Bibeau gets third shutout in dominant Marlies win over Baby Pens


On December 18th, 2015, the Toronto Marlies and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins faced off with each other. The winner of that game was to become 1st overall in the American Hockey League, and with a shootout win, Toronto made the leap frog. From that point on, they never looked back.

This time around, the Tuscan Roadrunners were there to rid the Marlies of an opportunity to go back into the one seed, but they did have the chance to pull the Penguins away from goliath status. They did just that, winning 3-0 to tie their opponents for the top ranking in the Eastern Conference.

Seven and a half minutes into the first period, a surprising name finished off a powerplay effort. Surprising not so much in their pedigree but compared to their slow start to the year; we all knew Kerby Rychel was capable of putting pucks into the back of the net, and he showed it by finishing up a nifty passing play that also involved Brendan Leipsic and ex-Penguin Kasperi Kapanen.

Nine minutes later, Rychel was at it again. Unlike the previous effort, which involved the Marlies being on the powerplay, this goal came at even strength, though it still saw him sneak into an open spot in front of the net while Andreas Johnsson found him with a pass. He was the poster boy of a trend the team showed throughout the game, constantly getting into the danger areas and causing the Penguins trouble.

The method worked once more in the early goings of the second period. This time, Frederik Gauthier crashed the crease to pick up what remained of Viktor Loov’s effort, and that’s all the blue and white needed. By the end of the second, they had outshot the Penguins 27-11, and while the third was closer, there was never any imminent threat. Antoine Bibeau’s strong performance certainly helped, as he stopped nineteen shots and the handful of dangerous chances that he did have against him en route to his third shutout in just eight games.

Toronto’s record improved to 8-2-0-1 with the victory. Tomorrow, they’ll try to build on that as they take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, wrapping up the extended Winter Fair road trip. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.