Gather ’round, gather all, folks! For it is not just a Guys Night Out, nor is it just a Girls Night Out. It’s both! No, but seriously – not to shill for a marketing team, but I appreciate that the Toronto Marlies made it both at once. It’s just good inclusive marketing. Plus, you know, cheap beer, and hockey. It doesn’t matter if the Marlies took on a team they still have ten more games against, and it doesn’t matter if they lost that ga-…. okay, maybe it does. This wan’t a particularly fantastic performance for the blue and white, who dropped the game by a score of 4-1.
Hamilton opened the scoring midway through the first period, thanks to a solid play by Nathan Beaulieu. Opting for the pinch, he slid through Toronto’s forwards, looked to make a pass, but got poke checked as he did it. He recovered smoothly, however, and went backhand on Antoine Bibeau to open the scoring.
Trouble bookended the second period for the Marlies as well. Sven Andrighetto, who seems to have a thing for showing up against Toronto, scored his second of the year just two minutes in, and on one of Hamilton’s seven powerplays, Eric Tangradi added his first of the season with 48 seconds to go.
Toronto earned it’s first powerplay midway through the third period, and reacted quickly. A pass from Connor Brown found Greg McKegg’s stick just seconds after the man advantage began. This was the only goal Toronto mustered up, however, as the Bulldogs added an empty netter to seal the deal and send the crowd home slightly disappointed.
I’ll go with Connor Brown tonight. He had an assist on the lone Marlies goal, but generated a few scoring chances the same way – a diagonal into-the-slot pass from behind the net on the right side. I wonder if he’ll be able to do that throughout the year, or if teams will catch on.
- Antoine Bibeau was in net for the Marlies tonight, and stopped 21 of 24 shots. Not the greatest statistical showing; can’t really say the goals were his fault but he didn’t do anything particularly mind blowing either.
- Matt Finn made his season debut today, and looked like he fit right in. He played on a pairing with Korbinan Holzer and saw some special teams time. He failed to take a shot on net, though he had one strong opportunity to do so in the third period. Unfortunately, he hit Josh Leivo instead – Gord Dineen said they’re waiting for further evaluation to declare whether Leivo will miss time.
- You have to think that basic discipline really did Toronto in tonight. Giving up the first six powerplays makes it pretty much impossible to build any form of momentum.
- The Marlies play their next game tomorrow, in Utica.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com