What the Toronto Marlies needed more than anything else was a game to counter-balance all of the concerns surrounding them. A game where the defensive corps pitched in on the scoresheet, where the team as a whole put up numbers, and, most importantly, a game that ended in a win. After losses on Friday and Saturday, it was absolutely necessary for the team to come out strong to close the weekend, and they did just that against the Charlotte Checkers.
Things didn’t start exactly as planned, admittedly. Five minutes into the game, Charlotte’s Alex Aleardi opened the scoring. Despite Toronto outshooting Charlotte by a 2:1 margin in the first period and the two teams splitting four powerplay opportunities, this was the only goal of the frame.
The game picked up in the second period, starting with Sam Carrick’s sixth goal of the year, an unassisted effort that put his team back at even. That only lasted for three and a half minutes, though; Brody Sutter (I swear this family uses a name generator) restored Charlotte’s lead, only to have Josh Leivo tie the game up again. In the final minute and a half, with Kevin Marshall in the box, Brock McGinn scored to end the period with the Checkers on top.
From that point on, though, it was all Marlies. Marshall made up for his goal-causing penalty by scoring his first of the year in the opening minute of the third, and Andrew MacWilliam followed it up with his second of the season to give the team their first lead of the game. In the closing minutes, Greg McKegg added some insurance and Byron Froese scored an empty netter for good measure.
Kevin Marshall is probably one of the weaker links on this team; he looked pretty good when he was first acquired, but has since been the older, not as talented stay at home defenceman on the roster. But he picked up not just a goal, but a statement goal; and was a +5. That’s going to go down as one of his better games in the organization.
- Antoine Bibeau was in net and stopped 25 of 28 pucks. Decent, but not amazing showing.
- Two points for Andrew MacWilliam, including the game winning goal? It was hard not to give him the warrior. It was nice to see the two most unlikely defencemen contribute to the scoresheet in such a big way.
- The prospect eyeballs are usually on William Nylander, Brendan Leipsic, and Connor Brown, and rest assured that they all picked up assists.
- Byron Froese is up to 16 points in 22 games. Not bad for a 23 year old that nobody thought much of.
- Sam Carrck won the battle of the brothers last night; his goal and assist outshone Charlotte’s Trevor, who was pointless and a -3.
- Toronto’s next game will be on Wednesday against the Checkers. It’s a school day game, so if you’re there, bring earplugs!
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com