The Toronto Marlies continued their hot run of form on Friday evening. Thanks to a turnaround from an extremely slow opening part of the first period, the blue and white walked away with a 5-3 victory that earned them their fourth victory in their last five games.
The Marlies’ problems started very early in this one, as the IceCaps opened the scoring just 91 seconds in, thanks to a goal from Bobby Farnham on just their third shot. It would be one thing if it was just that which pointed to a slippery slope, but by the midway mark of the period, St. John’s were up 12-1 on the shot counter as well. Something had to give, and Sheldon Keefe used a TV timeout to give his players a wake-up call.
It seemed to work, too, because, in the second half of the period, Toronto responded by going on an 8-2 shot run, headlined by goals from Andrew Campbell and Rich Clune to not only tie the game but flip the tables. The IceCaps responded late in the second when Yannick Veilleux crashed the net and buried an equalizer, but he was met just 34 seconds later by Viktor Loov, who threw a floater of a wrist shot at the goal and somehow beat Charlie Lindgren.
The IceCaps made one more push in the third period, which was the most even front-to-back of the bunch. Ryan Johnston tied the game for the home team with eleven and a half minutes to go, but in the final six minutes, Andrew Nielsen and Colin Greening grabbed a game winner and an insurance tally in the span of 67 seconds to put the game out of reach.
Toronto did a heck of a job bouncing back in this one, outshooting the IceCaps 35-19 in the final 50 minutes. Most notable on the stat sheet was Seth Griffith, who didn’t score but had four shots and two assists, continuing his point streak since joining the team.
Habs prospect Michael McCarron with a questionable hit on Leafs prospect Travis Dermott in the last minute of IceCaps/Marlies tonight pic.twitter.com/BCJsbOA6qt
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 28, 2017
One moment that I’m curious about, as far as potential retribution in the grudge match tomorrow, is this hit by Michael McCarron late in the game. He received a charging minor and a misconduct, which ended his night, but it probably raised more than a few eyebrows from the team. It seemed like this was McCarron’s way of trying to make up for a rough night, one in which he made several key giveaways to give Toronto momentum. Thankfully, Travis Dermott wasn’t hurt by the hit.
With the win, the Marlies improve to 19-20-2-1 on the season, giving them a record of 0.488 and a goal differential of +6; now just 2 away from first in the division that regard. Their next game is in less than ten hours; a 12:30 matchup against the very same IceCaps.