American Hockey League games in National Hockey League buildings are always fun. The Toronto Marlies have had a couple of opportunities to do that this season, playing in the Canadian Tire Centre and Air Canada Centre against the Binghamton Senators. Today, however, they left the province to hit up one more rink, facing the Hamilton Bulldogs in Montreal’s Bell Centre. To add icing on the cake, they came out victorious.
There was only one goal that mattered in this game, and it came late in the first period. Connor Brown crept his way in from the corner and fed Ryan Rupert a cross crease pass to give the Marlies the lead. The game was pretty dull and boring beyond that, finishing nearly twenty real-life minutes faster than the average matchup.
Troy Bodie was tossed for a sketchy elbow to Morgan Ellis, but beyond that, neither team saw much special teams time. Sam Carrick added an empty netter in the final minutes to give Toronto a 2-0 victory.
Man, oh man, you have to give this to Christopher Gibson. Hot off the heels of coming in for Antoine Bibeau last night, he put up a 29 save shutout this afternoon. With the game being such a low scoring affair to begin with, his presence was key and the only reason they won this one.
Summing It Up
These games are always cool. For the younger players, it gives them encouragement to play in the type of rinks they aspire to be regulars in. For fans of out-of-town teams (so, Air Canada Centre games excluded), it gives them a rare opportunity to see the AHL affiliate. But as for the game itself, it’s always good to beat a rival, even if you’re dragged kicking and screaming to the very end (Toronto was outshot 17-8 in the final forty minutes). The Marlies play their next game against the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday night.
Photo courtesy of @TorontoMarlies on Twitter