The Grand Rapids Griffins jumped out to an early two-goal lead, but the Toronto Marlies scored five unanswered goals for a 5-2 victory in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinals series Sunday afternoon inside Ricoh Coliseum.
Just 42 seconds into the game, Teemu Pulkkinen scored his third of the postseason, blasting a rebound home from the right circle. Andy Miele would follow up with the Griffins’ only power-play goal of the evening at the 5:25 mark of the first, but Grand Rapids couldn’t find an answer for the Marlies for the second game in a row.
Marlies wing Matt Frattin scored a goal late in the first and then lit the lamp again early in the second to knot the game at two, but it was a three-goal third period from the Marlies sealed the deal to give Toronto a chance to clinch the series in a decisive Game 4 on Wednesday night at the home turf of the Griffins, the Van Andel Arena.
T.J. Brennan‘s power-play goal at 13:24 of the third period would prove to be the eventual game-winner, but the Marlies got empty net goals 43 seconds apart from Connor Brown and Greg McKegg to effectively ice the game in their favor. Toronto went 2-for-4 with the extra man while holding the Griffins to just one conversion on their four chances.
Brennan (1g-2a), Frattin (2g), Byron Froese (3a), and William Nylander (2a) all finished with multiple point efforts for Toronto, while Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan earned the primary assist on both his club’s goals. Miele finished with a goal and an assist.
Christopher Gibson stopped 26-of-28 in the win for Toronto.
Western Conference Quarterfinals – Series “F” (best-of-5)
2-Grand Rapids Griffins vs. 7-Toronto Marlies
Game 1 – Sat., Apr. 25 – TORONTO 7, Grand Rapids 4
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 26 – TORONTO 5, Grand Rapids 2
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 4 – Sat., May 2 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sun., May 3 – Toronto at Grand Rapids, 5:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern