Marlies push Crunch to brink of elimination

The Toronto Marlies played a near-perfect road game on Sunday night, rolling over Syracuse 7-1 in Game 3, and are now one win away from the Eastern Conference Final in the Calder Cup playoffs.

Six different goal scorers found the net for the visiting Marlies, a testament to the team’s offensive depth.

After Toronto killed off an early penalty, Chris Mueller and Carl Grundstrom scored 1:12 apart to stake the Marlies to a 2-0 lead before the game was five minutes old.

Goaltender Calvin Pickard barely broke a sweat in the first period, facing only three shots and stopping them all.

The Marlies’ momentum carried into the second period. At just past the midway mark Miro Aaltonen converted on a 2-on-1 for his first AHL playoff goal. Colin Greening put his team up 4-0, finding a loose puck at the edge of the crease a mere nine seconds after a Syracuse penalty expired.

The Marlies took their foot off the gas towards the end of the middle frame, and Erik Cernak was the first Crunch player to solve Pickard, one-timing a shot past the netminder at 17:14 to get Syracuse on the scoreboard.

Trevor Moore got the better of Ingram in the third period, making no mistake after receiving a breakout pass from Vincent LoVerde. Minutes earlier, Pickard made his best stop of the game – a breakaway stop on one of Syracuse’s most dangerous players, Mathieu Joseph.

Andreas Johnsson made his presence felt after getting breakaways on consecutive shifts. He was denied on his first attempt, but exacted his revenge on Ingram the second time around, at the 15:08 mark of the final frame.

Moore potted his second of the night, moments later, to round out the scoring.

The Marlies have a chance to sweep the best-of-seven series on Tuesday. The puck will drop on Game 4 at 7pm Eastern.