The Toronto Marlies punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals series with a convincing 4-0 win in Game 4 over the Chicago Wolves on Friday night, their second consecutive playoff series sweep.
Toronto has now won seven consecutive games to open the Calder Cup playoffs.
Marlies coach Steve Spott assembled a forward line of Peter Holland centering Sam Carrick and Carter Ashton and the trio combined for five points on the night. Holland put the game out of reach with a breakaway goal just before the midway mark of the third period that extended the Marlies’ lead by three goals at the time.
“I love playing with guys like (Carrick), who are going to go into the corners and fight for the puck.” said Holland, of his teammate who fed him the pass that set up the goal. “We did a scouting report on (Wolves goalie Jake) Allen before the series began, and he had a tendency to drop, so I just wanted to get the puck up over his shoulder.”
Drew MacIntyre was perfect in the Marlies net, stopping all 30 shots he faced. MacIntyre, whose two shutouts in the playoffs have both come in elimination games, was particularly solid during a Marlies two-man penalty-kill in the first period. “He was really solid and played to the level that we needed,” said Spott. “He stood tall, and really gave us that emotion that we needed.”
Greg McKegg opened the scoring while Ashton took advantage of a shaky Allen with a short side goal. Korbinian Holzer completed the scoring with an empty net goal.
The Marlies now await the winner of the Texas Stars vs. Grand Rapids Griffins series
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