(Ben Scrivens is perfect in 30-save performance)
May 23: Marlies 3 vs. Barons 0
Marlies lead best-of-seven Western Conference Final 3 games to 1
Forward lines:: Acton-Scott-D’Amigo, Deschamps-Dupuis-Frattin, Abbott-Hamilton-Colborne, Rosehill- Engel-Orr
Defence pairings: Fraser-Holzer, Gardiner-Lashoff, Gysbers-Mikus
Goaltenders: Scrivens (Win 60:00 minutes played, 30 saves, 0 GA)
The Toronto Marlies entered Game Four of their third-round playoff series with a depleted forward unit. Nazem Kadri, Mike Zigomanis and Marcel Mueller were all out of the lineup with various injuries.
Unfazed, the team responded with a 3-0 win over Oklahoma City to take three games to one stranglehold of the Western Conference Final.
Goaltender Ben Scrivens was named the game’s first star, stopping all 30 shots he faced for his third shutout of the playoffs – his second of the series. “So many guys stepped up for us tonight,” said Scrivens. “Obviously we’ve got some guys banged up and not going today. That’s what we needed, everybody buying in and pulling on the rope in the same direction.”
Josh Engel, playing in his first game of these playoffs, was inserted as the fourth-line centre and won the majority of his faceoffs. Colton Orr was also put into the game, playing on Engel’s line with Jay Rosehill.
“The resiliency of this hockey club, their character, they will not quit,” said coach Dallas Eakins. “They expect to win no matter who is in the lineup.”
Eakins conceded that the Barons, the top-seeded team in the Western Conference in the regular season, had the edge in this game. “They had more guns than us tonight. The problem is that (Scrivens) has got a bulletproof vest on. He kept us in it, he gave us some saves when we needed them. It was an excellent, excellent performance.”
Scrivens’ best save came in the second period, robbing Chris VandeVelde with his glove hand from close quarters.
Phillippe Dupuis had the only goal that the Marlies would need, jamming home a rebound in the first period. His linemate, Nicolas Deschamps, received a lucky bounce to score a strange goal from behiind the net, one period later. Jerry D’Amigo rounded out the scoring by finding an empty net late in regulation.
D’Amigo’s goal was his 8th of the playoffs, tying him with teammate Matt Frattin for the post-season lead.
The Marlies have a chance to advance to the Calder Cup Final by beating the Barons on Friday night at Ricoh Coliseum. Game time is 7pm Eastern.