Grundstrom shines as Marlies force seventh game

It’s seventh heaven for the Toronto Marlies, and particularly for Carl Grundstrom.

The 19-year-old native of Umea, Sweden – just two-and-half-weeks into his entry-level contract – was instrumental in guiding the Marlies to a 2-1 victory in the North Division Final on Monday night at Ricoh Coliseum.

Grundstrom, who was inked to a three-year deal on April 28, tied the game for his team on a wraparound power play goal from behind the net. For good measure, he provided the screen on the game-winner, fired by defenceman Andrew Nielsen in the third period, also on a Toronto man-advantage.

“It’s fun to get a big role directly with the team, and to play on the power play” Grundstrom said. “It’s really fun.”

Grundstrom, who has three goals in just five AHL playoff games, is already a seasoned veteran of Game Sevens, having played in a pair of such matches for Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League during last year’s post-season.

“He’s a guy that goes to the net. He’s smart and he’s competitive, and he’s not afraid to go to those areas. So it’s good to see him get rewarded,” coach Sheldon Keefe said.

Kasimir Kaskisuo was terrific in the Marlies net, making 27 saves in the victory.

The deciding game of this series will be played in Syracuse on Wednesday night. The Marlies face the daunting task of having to stay alive in the playoffs by becoming the first team to win a road game in this series.