TORONTO, Cananda - Will Acton scored the winning goal early in the third period as the Toronto Marlies beat the Grand Rapids Griffins 4-2 on Saturday afternoon to even the AHL semifinal series at a game apiece.
Acton took a saucer pass from Jerry D?Amigo as he was streaking into the slot area and snapped the puck past goalie Petr Mrazek at 2:36 of the third for his second of the playoffs.
Greg Scott scored a goal and added an empty-netter, and Ryan Lasch had the other for Toronto. Drew MacIntyre made 30 saves for the win.
Tomas Jurco and Landon Ferraro replied for Grand Rapids. Mrazek stopped 28 shots in defeat.
The series shifts to Grand Rapids for the next three games.
The Griffins took Game 1, crushing the Marlies 7-0, the worst playoff loss in Toronto?s franchise history.
After a scoreless first period, the teams opened up with two goals apiece in the second.
The Griffins got on the board first at 8:36 on a 2-on-1 rush. Jurco dished to Teemu Pulkkinen who poked the puck toward the Toronto goal. MacIntyre couldn???t coral it and Jurco swooped in from the right side of the net to flick the puck over the sprawling goalie.
The Marlies finally broke through less than two minutes later, scoring their first goal of the series. It came on the power play, when Lasch scored on his second chance at a rebound off a Paul Ranger point shot.
It???s Lasch???s first goal of the post-season.
Toronto then took its first lead of the series at 15:03 while on the penalty kill. A Mike Zigomanis poke check at the red-line sent the puck to Scott, who skated around a Griffins defenceman and made a forehand deke on Mrazek to score his second short-handed goal of the playoffs.
But Grand Rapids got its own short-handed goal 1:41 later when Ferraro scored on a breakaway after Ranger fumbled the puck at the Griffins??? blue-line with no one behind him to back him up.
Grand Rapids owned most of the play in the first two periods, getting the first seven shots in each frame before the Marlies were able to record a shot on goal and outshooting Toronto 28-15.
After Acton scored the winner early in the third period, Scott got his second of the game, an empty-netter at 18:41, his league-leading seventh of the post-season.
Notes: It???s the second-ever playoff meeting between the two teams. The Griffins defeated the Marlies 4-1 in the 2006 North Division semifinals???Lasch???s goal broke Mrazek???s shutout streak at 153:44, dating back to Grand Rapids??? first-round series against the Houston Aeros???Announced attendance was 3,891.