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Marlies open with overtime win in Winnipeg


TORONTO 3, MANITOBA 2 (OT)

Bates Battaglia scored 5:28 into overtime to give Toronto a 3-2 win over Manitoba on Wednesday night at the MTS Centre in Game 1 of the teams’ North Division semifinal.

Marlies goaltender Justin Pogge turned away 37 of 39 shots in the victory, including 30 from the second period on, to earn his second career Calder Cup Playoff triumph (2-1).

Toronto has now taken seven consecutive victories from Manitoba dating back to the regular season since dropping a pair of games in Winnipeg in mid-November.

All four regulation goals were scored in the second period. Toronto grabbed leads of 1-0 and 2-1 on markers by Kyle Rogers and Alex Foster, but the Moose responded both times on tallies by Guillaume Desbiens and Raymond Sawada.

Battaglia’s decisive goal in overtime was assisted by Andre Deveaux, who also picked up a helper on Foster’s second-period score. Battaglia registered six goals during the Marlies’ run to the Western Conference Finals in 2008, three of them for game-winners.

Each of Manitoba’s last six postseason losses have now come in overtime, as the Moose dropped four extra-session games to Syracuse in the division semifinals last spring and were eliminated by Hamilton in sudden death of Game 6 of the division finals in 2007. Goaltender Cory Schneider made 25 saves in the losing effort on Wednesday.

The Moose will look to even the series when the teams square off for Game 2 on Friday in Winnipeg.