Toronto got goals from seven different scorers en route to a 7-4 victory over Grand Rapids in Game 1 of the teams’ Western Conference quarterfinal series on Saturday afternoon at Ricoh Coliseum.
The teams go back at it Sunday afternoon.
The Marlies, seeded seventh in the West after finishing the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, needed just 26 seconds to open the scoring on a T.J. Brennan goal. Greg McKegg made it 2-0 at the 12:55 mark of the first period.
Andreas Athanasiou, Teemu Pulkkinen and Louis-Marc Aubry answered for the Griffins, who led 3-2 with less than five minutes remaining in the second period. But Ryan Rupert tied it up for the Marlies and Byron Froese struck with four seconds remaining in the frame to give Toronto a 4-3 lead heading into the third.
Brendan Leipsic, Jake Rodewald and Josh Leivo rounded out the scoring for the Marlies, while Pulkkinen, in his first game back from the parent Detroit Red Wings, tacked on his second of the game for Grand Rapids.
Tom McCollum stopped 28 of 34 shots in the loss for the Griffins.
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 – Grand Rapids at Toronto, 3:00
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