With another three game weekend, the Toronto Marlies are looking for a better effort than the past two weekends. The Toronto Marlies look to bounce back after going 1-1-1 during last weekends road trip and 1-4-1 in their last six games.
Even after two disappointing weekends, the Marlies still hold the best winning percentage in the league heading into the weekend (0.738). The Ontario Reign hold the next best percentage at 0.700.
It doesn’t help that the majority of their regulars at the beginning of the season are now getting time in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Connor Brown is the latest Marlie to get his shot with the big club after posting 24 points in 28 games played this year. He made his debut last Thursday against the Florida Panthers. Frederik Gauthier soon followed, making his debut Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres
The Marlies kicked their weekend off against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In their previous and only meeting, the Marlies came out on top in a 3-1 win with Nikita Soshnikov scoring two goals.
The Marlies managed to comeback down 2-0 against the Phantoms to win 3-2 in overtime.
It was a slow first period Friday night between the two teams. Both had their chances, but the shots at one point showed a tie with three each over half-way into the period. Soon, the Marlies started to pick up the pace and take over in terms of scoring chances.
The Marlies had the lead in shots, 10-3, after the Phantoms took two consecutive too many men penalties, which then carried over into the second period.
Brendan Leipsic had a great scoring chance on the first power-play but was turned away by goaltender Anthony Stolarz.
After a tripping penalty by Taylor Doherty in the second period, former Marlie and Toronto Maple Leaf Tim Brent got the Phantoms on the board. Petr Straka then answered for the Phantoms in the third period to give them a 2-0 lead with about six minutes left to play.
Then the play began to shift.
Sam Carrick answered quickly 24 seconds after Straka’s goal on the power-play to make it 2-1. Brendan Leipsic, who had ample scoring chances in this game, tied it up at two with 2:36 left to play in regulation.
T.J. Brennan and Tobias Lindberg assisted on Leipsic’s goal. They would soon team up and assist on Colin Smith’s 18th goal of the year, 2:32 into overtime. Smith now has 11 points in 11 games with the Marlies.
Tobias Lindberg continues to shine with the Marlies, as he now has nine points in 15 games played.
Alex Stalock made 23 saves in this game, earning his first win in a Marlies uniform.
The Marlies quickly shift their focus to Providence as they try and get some payback for an overtime loss last weekend.
They got on the board early in this game after Eric Faille made it 1-0, 3:14 into the game. The goal was originally waived off due to Faille hitting the puck in the net with his arm, but the call was overturned and it was deemed a good goal.
Brandon DeFazio notched his 16th goal of the year on the power-play after some great puck movement by the Bruins.
The Marlies looked to have got one back but this play was under review as well.
Tobias Lindberg made a nice move around the defender and cut back in front of the net. Lindberg then made a pass to Brendan Leipsic and the puck appeared to have crossed the line and hit the top corner of the mesh. After a quick review, the goal was disallowed, which could’ve been 2-1 Marlies.
Mark Arcobello made sure that his 23rd of the year didn’t need any review as it got by Zane McIntyre cleanly.
Frank Vatrano quickly made it 2-2 with his 32nd goal almost a minute later, but created a brawl in the process. After scoring the goal, Vatrano took a cheap shot at Kasperi Kapanen and ended up taking a penalty.
The two exchanged goals in the second period.
Max Talbot scored his sixth goal of the year on the power-play, 6:06 into the period, while Brett Findlay tied the game to make it 3-3 towards the end of the period.
The goals continued to come in the third.
Sam Carrick continued to be a key contributor with his 13th of the year to make it 4-3 Marlies early in the final frame. In the month of March, Carrick has a total of six goals and eight points.
Almost four minutes later, Brandon DeFazio tied the game with his second of the game and 17th of the year.
Brian Ferlin scored the game-winning goal with his fourth of the year. Ferlin scored the game-winner in overtime last weekend.
Antoine Bibeau made 34 saves in the loss. He now has a 21-8-1 record.
Despite the loss, the Marlies became the first team to secure a playoff spot after the Rochester Americans lost to the Binghamton Senators. http://theahl.com/marlies-first-to-clinch-playoff-berth-p201792
Here is Sheldon Keefe postgame:
The Marlies then packed their bags and turned their focus to their next opponent, the Lake Erie Monsters.
After 20 minutes, the game was tied at zero. The Monsters had the advantage in shots, outshooting the Marlies, 12-9.
Eric Faille broke the scoreless tie 4:58 into the second period with his second goal this weekend and fourth of the year. Stuart Percy and Sam Carrick assisted on the goal. With the assist, Carrick now has nine points this month.
Captain Andrew Campbell got in on the offense with his tenth goal of the season to make it 2-0 Marlies. Tyler Spick recorded his first point in the American Hockey League, assisting on Campbell’s goal.
Antoine Bibeau made a number key saves in the second period, which were great scoring chances for the Monsters.
Rich Clune added his seventh of the year at the end of the second period to make it 3-0.
Lukas Sedlak would get the Monsters on the board 1:18 into the third period, but that was all that they could get past Bibeau. Bibeau would then record his 22nd win of the season.
TJ Brennan would add an empty-net goal, his 23rd, putting his point total to 63 in 64 games played.