Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Carcone's Hat Trick Helps Marlies Beat Checkers in OT and Even AHL East Final

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Carcone's Hat Trick Helps Marlies Beat Checkers in OT and Even AHL East Final

Article excerpt

Marlies's OT win evens AHL East final

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TORONTO - Michael Carcone remembers completing his hat trick in dramatic fashion.

After that, everything's a bit of a blur.

The winger scored his third goal of the night at 7:29 of overtime as the Toronto Marlies defeated the Charlotte Checkers 4-3 on Thursday to even the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference final at two games apiece.

"I think I kind of blacked out there," said Carcone, who also added an assist for a four-point performance. "Sometimes you don't believe it, but it was definitely a good feeling."

Jeremy Bracco also scored for the Marlies, while Kasimir Kaskisuo made 29 saves.

Andrew Poturalski, with a goal and an assist, Julien Gauthier and Jesper Sellgren replied for the Checkers. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 24 shots.

Game 5 of the series goes Friday back at Coca-Cola Coliseum.

Acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Vancouver Canucks in December's trade for Josh Leivo, the 22-year-old Carcone has worked his way up to the organization's top line in the AHL alongside Bracco and Chris Mueller.

"He was playing real good hockey for us through the tail end of the regular season," Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe said. "You see when he does move his feet like today, he's a pretty dominant player and tough to slow down."

The winner of Toronto-Charlotte will take on either the San Diego Gulls or Chicago Wolves in the Calder Cup. San Diego leads that series 2-1.

Carcone scored his third goal in an back-and-forth extra period, snapping his sixth of the playoffs off the rush through the five-hole past Nedeljkovic.

"That's big time," Bracco said. "This is why you put on the gear when you're five, six years old.

"It's an honour to play alongside him."

Tied 1-1 after two periods, Sellgren gave Charlotte -- the Carolina Hurricanes' AHL affiliate -- its first lead 68 seconds into the third when he wheeled in the offensive zone and fired a shot off the far post and in past Kaskisuo with the teams playing 4 on 4.

Toronto responded at 5:07 when Carcone scored his second of the night on a deflection of Jesper Lindgren's weak point shot. …

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