Marlies starting to hit stride again with shootout win over Amerks

Photo Credit: Rochester Americans/

Don’t look now, but the Toronto Marlies are starting to regain steam. For the first time since late November, the blue and white have strung together a 3-in-4 stretch of wins, grabbing two points over the Rochester Americans today.

There isn’t really a ton to break down as far as the actual game itself. The Marlies, quite frankly, dominated the Amerks, who didn’t really belong in the same conversation and were only there thanks to Linus Ullmark. Seth Griffith put Toronto on the scoreboard early with his first goal in the organization, and Hudson Fasching responded at an almost identical time (about three and a half minutes) into the second period to tie the game.

Beyond that, though, Toronto outshot Rochester 37-16 in regulation, had a relatively close overtime, and the game eventually headed to a shootout. Both teams struggled to score, missing or getting stopped on five of their first six attempts, but after Vaclav Karabacek missed Rochester’s seventh opportunity, Colin Smith, who nearly ended the game in overtime, pulled this out of his bag of tricks to seal the game.

Key offensive contributors, even if there wasn’t much to work with in the points department, included Byron Froese (6 shots), Kerby Rychel (5 shots), Nikolas Brouillard (called up from the Solar Bears, 3 shots), and Trevor Moore (3 shot). Speaking of shots, Garret Sparks stopped 19 of 20 and fended off 6 of 7 in the shootout; his full season save percentage is 0.925 now, and while he’s 7 minutes away from qualifying for the AHL’s leaderboards, that would put him 5th in the entire league in the stat.

With the win, the Marlies jump up to 5th in the North Division with a record of 18-20-2-1. Their next pair of games come in St. John’s on Friday and Saturday at 6 and 12:30 PM respectively.

  • Brandon

    It seems like the Leafs organization has pushed for Bibeau as their number one prospect this year, in spite of the fact that Sparks seems to generally put up better numbers. Even in the playoffs last year, I believe Sparks was second fiddle in spite of putting up better numbers. I wonder what it’s going to take for them to just go with Sparks.