It wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but the Toronto Marlies held on for a 2-0 win over the Milwaukee Admirals at Ricoh Coliseum on Thursday, sweeping the best-of-five Western Conference QuarterFinals series in three games.
Greg McKegg scored the lone goal for Toronto, who will now take the next two days off as maintenance days while awaiting their next opponent.
The game was rather tentative, especially in the first period with few scoring chances on either side. McKegg’s goal – the eventual game-winner – came on a Marlies’ power-play in the second period. After receiving a cross-ice pass from Jerry D’Amigo, McKegg had a wide open net to score his first goal of this year’s Calder Cup playoffs.
“We know Milwaukee wouldn’t roll over, it was a tight series,” McKegg said after the game. “Special teams have been an advantage for us all season. Come playoff time, those will win you games.”
TJ Brennan sealed the win with an empty-netter.
Marlies goaltender Drew MacIntyre made 29 saves for the shutout. The netminder credited his defencemen, particularly Kenny Ryan, for their shot-blocking efforts that contributed to the win.
Also, head coach Steve Spott said that one of the game’s turning points was an open ice hit by Andrew MacWilliam on Milwaukee’s Calle Jarnkrok. “I thought we might have been a little bit flat early, but I thought that hit gave us a little bit of life and momentum,” Spott said.
New Maple Leafs’ president Brendan Shanahan watched his first Marlies game in the management suites at Ricoh Coliseum. McKegg and his teammates were pleased at making a good first impression.
“Guys might be nervous while he’s here, but it’s nice to have him around. We were just focused on getting the job done,” McKegg said.
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