Sports Calder Cup success worth the wait for Nielsen, Marlies and fans

05:55  12 june  2018
05:55  12 june  2018 Source:   thestar.com

Marlies drop Game 2 of Calder Cup final

  Marlies drop Game 2 of Calder Cup final Marlies drop Game 2 of Calder Cup finalThe win evens the best-of-seven Calder Cup final at 1-1. The Marlies won the first game 6-5 on Saturday.

The Toronto Marlies , dominant throughout the 2017-18 American Hockey League regular season, are within one victory of winning the Calder Cup . Dermott appeared to be nursing his left shoulder after a collision with the Stars’ Jason Dickinson in Game 4. With Dermott out, Andrew Nielsen played in his

The Marlies took a commanding two game lead in their first round Calder Cup playoffs series on Sunday, after winning in overtime on Saturday. Martin Marincin - Justin Holl Calle Rosen - Vincent LoVerde Andrew Nielsen - Timothy Liljegren.

After seeing regular duty before the playoffs, ice time has been harder to come by for Marlies defenceman Andrew Nielsen, who stepped in and stepped up in their Game 5 win in Texas.© Rick Madonik After seeing regular duty before the playoffs, ice time has been harder to come by for Marlies defenceman Andrew Nielsen, who stepped in and stepped up in their Game 5 win in Texas.

Andrew Nielsen played 65 regular-season games for the Toronto Marlies, the most among defencemen. He played the first four games of the playoffs, then was shunted aside when Travis Dermott was returned by the Maple Leafs for the Calder Cup run.

“It’s tough, because you play all year wanting to play in the playoffs and help the team however you can. You think you can be out there helping them,” said Nielsen.

“You’ve got to be ready. They still have faith in me. They still believe in me. They can only put six guys out there on the ice at a time, and at this point I wasn’t high enough on the depth chart. You have to stay ready and know it’s nothing personal. Just a business decision.”

Stars pull even with Marlies in Calder Cup final

  Stars pull even with Marlies in Calder Cup final Curtis McKenzie scored twice as the Texas Stars downed the Toronto Marlies 3-2 on Thursday to even the American Hockey League championship at two wins apiece. The Stars host Game 5 on Saturday, with Games 6 and 7 of the best-of-seven set scheduled back at Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum. Justin Dowling had the winner for Texas midway through the third period. Andreas Johnsson and Dmytro Timashov scored for the Marlies. Mike McKenna made 29 saves for the win as Garret Sparks stopped 15 shots in a losing cause.

All Toronto Marlies playoff games will be televised live on Leafs Nation Network. Purchase a 2018-19 Marlies Membership to secure complimentary tickets to all home games in Round 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs or for single game tickets. Nielsen , Andrew.

Calle Rosen scored twice, Andreas Johnsson, Trevor Moore, Colin Greening and Carl Grundstrom added singles and Garret Sparks stopped 23 shots for the Marlies , who took two of three games on the road and return to Ricoh Coliseum on Tuesday with a chance to win their first Calder Cup and the first

Nielsen got into a couple of games in the second round against Syracuse, but only because of injuries. Dermott is now out — day-to-day with an undisclosed injury — and Nielsen’s ability to put his hurt pride aside and just play is a big reason why the Toronto Marlies are just a win away from the franchise’s first AHL championship.

Nielsen stepped into the lineup in Game 5 — a 6-2 win over the Texas Stars — after having not played for a month and fit right in.

“It took me a few shifts to get going like it was a normal game,” said Nielsen. “I stayed ready. I worked on the ice and off the ice with the training staff to stay prepared. I’m ready to go back in Tuesday if Trav can’t go.”

That will be the big question for coach Sheldon Keefe ahead of Tuesday night’s Game 6, the possible clincher at Ricoh Coliseum. The Marlies have more or less dodged major injuries through the playoffs, though Andreas Borgman remains out with a lower-body injury suffered in the second round.

Marlies are one win away from the Calder Cup

  Marlies are one win away from the Calder Cup Fans of the Maple Leafs and Marlies should note that John Carlson, Jay Beagle and Braden Holtby will all have their names on two great hockey trophies.Of course, they've just won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.And in 2010, they won the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears -- the top farm team of the Capitals.The Toronto Marlies are one win away from the Calder Cup -- the first in franchise history. Could come as early as Tuesday. They lead the Texas Stars three games to two, with Game 6 Tuesday and Game 7 Thursday, if necessary. Both at the Ricoh Coliseum, 7 p.m.One of the narratives with farm teams is that winning breeds winning.

