Marlies Clinch Playoffs with Win
April 10, 2009
Battaglia’s OT Goal Puts Marlies in Postseason
Marlies Overtime Victory Clinches Playoff Berth
(TORONTO) – For the second consecutive year the Toronto Marlies are headed to the playoffs. Toronto clinched a playoff spot with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Manitoba Moose on Friday night in front of 3,450 fans at Ricoh Coliseum. Bates Battaglia’s overtime winner, and a Crunch loss, clinched a playoff spot for the Marlies.
Just under a minute remaining in the first period, Moose left winger Jason Jaffray capitalized on a giveaway to take a 1-0 lead. Marlies defenseman Joey Ryan skated in front of the Marlies net and lost control of the puck and Jaffray chipped it by Justin Pogge for his 23rd of the season.
The Moose jumped out to a 2-0 lead 55 seconds into the second period. Moose forward Michael Grabner got behind the Marlies defence and backhanded it by Pogge for his 28th goal of the campaign. Jason Krog and Guillaume Desbiens both picked up assists on the goal. Krog’s assist was his team leading 85th point of the season.
The Marlies quickly answered back just over a minute later when Ryan Hollweg scored his second goal of the year. Marlies left-winger Jay Rosehill passed it to Hollweg who fired it from the point and past a screened Cory Schneider to cut the lead to one.
Raymond Sawada extended the Moose lead to 3-1 mid-way through the second frame. Pogge was unable to control the rebound from Grabner’s shot and Sawada who was in front of the Marlie goal managed to bat the puck into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
The Marlies made it 3-2 on the power-play late in the second period after Jeremy Williams fired it past Cory Schneider. Marlies forward Tim Stapleton started the play as he fought off two Moose defenders to dish it to Williams who one-timed it in. Williams’ goal was his 19th power-play tally of the season. Battaglia also picked up an assist on the goal.
The momentum carried over into the third period as Stapleton scored a highlight reel goal to tie the game. Battaglia passed it to a streaking Stapleton who broke in and fired a wrist shot top shelf on Schneider’s glove-side. Stapleton’s goal was his club leading, 28th.
In the overtime period, Stapleton ripped a shot from the point on goal and Battaglia was at the doorstep to knock it out of the air and past Schneider. Joey Ryan picked up the second assist.
The win was Toronto’s sixth straight over their first round opponent, Manitoba.
Justin Pogge made 21 saves to record his 26th win of the season, tying his franchise high set last year.
Battaglia and Stapleton both finished the night with three point games (one goal, two assists).
Toronto hosts the Hamilton Bulldogs tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. for their season finale. The Marlies will hand out their individual team awards prior to puck-drop.
ICE CHIPS: Marlies entered the game with a one point lead over Syracuse for the final playoff spot in the North division...Toronto has successfully killed off 21 straight Moose power-plays...Marlies goaltender Justin Pogge is 5-1-0 versus the Moose this season...Moose goaltender Cory Schneider was named winner of Aldega “Baz” Bastien Memorial award for the league’s most outstanding goaltender...Toronto won only their third game this season when trailing after two periods.
1. MTB J.Jaffray (23) (unassisted) 19:01
2. MTB M.Grabner (28) (Krog, Desbiens) 0:55
1. TOR R.Hollweg (2) (Rosehill) 2:30
3. MTB R Sawada (6) (Grabner) 13:19
2. TOR J.Williams (27) (Stapleton, Battaglia) 17:10 PP
3. TOR T. Stapleton (28) (Battaglia) 1:54
4. TOR B. Battaglia (16) (Stapleton, Ryan) 2:16
1. TOR: Tim Stapleton
2. TOR: Bates Battaglia
3. MTB: Michael Grabner