Marlies Ready for Game Two of ECF
The Toronto Marlies extended their 2019 postseason win streak to eight straight on Friday night, posting a 2-1 victory over the Charlotte Checkers in game one of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Here are three takeaways from the Toronto Marlies' 2-1 victory over the Charlotte Checkers Friday in Game 1 of the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference Final:
Kaskisuo, Marlies' defence keeps Checkers' offence at bay: The Checkers were second overall in the AHL in goals-for in the 2018-19 regular season with 255 goals generated, but Friday in Charlotte, Marlies goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo turned aside all but 1 of the Checkers' 26 shots on net to keep Toronto unbeaten in the post-season thus far. The lone goal Kaskisuo allowed was to defenceman Haydn Fleury at the 12:07 mark of the second period - a goal that evened the score after the Marlies took a 1-0 lead at 5:50 of the second frame on a power play goal from left winger Dmytro Timashov - but Kaskisuo was solid the remainder of regulation time and boosted his 2019 post-season record to a dazzling 8-0-0, with one shutout and a .950 save percentage.
Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe can't ask for much more than that from his 25-year-old starting netminder, and the defensive effort Toronto's players put in around Kaskisuo ensured the Marlies would have an opportunity to secure a massive road win and take away home ice advantage from the Checkers.
Marchment continues hot streak, scores game-winner: Left winger Mason Marchment scored twice in Toronto's series-winning Game 4 against Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs, and the 23-year-old remained on an offensive hot streak by netting the game-winner Friday, just 57 seconds into the third period.
Marchment - who utilizes his 6-foot-4 frame to play a robust physical game - now has three goals and five points in eight playoff games this year. He's proving his contributions in last season's Calder Cup-winning run with the Marlies, which included six goals and nine points in 20 games, were no fluke.
Marlies' special teams on point: The Marlies were a smart, disciplined group in Game 1, giving the Checkers only one power play and preventing them from scoring. Meanwhile, Timashov's goal made Toronto 1-for-2 with the man advantage Friday, and proved to be a crucial component in the victory. At a point in the year when the stakes rise with every passing minute - and in a game where the Marlies carried a one-goal lead through the final 19:03 of the third - Toronto's players weren't rattled by the pressure and came together to defeat Charlotte, who had lost just once through their first two playoff series this spring.
The Checkers and Marlies won't have any time to reflect on Game 1, as Game 2 will take place in Charlotte today at 6 p.m. But if the Marlies are once again able to stay out of the penalty box and play an opportunistic offensive game, they have the chance to be in the driver's seat with a 2-0 series lead as the teams head back to Toronto for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) this coming Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at Coca-Cola Coliseum. And if Marlies fans see their team continue its unbeaten playoff streak by winning both games in Charlotte, the roars of support in Toronto's home rink Tuesday and Thursday are likely to provide a terrific boost as they push deeper into the post-season.
Puck drops at 6:00PM on Leafs Nation Network and AHLTV. Fans anywhere across Canada can also stream the game live in the official Maple Leafs app. Follow us on Twittter and Instagram for behind-the-scenes action from Bojangles' Coliseum.
Head to Head (2019 Calder Cup Playoffs)
8-0-0-0 Overall Record 7-2-0-0
1-0-0-0 Head To Head 0-1-0-0
Win 8 Streak Loss 1
29 Goals For 34
12 Goals Against 18
40.0% Power Play Percentage 25.0%
87.0% Penalty Kill Percentage 87.5%
C. Mueller (5)
A. Brooks (5) Leading Goal Scorer A. Saarela (6)
J. Bracco (12) Leading Points Scorer A. Poturalski (13)
K. Kaskisuo (8) Wins Leader A. Nedeljkovic (6)
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American Hockey League Stories from May 18, 2019
- Boyle a Wall as Gulls Even Series - San Diego Gulls
- Gulls Pull Even with Wolves - Chicago Wolves
- Checkers Mount Stunning Comeback to Win Game 2 - Charlotte Checkers
- Marlies Ready for Game Two of ECF - Toronto Marlies
- Overtime Unkind to Gulls - San Diego Gulls
- Wolves Take Game 1 Overtime Thriller - Chicago Wolves
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