It was a dramatic goal for Matt Frattin, maybe his most dramatic as a pro.
But it cost him the rest of the season.
The Maple Leaf winger has been a dynamic force for the AHL Marlies during their run to the Calder Cup final, and scored an empty netter last Friday to eliminate the Oklahoma City Barons. But after putting the puck into the net the Edmonton native slammed heavily into the end boards, in so doing injuring his knee and knocking him out for the rest of the playoffs.
That leaves Dallas' Eakins crew extremely shorthanded heading into Game 1 of the Calder Cup final in Virginia on Friday against the powerful Norfolk Admirals. The Marlies were already without centres Nazem Kadri and Mike Zigomanis, as well as winger Marcel Mueller. Kadri is believed to have a shoulder injury and Zigomanis may be dealing with a concussion, although the team has declined to confirm either injury.
Carter Ashton, acquired from Tampa at the trade deadline after playing much of the season for Norfolk, is also out with a concussion. It's not clear whether any of the injured Marlies will be available for the series opener or any part of the Calder Cup final.
No Leaf farm club has reached the AHL final since the St. John's Maple Leafs under Marc Crawford did so in 1992.
Frattin had 10 goals in 13 playoff games before being injured. It's believed he will need off-season surgery. He had eight goals in 56 games as a rookie with the Leafs. this season.