After a couple of failed attempts on Friday and Saturday, featuring two of the worst periods that the team has played this season, the Toronto Marlies have finally clinched their third consecutive North Division title, becoming the sixth AHL team to ever do so.
Much like yesterday, the Marlies had an explosive first few minutes. Sam Carrick was opportunistic and picked up a loose puck in front of the net to score his ninth of the year, and just a minute and a half later, Kenny Ryan went backhand shelf to make it a 2-0 game. More importantly, the Marlies threw 16 shots on net, their first double digit period in several games.
However, the team was getting themselves into penalty trouble, and with Frazer McLaren in the box, Utica put their first dent in the armour. With three minutes to go in the second period, Pascal Pelletier picked up where he left off on Friday and beat Garret Sparks. But just like the special teams can hurt, they can also help, and early in the third period, Carrick added his second goal of the game on a Toronto powerplay. Cal O’Reilly returned things to being too close for comfort with 43 seconds left, but the clock ran itself out.
- Garret Sparks made 23 shots on 25 shots. An overall solid night on his part.
- Eric Knodel had his first two points of his professional career, with assists on both Carrick goals.
- Sam Carrick is now up to 10 goals on the season. He’s played very well over the past couple of weeks.
- Josh Leivo and TJ Brennan lead the team with 5 shots.
- Fabrice Herzog made his professional debut and had two shots.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com