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Strong start helps Marlies even series

Toronto rode a three-goal first period to a 3-2 victory over Syracuse on Wednesday night, tying the North Division Finals at two games apiece.

The pivotal Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Syracuse.

The Crunch’s Adam Erne opened the scoring for the second game in a row, but Richard Clune answered 66 seconds later with his second career postseason goal.

Kerby Rychel put Toronto ahead for good at 8:05 of the opening period with his second goal of the playoffs, and Trevor Moore made it 3-1 with Toronto’s second straight power-play goal at 16:24.

Ben Thomas pulled the Crunch back within a goal at 2:23 of the second period, but Toronto held on the rest of the way to improve to 4-0 on home ice this postseason.

The Marlies held Syracuse to just 19 shots on goal in the game; Kasimir Kaskisuo (4-1) made 17 saves.

Mike McKenna (5-3) stopped 12 of 15 shots in the first period before Kristers Gudlevskis (14 saves) came on for his first appearance this postseason.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
N1-Syracuse Crunch vs. N2-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Fri., May 5 – SYRACUSE 3, Toronto 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 6 – SYRACUSE 8, Toronto 5
Game 3 – Tue., May 9 – TORONTO 5, Syracuse 3
Game 4 – Wed., May 10 – TORONTO 3, Syracuse 2
Game 5 – Sat., May 13 – Toronto at Syracuse, 7:00
Game 6 – Mon., May 15 – Syracuse at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 17 – Toronto at Syracuse, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern