MARLIES 3, SOUND TIGERS 0
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers fought until the very end, but fell to the Toronto Marlies 3-0 in Game Two of the North Division Semis Sunday night at Webster Bank Arena. With the win the Marlies take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five-series.
The third star of the game, Stephon Williams, stopped 34 of 37 shots in the loss, while Garret Sparks earned the shutout stopping all 31 shots he faced.
The Sound Tigers and the Marlies traded chances in the first period with 12 shots on goal each, but after taking two early penalties it looked as if Toronto dominated the period. Williams remained a brick wall through it all and Bridgeport almost capitalized on a few opportunities just as the opening frame wound down.
Once again, the second period was evened out in shots with 13 for each team. Williams was certainly tested in the middle frame, but the Sound Tigers defense had been stellar at breaking up plays and blocking shots all night. Yet, that didn’t completely stop the Marlies from gaining a lead.
At 10:23 of the second period Bridgeport was given a power play opportunity to start up some scoring, but Toronto had other plans. Connor Brown picked up the puck in the neutral zone and netted his second of the series on a short-handed breakaway to give the Marlies a 1-0 lead. Williams stopped his initial shot, but Brown was able to chip in the rebound.
Under three minutes into the final frame the Marlies doubled their lead. Kasperi Kapanen fed the puck to the slot from the left corner of the boards where Ben Smith was waiting and backhanded it past the glove side of Williams.
Two power play opportunities were given to the Sound Tigers in the third period, but they did not do much with them. The Marlies sealed the deal with an empty net goal at the 17:57 mark of the final frame. Brown sent the puck into the net from the red line for his second of the night and third of the series.
Justin Florek looked for his second goal of the series throughout the night sending a few shots on net, but couldn’t quite find the hole. Marc-Andre Cliche also had five shots on goal of his own, and Kevin Czuczman had four that landed on net.
Toronto went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Bridgeport went 0-for-3. The Sound Tigers will travel to Toronto for a must win Game Three on Thursday night to stay alive in the series.
Kearns – Cliche – Wright
Dal Colle – Fritz – Halmo
Florek – Holmstrom – Collberg
Gomes – Jones – Markison
Czuczman – Mayfield
Lafranchise – Burroughs
Finn – Cullity