A ten goal game.
A victory that lengthens the Marlies point streak to ten.
William Nylander extended his point streak to ten games and recorded his tenth goal of the season.
In truth though it was far from a perfect performance from Toronto who were only at their best for twenty minutes of the sixty played.
Trailing 2-1 after the opening period, having only registered four shots on net, the home team Marlies were obviously reeling from some home truths told during the intermission.
A fast and positive start to the second period was halted by a penalty called on Carrick. Shortly after Toronto killed that off, Mark Fraser and Richard Panik got to know one another a little more than the officials were happy with and some four on four hockey ensued.
This definitely suited the speedier and more skilled Marlies team who promptly tied the game up.
Kapanen with the initial effort on net that produced a juicy rebound for Nylander to score his tenth of the season at 4:28. Just 67 seconds later and Toronto took the lead. Upon leaving the penalty box, Panik was part of a 3-on-1 break and Hyman found him with a perfect if unspectacular cross ice feed. The Slovakian forward applied the finish for his fourth of the season.
Toronto completed the three goal blast before the nine minute mark. Kapanen the architect with a gorgeous pass to Arcobello and the centre man just isn‘t missing chances in alone right now, burying his seventh on the year.
The Marlies would waste two further powerplay opportunities as Binghamton struggled to contain the hosts and taking penalties in the process. The Leipsic-Carrick-Frattin came closest to adding to the advantage but Carrick cut a frustrated figure after seeing three straight efforts turned aside by Binghamton’s rookie netminder Chris Driedger.
Despite allowing 22 shots through the middle frame it was the visitors who finished the stronger with a good spell of pressure inside the last two minutes.
There would be no further scoring and after a scrum in the final few seconds involving Max McCormick and Matt Frattin, Toronto would begin the final period on yet another powerplay.
It was more frustration as the Marlies frittered away two straight power play’s, giving the visitors hope this game wasn’t done with yet. To rub salt into the wound, Binghamton would tally on their only man advantage of the third period. It was unfortunate for Antoine Bibeau, who made a stunning save to deny Cole Schneider all alone in front on a feed from Zach Stortini. The next shot from Fredrik Claesson found it’s way through, with the aforementioned Stortini providing the perfect screen in front.
With just over eight minutes to play and the game now in the balance, nerves were certainly frayed amongst the majority of the 5783 in attendance at Ricoh Coliseum. More ill-discipline from Binghamton, this time in the form of a face-off violation, sent Toronto to the powerplay for the sixth occasion.
Exactly four seconds after that advantage had expired, the home crowd exhaled in relief as the Marlies tallied to make it 5-3.
Soshnikov from the left side of the net, somehow threaded the eye of the needle, with a pass eluding a scrum of players in front of the Binghamton goal and finding Leipsic, who fired home before Driedger could fully re-adjust his position.
Surely a two-goal lead with under four minutes to play was safe? Not in this game as Binghamton pulled their goaltender early for the extra attacker and got within one with 57 seconds left on the clock.
Too many Marlies players were caught below the goal-line and Ryan Dzingel lifted his backhand effort past Bibeau with time and space afforded to him.
The visitors net would remain empty but they were unable to garner any sort of possession and it was left to Stuart Percy to finish the scoring with a buzzer beater after good work to keep the puck away from the net.
The opening twenty minutes had started brightly for Toronto, Leipsic earning a power play with thirty seconds gone. Less than a minute had passed when Kapanen and Nylander played catch with the puck before the former rifled home from the hash marks, his second goal on the man advantage this season.
Toronto were guilty of too many turnovers through the first period and it was no surprise when Binghamton tied the game up. Colin Greening with a speculative wrist shot that took a deflection of T.J Brennan and beat Bibeau short side.
Soshnikov should have put his team up 2-1 but contrived to miss the net after Stuart Percy found him with a terrific pass.
Eric O’Dell then performed his best Soshnikov impression, failing to score on an empty net when it looked easier to score but he would make no mistake shortly afterwards, as Schneider took advantage of Viktor Loov coughing up the puck behind Toronto’s net before finding his team mate in front.
It could have been worse for the home team as Justin Holl was the next to give up a great chance in front of his own net but Bibeau was sharp to deny O’Dell who could easily have had a first period hat-trick.
A 6-4 final score-line that would have been a far easier victory for Toronto had they managed to spread some of their excellent second period play over the rest of the forty minutes.
Post Game Notes:
Toronto’s 9-0-1-0 point streak has propelled them to an eight point lead in the North Division.
Nylander’s ten game point streak contains seven goals and ten assists. A truly remarkable run that doesn’t look like ending anytime soon.
Kasperi Kapanen had his best game in a Marlies uniform, in his second outing since returning from injuries. Two assists were his first helpers of the season.
Brendan Leipsic has found his groove of late and four points in his last three outings is just reward for his play. There still looks more to come from the left winger.
Despite firing just four times on net in the first period, Toronto ended with 40 shots although they did allow Binghamton 35 in the process.
Justin Johnson came in for Josh Leivo but wasn’t required to drop his gloves in what was a timid encounters between these two teams compared to the previous pair of encounters this season