Eight of a possible ten points for the Toronto Marlies, but it really should have been a clean sweep bar for a disastrous third period collapse at the ACC against Binghamton.
Toronto became the first team in the North to claim a 20th victory on home ice and with recent results going their way, find themselves second in the division.
Offense certainly wasn’t the issue it once was, as the Marlies netted 25 times and are now the fourth highest scorers in the Eastern Conference with 210 goals.
Special teams were extremely lopsided with the power play firing in all five games, connecting seven times on 19 opportunities.
The penalty kill gave up six goals on twenty chances – the problems no more prevalent than during the aforementioned loss to Binghamton.
The season series with Manitoba Moose finished 7-1 in favour of Toronto, who comprehensively outscored their opponents.
Toronto currently lead the season series with Binghamton 3-2. The one remaining game is to be played in Ottawa.
Sunday, March 12, 2017 Toronto Marlies 5 @ Manitoba Moose 4
There was little in the way of defense played as Toronto and Manitoba fought out a wild shootout. Twice the home team took the lead in the opening period but they were pegged back each time by the Marlies. Toronto went ahead for the first time early in the middle frame but this time it was the hosts who wasted little time in tying the game at three. The teams exchanged a goal a piece in the third period but Toronto prevailed thanks to a power play strike from Kerby Rychel.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 Toronto Marlies 6 @ Manitoba Moose 3
Toronto’s offense once again delivered in Manitoba but it was backed up by a better overall defensive display than the previous game. The Marlies were twice pegged back in the first period, after goals from Kerby Rychel and Steve Oleksy. The game was broken wide open in the middle frame as Brett Findlay, Brendan Leipsic and Andrew Campbell all netted in a nine minute span. Leading 5-3 with twenty minutes remaining, Toronto allowed just five shots on net and Frederik Gauthier scored a sixth with ten minutes remaining to cap the victory.
Friday, March 17, 2017 Binghamton Senators 2 @ Toronto Marlies 4
Toronto got off to the perfect start in this Friday night tilt at Ricoh Coliseum. Mike Sislo struck on the power play and Andrew Campbell scored his ninth of the year to put the home team up 2-0. They were good value for more and would nearly pay the price for that in the second period. Max McCormick scored on the power play and Toronto’s lead only stayed intact due to excellent work from Kasimir Kaskisuo, who was making his seasonal debut. Justin Holl established Toronto’s two goal lead early in the third period but Binghamton’s riposte was swift as they tallied a short-handed goal -McCormick netting for the second time. The pivotal moment of the game came at the midway point of the final frame, with Kaskisuo making an outstanding save to deny Binghamton a second short-handed goal. The Marlies duly went up the other end of the ice and Mike Sislo put home the insurance marker on a beautiful feed from Andreas Johnsson.
Saturday, March 18, 2017 Binghamton Senators 8 @ Toronto Marlies 4
Toronto let a three goal lead slip during the most extraordinary third period of play at the ACC. Binghamton were doubtless assisted by some officiating as they pulled to within a goal on the power play. A non call then cost the Marlies dear and the score was tied at 4-4 as Jason Akeson scored. The home teams had lost their heads at this juncture and the result was settled by two goals in eleven seconds from the B-Sens. The game finished with a brawl at centre ice and two further goals to rub salt into the Marlies wound.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Rochester Americans 0 @ Toronto Marlies 6
Toronto responded to their previous reverse with a 6-0 thumping of the Rochester Americans. The Amerks have had the Marlies number all year but they couldn’t respond after Toronto struck four times on their first five shots. Their lead could have been greater through twenty minutes, especially if Andreas Johnsson had slid the puck into an empty net in the final seconds. The Marlies let-up the rest of the way, allowing the visitors to climb their way into the game and proceeded to out-shoot the home team 26-10. Kasimir Kaskisuo was on his A-game as he turned aside all thirty shots faced to claim his first AHL shutout. Toronto padded their advantage in the third period, with Seth Griffith scoring his second of the game and Trevor Moore finding the net insider the last minute.
Seth Griffith helped himself to eleven points, extending his streak to six games. Netting three goals in his last two outings, Griffith broke a twelve game scoreless run.
Mike Sislo had made exactly the kind of impact Toronto were hoping for when they traded for the former Albany winger. Five goals and three assists for the Wisconsin native, who has enjoyed time on the power play as part of a five-forward unit.
Kerby Rychel is also in hot form. Four goals and a trio of assists leaves him three points shy of fifty for the season. He’s riding a five game point streak, though missed the last outing through a one game suspension handed out for a misconduct in the Binghamton loss.
Cal O’Reilly is yet to find the net for Toronto but has proved an invaluable asset with six helpers to his name.
Andreas Johnsson is another player riding a five game point streak. Six assists for the winger, who is now third in Marlies scoring with 41 points.
Five helpers for Kasperi Kapanen, who shift-by-shift, is beginning to work his way back to pre-injury form.
A pair of goals and assists for Brett Findlay who continues to go about his business without any fanfare.
Steve Oleksy recorded his first goal for the Marlies and now has three points in nine games.
With Garret Sparks still unavailable through injury, Kasimir Kaskisuo was recalled from Orlando for the first time this season. Two wins for the rookie goaltender who also recorded his first AHL shutout. Going back to last year, Kaskisuo is yet to lose a game in regulation through four starts. Sheldon Keefe turned to him instead of Antoine Bibeau for Tuesday’s game and this presents a huge opportunity for the Finnish netminder until Sparks’ return.
Offense from the blue line was a feature as Andrew Campbell (2), Justin Holl (2), William Wrenn, Travis Dermott and Steve Oleksy combined for seven goals.
Brenden Miller and Mason Marchment were reassigned to Orlando.
Goaltender J.P Anderson was released from his PTO and did not receive any playing time with Toronto.