(image courtesy: Christian Bonin/TSGphoto.com)
By Avry Lewis-McDougall
The most dangerous lead in hockey is 3-0. Sure that’s meant for a single game but in the case of the Hershey Bears and the Toronto Marlies, that means a series lead.
Things looked dire as all heck in the AHL’s Eastern Conference finals for the Marlies as one of the oldest teams in the league won to the tune of 3-1, 3-2 and Game 3 being the most savage loss, a 8-2 win for Hershey in Toronto. ‘Twas not a good night to be either Antoine Bibeau or Garret Sparks in between the pipes and it looked to be curtains for the blue and white. Hershey’s Jakub Vrana introduced himself in this series to Toronto’s netminders with three goals and he sits sixth in all of the AHL in playoff scoring with 12 points.
Game 4 saw the script being completely flipped on it’s head. On a night in which many thought they’d see the end to one of the greatest seasons in minor pro hockey, good ol’ @snizzbone himself, William Nylander would step up for his squad with a hat trick, which would not only propel Toronto to a 5-0 win, but would put him in second in playoff goals for a Marlie as Connor Brown and Connor Carrick have the lead with seven each. Mr. Bibeau wasn’t tested much in game 4 but made saves when he needed to turning away 18 shots for the shutout to help extend the series.
Toronto’s powerplay in Game 3 was also on point with 3 goals coming on special teams and T.J. Brennan stepped up again with four big assists.
Only three teams in AHL history have come back from being down 0-3 in a series to win it, with the last team being the 2013 WBS Penguins, and with a win today, Toronto can take another step towards being the 4th team to pull it off and keep their hopes of a first ever Calder Cup alive.
If the Marlies are able to win today and on Tuesday back in Hershey, they’d play Game 7 back in Toronto. A game 7? In Toronto? That’s not foreign territory for any player or fan in the big smoke.
Puck drop goes down at Ricoh at 3PM Eastern and if you can’t make it down, the game will be on TSN 2.