After a less than impressive showing against the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Toronto Marlies were looking for a bounce back game. Instead, they got one that they’d like to forget as soon as possible.
The first period didn’t offer much in the way of scoring, but it offered the Marlies being up against the wall. Despite having the period’s only powerplay of more than twenty two seconds (including a brief sixteen seconds of 5-on-3 action!), the blue and white were outshot 17 to 9 in the first twenty.
Come the second, however, the floodgates dropped. Dustin Jeffrey scored his fourth of the season six and a half minutes into the period. It was a bad start, but it only got worse as the period got to the late stages; Alex Grenier scored a powerplay tally with five minutes to go, Cal O’Rielly followed a minute later with a shorthanded marker, and Grenier came back for more just a minute later.
Thankfully for Toronto, that was the end of Utica’s goal scoring. Unfortunately for them, theirs never began. Despite outshooting the Comets ten to five in the third period (score effects probably at play here), the Marlies were unable to beat Jacob Markstrom before the game’s conclusion.
Hard to name much of anybody for this one – I’ll give it to the first period edition of Christopher Gibson. Seventeen saves in a period is really difficult, and while his luck came back to bite him in the second, he prevented the game from getting out of control sooner.
- Blake Kessel made his Marlies debut. He had no points, wasn’t on the ice for any of the goals against, and took a shot on net.
- Matt Finn went from no shots on goal to tying Brad Mikkelson with a team-leading four.
- Sam Carrick was a team worst minus three, and vented some frustration late in the game by fighting Carter Bancks in the game’s final minute.
- The Marlies return to Ricoh on Saturday for their last game before a long-term road trip. They’ll be facing Rochester.