The Toronto Maple Leafs may never win a hockey game again, but thankfully for the Toronto Marlies, they’re an entirely different team. Unfortunately, the final few minutes of this game might make you feel otherwise, as the Marlies blew a two goal lead and dropped their third consecutive game.
None of us suspected that the Lake Erie Monsters were secretly a bunch of thirteen year olds from 2003, but if we did, scoring the first goal of the game at 13:37 may have been a red flag. In any event, Ben Street was the one with the goal, set up by former Marlie Kenny Ryan. It was the only tally of the period, and for a while, it looked like it would be the only one of the game, but as the second period progressed, the Marlies started to take control.
Eventually, pucks started to go in. Troy Bodie tied the game eight and a half minutes into the middle frame, and just three minutes later, Matt Frattin followed in his footsteps to give his team the lead. Toronto carried this lead into the third period, where Brandon Kozun found a streaking Viktor Loov, who surprised with a snipe past Calvin Pickard and into the top shelf.
With five minutes to go in the third period and Jamie Devane in the penalty box, Oliver Lauridsen brought the Monsters back into the game with a point shot that beat Antoine Bibeau. With the net empty and the Marlies running tired legs on the ice, Lake Erie capitalized again, with Andrew Agozzino playing the role of last-minute hero.
In the last minutes overtime, Colin Smith took advantage of the 3-on-3 format’s open ice, streaked in on Bibeau, and tucked home the game winner.
Let’s give this to Viktor Loov. It’s refreshing to see team’s defencemen join the rush, and Loov did a spectacular job of making it mean something. Goals have been hard to come by for him since he scored a pair in the second game of the year, so for his sake, you can only hope this is the start of a hot streak.
- Frazer McLaren got a point! It’s his first of the year and first regular season point since 2012/13. His counterpart Colton Orr did not play today, and is still looking for that first point.
- Antoine Bibeau was in net for the Marlies and made 34 saves on 38 shots. You can’t really blame him for this game, but he wasn’t particularly spectacular either.
- Matt Frattin’s goal was his 12th of the year, tying him with Connor Brown for first on the team.
- Co-leading the team in shots was Troy Bodie; the 1-1 goal scorer had three. Toronto wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders in this one.
- The Marlies failed to convert on their only powerplay opportunity and went two for three on the penalty kill. Not the type of special teams result you need to win a hockey game.
- Former Leafs Rookie Camp invite Mitchell Heard had two assists; combine that with Ryan’s assist on the opening goal and you have a former member of the blue and white organization contributing to every goal against in regulation.
- Toronto’s next game is tomorrow, at Ricoh Coliseum at 3PM, against Iowa.