The final week of the regular season saw the Toronto Marlies claim four of a possible six points.
The two victories ensured Toronto finished tied for the 3rd-best record in AHL history with 54-16-5-1, earning the team 114 points and a .750 point percentage for the season.
Toronto finishes the 2015/16 season with a winning record in every month, including a 11-1-1-0 record in the month of January.
The Marlies conclude the season with a league best goal differential of +103 and only six goals shy of 300.
Toronto’s ability to closeout games when leading was superb.
21-2-1-0 when leading after one period and 39-1-2-0 when leading after two periods.
A loss to Hartford on Wednesday broke an eight game point streak, but Toronto still won nine of their last eleven games.
Toronto dominated Rochester during their season series, finishing with a 7-1-0-0 record after winning both games this past weekend.
The Marlies final win was their 27th on home ice, equalling the impressive road record this season.
Special teams were in the positive for a second consecutive week.
The power play was two for 9, while the penalty kill allowed one goal on seven opportunities for opponents.
Home advantage had already been secured by winning the AHL regular season title, which they will hold all the way to the Calder Cup final, should they progress that far.
With the Toronto Maple Leafs season done and dusted, the troops filed back to Ricoh Coliseum.
The Marlies were able to field a line-up more akin to pre-deadline but they were to suffer defeat against a desperate Hartford Wolf Pack.
Toronto were quick out of the traps and the Carrick’s combined for the opening goal.
Connor with the rush from his own end that ended at the high slot and he teed up Sam for his 16th of the season.
After passing up a few chances inside the opening six minutes, Toronto were dominated by Hartford, and the game was duly tied up
The visitors would also out-shoot the Marlies 15-6 and really should have held a lead after twenty minutes.
The Wolf Pack quickly put that wrong to right by scoring twice in the first ten minutes of the second period.
Toronto weren’t helping themselves by gifting Hartford some glorious opportunities, while unable to take advantage of their chances.
A power play goal from Connor Carrick with 3:30 to play in the middle frame sparked the Marlies into life and they could have entered the third period level had they taken one of several chances created.
Toronto were unable to dig themselves out of the hole through the previous forty minutes, despite controlling long stretches of the final period of play.
Magnus Hellberg was superb in net for Hartford and would turn aside all fourteen shots in the third to earn his team a much needed two points in their quest for a playoff berth.
Viktor Loov and Captain Andrew Campbell returned to the line-up on Saturday with the latter on hand to accept the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy.
The problem for the Marlies is they failed to play like the regular season champions against a Rochester Americans team who had lost eight of their last ten, including a 5-0 blow out the night before.
With no Josh Leivo, Zach Hyman or William Nylander in the line-up, there were opportunities for many other players to stake a claim for a spot in next weekend’s first playoff game.
Not enough of the guys on the fringe stepped up despite Toronto once again taking an early lead.
Frattin, Arcobello and Brown all combined with the former following up the play to put home the rebound.
To Rochester’s credit they responded with some good pressure and zone time, and could count themselves unlucky to be down after twenty minutes of play.
An odd man rush enabled the visiting Amerks to tie the game up.
Justin Bailey teeing up Brendan Guhle for his first professional goal.
It was no less than they deserved and they would have held a lead after forty minutes without some brilliance from Antoine Bibeau.
Instead it was Toronto who re-took the lead with five minutes of the second period to play.
T.J Brennan with the power play marker through traffic, just one of six shots recorded on net from Toronto during that middle frame.
The road team never stopped pushing however in what was a creditable performance despite a poor season for them.
They would out-shoot Toronto 8-1 in the opening eight minutes or so of the third period but could not find a way past Bibeau.
Toronto finally found their legs around the midway point and Nathan Lieuwen made a pair of saves from Sam Carrick and Ben Smith to keep his team in the game.
Rochester’s goaltender could do nothing about the insurance marker when it finally came however.
Fredrik Gauthier rang his shot off the iron and it rebounded out to Campbell at the point.
The Captain shifted it right to Rinat Valiev, and the rookie fired his effort in off the post with plenty of traffic in front screening Lieuwen.
A 3-1 final that flattered the home team and owed much to the excellent performance of Antoine Bibeau, who made 33 saves for the victory.
The 76th and final game of the season saw the Marlies essentially dress a B-team against Rochester.
It mattered not as Toronto prevailed in what turned out to be a shooting gallery, the teams combining for 89 shots on net.
Those inside Ricoh Coliseum were celebrating a mere 102 seconds into the game.
Eric Faille banging home a rebound after Jordan Hickmott had thrown the puck on goal.
A combination of incredible goaltending, iron being hit and missed opportunities meant we had to wait until late in the second period for the next goal. Hickmott the beneficiary of a perfect pass from Faille to score his first professional goal from the slot.
Rochester would finally find a way past Sparks with twenty seconds remaining of the middle frame.
A power play marker from Cole Schneider halving the deficit.
Toronto began the third period with two power plays but almost gave up a short-handed goal, with Stuart Percy coming to the rescue by blocking a shot on the goal line.
Back at even strength Toronto extended their lead as Cameranesi showed terrific speed from the left wing and cut across the crease before squeezing the puck inside the post.
More chances came and went before Rochester pulled themselves within one as Jean Dupuy chipped the puck past Sparks, a goal that the goaltender said himself he’d like back.
Toronto never really looked like surrendering the lead however and secured a 4-2 victory with an empty net goal from Eric Faille after some unselfish work from Tyler Wong.
Reinforcements came from the NHL and ECHL this week.
Re-joining from the Leafs were Andrew Campbell, Frederik Gauthier, Garret Sparks, Sam Carrick, T.J Brennan, Tobias Lindberg and William Nylander.
Up from Orlando to bolster the ranks were Brenden Miller, Brett Findlay, Patrick Watling and T.J Foster.
The AHL handed out it’s individual accolades and T.J Brennan once again captured the Eddie Shoe Award, becoming the seventh multiple-time winner in league history.
It’s the second time in three seasons that Brennan has been named the AHL’s outstanding defenseman and he finished the season with 25 goals and 43 assists for 68 points.
He led league defenseman in goals, assists, points and power play goals.
Brennan’s lone goal this week was his 25th of the season, tying a career high set in 2013/14.
Antoine Bibeau recorded his 28th win of the season on Saturday and has shown more consistency down the final stretch.
He’s 7-1-0-0 through his last eight games, recording a .9.37 save percentage and two shutouts.
Garret Sparks returned to play his first game since February 26. He made 45 saves on Sunday and was generally superb in his Marlies reappearance.
Connor Carrick recorded his first multi-point game in Wednesday’s game with a goal and an assist.
Eric Faille scored his sixth and seventh goal of the season, adding an assist for a three point game, an AHL high for him. Faille has ten points through fifteen regular season games for Toronto.
Kasperi Kapanen blocked a shot late in the second period of Sunday’s game, leaving the ice and would not return.
Released from ATO contracts were Jordan Hickmott, Tyler Wong, Willie Corrin, and Tony Cameranesi.
Hickmott registered two points on Sunday, Cameranesi his second goal and Tyler Wong his first professional point