Marlies edge Crunch in lengthy special teams drill

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

After a rough loss on Saturday, the Toronto Marlies fired back with an up-and-down, but ultimately successful 3-2 grudge match win over the Syracuse Crunch. 

To try to break down every single minor event that led to the final buzzer in this game would be incredibly difficult, given that the two teams combined for an insane 27 penalties, 78 penalty minutes and 20 powerplays. In fact, that’s where three of the five goals came from this afternoon, including the icebreaker.

The Marlies knew what they could get out of a two-man advantage if executed properly, and Sheldon Keefe recognized that by calling a timeout just eight minutes into the game to make sure his top unit was prepared. It worked out to their benefit; they didn’t capitalize immediately, but they drew another call to prolong the advantage and Byron Froese made no mistake in turning that window of opportunity into his eighteenth goal of the season.

With 30 seconds to go, Froese struck again, scoring Toronto’s lone even-strength goal by grabbing an incomplete shot by Andrew Campbell and roofing it past Adam Wilcox. Midway through the third period, Kerby Rychel found a way to reward Travis Dermott for his hard-nosed, chippy night, redirecting his point shot to give Toronto a second 5-on-3 goal.

The Marlies found themselves in a tough penalty situation of their own in the back half of the third period, as both Colin Greening and Tony Cameranesi took penalties within 48 seconds of each other. It worked against them in a severely threatening way; Tanner Richard converted on the Greening powerplay, and Adam Comrie followed it up with a second goal a few seconds after Cameranesi left the box.

Things worked out in the end, though, as Garret Sparks sent away the rest of the incoming traffic, finishing the night with 25 saves on 27 shots despite playing the night before. Antoine Bibeau was supposed to start today but was too sick to dress this morning.

With the win, the Marlies return to 0.500 and jump into a tie for 4th in the North Division with a 21-21-2-1 record. Their next pair of games are against the Utica Comets, who are the very team they’re looking to pull away from. The first of those games is on Tuesday night at Ricoh Coliseum; puck drop is at 7:00 PM. 

  • Harte of a Lion

    It looks like the Marlies are finally putting together consistent efforts and are being rewarded with some wins. Once Kapanen and Leipsic return (1 & 2 on the club in scoring) the team should make a push for a playoff spot. This is a team that might do some damage in the post season as they have learned throughout this bumpy season that without a superstar to carry the team, they must play as a 5 man unit every shift to have success.
    If they can go 20-11 or 18-13 they will easily make the playoffs and hopefully move past St. John’s… ferk the Canadians and all their minor league teams…
    Go Marlies, Go Leafs!!!

    I hope for Corrado’s sake he shows up and plays to his capabilities. If he does, I think he and Nielsen on the first pairing can do some serious damage in the O-zone while still being defensively responsible.
    No more sulking Frankie, it’s time to prove Babcock and the Leafs management they were wrong.

      • Harte of a Lion

        Luke the team never announced anything other than the all too common “lower body injury” however after watching the replay over and over it look like a knee injury. Since he didn’t have surgery as that’s something no team can hide, I’m hopeful he can return this season although an ACL sprain might end his season depending on its severity. He needs to continue on strengthening his upper body while he is on IR just as Connor Brown did last season after breaking his ankle blocking a shot. Brown appears much stronger this season and seems much harder to knock off the puck although that might just be Zack “it’s my puck and I’ll kill any f~cker who tries to take it away from me” Hyman rubbing off on him.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    Byron Froese (18) ASST: Seth Griffith (8), Kerby Rychel (19) (PP)

    Byron Froese (19) ASST: Andrew Campbell (9), Andreas Johnsson (11)

    Kerby Rychel (9) ASST: Travis Dermott (14), Byron Froese (10) (PP)