TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Marlies followed the script of the prior five games in this AHL North Division Finals series — where the home team won every game — and won game six at Ricoh Coliseum by the score of 2-1 over the Syracuse Crunch Monday night.
Game 7 will be Wednesday evening in Syracuse, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals against either Hershey or Providence.
The first period was scoreless. The Marlies outshot the Crunch 8-5 in the opening period.
A lot of shots would be taken in the second period as both teams combined for 26 shots with the Crunch outshooting the Marlies 15-11. The Crunch got on the board first 2:09 into the second period when Michael Bournival won the race to a loose puck and put it past Kasmir Kaskisuo for a shorthanded goal. Slater Koekkoek also earned an assist on Bournival’s goal as it was his second of the playoffs.
The Marlies would get the game back on level terms, however. The puck bounced and found Carl Grundstrom’s stick. He put in past Crunch goaltender Mike McKenna to tie the game at 1-1. Cal O’Reilly and Seth Griffith would receive assists on Grundstrom’s goal.
Andrew Nielsen would score the game-winning goal in the middle stages of the final frame. He stroked a one-timer that deflected past Kaskisuo to give the Marlies a 2-1 lead. For Nielsen, it was his first goal of the playoffs and it came on the power play. Seth Griffith and Cal O’Reilly would pick up their second assists of the night.
Kaskisuo made 27 saves in the win, while Crunch goaltender Mike McKenna made 23 saves in the loss.
Toronto was 2-for-6 on the power play in Game 6, improving to 8-for-29 (27.6 percent) in the series. Syracuse was 0-for-2.