The Toronto Marlies have clinched a playoff spot. Exciting, right?! What’s more exciting is the fact that they did that without even having to win tonight’s hockey game, as their position was secured by a Hamilton Bulldogs loss. With that said, a victory against the Milwaukee Admirals could help them climb even further, and after sixty three and a half minutes, they got just that.
Toronto’s powerplay wasn’t particularly amazing tonight, but late in the first period, they converted on their first effort. William Nylander turned contributions from Byron Froese and Matt Frattin into his twelvth goal of the season, giving his team the lead after twenty minutes.
Despite this being a nothing game for the Admirals, they were committed to winning their final home game of the year. The second period made that look like a distinct possibility, as Antony Bitetto and Viktor Arvidsson both beat Antoine Bibeau within an eight minute span. The second period ended not with a response by the Marlies, but a fight between Michael Liambas and Frazer McLaren. Both left their benches after the period’s conclusion to unleash some frustration, and as such, were ejected.
Midway through the third period, Sam Carrick beat Magnus Hellberg to tie the game. The goal was reviewed at first, but upon realization that the puck did indeed cross the line, the two sides continued to play through to overtime. In the extra frame, Nylander set up Brendan Mikkelson for a heavy shot that crossed in a much more obvious fashion to secure the 3-2 victory.
Why does anybody even care about the draft lottery tomorrow? The next one is already in Toronto, and he’s Swedish. Okay, that might be excessive praise for William Nylander, but he picked up another goal and an assist tonight, bringing him to 29 points in 35 games. Not bad for somebody who hasn’t played in North America since he was a 14 year old playing AAA.
Summing It Up
The season isn’t over yet. The Marlies still have two important games ahead against Rockford and Chicago, the latter being a team that they’re actually chasing in the standings. While it’s unlikely, the Marlies could go as high as sixth place in the standings with the right results.
Tonight, however, was all about the game on the ice, and they had a decent enough one to get by. Puck drop for tomorrow’s game against Rockford is at 8PM.