Marlies split weekend matchups against Devils

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Back in May, the Toronto Marlies and the Albany Devils underwent a hard-fought, seven-game playoff series where a high-octane, youth-oriented offence met a group of defensively-sound, occasionally violent group of veterans. It was a chaotic series of goalie showdowns, goal trading, and prospect concussion trading (unfortunately). It ended with scrappy grinder Rich Clune as the hero; not by delivering a hit or winning a fight, but by keeping his composure and instead scoring a last-minute game winning goal.

But this is a whole new season. The rosters are pretty different, and the goals for each team are different. With that in mind, a season series started again, and the two sides each grabbed a win out of the ordeal.

Friday

Colin Greening opened up the scoring in this one just five minutes into the furst period, taking in the puck via Travis Dermott and stepping around Reese Scarlett before launching the rubber past Scott Wedgewood. Not satisfied with just one, Toronto added another before the end of the period. With Blake Coleman in the penalty box, Tobias Lindberg redirected a shot into the slot from Nikita Soshnikov to add insurance.

Midway through the third period, a misplay by Wedgewood behind the Albany net gave Trevor Moore his first goal of his pro career; not the prettiest, but definitely something he’ll still cherish. Despite the Devils taking 19 shots in the final 20 minutes, Antoine Bibeau stood very tall and wrapped the night up with a 37-save shutout.

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

Saturday

For a while, it seemed like the Marlies were going to get another two points in this one as well. Andrew Nielsen put the blue and white up with a point blast late in the first period, but Scarlett responded for the Devils with one of his own from the right side. Even still, Byron Froese and Moore both made contributions to the statsheet on this one in the second period, leaving MacKenzie Blackwood seating and their team just twenty minutes away from victory.

But things went sour quick in the third period. John Quenneville put the Devils within one while Nikita Soshnikov sat in the box for a trip, and after that, Toronto defencemen started disappearing. Travis Dermott left the game with an injury after a tangle-up with Brian Gibbons, and not long after, Kevin Rooney charged into Andrew Campbell with a feriocious hit behind the Toronto net. While Campbell looked worse for wear, he stayed in the game practically out of necessity; in coming to his defence, Rinat Valiev was give a game misconduct for fighting twice, bringing the Marlies down to four defencemen.

WIth nine minutes to go and Valiev’s instigator minor still ticking on, Brian Sexton tied the game for the Devils. Toronto held on long enough to grab the loser point, but their sticks went cold for the rest of the game. Quenneville was once again the delivery man for the Devils, scoring the lone goal in the shootout.

LW/LD C RW/RD
Dmytro Timashov Colin Smith Andreas Johnsson
Brendan Leipsic Byron 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

With the series behind them, the Marlies now have a few days of rest. They’ll come back to Toronto to practice throughout the week, before flying out to St. John’s, Newfoundland to take on the IceCaps on Saturday and Sunday.