There will be good games. There will be rough games.
Last night at the Ricoh Coliseum the Toronto Marlies stepped into a old school style match up versus the Syracuse Crunch in front of their hometown fans.
The game itself was less of a track meet and more of a zero ice available type affair.
Opening the scoring for the Marlies was Rich Clune, assisted by Nikita Soshnikov and Frederik Gauthier. The Marlies ‘Fourth Line’ has been more than just a grinder group. Over the last 4 games that trio has a combined 13 points. Impressive to say the least and a line that Coach Sheldon Keefe can put out on the ice in a variety of situations and not feel like its ‘just hold on’ for 45 seconds while the other lines rest.
After that Clune goal, the Marlies controlled play for the remainder of the first period. Outshooting the Crush 13-7 in that frame.
As soon as the puck was dropped to start the second period things changed. The Syracuse Crunch (Tampa affiliate) dominated the Marlies in every aspect of the game. The much higher skilled and talented Marlies could not establish any flow in the neutral zone and in turn had zero offensive push until late in the game when it was too late.
Three straight goals sealed the fate for the Toronto Marlies on Wednesday evening. In the Toronto net was previously undefeated Antoine Bibeau (4-1) who was effective but not spectacular making 26 of 29 saves.
The first Syracuse goal Bibeau would probably like to have back, beating him to his glove side but in fairness, defenceman Rinat Valiev was used as a screen on the shot.
Marlies lose this game 3-1 in front of 2790 paying customers on $5 beer night….errr “Guys and Girls Night”. Their record falls to 5 wins and 3 losses on the season.
The youngster is easily one of my favourite players on the Marlies team. Why? Simple. He does EVERYTHING. Soshnikov can shoot the puck, he skates well, his passing is above average and wait for it. He FINISHES HIS CHECKS !!! After being held pointless in his first four games, Nikita Soshnikov has scored 5 points in his last 4 games. These points are accumulated while getting ‘fourth line’ minutes and very little power play time. To me, Nikita is driving the play of the ‘fourth line’ along with bruiser Rich Clune, they are both tied for second on the team in scoring with 5 points.
Marlies host the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night at the Ricoh (7pm start).
See you there
#CocoLive with Marlies News
MLSE NEWS: Michael Friisdahl is to replace Tim Leiweke at helm of MLSE according to Kevin McGran. Since 2012 Friisdahl was serving as the president and cheif executive of Air Canada’s leisure group.
— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) October 29, 2015