Toronto Marlies beat Oklahoma City Barons 3-1 to advance to the Calder Cup finals next week. Marlies won the series 4-1 as the Western Conference winners of the American Hockey League (AHL) and go up against Norfolk Admirals next Friday.
The crowd of 7, 515 at Ricoh Coliseum Friday (standing room only) night was enthusiastic from the opening puck drop as Marlies Matt Frattin (9) opened the scoring at 1:13 of the first. The game was well matched throughout, until Oklahoma Cities' Chris VandeVelde tied it up at 19:45 of the first period.
The teams remained tied until 8:38 of the second period when Simon Gysbers of the Marlies scored his first of the series with a slap shot from the point to make it 2-1.
Oklahoma City Barons are the affiliate of Edmonton Oilers and have had a good year, but couldn't handle the pressure of Marlies and especially goaltender Ben Scrivens even though they were missing a few star players, Nazem Kadri, and Mike Zigomanis who will hopefully be back for the final series. Other sidelined players for Marlies were Marcel Mueller and Carter Ashton out with upper body injuries.
Matt Frattin (10) wrapped it up at 19:18 as he scored his second of the game and 10th of the playoffs to lead Marlies into the final round in Norfolk, VA On Friday, June 1st in Norfolk, against the Admirals. (It will be on local Rogers TV)
Norlfold Scopes Arena VA,seats 8,704
It is the first year the Toronto Maple Leaf affiliate has advanced to the Calder Cup finals lead by third-year coach Dallas Eakins. This will be the 76th annual play-down for the AHL's Calder Cup award.
After the win Friday in Toronto, Marlies walked away with the Robert W. Clarke, AHL's Western Conference Champions award and are now looking to pick up the Calder Cup. The Robert W. Clarke trophy was won seven times by the Rochester Americans who Marlies beat in the first round.
The Marlies return to Ricoh Coliseum in game three against Norfolk at 7pm, on Thurday, June 7th.
The full schedule can be seen HERE. The Norfolk Admirals are the affiliate of Tampa Bay Lightning.