Adults could learn a lot from the children that come to these 11AM games. For one, they fill up the building, which is a huge step in the right direction. They sing pop songs, which is very European Soccer-like. They give the building atmosphere, which isn’t what a Toronto hockey team usually gets. You know what else they usually don’t get? Wins! You know what the Marlies have been stacking up lately? Wins!
This game didn’t start off as planned, as the Barons took an early lead courtesy of a goal from David Ling, himself a former Marlie. Troy Bodie answered back very quickly, scoring a goal in his first game back from suspension, which tilted the momentum back in Toronto’s favour. By the end of the period, they were outshooting their opponents 15-8, but were still equalled on the score sheet.
As fate would have it, the Barons were first to score in the second, courtesy of a mid-period goal by Josh Winquist. For a while, it looked like it was going to be the game winner (easy Winquist pun here), but Toronto showed no signs of defeatism. In fact, they outshot Oklahoma City 9-2 in the third period, and a couple of those shots started on Byron Froese’s stick, and into the net. His first tally came four minutes in, and the game winner came with four minutes to go.
I don’t know if you guys have figured this out yet, but Byron Froese is really good. Today, he showed it once again, scoring the game tying and game winning goals, along with taking two other shots. This brings him to 14 goals and 28 points in 34 games, which, at 23 years old, is impressive. The Leafs should probably sign him before somebody else does, seeing as he remains an NHL unrestricted free agent. For now, however, he’s signed a one year extension with the Marlies, which at least locks in his rights at this level.
Summing It Up
It’s good to get these school day games out of the way; they’re a lot of fun, but I have to imagine they throw off player routines. Not to mention, screaming kids. Toronto gets a big two points in this case though and find themselves back in a playoff position, even if temporary. The Marlies are best suited hoping for a Hamilton win in regulation over Adirondack, due to games in hand. That will hold them over until their next game, on Saturday, against the Bulldogs.
Photo courtesy of Christian Bonin / TSGPhoto.com