Marlies lose first road game of the season to Rochester


The Toronto Marlies played their first road game of the season tonight in Rochester, New York, taking on the Amerks in a showdown that will happen a frustratingly high amount of times over the next few months. Perhaps more frustrating than having to see the same team a bazillion times, however, is falling behind in the season series, something that happened tonight as the blue and white conceded three powerplay goals against in a 5-2 loss.

Scoring was non-existent in the first, though the Marlies certainly had their chances, outshooting their opponents 7-3 over the opening twenty. They did manage to break the ice not long into the second, though, as Frederik Gauthier and Kasperi Kapanen drove hard to Linus Ullmark’s crease, with the former setting up the latter for the game’s icebreaker.

That was pretty encouraging, but despite Toronto’s best efforts at controlling the game at even strength, the course of the game actually went downhill from there. A penalty to Viktor Loov put the Marlies on a 5-on-3 for 80 seconds, and while Colin Greening hustled back to make it 5-on-4 after his infraction had expired, Taylor Fedun’s point shot eluded Garret Sparks to tie the game for the Amerks. This was, of course, a goal that felt like the hockey gods were in favour of a cruel night, seeing as Fedun was five minutes removed from kneeing Bryon Froese in the midst of a hip check.

Four minutes later, an unlucky bounce worked against the team. An attempted pass by Frederik Gauthier skipped around Andrew Nielsen and instead sprung Hudson Fasching on a breakaway, and the 21-year-old made no mistake in beating Sparks for an unassisted tally. Toronto finished the period shorthanded once again, thanks to a bench minor for too many men in the final seconds of the frame.

That burned them as well. Fedun once again fired a point shot, but this time, Justin Bailey redirected it. The goal was met by a response from Froese, who redirected Andrew Campbell’s blast into the back of the Rochester goal, but even with a couple of breakaways in their favour, that was as close as the Marlies came to restoring the balance. Casey Nelson added one more long-distance powerplay goal with three minutes to go, and Daniel Catenacci wrapped up the night with an empty-netter.

Overall, it’s a tough loss to swallow, though not a panic inducer. Toronto outshot Rochester by at least four in all three periods, ending the night up 36-21 in that regard. Kapanen and Leipsic once again looked good, and Holl finished the night up with five shots.

Kerby Rychel Colin Smith Andreas Johnsson
Brendan Leipsic Bryon Froese Tobias Lindberg
Nikita Soshnikov Frederik Gauthier Kasperi Kapanen
Colin Greening Brooks Laich Dmytro Timashov
Andrew Nielsen   Andrew Campbell
Rinat Valiev   Justin Holl
Travis Dermott   Viktor Loov

You obviously don’t want to see the team get scored on, but even then, we’re talking about three powerplay goals, a breakaway off a bounce, and an empty netter. Discipline would be a key thing to work on (seven penalty kills is never wise), but that’s a given on any night. I’m also curious to know whether there was a reason why Sparks was struggling with those long distance shots; perhaps a screen either intentionally placed by his opponents or accidentally placed by his peers.

Either way, it’s on to the next one. Toronto returns to Ricoh Coliseum tomorrow at 5:00 PM to take on the Manitoba Moose.