Brendan Leipsic scores Hat Trick in Eventful Marlies Victory


Brendan Leipsic has been described by some as “the most annoying prospect in hockey”. He’s small, he’s skilled, and he gets in your face; the combination has people hoping for a Brad Marchand type of player once fully developed. I’m not sure if the description or the comparable are totally fair to him, but to the St. John’s IceCaps, he was probably more annoying than Marchand was to the Leafs tonight. Leipsic scored not one, not two, but three goals in a runaway 6-3 victory for the Toronto Marlies.

Leipsic’s first goal of the game came in the first minute of the game, just 53 seconds in. Both teams traded penalties shortly thereafter, but neither team converted. Suddenly, an explosion of offence happened in the back half of the period; Ryan Rupert scored his sixth of the year, and the IceCaps nearly immediately responded with a pair. Then, this happened:

That’s the Kasperi Kapanen that everybody was hoping would return from the World Juniors; oozing confidence and tempting fate. There was a bit of fear after he was slow to get up a few seconds later, but as it turns out, he was fine.

A minute and a half after Soshnikov’s goal, Leipsic picked up his second of the night, rubbing salt in the wound opened by a penalty to Lucas Lessio. Zach Fucale came in for Eddie Pasquale at this point and that ended the flurry of goals. However, with six and a half minutes to go in the second, he picked up the Hat Trick tally. Just like the first goal, this one was a product of him crashing the net.

The Marlies added one more goal early in the third period; Brett Findlay picked up his first of the year off a rebound of Jack Rodewald’s shot. Toronto held back at this point as the IceCaps fired away, trying to spark a comeback; they managed to get one more puck past Antoine Bibeau, but that was as close as it got until the final buzzer.

With the win, the Marlies move to an absurd 31-7-2 on the season, making them the league’s only 0.800 team; an absolutely remarkable feat, given the stage in the season they’re in. TJ Brennan also quietly put up three assists during this affair, which leaves him just one point behind Chris Bourque for first in AHL scoring. He’ll get a chance to expand on that tomorrow afternoon, when the Marlies take on the IceCaps at Mile One Centre once more.

  • Gary Empey

    1. TOR Leipsic, (9) (R. Rupert, Frattin), 0:53

    1. TOR R. Rupert, (6) (Hyman, Leipsic), 11:35

    1. TOR Soshnikov, (13) (Kapanen, Brennan), 16:41 (PP

    1. TOR Leipsic, (10) (Brennan, Bailey), 18:00 (PP)

    2. TOR Leipsic, (11) (Frattin, Brennan), 13:32

    3. TOR Findlay, (1) (Rodewald, Campbell), 3:53

  • Gary Empey

    I’ve been to 5 or 6 Marlies games this season, and in every one Leipsic and Soshnikov have looked impressive. I’ve been to games where Nylander or Kapanen looked relatively invisible, but those two always pass the eye test. Soshnikov’s ability to protect the puck is top notch. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in the NHL.