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Sparks, Marlies blank Bridgeport in Game 2

Connor Brown scored twice and Garret Sparks posted a 31-save shutout in his first career AHL playoff start as Toronto defeated Bridgeport, 3-0, in Game 2 of their division semifinal series on Sunday evening.

The Marlies head home with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, looking to finish off a sweep on Thursday night.

Bridgeport held Toronto’s top-ranked offense off the scoreboard in the first period for the second game in a row, but the Marlies finally broke through at 12:01 of the second on Brown’s goal off a shorthanded rush down the left-wing side.

The Marlies made it 2-0 on a Ben Smith goal early in the third period, and Brown’s third goal of the series into an empty net finished off the scoring.

Sparks (1-0) got the win a night after Antoine Bibeau stopped 31 of 32 shots in Toronto’s Game 1 victory. Stephon Williams (0-2) allowed two goals on 36 shots in the loss for the Sound Tigers, who have dropped 13 of their last 14 home playoff games going back to 2004.

North Division Semifinals – Series “C” (best-of-5) 
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. A5-Bridgeport Sound Tigers 
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 23 – Toronto 4, BRIDGEPORT 1 
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 24 – Toronto 3, BRIDGEPORT 0 
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Bridgeport at Toronto, 7:30 
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 29 – Bridgeport at Toronto, 7:30 
*Game 5 – Sun., May 1 – Bridgeport at Toronto, 3:00 
   *if necessary… All times Eastern