The division is clinched, but hey, I’m pretty sure the Toronto Marlies would be happy with getting to second place in the conference. Six games back and three games in hand made it a stretch goal, but an achievable reality. It the results trend this way, however, they’ll have to remain content with third, as the blue and white fell 3-1 to the Rochester Americans.
Kevin Porter was first to score in this game, walking around a standing Eric Knodel and a sprawling Korbinian Holzer before tucking a backhand through Christopher Gibson’s five hole. That lead lasted just twenty seven seconds, however, as Josh Leivo took advantage of a lost puck, flew down the ice, and fired a wrister past Andrey Makarov to tie things up.
The second period was chippy, but tempers really flared when Leivo was hit from behind by Nick Petrecki. Jamie Devane dropped the gloves in his defence and the two took extra penalties; Devane for instigating and Petrecki for the hit. Before the periods’s end, Kenny Ryan also dropped the gloves, fighting Johan Larsson.
Goals picked up again in the final period, but they came in favour of Rochester. With Peter Holland in the box for crashing into Makarov and yelling at the refs about their decision, Luke Adam took advantage of the Rochester powerplay by tipping in a Phil Varone point shot to score the eventual game winner. Just four minutes later, Jarome Gauthier-Leduc took advantage of a Kevin Marshall penalty to add insurance to what became a Marlies loss.
- Christopher Gibson was in net and allowed three goals on 21 shots. Statistically a weak performance, but two of those goals came through traffic, so I don’t want to write it off as a bad start altogether.
- Jamie Devane’s defence of Josh Leivo racked him up 17 penalty minutes. He’s the definition of “when it rains, it pours” when it comes to that stat.
- Trevor Smith and Josh Leivo each had six shots, which amounts to a little under half of Toronto’s offensive output tonight.
- Like Smith, Petter Granberg also made it back in time to play this game. He took a shot, but otherwise shyed away from the statsheet.
- Brandon Kozun returned to the lineup, and was a -1 with no shots.
- The Marlies play their next game tomorrow in Syracuse against the Crunch. It’s a 7PM start. I’ll be juggling a bunch of things tomorrow, so the recap may be a bit behind (again..sorry).