Toronto Marlies Take 1-0 Series Lead With Overtime Win Against Utica Comets
FiredUp Network Sports Writer
Friday, April 28, 2023
The Toronto Marlies defeated the Utica Comets 6-5 in overtime on Thursday to take Game One of Round Two of the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. Toronto leads the best of five series 1-0.
“The group’s feeling good, especially with being down the way we were at the start of the game,” said Marlies Head Coach Greg Moore. “Really proud of the response that the guys had and the confidence to find their way back into the game.”
In the opening period, it was the visitors who struck first. Reilly Walsh scored a power play goal at 6:08 to give the Comets an early lead. Graeme Clarke followed up with one of his own at 13:39 to extend Utica’s lead to two heading into the second period.
Early in the second, Utica extended their lead to three with a goal by Xavier Parent at 2:06. Shortly after, Toronto got on the board with a goal by Pontus Holmberg at 5:43 to keep the Marlies within two. Less than two minutes later, Topi Niemelä added another for Toronto at 7:00 to make it 3-1. Later in the frame, Logan Shaw scored on the power-play goal at 13:59 to tie the game at three a piece.
Halfway through the third, Utica responded with a goal by Reilly Walsh at 11:08 to make it 4-3 for the visitors. Less than a minute later, Logan Shaw earned his second of the night at 11:43 to once again tie the game at four. Shortly after, T Shortly after, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev scored to give Toronto their first lead of the game at 12:41, making it 5-4 for the home team. In the final minute of the frame, Alexander Holtz scored to tie the game at five and force overtime.
In the extra frame, both teams exchanged chances, but it was Joseph Blandisi who scored the overtime winner at 18:35 to give the Marlies the win. Logan Shaw was the lone assist on Blandisi’s overtime goal.
“Our captain has done it all season,” said Greg Moore. “To get the two big goals that he had and that effort at that time of the period to work back and strip the puck and be the driver on the goal to be the flash screen was really, really impressive and why he’s our leader.”
Keith Petruzzelli stood tall in the Marlies crease stopping 40 of the 45 shots he faced.
“Games like that your goalie has got to make saves,” said Marlies Forward Nick Abruzzese. “He’s got to be one of your best players and I definitely thought he was.”
The Marlies return to action on April 29th when they host the Utica Comets in Game Two of Round Two of the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs. Puck drop is at 4:00pm on The Toronto Maple Leafs app and AHLTV.