By Carter Brooks
Photo by Jeff Miller
The American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies are heading to the Calder Cup Final. Following an opening round that lasted five games, the Marlies upped the tempo for the second and third rounds, only requiring the minimum four games in each series to dismantle of their opponents.
Toronto is currently riding a nine-game winning streak heading into the Calder Cup Final. Although missing the Marlies' first four games of the postseason due to finishing the season with the Maple Leafs, Andreas Johnsson leads the way in the point scoring department for Toronto with six goals and 15 points in just nine games.
In 13 games, Winnipeg native Adam Brooks has two goals, four points, four penalty minutes, 19 shots and is a plus four. The rookie centreman is not the only Manitoban on the Marlies, as backup netminder Calvin Pickard has also played in two games for Toronto.
Pickard has stopped 37 of 39 playoff shots for a .949 save percentage and a 1.15 goals against average. The 26-year-old has taken a comfortable backseat to Garret Sparks, who led the AHL in wins, goals against average and save percentage this past season.
The Marlies will do battle with the Texas Stars, who required 15 games to reach the final round. The best-of-seven series kicks off on Saturday in Toronto. Puckdrop from Ricoh Coliseum is 3:00 P.M. central time. The teams will resume action Sunday afternoon, before the series shifts to Texas for the next three games. If necessary, games six and seven will be hosted by the Marlies.