The Toronto Marlies picked up a massive Game #4 victory by a score of 3-2 on Wednesday night at the Ricoh Coliseum.
With Syracuse up a goal early in the contest, after a terrible clearing sequence by the Marlies, it was up to a new addition to the line up, Dicky Clune.
Heavy forecheck led to the opening goal, and it was a theme that translated thru the game for the entire evening at the boisterous home rink of the Marlies.
If you get pushed. Push back.
This was a tight checking affair, that was opposite ends of the spectrum when compared to the track meet that played out in Game #3. It is easy to see that the Syracuse Crunch team is worried. Their once unbeatable Mike McKenna got pulled after giving up 3 goals and gave way to Gudlevskis who had a decent game between the pipes for the Crunch.
Kerby Rychel and Trevor Moore both got their second goals of the playoffs by scoring and giving the Marlies a 3-1 lead, which was all the team would need as new starter, Kasimir Kaskisuo held the fort the rest of the way.
Kaskisuo stopped 17 of 19 shots faced on the evening, and continues to be the solidifying and consistent goaltender that Coach Keefe, and the Marlies were looking for.
Kasperi Kapanen is absolutely flying again, and after an assist early in this contest now has 5 pts (2g, 3a) in his last three games. Kapanen is also tied for the points lead in the playoffs with 7 pts.
Once the Crunch get down a few goals it is easy to see their frustration level, and how they respond. Syracuse is a dirty bunch of players that will take an extra run, or jump a bit when making contact along the walls. I have been fortunate to watch a lot of hockey at the Ricoh in the last few years, and I am not sure there is a team that takes more cheap shots than the Crunch team. Great to see the Marlies not backing down one step, and at times taking the heavy game to the team from Syracuse.
The Marlies and the Crunch return to Syracuse for Game #5 on Saturday at the War Memorial.
Next Game: Saturday, May 13th @Syracuse 7pm.
“We were able to get a really good first period, to finally give ourselves a real lead in a game in the series. We haven’t really led at all since early goings of game one, so that was nice to have. I thought we had a good second half to the second period. The first half of the second period I didn’t like. I thought they got a whole lot better. We got it back, they had some chances there but we couldn’t get one in, not nearly enough around the net so makes the game closer than we would have liked it to have been, but to see our guys stay with it and grind it out there at the end is a good sign for our team and we’re certainly happy to get things all square here.
Sheldon Keefe, Marlies Head Coach
Photo Creds: Christian Bonin @ChrisTSGphoto