MARLIES BLANK BARONS IN OPENER, 5-0
By Cassie Gage,
The Oklahoma City Barons opened the 2012 Calder Cup Playoffs Western Conference Finals with a 5-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies Thursday evening at the Cox Convention Center. Marlies goaltender Ben Scrivens turned away all 31 Oklahoma City shots he faced en route to his second shutout of these playoffs.
Toronto opened the scoring at 5:47 of the first period as Marcel Mueller got a shot through traffic to give the Marlies a 1-0 lead. Teemu Hartikainen had an opportunity to even the score midway through the period but just missed the net glove side on Scrivens.
The Marlies attempted to add to their lead on the penalty kill later in the period as Will Acton and Ryan Hamilton had a shorthanded 2-on-1 develop, but Oklahoma City netminder Yann Danis was able to make the save.
Special teams came through for the Marlies late in the period as Nicolas Deschamps scored from the edge of the crease on a rebound, once again with traffic, to put Toronto up 2-0 at 14:12 of the opening period. The Marlies led in shots 12-9 at the first intermission and went 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Barons were 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
The two first period goals were the most allowed by the Barons in an opening period during the 2012 Playoffs. Oklahoma City had allowed just three goals in its previous nine games.
Matt Frattin added to his postseason total with his sixth goal of the playoffs at 12:16. Frattin broke in on Danis and beat him with a wrist shot to give Toronto a 3-0 lead. The Marlies led in shots 19-17 at the end of the second period.
Toronto extended the lead to 4-0 early in the third period as Joe Colborne got a rebound past Danis at 5:03. Jake Gardiner then made it 5-0 at 13:08 with a backhander that went up and over Danis on the glove side.
Magnus Paajarvi led the Barons with five shots on goal but the Marlies ended the game with a 32-31 advantage in the department.
The two teams meet in the second game of the Western Conference Final tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. CT inside the Cox Convention Center.
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