The game followed a similar path to the previous night’s matchup, with the two sides battling neck-and-neck for nearly 40 minutes of play - Toronto drew first blood early in the middle frame, but Wilmer Skoog pulled the Checkers even minutes later with his third goal and sixth point in the last four games.
A quick burst near the end of the second proved to be the difference once again, however. The Marlies claimed the lead back for themselves inside the last three minutes of the frame, then jumped on a reeling Checkers squad with 44 ticks left to push things further out of reach.
The Checkers couldn’t muster anything from that point - including finishing the night scoreless on five man advantages - and one more power-play strike from the Marlies in the third would put the game away for the visitors.
I thought it was an honest effort, to be quite honest. I thought it was competitive all the way through. We made a couple of mental errors in the two and a half minutes after some big kills and some big saves by Knighter. A good learning lesson for us that you have to stay with it the whole way through. You coach effort, and I thought the competitiveness was there and the effort was there. We just made those mental errors at the end of the second that we want to make sure we clean up. A good lesson moving forward and we’ll just build on that.
Kinnear on the power play
We have to be dangerous, first and foremost. I thought the first one at the start of the game yesterday allowed us to build momentum. I didn’t feel that moving forward.
Kinnear on his team’s response to a physical challenge
Outstanding. I thought it was competitive hockey. I thought it was back and forth for a long period of time. The two and a half minutes you just can’t fall asleep for because good teams will make you pay. It’s a good hockey team with a lot of skill that made us pay, but there was a lot of good tonight.