Carter Ashton scores Hat Trick in Marlies Victory

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
March 02 2014 03:52PM

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Today is Canadian Armed Forces day at Ricoh Coliseum, which means hockey, soliders, camo jerseys, and... Jerry D'Amigo Bobbleheads? I'm not 100% sure where the last one ties into the others, but the fans certainly weren't complaining. Most important was the hockey though, and the Toronto Marlies took on the Lake Erie Monsters in their last game of the weekend, and homestead. They did so by ending it all on a high note, with three third period goals being the difference in a 5-2 victory.

The Marlies made an immediate impact on the scoreboard, taking advantage of a bad change by Lake Erie to send Spencer Abbott and Carter Ashton on an odd man rush. Thirteen went cross crease to eighteen, and after a slight hesitation, the latest returnee to the roster scored his eleventh goal in sixteen games to open the scoring just 53 seconds in. After that, both teams had prime opportunities to change the tide of the game. Toronto found themselves on a four minute powerplay thanks to a pair of minors to Garrett Meurs, and the Monsters had a chance to tie the game when Jamie Devane and Brad Staubitz took penalties at the exact same time. Neither advantage turned into anything concrete, however, and the score stayed the same.

The neutral zone was the place to be for most of the second period, as only five shots were taken in the first eleven minutes. One of those was by Greg McKegg, and Ashton was in position to redirect it and turn it into his second goal of the night. However, the Monsters started to get their act together as the period progressed, starting just seconds later. Joey Hishon brought the game back within one with a shot from afar, and while Mike Duco sat in the box, Mike Sgarbossa tied things up with a wrister that barely beat Drew MacIntyre.

Toronto really took control of an increasingly wide-open game in the third period. Only taking twelve shots in the first forty minutes, they stormed out of the gate for fifteen shots in the next fifteen minutes, including Ashton's hat-trick-clinching goal in a scramble in front. Just twenty five seconds later, TJ Brennan tallied his 21st goal in the year, and with two minutes left in the game, Brandon Kozun added an empty net tally, leaving the two teams to go through the motions until the final buzzer.

Other Notes

  • Drew MacIntyre made his second start in as many days today. He wasn't very sharp yesterday, but looked quite solid tonight, stopping 21 of 23 shots. 
  • I was very intrigued by Steve Spott's choice to use two forwards on both his 3-on-5 units. Kenny Ryan and Jerry D'Amigo joined Korbinian Holzer on the first unit, and Greg McKegg stuck with Carter Ashton in front of Petter Granberg on the second unit. 
  • The line of D'Amigo, McKegg, and Abbott was broken up today, with Ashton taking Abbott's place and D'Amigo playing with Josh Leivo and Brandon Kozun.
  • Tyler Biggs drew back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch yesterday, and didn't really make all that much of an impact. He had no points, no shots, wasn't on the ice for any goals, 
  • Leivo was playing centre because of Jerred Smithson's suspension, given to him for his check to the head on Greg Pateryn yesterday. The length of the suspension has yet to be decided.
  • The Marlies head to Cleveland on Thursday to take on the Monsters, ending a streak of ten consecutive home games before heading home again for games on Saturday and Sunday.

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I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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