Radim Zohorna makes first impression, Toronto continues strong push: Marlies Weekly
Photo credit:David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Barden8 months ago
It was a losing week for the Marlies, but they did get an exciting addition, who could provide some needed size to the forward group.
Toronto began the week with a school day game against Rockford, hoping to extend their lead in the North Division. And well, they did just that.
Max Ellis scored two big goals for the Marlies, in the second and third periods, to help them push past the IceHogs 5-3. Pontus Holmberg also found the back of the net, with an assist going to Tommy Miller, who had two in the game.
Erik Kallgren stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced and at the end of the game had an 8-5-2 record with an .885 save percentage.
Those school day games are loud and likely helped give Toronto a push in the right direction. However, you couldn’t say the same about Friday’s game in Hershey.
The Marlies started off very slow only tallying 11 shots through the first two periods while the Bears put up double that. Hershey was able to find the back of the net three times in the second period, and honestly, it didn’t look like Toronto had it in them to come back.
But they pushed.
Marc Johnstone started the scoring, finding the back of the net for his 7th goal of the season. Hershey would then score again, attempting to take the wind out of Toronto’s sails. But Pontus Holmberg scored a big goal and Johnstone was able to pot another.
The Marlies pushed for the final nine seconds, but couldn’t score again, ultimately falling 4-3 to Hershey, who are also one of the AHL’s top teams.
It was the same story on Saturday night vs. the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Toronto struggled at the beginning of the game to find any rhythm. And then, in the second half of the game began to turn it on with Pontus Holmberg starting the scoring. He found the back of the net on the power play for his third-straight game with a goal.
The Marlies had a late-game push with Noel Hoefenmayer and Filip Kral scoring, but once again the clock ran out before they could find the game-tying goal.
After this weekend’s games, Toronto remains atop the North Division with 77 points, 16 ahead of the second place Syracuse Crunch.
Welcome, Radim Zohorna
As we all know, the Maple Leafs traded Dryden Hunt to the Calgary Flames on Friday in exchange for 26-year-old centre, Radim Zohorna.
Toronto needed to clear one veteran off the roster, and because of that rule, the 27-year-old was the one to go. But Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas did good on Hunt and sent him to Calgary, which is only a four hour drive from his hometown of Cranbrook, BC.
With Zohorna, the Marlies are getting a six-foot-six, 220 pound centreman who’ll be able to play in the top nine and contribute. On Saturday in Lehigh Valley, the 26-year-old played left-wing on the third line, alongside Graham Slaggert and Max Ellis.
If you’re wondering what he might bring to the lineup, Zohorna used his body a fair bit to get players off the puck and, in fact, for his size he’s a decent skater.
Dubas did say that Zohorna would add to the Maple Leafs’ centre depth, but I don’t believe it’ll ever get to a point where he plays for the NHL club. But the 26-year-old will bring a lot to this Marlies team, especially in their push in the final stretch of the season and in the playoffs.
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