Marlies run of form halted by loss to Comets

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

Just because a hockey team is on a roll, doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to a bit of a blow every so often. Tonight, the Marlies received just that, falling victim to their first three-goal loss in two months to the Utica Comets, who are still clinging onto life on the North Division ladder.

Toronto were actually the first to break the ice in a relatively evenly-fought first period, as Andreas Johnsson beat Richard Bachman for his 14th of the year by hopping on a suddenly loose puck in front of the net. It was a lead they brought into the second period, but certainly not one they held throughout.

Borna Rendulic took advantage of a penalty to Seth Griffith just a minute and a half into the middle frame and beat Garret Sparks with a backhand to tie the game.  Andrew Nielsen put the Marlies up ahead once again ten minutes later, and the team had further opportunity to widen the gap after Jordan Subban took a penalty on the next shift, but lemonade reversed itself into lemons less than thirty seconds later when Wacey Hamilton managed to score a shorthanded goal to tie the game for the Comets.

With three minutes left in the second period, Cody Kunyuk beat Sparks again to put the Comets up, much to the dismay of both Toronto’s goaltender and his bench, as the net appeared to be dislodged. The goal was not disallowed, however, as the referee both didn’t see it come off nor did they believe that its positioning made a difference as to whether the puck would have gone in.

Toronto’s struggles continued into the third period, as Evan McEneny and Curtis Valk each added goals to cap the game off. Toronto was outshot 33-24 on the night and didn’t get the support they needed from their special teams, going 0/6 on the powerplay and just 3/5 on the penalty kill.

With the loss, the Marlies remain third in the North Division but fall to a 0.520 record; decently, but not significantly far ahead of St. John’s or Utica. Their next pair of games come on Friday and Saturday against the Manitoba Moose at Ricoh Coliseum.