The last two times that these two teams faced off, the games turned into sixty minute chains of fights. As such, it was only fair that tonight would feature as much actual hockey as possible. While one scrap got in the way of this, the two teams delivered sixty five minutes of hockey, a couple nice goals, and a new franchise record for the Blue and White, as the Toronto Marlies took home a 4-3 shootout win over the Lake Erie Monsters.
The first period was relatively quiet, with the two teams exchanging shots but neither beating the respective goaltenders. Perhaps the highlight of the opening twenty was a fight between David Broll and Guillaume Desbiens, in revenge for a hit on Gabriel Beaupre earlier in the period.
The Monsters opened up scoring early in the second period, as Michael Schumacher took advantage of a sputtering puck behind the net, swooped in, and beat Garret Sparks. Eventually, the Marlies found themselves on their first powerplay of the game, and a smart effort by TJ Brennan and Spencer Abbott landed the puck on Trevor Smith’s stick, leading to his sixth goal of the year. It was followed just a few minutes later by a Josh Leivo goal, scored from an odd angle.
Jerry D’Amigo drew a penalty in the opening moments of the third period, but it wasn’t converted into a goal. The Monsters, on the other hand, regained the lead a few minutes later, as Brett Clark threw an unobstructed wrist shot from the point on net and it found it’s way into the back of the net. Thnigs looked bleak for Toronto, but with two and a half minutes to go, Korbinian Holzer tied the game with his fifth goal of the year, sending the game to overtime.
Little happened in overtime, so the game headed to a shootout. Garret Sparks stopped all four of Lake Erie’s shooters (like, actual saves, no misses), and both Trevor Smith and Jerry D’Amigo beat Calvin Pickard to secure the win.
- Garret Sparks played his first game for the Marlies since coming back up, and made 31 saves on 34 shots. The goals against weren’t his best performances; he had some bad luck on the play behind the net that lead to the first, and he went low instead of high on the second. I wasn’t huge on the third one either; the unobstructed distance should have been enough to get in proper position.
- Spencer Abbott’s two assists tonight give him 52 on the year, overtaking Tim Stapleton’s single season franchise record. He did it in twelve fewer games, and still has fifteen to go on the season.
- Brandon Kozen and Korbinian Holzer both lead the team with five shots tonight.
- I found it particularly funny that Frazer McLaren not only got initial credit for Josh Leivo’s goal, but celebrated it as his own, despite very clearly not touching the puck. Maybe just overly eager, he still doesn’t have a goal at any professional level this year.
- The Marlies play their next game against the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday at 3PM. It’s a home game, and they’re giving out Sports Bags at the gate.