Adam Gaudette hits 20-goal mark, Erik Kallgren plays one of his best games, and more: Marlies Weekly
Photo credit:Steven Ellis/The Leafs Nation
By Nick Barden1 month ago
The Marlies made the most of their weekend down south.
After returning from the All-Star break, Toronto travelled to North Carolina to play a back-to-back against the Charlotte Checkers on Friday and Saturday.
Both games saw the Marlies lead by a large margin before the Checkers clawed their way back. On Friday, Toronto was leading 3-1 in the third period with goals from Dryden Hunt, Bobby McMann, and Logan Shaw.
It looked like the game was truly in the bag.
But the Marlies continued to give up shots which allowed Charlotte to creep back into the game and score two goals late in the third period. It then ended with a goal in overtime — not from the Marlies.
The Marlies wanted to come into game two of the back-to-back with a different effort, which they did. Toronto didn’t allow as many shots and were also up 4-0 in the third period with goals from Adam Gaudette, Nick Abruzzese, Mikhail Abramov, and Max Ellis.
Once again, though, Charlotte started to crawl their way back into the game. They scored almost three minutes after Ellis made it a 4-0 game and that turned the tides.
The Checkers put the puck into the net twice more, making for a very interesting end to the game. But Toronto was able to fend them off long enough to hear the final horn go off, winning the game 4-3.
A very up and down two games for the Marlies.
“It’s going to be really important that our team understands, feels and experiences these moments more and more towards the tail end of this season.” Marlies head coach Greg Moore told Todd Crocker after Saturday night’s game.
“If we’re fortunate enough to make the postseason, we’re going to have to be able to stay calm, we’re going to have to make sure that we continue to execute.”
A big game that almost was a win for Erik Kallgren
With Joseph Woll coming up to the Maple Leafs, Kallgren was now the Marlies number one just ahead of Keith Petruzzelli. It’s clear to me that if the 26-year-old wants to get back to the NHL, he’s got to show what he’s got.
On Friday, he did just that — kind of.
Kallgren stopped 42 of 46 shots in the game, which is good enough for a .913 save percentage. Believe it or not, that’s only his fourth game in the AHL this season where he’s had a save percentage above .900.
“He was everything for us at the start.” Bobby McMann told Crocker after Friday’s game. “They definitely came hot and we weren’t quite ready for it. He shut the door for a long time and gave us a chance for awhile. It’s too bad we couldn’t help him out.”
Adam Gaudette continues his scoring ways
The 26-year-old found himself on the scoresheet in both games this weekend scoring a goal and an assist.
On Gaudette’s assist which came in Friday’s game, he made a very nice fake at the blue line before getting it William Villeneuve, who’s shot was tipped in by Dryden Hunt.
Funny enough, on Saturday, Gaudette’s goal was assisted by the same two players who he created the goal with the game prior (on the power play). It’s just an absolute blast of a one timer which finds the back of the net quite easily.
As it says in the tweet, that’s Gaudette’s 20th goal of the season (the first Marlies player to reach the mark this year) and he’s done it in a mere 38 games. A great mark for the 26-year-old forward who admits that this is the best he’s ever felt.
The final notes
Dryden Hunt has been making the most of his tenure with the Marlies in the last four games. After not scoring in his first three, the 27-year-old now has had a point in four-straight scoring two goals and adding two assists.
Keith Petruzzelli got into his second game since Boxing Day on Saturday. The 24-year-old stopped 26 of 29 shots, helping him secure his 10th win through 15 games this season.
William Villeneuve had quite the weekend, tallying three assists in two games. That’s the most points the 20-year-old defenceman has had in a two-game stint this season. He’s now got 16 points in 36 games in his first year in the AHL.
Mikhail Abramov also had three points in the last two nights. The 21-year-old had an assist on Friday, before scoring and assisting on the game-winning goal on Saturday night.
Max Ellis had a two-point night on Saturday, scoring a goal and an assist for Toronto. The 26-year-old has continued to find good looks whenever he’s been put into the Marlies lineup.
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