It’s been almost a month, but after losing nine straight, the Toronto Marlies have finally done it. They’ve snapped their franchise record losing streak and won a hockey game, beating the Grand Rapids Griffins by a score of 4-2.
The Marlies, as they’ve done a few times over the course of their streak, opened up the scoring. Twelve minutes in, Patrick Watling took in a pass from Josh Leivo and scored his second goal of the season. It was a lead that didn’t last very long, however, as Louis-Marc Aubry tied the game just four minutes later.
Grand Rapids continued their momentum into the second period with a powerplay goal from Andy Miele, but on a man advantage of their own, Matt Frattin took in a pass from Sam Carrick and ripped a wrister from the point into the back of the net to tie the game late in the period. Keeping the ball rolling early in the third, Connor Brown put home his fourth of the season to take the lead, and Brendan Mikkelson threw in a support tally a few minutes later.
While they couldn’t convert on the empty net (Carrick was close, but ended up barely offside), the game ended exactly where they wanted it to – on the good end of the scoresheet.
Connor Brown. The rookie is probably the best player on this team right now, with all things considered. He’s producing at a decent clip, he’s not afraid to get in the mix of things, and he’s just plain fun to watch. I’m more than happy to admit my pre-season skepticism was a poor decision. Game winning goal and an assist tonight, and picked up a few shots.
- Christopher Gibson started in goal, and stopped 38 of 40 shots. One of his better nights of the season.
- The powerplay did something! Chalk that up as a victory for a struggling special teams unit. Frattin’s goal was really nice – Joe Colborne once told me that he felt that Frattin had one of the best wrist shots on the planet, and times like that, you can see why.
- The Marlies play next on Friday, against the Hamilton Bulldogs. I bet they’re hoping this is the start of the longest winning streak in team history, but let’s see if they can get to two first.