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Marlies erupt for three third-period goals to beat Syracuse and force Game 7

NHL.com @NHL

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The Toronto Marlies erupted for three goals in the third period to beat the Syracuse Crunch 3-2 on Saturday in Game 6 of their American Hockey League second-round series.

Derrick Walser broke a 1-1 tie with a power-play goal for the Marlies, who have climbed out of a 3-1 hole to even the North Division final at three games apiece. Toronto will host its second Game 7 of this playoff year Monday at the Ricoh Coliseum.

Alexandre Picard initially gave the Crunch a 1-0 lead at 17:46 of the first period, with assists going to Gilbert Brule and Duvie Westcott.

The Crunch nursed the one-goal advantage through the entire second period and into the early part of the third.

But the Marlies pulled even at 3:10 of the final stanza when Peter Tsimikalis scored unassisted for his first career AHL playoff goal.

Walser put Toronto on top at the 6:56 mark, and Bates Battaglia made it a 3-1 game at 10:53. David Ling assisted on both scores, giving the former Syracuse forward nine points over the first six games of the series.

Battaglia's goal would prove big, as Westcott cut the deficit to 3-2 with 6:15 left in regulation. But the Crunch could not find the equalizer.

It marked Battaglia's second game-winning goal in as many days, as he scored in overtime on Friday to give Toronto a 4-3 victory in Game 5. Marlies goaltender Scott Clemmensen earned the win Saturday with 30 saves on 32 shots.

Toronto, which posted a Game 7 victory over San Antonio at Ricoh Coliseum in the division semifinals, is now 3-0 this post-season when facing elimination. The Marlies will enter Monday's tilt seeking to become just the 14th team in AHL history to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-1.

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