Marlies move to third in North Division with win over Comets

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

The Toronto Marlies, thanks to a six win in eight game run, have catapulted back into the playoff picture over the past couple of weeks. They’ve got the St. John’s IceCaps just a few points above them, and the Utica Comets equal to them. Tonight, they had a chance to leapfrog them both, and possibly twist in the knife by beating the latter mentioned Comets at Ricoh Coliseum.

They did just that, winning 4-2 against the Vancouver Canucks’ affiliate and moving into third in the North Division just weeks after flirting with it’s basement.

The first period was a bit of a special teams pendulum. After Seth Griffith was sent to the box for a trip, Toronto went to their first penalty kill of the game with eight minutes remaining in the period. It didn’t go exactly well, as Darren Archibald took advantage of a scramble in front and a sprawling Garret Sparks to put his team atop the scoreboard.

The Marlies game back with a vengeance, though. Their very own first powerplay of the game went in their favour five minutes later, as Kerby Rychel buried his 10th of the season while Colby Robak watched from the penalty box. To make things better, the blue and white took the lead a minute into the second period, this time as a result of Byron Froese burying a feed from Trevor Moore.

Toronto held their lead in a rather even second period for the bulk of it, but eventually, Robak got his revenge by tying the game up with 57 seconds to go.

Thankfully for the Marlies, their heads were screwed on well for the third period that awaited. Once again, they used the powerplay to their advantage, with Wacey Hamilton’s holding infraction turning into another Kerby Rychel goal; an incredibly pretty one at that. That Rychel goal gave Seth Griffith his second assist of the contest, bringing him up to 12 points in eight consecutive games since joining the team. 

While Utica had their chances, Garret Sparks fended away the remainder of Utica’s 31 shots and Rich Clune was ale to add an empty-netter with 17 seconds to go.

With the win, the Marlies move to above 0.500 for the first time since December 18th, now possessing a 22-21-2-1 record. Their next game will come on Friday, against the very same Comets.