Miro the hero as Marlies go up 2-0

Photo: Christian Bonin

Miro Aaltonen finished a nifty passing play at 10:59 of overtime to give the Toronto Marlies a 3-2 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday evening at Ricoh Coliseum.

With the Marlies up 2-0, the best-of-seven series now shifts to Allentown, where the Phantoms will host Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Carl Grundstrom began the rush on the winning goal, gaining the offensive zone and dishing to Calle Rosen, whose cross-slot feed to Andreas Johnsson was returned to Aaltonen in the slot for an easy tap-in and his third goal of the series.

Garret Sparks (8-2) made 35 saves in the win, including a highlight-reel glove save on T.J. Brennan a little over a minute before the winner.

Lehigh Valley took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in Sunday’s game, but Toronto responded quickly both times.

Mark Friedman got the Phantoms on the board first at the 7:54 mark of the opening period, wristing home a shot off a 3-on-2 rush for his second goal of the playoffs.

The Marlies tied it with a power-play goal at 9:34 as Trevor Moore redirected a Rosen shot home, his fourth goal of the postseason.

After a scoreless second period, Lehigh Valley regained the lead at 5:12 of the third when Mikhail Vorobyev pounced on a loose puck and fired a shot past Sparks to make it 2-1.

That lead lasted ony 23 seconds, as Grundstrom raced down the right wing and beat Alex Lyon for his fifth goal of the postseason.

Lyon (6-3) finished with 44 saves in the loss for the Phantoms.

Toronto improved to 3-0 in overtime in these playoffs, 7-0 at home and 12-0 at Ricoh Coliseum over the last two postseasons.

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 at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
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