Marlies double up in pair of weekend victories

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Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

The Toronto Marlies surprised a few people by losing a hockey game on Friday night, but the errors of their ways were quick to be erased. While the Manitoba Moose appear to be a much-improved team compared to last season, the Marlies made no mistake in beating them in both games.

Saturday

Veteran Brooks Laich was quick to make his mark on this one, grabbing his first AHL goal in over a decade three minutes into the first period, taking a pass by Rinat Valiev and turning it into a bullet of a snapshot. Ten minutes later, Brendan Leipsic and Tobias Lindberg collaborated on an extremely nifty give-and-go effort that wrapped up with Leipsic burying his second of the season.

All was not perfect with their opening period, as Nic Petan was given all the time in the world to walk into the slot and score his second of the season on a late frame powerplay, and things were made slightly move nervewracking when Kevin Czuczman made the most of an Andrew Nielsen infraction six minutes into the second period. But the Marlies eventually got the goal that would set the game apart; Byron Froese redirected a shot from Andrew Nielsen past Eric Comrie, and then added a shorthanded empty netter to seal off the game.

LW/LD C RW/RD
Kerby Rychel Colin Smith Andreas Johnsson
Brendan Leipsic Bryon Froese Tobias Lindberg
Trevor Moore Frederik Gauthier Kasperi Kapanen
Colin Greening Brooks Laich Dmytro Timashov
Andrew Nielsen   Andrew Campbell
Rinat Valiev   Justin Holl
Travis Dermott   Viktor Loov

Sunday

I am going to be 100% honest with you all. My in-person watching of this one consisted of me showing up for warmups to see if there were any drastic lineup changes (Garret Sparks missed the game due to some soreness, so Jeff Glass got to be the backup), watching the first 54 seconds of the game, declaring it over, and walking across to BMO Field to watch Toronto FC play a game that we all thought would have playoff implications until New York City FC proved themselves to be evil incarnate without even being the opposing team.

I say 54 seconds because that’s all it took for Kasperi Kapanen to go for a skate, pick up a stretch pass from Frederik Gauthier, and absolutely roof it to put the Marlies up 1-0. Typically, I’m not a “call the game”, I swear. But the Marlies gave me a good reason to be right about my suspicions this time. The rest of the first was pretty back-and-forth, but they were in their own league come the second period, outshooting the Moose 20-7. Three of those shots went into the back of the net in the span of two and a half minutes; Justin Holl blasted a point shot, Colin Smith grabbed a loose puck that stemmed from an Andrew Nielsen point blast, and Bryon Froese did similar seconds into a double-minor taken by Patrice Cormier.

Toronto kept putting pressure on for the rest of the period, but come the third, the game’s pace mostly slowed. That worked to Antoine Bibeau’s benefit; despite playing in the previous game and stopping 28 of 30 shots, he followed with a 22 save shutout.

LW/LD C RW/RD
Kerby Rychel Colin Smith Andreas Johnsson
Brendan Leipsic Bryon Froese Tobias Lindberg
Nikita Soshnikov Frederik Gauthier Kasperi Kapanen
Rich Clune Colin Greening Trevor Moore
Andrew Nielsen   Andrew Campbell
Rinat Valiev   Justin Holl
Travis Dermott   Viktor Loov

What’s Next?

The Marlies play their last home game for a while on Wednesday night. They’ll be taking on the Providence Bruins at 7:00 PM at Ricoh Coliseum. Check back for more updates!