Marlies win over Binghamton at Air Canada Centre

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

Some days, a team will find a way to win a hockey game that they clearly deserved, yet you’ll be unsure if any of the goals that they actually scored should’ve really happened.

Today, that was the Toronto Marlies. They burst out of the gate, poured on the offence and somehow managed to look borderline undeserving for their entire first wave of tallies, but picked up a well-deserved on the whole 4-2 victory over the Binghamton Senators. 

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Toronto’s first goal of the game was likely the most “legitimate” of the period, but the timing of it was what was so staggering, as it came in a scramble just 40 seconds into the game. Just a minute later, the Senators responded, as Kyle Flanagan buried a shot in the slot… on his own net, giving Colin Smith a goal and the Marlies a 2-0 lead.

Thirty seconds later, Binghamton scored for real, making their decision to call a timeout so quickly look wise. Phil Varone and Mike Blunden created themselves an odd-man rush, and the latter forward was able to bury cross-crease feed past Garret Sparks to give the game three goals in its first 141 seconds. Things finally slowed down for a few, but ten minutes later, recent Marlies call-up Brenden Miller flipped a dump-in towards Andrew Hammond, got a lucky bounce, and ended up putting the Marlies back up by two goals.

It was a lead that made no sense, but certainly not one they hadn’t earned, with the shot clock sitting at 12-4 after twenty minutes. The second period was much less adventurous, as the two sides spent the bulk of it in the neutral zone, combining for just eleven total shots, most of which came from Toronto.

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Binghamton showed a greater sense of urgency, taking the period’s first five shots. But, moments after killing a penalty to Andrew Nielsen, the Marlies added to their spot on the scoresheet. A pass interception by Brett Findlay turned into a give-and-go rush between him and Colin Greening, and the ex-Senator made no mistake in burying his eighth of the season. Blunden responded with a second tally on the night with fewer than 30 seconds to go, but that wasn’t enough to change the tides of the contest.

With the win, the Marlies move to 27-22-3-1, improving their record to 0.547 and pushing Binghamton further away from catching up in the North Division playoff race. Toronto’s next game will be their first “School Day” game of the year, where they’ll take on the Syracuse Crunch. That game has massive implications that were completely unforeseen by most a few weeks ago; win, and the race to take the division lead becomes a lot closer. Puck drop for that one is at 11 AM at Ricoh Coliseum.

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