Josh Leivo scores pair of goals in AHL All-Star Game

The Toronto Marlies have torn up the American Hockey League this year, to the point where they could have realistically sent more than four deserving people to this year’s All-Star Festivities. With that said, that wouldn’t be fair at all to the fans of the other teams. As such, head coach Sheldon Keefe took William Nylander, TJ Brennan, and Josh Leivo with him to Syracuse for the weekend, and while the former pair were left off the score sheet, Leivo found his way to the back the net twice.

Leivo’s first goal was the only tally by the North or Pacific division in the tournament’s opener, one where the North peppered Peter Budaj with sixteen shots against. Leivo, Brennan, and Nylander all contributed two of those, with Nylander coming closest to joining Leivo on the scoresheet after failing to beat Budaj on a breakaway.

The North quickly fell behind the eventual champions from the Central Division in the second game, but Leivo did his best to turn the team around with another snipe. His goal, which made it 3-1, was quickly followed by Michael McCarron of St. John’s adding to the push with a goal of his own. Nylander and Brennan threw three shots each towards the net in an effort to tie the game, but neither were able to beat Eric Comrie.

Keefe put less of an emphasis on “his guys” in the third game, which ended up being a makeshift semi-final. In fact, none of the three so much as mustered a shot in what would be their last game. The North ended up losing this game handily, with Yann Dannis and Kristers Gudlevskis combining to allow three against them on nine shots.

When all was said and done, Leivo was the division’s top player, leading the team with two goals an assist in three minigames. Interestingly enough, the league’s current points leader (Brennan) and points-per-game leader (Nylander) failed to get a single point, though they did take five shots a piece. If nothing else, they have their efforts in the skills competition to be proud of.

Perhaps they’re saving the goals for their next meaningful game, which takes place on Thursday against the Manitoba Moose. That game will be played at the MTS Centre, and begins at 8:00 PM.