|Calder Cup Playoffs | Third Round – Eastern Conference Finals
Game 4 | Friday May 25, 2018 | Marlies win series 4-0
PPL Center, Allentown, PA
Forward lines and defense pairings:
Carey – Varone – Conner
Lindblom – Krushelnyski – Knight
Martel – Vorobyev – Aube-Kubel
Goulbourne – Bardreau – McDonald
Brennan – Friedman
Sanheim – Myers
Willcox – Lamarche
Sam Morin, Will O’Neill, Steven Swavely, Radel Fazleev, Mike Vecchione, Morgan Frost, Carsen Twarynski, Frank Hora, Pascal Laberge, Carter Hart, David Drake, James de Haas, Isaac Ratcliffe, Anthony Stolarz, John Muse
Game four. Season on the line. Backs against a wall, down 3-0 in the series. It was do or die time for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as they faced elimination from the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night. And after a disappointing performance on Wednesday, when they were shut out 5-0, the team came out firing on all cylinders right from the opening faceoff.
The Phantoms played with an intensity and physicality that was nowhere to be seen in Wednesday’s game. They were getting through the Marlies and into the offensive zone, hitting and finishing checks on every shift, and skating much faster and with determination. However, Toronto continued to keep their opponent under control and Garret Sparks had another strong performance in the crease to keep things scoreless after the opening 20 minutes.
It was apparent early on that the officials were going to let the two teams play hockey with a bit of an edge, as a lot of would-be penalties went by without a whistle. However when the penalty boxes did start to see some action, it was Lehigh Valley heading off more times than Toronto. The Phantoms’ penalty killers looked much improved on this night and only allowed one goal on four Marlies man advantages.
Andreas Johnsson had himself a game, scoring the first goal of the night and then the eventual game winner for his fifth and sixth goals of the postseason. In between, Alex Lyon had some spectacular saves, including some risky moves that required a bit of acrobatics to keep the puck out of his net.
But he held off the Marlies for the most part and finally, on a power play of their own, Travis Sanheim buried his first goal of the playoffs to even the score at 1-1, assisted by Colin McDonald and Phil Varone. It brought the PPL Center crowd roaring to their feet.
The third period, though, found the Phantoms taking their foot off the gas just a bit again and allowing Toronto to outshoot them 11-7 in the frame. Johnsson scored that second goal and, despite a lot of grit and desperate play, the Phantoms just couldn’t find a way to get through Sparks again. An empty netter by Trevor Moore with less than a minute remaining was the final nail in Lehigh Valley’s season.
Having completed the sweep, the Toronto Marlies now advance to the Calder Cup Finals where they’ll play the winner of the Western Conference Finals: the Texas Stars or the Rockford IceHogs. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms didn’t get the ultimate result they wanted and will now look to start building towards next season, after their exit interviews in a few days.
▲ Alex Lyon, Travis Sanheim, Phil Varone, Colin McDonald
▼ Greg Carey, Reece Willcox, Maxim Lamarche
|1 for 2||Power Play||1 for 4|
|AHL Three Stars|
|Post-game interview with Scott Gordon
Post-game interview with Alex Lyon
Post-game interview with Colin McDonald
Post-game interview with Travis Sanheim
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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