I had a thought during the first period of today’s Marlies/IceCaps game – on a teddy bear toss night, what happens if the opening goal is disallowed? Do they throw the bears back into the crowd and try again? Do they just go through with it anyway? It just seems like it would be an odd situation. That situation sort of happened today, but thankfully for our sanity, it was the road team who had their only chance at a goal waved off. Stuffed animals rained on the ice early, and the goals came easy for the Marlies, who took home a 4-0 victory to close the weekend.
You may as well press the fast forward button on this game until the dying seconds of the first period. I’m dead serious about this – the two teams combined for just ten shots on goal, and that’s with three powerplays (one of which was a 1:27 long 5-on-3 for St. John’s). The only big moment was Brendan Kitchton’s near-goal at the end – he beat Antoine Bibeau with a really nice shot, but the clock hit zero before his puck crossed the line.
The second period was where the action began, and where the bears dropped just seconds in. Troy Bodie scored his fourth of the year to trigger the crowd and give his team the lead before a minute could pass. Midway through the frame, Tyler Biggs added his second of the season. The IceCaps responded with some dangerous rushes, but Bibeau was equal to the task on all of them
Midway through the third, Toronto struck again. Stuart Percy fired a shot from the point, beating a slew of traffic before going off Byron Froese’s stick and into the back of the net. Spencer Abbott added an empty netter with two minutes to go, further extending the lead.
I’m still not sure what to make of the Toronto’s goaltending situation, but when Antoine Bibeau is hot, he’s unstoppable. Or, I guess, unbeatable, as he stopped all twenty one shots he faced. That gives him three shutouts in eleven games, though one can argue that the save of the night was the one on Kichton by the score clock. Either way, it’s impressive.
- It was a productive game for Stuart Percy. Two assists today triples his total points for the season at the AHL level. He’s got little to prove down here at this point, but it’s always nice to see him get games in and contribute – improving his offensive game will be to his future benefit.
- Byron Froese has looked like a good pickup for the team so far, with four points in his first three games. He also lead the team with four shots.
- Colton Orr dressed today! He had no shots, points, or penalty minutes.
- The Marlies went two for five on the powerplay and a perfect six for six on the penalty kill, though I can’t imagine that they were happy with being on the 3-on-5 kill twice tonight.
- Toronto’s next game is on Friday, in Grand Rapids against the Griffins.