Rookie Tournament Weekend
Live from the Budweiser Gardens
in London Ontario
Rookie Maple Leafs vs Rookie Penguins
Toronto planned to have their best showing of the weekend tonight, as the jitters are all out and the lineup will be a talent laden one. With the likes of Marner, Kapanen, Nylander and stand out defenseman, Rinat Valiev. Soshnikov suited up for his 3rd straight and will certainly push for a spot on the big club, likely finding big minutes with the Marlies. The Leafs also had a different look between the pipes with Sparks making his first start of the tournament.
Kapanen/Nylander/Timashov start the game. Fair to say a bit of skill there. Verhaeghe and Marner do work on the second shift and create some good momentum that carries over as Toronto makes it 1-0 before I sat down from the anthems. Very nice deflection by Rodewald.
Marner much more comfy-cozy with the biscuit tonight, hitting the brakes and finding the trailer for a super chance and doing work on the PK midway into the 1st frame.
Nylander continues to see the ice well and makes passes to places where you don’t necessarily expect it.
Sparks makes a nice stop on Pitt’s first chance, 12 minutes in.
Joly has had a solid few games. Possibly a Marlie?
As a PP expires at the start of the 2nd, it happens. Mitch Marner scores his first goal as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
I haven’t hid my feelings about Marner. Seeing him pot one right after a great saucer pass he delivered that was almost buried, was a great feeling for everyone in attendance. We are going to witness a long, fantastic career here in Toronto. He’s been the best Leaf tonight to this point.
Skladnichenko scores to make it 3-0 on a pure bullet from the slot. My grandfather used to tell me it doesn’t count unless it’s upstairs. This one was bar down, baby.
Valiev with a big hit, possibly questionable and has to answer the bell for it. He does it with a smile. Let’s hope the kid on the receiving end is okay.
Pens make it 3-1 towards the end of the period, though it’s been all Leafs.
Leafs begin the 3rd and make their way to the PP once more, and the disc doesn’t stop moving until it hits the back of the net. Jolly from Valiev. Marner with the second assist and another point on the night. Excellent puck movement.
Pens make it 4-2, and when I blinked it was 5-2 on a beauty clapper from Andrew Nielsen.
Marner’s been antagonizing the Pens all night, a part of his game some may not realize he has. Loves to chirp, no fear in him.
Sparks with some impressive pad work on a flurry of shots.
Nylander is one gifted young man. Quiet night until he steals the puck, takes it out front on goes iron and in. 6-2.
Marner takes a cross check right in the kisser in a 6-2 game. I think the Leafs will make sure their young guys are looked after as we move forward. Too much of that went on this weekend for my liking. Part of the price you pay for chirping, but not a stick in the chops.
Tonight was a good display of what Hunter and crew accomplished this year to go along with what was already here. A strong showcase of Maple Leafs skill and ability in the final game from London.
It’s been a wonderful time here and we have much more to come at LeafsHub.com.
Live From Rookie Camp!!!