Marlies lose to Utica in weekend opener

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It’s not likely, but at this point in the season, the Toronto Marlies still have a chance of making the Calder Cup palyoffs. At seven points back of eighth in the Western Conference, however, it would require a couple of solid winning streaks. This three-game weekend would have been a good place to start, but unfortunately, a 5-2 loss to the Utica Comets won’t help accelerate the process.

The Rundown

Utica were the first to strike, late in the first period. After a bunch of even, neutral ice play, Cal O’Reilly beat Antoine Bibeau to open the scoring. Toronto’s saving grace was a penalty to Andrey Pedan in the final seconds of the period, allowing them to start the second with the powerplay.That powerplay did Toronto little good, and later in the period, Alex Friesen extended the Comets’ lead to 2-0. His sixth of the year, Friesen finished off an odd-man rush with Dustin Jeffrey with a wicked shot that soared past Bibeau. 

That powerplay did Toronto little good, and later in the period, Alex Friesen extended the Comets’ lead to 2-0. His sixth of the year, Friesen finished off an odd-man rush with Dustin Jeffrey with a wicked shot that soared past Bibeau. 

The third period provided the Marlies a final opportunity to get back in this game, but once again, Utica scored the first goal of the period. This time, it was Dustin Jeffrey who did the damage for the Comets, but for the first time, Toronto had a response. While on the powerplay, Ryan Rupert took in a pass and converted it into a goal to give Toronto a fighting chance, and just minutes later, Sam Carrick found Brendan Leipsic to give him his first goal as a member of the Marlies. A comeback seemed possible, but the momentum fizzled and Alex Grenier put a wreck into the plan with a massive point shot to regain Utica’s mutli-goal lead. Will Acton eventually added an empty netter.

Blue Warrior

Let’s give this to Brendan Leipsic. Obviously, it was his first game with the team, and he contributed, scoring his first goal and putting a bunch of pucks on net. If these are the type of performances we’ll see from him on a consistent basis, I’m pretty optimistic for him moving forward. 

Notes

coming in a little bit