The Marlies have started 2016 the same way they ended 2015…..with victory.
Yesterday afternoon at the Ricoh Coliseum, the Toronto Marlies started off the new year with a hard fought, and well earned 3-2 win versus the Syracuse Crunch.
Rob Madore entered the game with an undefeated record in his first two starts with the Toronto Marlies. With a war of attrition between the pipes, Madore is looking to establish himself as the Sheldon Keefe’s go-to guy in the the Marlies net and one that the team has equal confidence in.
During the warmups it was easy to see there is zero love between the Marlies and the Crunch. Two times, the teams gathered at center ice with the hatred being very noticeable. A few times it appeared that things would boil over, with a couple of shoves and harsh words but all things calmed down before teams went back to their respective dressing rooms.
Marlies got behind the eight ball quickly in this game, going down 1-0 in the first period and looking outplayed until the second half of the opening stanza. The Toronto team, bounced back late in the period but couldnt convert any of their solid chances.
Thirteen ticks into the second period, Sammy Carrick tied the game on a great feed from Brendan Leipsic. Leipsic who was behind the Syracuse net, found a wide open Carrick who made no mistake with a high glove shot that beat Gudlevskis. Slammin’ Sammy now has 8 points in his last 10 games. Added to all of the aforementioned, Carrick also destroyed an overly eager DeAngelo in a 3rd period scrap. Thanks for coming out you punk, but Carrick did appear to hurt his right hand in that altercation and went immediately to the dressing room.
Not until later in the second period did the Crunch retake the lead on McGinn goal, but it didnt last long. Less than a minute after that goal, Justin Holl tied the game for the Marlies and the Ricoh faithful were loving it. Great atmosphere in the arena certainly gave the game an extra level of energy, it never stops to amaze me what a good crowd can do for a hockey game.
Less than three minutes into the 3rd period, Captain Andrew Campbell got what would be the eventual game winner for the Marlies. Campbell scored his 8th of the season (Career High) on a rocket from the top of the circle. In the dying minutes of the game the Captain, blocked a shot on a solid scoring chance to help preserve the victory. Campbell did receive treatement after the game and his status is unknown for today’s rematch.
As the final buzzer sounded, Richard Clune compiled 25 minutes in penalties as he went looking for somebody to make pay for running their mouth. Both teams entire benches ended up emptied and converged upon each other in the Marlies end. Ryan Rupert also found a willing dance partner as part of the melee. Continued fireworks are expected today at the Ricoh (3pm start), so get your tickets or online feed.
Final Score, 3-2 Marlies who remain in first place overall in the entire AHL.
- Garret Sparks was there to congratulate his former Marlies teammates and specifically Rob Madore, after their big 3-2 win.
- Sheldon Keefe announced as Head Coach for the AHL All-Star Game (North Team)
- Talked with Connor Brown after the game. He is without his walking cast and says “feeling good and getting much better”. Great news for the Marlies who could use more talent in a lineup the competes hard, but is lacking high end skill currently.
- Campbell leads the AHL in plus minus (+22) and Rinat Valiev is 2nd (+21).
- Marlies went 5/5 on the PK. Have not given up a short handed goal in two games.
- Attendance 4,891.