If the Toronto Marlies have had an advantage over the rest of the American Hockey League all season long it’s been in net, where Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard have proven to be the backbone of a team with Calder Cup aspirations.

Marlies need more offence as Texas ties Calder Cup final. Ben Smith, Vincent LoVerde, Colin Greening, Chris Mueller and Justin Holl have made AHL life easier for top Leafs picks such as Timothy Liljegren, Travis Dermott, Carl Grundstrom and Andrew Nielsen .

“Travis is still day-to-day,” said Keefe. “He didn’t skate today, but everybody at this stage is day-to-day. We’ll see about the game-time decisions — we have other guys who are game-time decisions — and see what we can get out of them at this stage.”

Centre Frederik Gauthier is also nursing an injury, but played through it during the three games in Texas. But depth, especially on the Marlies blue line, hasn’t been an issue.

“We like our depth,” said Keefe. “Andrew Nielsen played a lot of big games for us all season long. Full confidence he can step in and play some minutes for us.”

Keefe said once Dermott returned from the NHL and Calle Rosen got healthy, his six-man defence — with Martin Marincin, Justin Holl, Vincent LoVerde and Timothy Liljegren — was set.

“We played really comfortable with the six that were playing and from Travis Dermott’s arrival, we decided on the six for that game. And we didn’t lose for five weeks and we were healthy, so it was difficult to make any changes,” said Keefe.

Marlies are Star-struck as Texas forces Game 7 in Calder Cup final

  Marlies are Star-struck as Texas forces Game 7 in Calder Cup final The good news is the Toronto Marlies still have a chance to win the first Calder Cup in franchise history. That happens Thursday.The bad news is they squandered an opportunity to do it on Tuesday.The Texas Stars withstood an early Marlies barrage and used their own bit of luck and grit to win Game 6 of the Calder Cup final 5-2 at the Ricoh Coliseum.The series, tied at three games apiece, finishes Thursday with the winner-take-all Game 7, also at the Ricoh (7 p.m.). And doubt might be seeping in with Marlies started Garret Sparks posting his weakest outing — four goals on 17 shots — before being yanked.Calle Rosen and Justin Holl scored third-period goals as a comeback proved fruitless.

The Marlies have been preparing all week for what the organization hopes is a run at an AHL championship – potentially the franchise's first Calder Cup . But one of the less-heralded secrets to their success has been their ability to tap into Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's resources.

TORONTO — Even in defeat, this feels like a success . Maybe it was because the Ricoh Coliseum was sold-out again. Maybe it was because rookie defenceman Jake Gardiner ended up playing 17 more games than he should have.

It was hard to hear for Nielsen, a 21-year-old third-round pick from the 2015 draft who was finishing his second full year in the pros.

“It’s never easy being scratched,” said Nielsen. “You want to play every game. Me, when I was told I was getting scratched, you … look at your game, you do more video, you work hard in the gym to show you want to be out there, and when the time comes you’re ready.

“It’s a roller coaster. You’ve got to be ready. We’ve got a deep team on defence. Any time you can get in I’m going to take it.”

His teammates were impressed not just with his play, but his team-first approach to being scratched.

“It’s extremely difficult to be out of the lineup for a month, or as long as he was, to sit there and practise and not play and work out,” said LoVerde. “It’s tough mentally, it’s tough physically. I thought Andrew did an amazing job.

“It’s very hard to come into (Game 5) like that, with the stakes so high. I thought he competed well. I though the played great for us.”

Now, of course, there’s a chance to hoist the Calder Cup on home ice in front of a record crowd. The Marlies were installing more seats in the north end to accommodate demand.

“It’d be amazing,” said Nielsen. “To come home and have the opportunity to do it beside our fans who have been with us all year and to give them that championship would be unbelievable.”

Champion Marlies’ game-breakers knocking on NHL door .
With a Calder Cup and playoff MVP trophy to his credit, Andreas Johnsson has probably seen the last of the American Hockey League. FORWARDS

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