TORONTO, Ont.—The Chicago Wolves are on the brink of elimination from the Calder Cup playoffs after the Toronto Marlies came up with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Wednesday night at Ricoh Coliseum.
Marlies forward Jerry D’Amigo scored the game-winner 3:28 into overtime to give Toronto a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. He crashed the crease for a rebound and had his backhand denied by Wolves goaltender Jake Allen, but D’Amigo fought off a defenseman and the sprawling Allen to lift the next rebound home and set off a wild celebration.
Forwards Dmitrij Jaskin, Adam Cracknell and Tyler Shattock scored for the Wolves, who’ll face the Marlies in Game 4 at 6 p.m. Friday in Toronto.
“That was our best game to date,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “I think we’ve got to solve the problem of having three goals scored against us in the first period. It’s just too hard to come back from. We played hard. We hit a couple goalposts. We just can’t get a break. I’ve got to give them credit. Any time they’re around the net, they’re dangerous.”
Toronto jumped ahead for the third time in as many games as defenseman T.J. Brennan blasted a shot from the right point for a power-play goal at 5:26 of the first period.
The Wolves pulled even at 15:41 on Jaskin’s fourth goal of the postseason. Jaskin stood stout in the slot and Mark Cundari delivered a pass from the left point that Jaskin redirected past Toronto goaltender Drew MacIntyre. Joe Corvo also earned an assist on the power-play goal.
The Marlies needed just 50 seconds to regain the lead as Brennan tracked down a loose puck in the left corner and fired a quick pass across the crease to uncovered Peter Holland for a tap-in at the far post.
Chicago rallied again as Cracknell made the score 2-2 at 18:28 of the first when he found a loose rebound in the slot and knocked it through a mass of Marlies sticks and legs. Shane Harper and Keith Aucoin picked up the assists as they triggered the rush.
Once again, Toronto answered rapidly. Eleven seconds after Cracknell’s goal, right wing Brandon Kozun bounced a puck past Allen to give the Marlies a 3-2 lead and cap a stretch where the teams combined for four goals in 2 minutes, 58 seconds.
The Wolves’ fourth line teamed up to make it 3-3 at 11:34 of the second. Eric Selleck claimed the puck in the right corner, fought off a check and fired a pass across the crease to Tyler Shattock, who steadied the puck with his right skate and lifted it past MacIntyre. Nathan Longpre also earned an assist.
Chicago outshot Toronto 14-5 in the second period, but couldn’t take advantage of its opportunities to earn its first lead of the series. The Wolves outshot the Marlies 34-24 in regulation.
“It was our best complete effort that we’ve had against this team, but that’s hockey,” said Wolves captain Taylor Chorney. “You’ve got to capitalize on the chances you have and we didn’t. That team’s real opportunistic. If you let that team hang around, a lot of times they’re going to capitalize.”
Allen (3-5) stopped 26 of 30 shots while MacIntyre (6-0) denied 32 of 35 shots to earn his third win of the series.
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