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Marlies stifle Phantoms to take 3-0 series lead

The Toronto Marlies are one win away from the Calder Cup Finals after an impressive 5-0 road victory over Lehigh Valley in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at PPL Center on Wednesday night.

The Marlies go for the sweep of the best-of-seven series when the puck drops for Game 4 on Friday (7:05 p.m. ET).

Toronto needed just 61 seconds to strike first in Game 3, as Andreas Johnsson forced a Phantoms turnover and fed Carl Grundstrom, who beat Alex Lyon for his sixth goal of the playoffs.

Johnsson made it 2-0 at 4:50 of the middle period, tucking in his own rebound after an initial wraparound attempt was blocked. Less than eight minutes later, Adam Brooks sent a pass across the crease that Mason Marchment banged home to up the lead to 3-0 at 12:32.

Marlies captain Ben Smith tacked on two power-play goals after Lyon was assessed a match penalty with 10:19 remaining in the game.

Toronto allowed just nine shots on goal over the first two periods and outshot Lehigh Valley 34-16 for the night, extending its winning streak to eight games. Garret Sparks (9-2) needed just 16 saves to notch his second shutout of the postseason.

Lyon (6-4) stopped 23 of 26 shots before his ejection; Dustin Tokarski allowed two goals on eight shots the rest of the way.

Lehigh Valley, which won a league-leading 27 home games during the regular season, has now been outscored 11-0 in its last two games at PPL Center.

Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. A1-Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Game 1 – Sat., May 19 – TORONTO 4, Lehigh Valley 3 | Recap/Highlights
Game 2 – Sun., May 20 – TORONTO 3, Lehigh Valley 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Wed., May 23 – Toronto 5, LEHIGH VALLEY 0
Game 4 – Fri., May 25 – Toronto at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 26 – Toronto at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., May 28 – Lehigh Valley at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 30 – Lehigh Valley at Toronto, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern