Marlies Weekly: Another call-up, and the boys won 3 of 5
Photo credit:Steven Ellis/Daily Faceoff
By Bennett Jull1 month ago
I’d like to start by addressing the tragedy that’s occurred within the hockey world. Our heart goes out to anyone affected by Adam Johnson’s tragic passing. May he rest in peace.
The Marlies played 5 games this past week, going 3-1-1. They picked up 7 of a possible 10 points and also had another player earn a call-up to the Maple Leafs. They finished off their 5-game homestand and played their first two road games of the season.
Last weekend they hosted the Charlotte Checkers in back-to-back games at Coca-Cola Coliseum. In the first game, despite carrying the play and outshooting Charlotte 31-18, the Marlies lost 3-2. Joseph Blandisi collected a goal and a beautiful assist, continuing his hot start to the season. Josiah Slavin picked up his first goal in a Marlies uniform off a slick Blandisi feed, and Robert Mastrosimone made his professional debut. Charlotte started Spencer Knight in goal, who was the first star.
24 hours later the two teams took the ice again. Again, the Marlies outshot Charlotte 25-16, this time coming out on top, 4-2. Alex Steeves turned in a strong performance and notched his first of the year, as did Topi Niemela. Logan Shaw had a couple of assists, including a lovely pass to Nick Robertson who hammered home the game-winner. Blandisi also added a goal, while Dmitry Ovchinnikov and Matteo Pietroniro made their season debuts.
The Marlies finished up their homestand on Tuesday, hosting the Milwaukee Admirals. They continued the trend of outshooting their opponents and ended up coming out on top 3-2. The back-and-forth affair was eventually decided by an Alex Steeves snipe late in the 3rd. A big shoutout to the Marlies penalty killers, who fought off a 2-minute 5 on 3 to start the 3rd period. Kyle Clifford, who is part of that penalty-killing group, tucked away his first of the season, as did Nick Abruzzese.
William Lagesson registered an assist in the win and his steady assured play hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Maple Leafs brass. Jake McCabe tweaked something in the first 10 seconds of Toronto’s game in Dallas, and Lagesson was called up by the Maple Leafs. He played just under 11 minutes last night in their OT loss to Nashville.
Back to the Marlies, who battled with Belleville in back-to-back matches this weekend. Both games needed more than 60 minutes to decide a winner. The Marlies announced that Ryan Tverberg will miss the next couple of weeks due to injury, which is a shame given his solid start. Simon Benoit played in his first two games of the season. On Friday night, the Marlies fell 2-1 in OT. Niemela scored their only goal, while Villeneuve and Steeves added assists.
Last night fortunes were reversed, as the Marlies picked up the extra point in a shootout win. Max Ellis notched his first of the year on a pretty tic-tac-toe play from Clifford and Blandisi. Ellis also picked up the shootout winner. Alex Steeves led the way for the Marlies, scoring twice, and extending his point streak to 4 games. This was a big week for Steeves, and the Marlies will hope he can continue to be a catalyst for them. His effort away from the puck has matched his output, and I look forward to watching him kick on.
In the week ahead, the Marlies are off until Friday, November 3rd. Their road swing continues with back-to-back games in Montreal versus the Laval Rocket. The Maple Leafs have Tuesday and Thursday matches, and I’ll be interested to see how quickly McCabe gets back into the lineup. Lagesson will continue to benefit in his absence, and perhaps Simon Benoit could earn a call-up having played twice this weekend. I hope everyone enjoys Halloween!
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