A strong finish can make up for a weak start. I’m not sure if that metaphor better suits the third period of this game, or the weekend as a whole, but the Toronto Marlies pulled off a three goal rally over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to avoid being swept on this weekend roadtrip.
The Marlies got themselves into penalty trouble just a minute and a half after puck drop, as Brandon Kozun headed to the box. Adam Payerl cut into the middle and fired a shot past Garret Sparks to open the scoring. The period stayed pretty quiet from there; only 11 shots were taken combined, nobody else scored, and there wasn’t another penalty until the final minute, an elbow by Tom Kostopoulous that the Marlies couldn’t turn into a powerplay goal.
Kostopoulous, however, wasted no time once coming out of the box, and widened the gap to 2-0. The game got a bit chippy from there, eventually turning a display of fistcuffs as both Brad Staubitz and Jamie Devane grabbed onto opponents.
Midway through the third, the tide began to fall in favour of the Marlies. While on the period’s lone powerplay, Trevor Smith made half-contact with the puck on a shot, which sent the puck to Sam Carrick, who did the same and sent it another direction. Greg McKegg got a piece of it as well, and it was just enough to make the puck cross the line. About a minute later, TJ Brennan ripped a pass from Carter Verhaeghe past Tomas Vokoun, tying the game.
Thinks looked like they were overtime-bound, but with just 27 seconds left, Jerry D’Amigo fired a rebound from long range, going straight in to give the Marlies the game winning goal.
- I just want to point out that TJ Brennan did the Alexander Radulov “swordsman” celebration after scoring the game tying goal. That’s 24 on the season for him, and he lead the team with 5 shots.
- Garret Sparks was in between the pipes today, and had a pretty decent night, stopping 22 of 24 shots. Both goals against are hard to properly point fingers on. I want to say he could have had the first one, but its hard to tell if Kevin Marshall made contact with it. He looked sloppy on the second, but Stuart Percy left Kostopoulous wide open. We’ll just say it was a good enough game, because it’s only two against and it was a win.
- Sparks also wants to make sure you all know that D’Amigo scored that game winner. The statsheet as of this moment still says Kenny Ryan scored it, but he didn’t deflect it on the way in.
- Carter Verhaeghe made his Marlies debut today, and while he didn’t take a shot, had an assist on the Brennan goal. Fabrice Herzog also played, but was off the scoresheet entirely.
- The Marlies play their next game in Binghamton on Wednesday. Still three more left before the playoffs!