Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 26 2014 03:57PM
There's nothing quite like hearing the drop to Flux Pavilion's Do Or Die while kids scream at 10 in the morning to make you feel alive. Yes, it's another Toronto Marlies school day game, the second of three this season. They're a great opportunity for the organization to reach a new, younger audience that can become new fans in the future, or at least give them a day away from class. From the team's perspective, it lets them shake up their routines a bit and probably messes with them less than the team coming in to face them. Today, that opponent was the Binghamton Senators, who they defeated by a score of 4-2.
The first period, like so many games before it, saw the two teams trading scoring chances, with a few shoves mixed in as well, as the tone of the game was established. A mid period powerplay provided what looked like the best scoring chance, as Jerry D'Amigo pulled a card from James van Riemsdyk's deck and used his trademark spin-and shoot from the line, but did not beat Andrew Hammond. With just fourteen seconds left in the period; D'Amigo's efforts were topped by a play he himself instigated, feeding Kenny Ryan from behind the net. Ryan ripped a wrister into the top right for a shorthanded goal to give Toronto a lead going into the second.
In that middle frame, the Marlies came out strong. Just forty seven seconds in, Spencer Abbott sent a pass up to Jerry D'Amigo, who picked the same corner, with the puck bouncing off the post on the way in. However, the two goal lead lasted just thirty seconds, as Matt Puempel quickly responded with one of his own and nearly tied the game minutes later. For the most part though, Toronto controlled the first half of the second period, taking 10 of the first 12 shots. One of those was by Peter Holland on a 2 on 0 rush, with the rebound being potted by a sliding Mike Duco as an insurance tally.
Things started to wane from there, though. After an unsuccessful powerplay, Binghamton started to take control of the game, encouraged by a slew of penalties to the Marlies. With Toronto down two men, the Senators brought the game to within one with a tap in one timer by Ryan Stone. After that 10/12 run, Toronto closed up the period giving up 14 of the final 16 shots.
The third was opened up with 3:30 to go in a Kevin Marshall double minor, and the PK unit did a solid job of keeping the puck mostly out of their zone. The shots kept pouring in, with Binghamton taking 7 of the period's first nine, but the two teams eventually leveled out much like the start of the game. In the final minute of the game, Josh Leivo popped in an empty netter to seal the deal.
- Drew MacIntyre started in net today, and stopped 34 of 36 shots. Another very strong performance by him on a night where his team was really able to use the bailing out.
- Kenny Ryan seems to be playing very well since drawing back into the lineup and was rewarded with some powerplay time as a result.
- Jerry D'Amigo now has goals of eight of his last nine games, and is starting to quickly climb back up the team scoring charts.
- Peter Holland had a bit of a physical edge to him tonight, getting in post-whistle scrums and nearly dropping the gloves with Matt Puempel. He also generated scoring chances and was generally dominant offensively, so he displayed an ability to play wherever necessary to the Leafs brass in attendance. Holland mentioned that the "chip on his shoulder" mentality was something he felt he needed to add to his game, but was more circumstantial today than anything.
- The attendance was as high as it always is on a day like this, with 6581 kids from the TCDSB coming out and yelling their lungs off.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com