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Marlies rally past Crunch to force Game 7

Syracuse is unable to hold its early lead as Toronto extends the series with a 2-1 victory

by Megan Cahill / Syracuse Crunch

TORONTO - The Syracuse Crunch scored first, but the Toronto Marlies fought back to force a Game 7 with a 2-1 win on Monday night at Ricoh Coliseum.

Michael Bournival opened scoring early in the first period with a shorthanded tally on the breakaway, but Syracuse was unable to hold on to the lead for long and Toronto knotted the score within five minutes. The Marlies went on to net the game-winner in the third period to keep themselves from elimination.

Mike McKenna turned aside 23-of-25 shots on goal between the pipes for the Crunch. Kasimir Kaskisuo earned the win with 27 saves for the Marlies. Syracuse went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Toronto was 2-for-6 on the man-advantage.

After a scoreless first period, the Crunch broke the stalemate with a shorthanded marker 2:09 into the middle frame. During the penalty kill, Byron Froese cleared the puck into the neutral zone. Bournival got a stick on it to push the puck down the ice, then beat a Marlies defender in a foot race to score on the breakaway. Slater Koekkoek earned the secondary assist.

The Marlies evened the score with a power-play goal five minutes later. While McKenna was tracking the puck through a battle behind the cage, it took an odd bounce back out and landed on Carl Grundstrom's stick. He wrapped around the post and stuffed it in before the netminder could close the opening with his skate. Cal O'Reilly and Seth Griffith gathered points with the helpers.

Toronto stole the lead with the eventual game-winner with 8:27 remaining in the contest. Following some back-and-forth passing, Andrew Nielsen fired a one-timer from the high slot that deflected into the net through the five-hole. Griffith and O'Reilly made it multi-point nights with the helpers.

The Crunch were unable to comeback in the final minutes and dropped their third consecutive road game. The teams will return to Syracuse for Game 7 on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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