Frattin, Marlies prevail in Game 3

(CP) — Matt Frattin scored two goals, including the game-winner with two minutes to play as the Toronto Marlies defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 5-3 on Monday in Game 3 of the American Hockey League Western Conference finals.

Frattin snapped a shot past Barons goalie Yann Danis for his league-leading eighth goal of the playoffs and the Marlies pulled ahead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Philippe Dupuis, Ryan Hamilton and Jerry D’Amigo had the other goals for Toronto. Ben Scrivens stopped 25 shots for his ninth win of the playoffs.

Bryan Rodney, Chris VandeVelde and Magnus Paajarvi replied for Oklahoma City. Yann Danis made 22 saves in defeat, his fourth of the post-season.

The tight Game 3 in front of 7,327 in attendance was in stark contrast to the pair of blowouts (5-0 and 5-1) in the Games 1 and 2 in Oklahoma City.

The Barons set the pace early with a furious forecheck and outshot Toronto 8-3 in the first 10 minutes of the game.

But it was the Marlies that opened the scoring at 12:35 with the Barons’ Curtis Hamilton off for boarding. Dupuis wristed a weak shot from the left faceoff dot that found its way past a screened Danis.

The teams played a tight-checking second period until they erupted for four goals in the span of just over four minutes late in the frame.

Ryan Hamilton made it 2-0 for Toronto at 14:57 when he tipped Jake Gardiner’s point shot over Danis’ right shoulder.

It was the second power-play goal of the game for Toronto, which was just 10.6 percent on the man advantage coming into the game.

With Dupuis off boarding, Rodney cut the lead in half at 17:10, snapping a shot right under the crossbar past Scrivens (8-2).

It was a rare power-play goal against Toronto, which led all playoff teams with a 96 percent success rate on the penalty-kill coming into the game.

VandeVelde then tied the game just over a minute later, backhanding a rebound in through Scrivens’ legs.

But it took Toronto just 48 seconds to retake the lead. Frattin intercepted a Barons’ breakout pass through the slot and fired a shot past Danis for his seventh of the playoffs, second among all AHL scorers.

Paajarvi made it a 3-3 game 11:56 into the third when he picked up a botched dump-in by Korbinian Holzer, circled into the Marlies zone and snapped a shot over Scrivens’ blocker hand.

After Frattin’s second goal, Mark Fraser took a tripping penalty and the Barons pulled Danis for the extra. But the move backfired as D’Amigo potted an empty-netter for his seventh of the playoffs.

Game 4 will be Wednesday night at Ricoh Coliseum.

Notes: Right winger Spencer Abbott, a college free agent signed in March, played his first game of the post-season…Nazem Kadri left the game after the first period due to an injury and didn’t return.

Western Conference Finals – Series “N” (best-of-7)
1-Oklahoma City Barons vs. 2-Toronto Marlies

Game 1 – Thurs., May 17 – Toronto 5, OKLAHOMA CITY 0
Game 2 – Fri., May 18 – OKLAHOMA CITY 5, Toronto 1 
Game 3 – Mon., May 21 – TORONTO 5, Oklahoma City 3 
Game 4 – Wed., May 23 – Oklahoma City at Toronto, 7:00 
Game 5 – Fri., May 25 – Oklahoma City at Toronto, 7:00 
*Game 6 – Mon., May 28 – Toronto at Oklahoma City, 8:00 
*Game 7 – Wed., May 30 – Toronto at Oklahoma City, 8:00