They did it! They did it! The buzzer has sounded! The blue and white have won! Toronto are victorious! The… Marlies have won a hockey game!
Yeah, sorry. It’s not the Leafs win you were looking for, but after losing six of their past seven and three in a row, it’s good for this skid to be snapped too.
Toronto opened this one up on a high a high note. Brandon Kozun set up Greg McKegg for a breakaway, and the young centre made no mistake, opting for the deke before going backhand shelf on Darcy Kuemper. From there, Iowa appeared to wake up, closing the gap in the shot count but not tying the game.
The Wild continued that momentum in the second period, and absolutely peppered the Marlies with shots. Seventeen of them over twenty minutes, to be exactly, while the Marlies only got six on net. But in the final minutes of the period, Matt Frattin ripped home his thirteenth of the season to widen the gap.
The Marlies seemed to reawaken in the third, and really began to pour it on as the period progressed. McKegg scored his second of the night from up close, and Josh Leivo followed him just 35 seconds later. With three minutes left, William Nylander scored his first goal at Ricoh Coliseum to make it 5-0. Unfortunately, Christopher Gibson’s shutout was snapped by Zack Mitchell in the closing seconds, but the Marlies still came out on top with the win.
Greg McKegg’s breakaway goal really set the tone for this game, and he his second goal, while definitely boosted by a spectacular slap pass by Viktor Loov, was icing on the cake. McKegg’s production is down this year but he’s still been one of the team’s most effective players on a game by game basis.
- Christopher Gibson was between the pipes and was a save away from a shutout, stopping 32 of 33 shots. Spectacular performance by him.
- Knick Dawe, fill-in goalie while Antoine Bibeau plays the role of Leafs fill-in goalie, was dashingly handsome on the bench. Probably.
- William Nylander’s two points bring him to four in seven games. I think the production is going to come as things progress, and this is a good start.
- Toronto was one for two on the powerplay and perfect on the penalty kill. Very disciplined game but they made the most of their opportunities.
- Matt Frattin’s 13th goal of the season gives him the team lead, surpassing Connor Brown.
- Toronto’s next game will be on Friday, in Hamilton, against the Bulldogs at 7:30.
Photo Courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com