Toronto Marlies’ Mike Zigomanis, celebrates his game-winning goal against the Abbotsford Heat in the first overtime period of Game 5 of an AHL Western Conference semifinal Calder Cup playoff hockey series in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday. Toronto won the game 3-2 to win the best-of-seven series and advance to the AHL Western Conference final!
The two teams split the first two games of the series at the Ricoh Centre, but then the Marlies came west to the Fraser Valley and roared to three straight wins and a berth in the AHL’s Western Conference final.
Mike Zigomanis, the hockey vegan himself, got to be the hero in Game 5 against the Heat, winning a power play faceoff and then banging in Nazem Kadri’s rebound to end the series at 9:02 of extra time. Zigomanis drew the penalty as well, a high-sticking minor on Hugh Jessiman, and the struggling Marlie power play finally clicked.
“They’re a good team,” said Zigomanis. “But our team just finds a way. Timely goaltending, timely goals. The nucleus of our team sticks together. This team adapts well to the situation.”
The Marlies will now get a full week off before beginning the Western Conference final against either the San Antonio Rampage (affiliate of the Florida Panthers) or the Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton). Game 4 in that series goes Thursday night in Texas, with Oke City ahead two games to one.
If it’s the Rampage, the series will start in Toronto, possibly at the Air Canada Centre because of a potential conflict at the Ricoh Centre. If it’s the Barons, the series will start in Oklahoma.
Ben Scrivens stopped 29 shots in the final victory over Abbotsford and allowed only seven goals in five games with a dazzling .955 save percentage. Source: thestar.com
GO MARLIES GO!!