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Kozun scores twice as Marlies defeat Admirals 5-2 for 2-0 series lead

Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 12:25 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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Kozun scores twice as Marlies defeat Admirals 5-2 for 2-0 series lead

MILWAUKEE - Brandon Kozun finally got a few pucks to bounce his way.

Kozun scored two goals and assisted on another while Drew MacIntyre stopped 27 shots as the Marlies topped the host Milwaukee Admirals 5-2 on Saturday in American Hockey League playoff action.

Toronto now leads the best-of-five first-round series 2-0.

"It's nice (to have the puck go in), but it's nicer to get the win," said Kozun. "We're up 2-0 now. Milwaukee's played well and given us all we can handle. Now we go back to Toronto and try to finish it."

Including the regular season, Kozun had gone 15 games without a goal, registering just one assist.

"We knew he would break out at some point," said Marlies head coach Steve Spott, "And in a game like tonight where we weren't that tidy, it was great to have him break out and get a couple of big goals for us."

Sam Carrick, Korbinian Holzer and Jerry D'Amigo also scored for Toronto, which registered three power-play goals on eight opportunities while killing off all seven of Milwaukee's chances with the man advantage.

Calle Jarnkrok and Bryan Rodney scored for the Admirals, who face the daunting task of needing to win three straight, all in Toronto.

Kozun hit the crossbar early in the game, but he broke through at 18:51 of the first period to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. Kozun fired a low wrister from the top of the left circle that found its way through traffic past Milwaukee goalie Marek Mazanec, who never saw it.

Carrick made it 2-0 at 8:07 of the second with his third goal of the series, scoring during a two-man advantage. Carrick was all alone at the left post and took a pass from Trevor Smith straight across the goalmouth. Milwaukee had committed four penalties in a span of three minutes 15 seconds to set up that opportunity.

The Admirals finally got on the board in the first minute of the third period. Jarnkrok beat MacIntyre from inside the top of the right circle off a faceoff 53 seconds in.

Milwaukee had life, and another opportunity came their way when Toronto defenceman Dylan Yeo went to the box for four minutes on high-sticking call just two minutes later. But the Marlies killed off all four minutes with little trouble, then added an insurance goal on another power play. Mazanec stopped the initial shot by Holzer, but lost sight of the puck between his legs and Kozun poked it in at 11:31.

Holzer added a third power-play goal for the Marlies at 17:21.

Rodney scored for Milwaukee with 1:06 remaining before D'Amigo added an empty-net goal with 39.5 seconds left.

"I think special teams are always a huge part of success in the playoffs," said Holzer. "All the guys sacrificed and we had (MacIntyre) standing on his head. It was a great effort by the whole team — by every killer out there and the guys on the bench cheering guys on after they blocked shots. It's a whole-team effort and something to be proud of."

"Our power play the entire game — the entire series so far — has been very average," said Milwaukee head coach Dean Evason. "We definitely have to be better for sure."

MacIntyre stopped all 15 first-period shots from Milwaukee, then stoned Colton Sissons on a point-blank shot from just outside the right post a little over a minute into the second.

Game 3 is Thursday, May 1 in Toronto. Games 4 and 5, if necessary, would be Saturday and Sunday. Milwaukee has never come back from a 0-2 playoff deficit.

"If we're the first team, that would be awesome," said Evason. "Why not? You just look back to last year, we won three in a row to get into the playoffs by one point. We've got a group that all year has talked about one game at a time. We play on Thursday. When the puck is dropped, we'll play hard and see where we sit at the end of the night."

Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season