The playoffs are approaching for the third seed Toronto Marlies. But first, they had one last chance to give the home crowd a bit of a show without there being too much on the line. in fact, there wasn’t anything on the line today; the Marlies and their opponents, the Rochester Americans, couldn’t move up or down with either result. It was merely a game of pride, and one that went in favour of the Marlies.
The game started off with a slew of goals, the first of them being Rochester’s. Tim Schaller, who scored the natural hat trick in the Marlies’ third period collapse last time the two faced off in Toronto, picked up where he left off and scored his tenth of the season just three minutes in. A minute later, Sam Carrick took in a pass from Greg McKegg and deked out Connor Knapp to tie the game. Before the period could even hit the midway point, a loose puck in front of the Rochester net wound up at the blue line. Dylan Yeo took advantage, and fired a slapper into the top-left to give the Marlies the lead. One more prime opportunity came in the period’s final minutes on an odd man rush, but Brandon Kozun’s shot was stopped and Jerred Smithson crashed into Knapp, leading to a goalie interference penalty.
Five minutes into the second, Frederick Roy pulled a trick out of mini golf. With Petter Granberg sprawling, Roy bounced a shot off of his sliding glove hand and into the back of the net. Not much else happened in the period; the odd penalty here and there, but it ultimately just set up the final twenty.minutes. Things looked dire for Toronto at the five minute mark, when Schaller scored his second of the night. But much like the first Rochester lead, the Marlies were quick to respond. This time, Josh Leivo added his 23rd of the year to tie the game.
At this point, things took a scrappy turn. Roy and his teammate Colin Jacobs took offence to Frazer McLaren and Brad Staubitz, and while none of their actions turned into full out fights, all of them received ten minute misconducts. The game inched towards the end needing a hero, and with two and a half minutes to go, it got one. Sam Carrick took in a stretch pass from Jamie Devane, headed off on a breakaway, and made no mistake, scoring the game winner.
- The Marlies finished the season with a 45-25-2-4 record. It’s the third straight year they’ve finished atop the North Division with exactly 96 points.
- Drew MacIntyre was in net today and stopped 30 of 33 shots. A few of his saves were seriously impressive, and the goals against weren’t really in good or bad territory. Even the bounce off of Granberg appeared to be planned out.
- Brandon Kozun was the most noticeable player on the ice tonight. A handful of times he found himself doing laps in the offensive zone, and he had a couple odd man rushes. Unfortunately, while Jerred Smithson and Tyler Biggs are solid role players, they’re not the guy you want with you on those rushes, so he shot in both cases.
- Dylan Yeo’s blast will definitely make up for the accidental kick-in yesterday.
- Sam Carrick was the first star with 2 goals and an assist day. He also lead the team with six shots.. definitely one of the team’s best players since returning from injury.
- The Marlies’ next game is still up in the air. We’ll know their playoff opponent later tonight.