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Photo: Scott Thomas

Marlies sweep way into conference finals

The Toronto Marlies finished off a four-game sweep of the North Division Finals with a 2-1 win at Syracuse on Tuesday night.

The Marlies have advanced to the AHL’s conference finals for the fifth time in 11 years (2008, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018). They will face either Lehigh Valley or Charlotte for the Eastern Conference championship.

Toronto got power-play goals from Dmytro Timashov and Andreas Johnsson in the first period and allowed only 22 shots for the game to eliminate Syracuse.

Timashov’s goal was his team-leading fifth of the playoffs. Johnsson’s goal was his eighth in six visits to the War Memorial Arena this season.

The Marlies allowed seven goals in four games — including just two over the final 185:45 of the series — to a Crunch team that had scored 18 times in three games during the first round.

Garret Sparks (6-2) made 21 saves for his first road win of the postseason.

Reid McNeill scored the only goal for Syracuse, cutting the Toronto lead in half with 9:31 left in regulation.

The Crunch are the first AHL team since 2010 (Albany River Rats) to sweep and be swept in consecutive playoff series.

North Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
N1-Toronto Marlies vs. N2-Syracuse Crunch
Game 1 – Thu., May 3 – TORONTO 6, Syracuse 4 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 5 – TORONTO 2, Syracuse 1 (2OT) | Recap
Game 3 – Sun., May 6 – Toronto 7, SYRACUSE 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Tue., May 8 – Toronto 2, SYRACUSE 1