. Smoke in a Federal Aviation Administration radar facility near Chicago O’Hare Intl. Airport on Tuesday halted any air travel in the area creating a giant backlog of flights on Wednesday.
- Toronto was out-shot 30-35.
I feel the need to throw this out there. I've been seeing so much hate on the Leafs, but honestly, they have the ability and talent to be the best team, and I truly look forward to seeing them keep on improving.
"Look at the simple duck. Looks calm above the water but is working feverishly below it to succeed. That is your Kulemin. He will do very well elsewhere." - Phook
you may only eat vegetables but once in a while you throw out some amazing posts
Phook is one complex bird... in need of a quack :)
@mcloki @ingy56 @dlb yeh I'm not defending him by any means, both teams are loaded with rats galore. Nothing I'd like better than to see both teams go at each other with suspensions and injuries all around. I just think the Scabs were hiding behind their referee's skirts and the fact that retaliation doesn't happen in the playoffs. Good plan until their first meeting next season.
Clarkson and Bolland were brought in to be that, but the latter had a horrible season and the former was injured.
Put those two with Komarov and we have a tough third line to play against.
@ingy56 No kidding. I've had 8 year olds tell me what's wrong with the Leafs and more articulately that Mirtle.
Translation... " he didn't bitch slap me"
Frankly, nobody gives a fack about your luke warm,bedtime milk condescension Turtle
Seems like Henrik hasn't had very good luck playing in Montreal over the years. Could be problematic
Boyle runs Price
They will bow out 4 straight to the Black Hawks and draft 28th..... revenge will be ours!
Is it wrong that I will be boycotting the east playoff games from now on. My 2 most hated teams are in the semi's and 1 will make the Finals ugh. go hawks go, go ducks go, go kings go!!!!!! Don't care who wins as long as its from the west!
@LeafsGuru I'd just love to see Vigneault win it just to twist the knife into Gillis' bloated ass a little further.
Interesting the Shanny said in his interview that he doesn't want to do many pressers(like he was doing) as he doesn't want to divulge any info and would therefore have to lie
So who's to say he's telling us the whole truth about Dion etc now?
Kipper didn't pull that out of his ass...must be the Captain who is unhappy/pushing for a move.
Elisha probably wants to move to California.
@Uncle Otis I'm just curious to know why Dreger is trying so hard to counter Kyper's tweet............It's seems to be over kill. He just won't let this go.
@Uncle Otis None of them, ever tell the whole truth !
Ask me know Questions, I will tell you no lies :)
@Uncle Otis It boils down to a feud between Dion and Carlyle. Carlyle was given 3 choices and he decided to have his assistants fired so he could have more term on the new contract and Dion gone.