The Toronto Marlies have been full of hockey redemption stories of late.
Think Byron Froese, Rich Clune and Drew MacIntyre to name but three and perhaps we’ll witness another in Marc Arcobello.
Placed on waivers this past Thursday (October 29), Arcobello joined the Marlies the day after, though he had to wait until this late Sunday afternoon tilt in Albany to make his debut.
Wasting little time in making an impact, Arcobello’s first goal tied the game at 2-2 late in the first period. There would be no further scoring in regulation and it would be off to overtime for these two teams, as it was on the first occasion they met this season.
It took just 20 seconds of overtime to decide where the extra point would be heading. Arcobello won the opening face-off, sending the puck back to Frank Corrado who cycled back behind his own net.
Coming back out with the puck, he sent a pass to Arcobello just inside the Marlies blue line and the man making his debut had a head of steam and streaked up the ice, heading towards the left corner. Burning past two Albany players, he cut back towards the goal, going across netminder Yann Danis and despite falling in the process, Arcobello’s shot found the net for the game winner.
The first period had little in the way of shots but four goals were tallied as Albany’s power play remained an enigma for the Marlies. The home team Devils took just 3:40 to open their account with the man advantage as Boucher rifled it short side over the shoulder of Bibeau who might be disappointed with himself on that one. The officials were calling everything and penalties galore ensued. Toronto doing their best work during 4-on-4 play but unable to cash in on opportunities.
Andrew Campbell is not noted for his goal scoring and Albany allowed him time and space to move to the top of the left circle before firing home past the glove hand of Danis to tie the game after nine minutes of play.
A pair of quick penalties called on the Marlies meant it took just 120 seconds for the home team to nudge themselves ahead again. Sislo with the one time blast from the slot for his third power play goal of the season, all against Toronto. Bibeau’s huge save on Tropp with five minutes remaining looked even bigger when his team responded with a second tying goal on a delayed penalty. Taking their time to set-up during the 6-on-5, Leipsic somehow found an opening to thread the puck to Arcobello in the slot and the renowned scorer at this level made no mistake.
The ten shots in the opening period set the tone in a difficult game for goaltenders who barely saw the puck at times.
A save from Bibeau early in the middle frame was followed by the Leipsic-Arcobello-Frattin line almost combining for a go-ahead goal on a terrific pressing shift of play.
The home team would respond with a big effort and pen their opponents in their own zone. The Marlies were caught running around, unable to get fresh legs on with the long change. Boucher came the closest to breaking the tie, his effort drifted wide of the far post with Bibeau beaten however.
We then witnessed the best and worst of Nylander, as he did some great work to earn a power play opportunity. Brennan, Leivo and Arcobello were all denied but the pressure led to the Marlies earning a consecutive shot on the power play as Albany ended up penned in their own zone.
They would almost score shorthanded as Nylander was guilty of overplaying, ultimately misplaying the puck, allowing Boucher to skip away all alone. Antoine Bibeau bailed out his team mate with a fine pad save. Albany would be thankful for a saviour of their own inside the last five minutes as Brandon Burlon cleared the puck of the goal line as Panik was just a step away from tapping home the easiest goal he would ever have scored. After good work from Percy and Bailey.
The final twenty minutes of regulation saw little in the way of clear cut chances, although the home team fired 12 shots, the most by either side. Bibeau having to be sharp inside the first 90 seconds and then late on too deny Sislo on two different opportunities after two sloppy giveaways by Toronto.
Cue then the period of overtime hockey and a new hero in Marlies colours.
Post Game Notes:
Third straight game that Toronto and Albany have had a 3-2 scoreline with both Marlies victories coming in overtime. They will play another three times this season.
Andrew Campbell made his 500th professional appearance and scored his fourth goal of the season. That’s a career seasonal high for a defenseman not known for his offensive abilities.
First time Toronto have won two straight games since opening the season with three straight victories.
Marlies are yet to lose when tied after regulation. Two overtime wins and one in the shootout.
Nylander continues to go along at point per game pace, with a solitary assist.