Marlies Return Favor, Shut Out Bears

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Posted May 27, 2016

Two days after getting booed out of Ricoh Coliseum, the Toronto Marlies shut down and shutout the Hershey Bears to win Game 4 and stave off elimination. William Nylander tallied a hat trick and T.J Brennan tied the franchise record with four assists in the 5-0 win.

The Bears still hold a three games to one lead in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 5 will be Sunday afternoon from Ricoh. Should the Marlies win, they will push the series back to GIANT Center for Game 6 on Tuesday.

The opening of tonight’s contest might have helped Hershey were their power play able to convert on two chances in the opening period. Both teams looked destined for a scoreless first, but that’s when Erik Burgdoerfer’s clearance only came to the blue line.

Brennan set up Nylander, the first of their two combinations tonight, to put the shot high on Justin Peters. Tied at seven in shots on goal, the seventh for Toronto gave them a lead before the first intermission.

Tight defense ruled the day when the second period started. Shots came from far outside or not at all for Hershey while some decent chances came through for Toronto. Again, Nylander got the Marlies on the board late to double his team’s advantage.

Nikita Soshnikov stole the puck from Hershey and tossed it for Connor Carrick. Carrick then slid the puck over to Nylander, who had all the time and space he could have wanted to release a shot for his fifth of the playoffs.

Much like the previous game, except with the teams reversed, an explosion of special teams goals led to eventual victory. Three power play goals spelled doom for the Chocolate and White and guaranteed the next game of the series.

Josh Leivo, a thorn in the side of Hershey all game, scored from the top of the crease for the first of such extra-man goals. Then, he fell on top of Justin Peters and all hell broke loose.

Peters and Tyler Lewington both tossed punches at Leivo to spark a brawl immediately after his goal. Leivo and Lewington both received roughing minors, with Lewington getting an extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Carrick made him pay for that with a hard slap shot and a four-goal lead.

The next stoppage brought Lewington out of the box; sadly, in went Madison Bowey after a high, suspension worthy hit on Kasperi Kapanen. Kapanen remained down breifly, but skated by the open penalty box door to yell at Bowey before going to the bench.

A major and a game misconduct later, the Bears lost the Washington Capitals 2nd round pick for the balance of the game. The Bears managed to kill off most of the major, but a slash from Ryan Stanton granted the Marlies a one-minute two-man advantage.

It was here where Nylander completed his first hat trick with a shot from the high slot. Peters finished the night with 28 saves on 33 shots. Antoine Bibeau completed his limited night of service with an 18 save shutout.

At the final horn, as most of the other Marlies skated to congratulate their goaltender, Rich Clune and Liam O’Brien met at center ice. Clune ended up with a slashing minor out of the meeting.

Now that both teams have taken a thorough beating from each other, Game 5 may be a better measure of the overall competition expected when the series began.