Second Period Surge Lifts Marlies Past Senators
The Toronto Marlies won their fifth straight game and set a new franchise record for longest consecutive point streak with a 7-4 victory on the road in a Battle of Ontario game in Belleville.
It was a fast and furious start for the Marlies as Martin Marincin scored with a blast from the point just 3:36 into the game. Trevor Moore and Frederik Gauthier had assists on Marincin’s third of the season.
Forty seconds later, Miro Aaltonen extended the lead to 2-0 with assists to Andreas Johnsson and Nikita Soshnikov.
Belleville struck back with a pair of goals to close out the first period tied at 2-2.
The two sides traded goals midway through the second. Ben Smith knocked in a rebound for his twentieth goal of the season, with assists to Chris Mueller and Kerby Rychel. Nick Paul scored for Bellevile 38 seconds later to tie things up again.
At that point, the Marlies scored three goals in under two minutes. Chris Mueller connected on a one-timer after a great pass out of the corner from Rychel, while Marincin had the secondary assist.
Aaltonen scored his second goal of the night one minute and six seconds later, also converting a one-timer opportunity after a pass from Andreas Johnsson behind the net.
Fifty seconds later, Mason Marchment fired a shot five-hole to extend the lead to 6-3. Andrew Nielsen had the assist on that goal.
Danny Taylor entered the game in relief of Senators’ goaltender Marcus Hogberg at that point and the 6-3 scoreline held up at the second intermission.
Midway through the third, Marchment buried his second of the night to extend the lead to four goals. Aaltonen and Johnsson each had assists on that goal.
Belleville added one more late but the Marlies skated to a 7-4 victory, giving them a 5-1-0-0 record in the Battle of Ontario so far this season.
With the victory, the Marlies improve to 35-11-0-1 on the season and have won twelve of their last thirteen games. They are also now 22-4-0-1 on the road this season and 25-6-0-0 against North Division opponents.
The Senators fall to 20-26-1-3 with the loss.
Garret Sparks made 21 saves for his nineteenth win of the season.
Johnsson extended his point streak to four games with three assists in tonight’s contest, earning 11 points (5G, 6A) over that span.
Aaltonen is now on a three-game point streak with seven points (3G, 4A) in that span. Rychel had two assists in tonight’s game, marking the second straight game he’s done so. Smith now has goals in two consecutive games.
The Marlies return to action tomorrow at Ricoh Coliseum for the annual Star Wars Night game. We’ll host the Binghamton Devils at 4:00 PM and tickets are still available.
Fans can also tune in on Leafs Nation Network and AHL Live.
Toronto: M. Marincin (3) (T. Moore, F. Gauthier), M. Aaltonen (9) (A. Johnsson, N. Soshnikov), B. Smith (20) (C. Mueller, K. Rychel), C. Mueller (10) (K. Rychel, M. Marincin), M. Aaltonen (10) (A. Johnsson, N. Soshnikov), M. Marchment (6) (A. Nielsen), M Marchment (7) PP (M. Aaltonen, A. Johnsson)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (21/25)
Belleville: M. Reinhart (9) (M. Blunden, A. Englund), B. Sexton (3) (Unassisted), N. Paul (5) (B. Sexton, J. O’Brien) (T. Randell (2) (M. Reinhart, B. Harpur)
Goaltender: M. Hogberg (15/21), D. Taylor (8/9)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Martin Marincin opened the scoring at 3:36 of the first period and later added the secondary assist on Mueller’s second period goal.
- Miro Aaltonen scored his first goal of the night at 4:13 of the first period and added his second at 12:26 of the second period. Aaltonen has registered six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his last three games.
- Ben Smith scored his 20th goal of the season at 8:22 of the second period. This is Smith’s second consecutive game with a goal.
- Chris Mueller scored at 11:30 of the second period and earlier added the primary assist on Smith’s second period goal.
Mason Marchment scored at 13:26 of the second period and 10:58 of the third period. Marchment has 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 23 games played this season.
- Trevor Moore recorded the primary assist on Marincin’s first period goal. Moore has registered eight points (2 goals, 4 assists) in his last eight games.
- Frederik Gauthier registered the secondary assist on Marincin’s first period goal.
- Andreas Johnsson had the primary assists on Aaltonen’s first period and second period goals. He also had the secondary assist on Marchment’s third period goal. Johnsson has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in his last four games.
- Nikita Soshnikov recorded the secondary assists on Aaltonen’s first period and second period goals. Soshnikov has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last three games.
- Kerby Rychel registered the secondary assist on Smith’s second period goal and the primary assist on Mueller’s second period goal. Rychel has scored two assists in each of his last two games.
- Andrew Nielsen had the primary assist on Marchment’s second period goal.
- Garret Sparks stopped 21 of 25 shots. Sparks is now 19-6-0-1 on the season with a .940 Save Percentage and a 1.71 Goals Against Average.
- The Marlies have extended their point streak to 14 games (13-0-0-1 – 27 points) setting a new franchise record.
- Toronto went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play. The Marlies have not allowed a goal in seven consecutive games on the penalty kill.
- Toronto had a 30-25 edge in shots in all situations.
- Mason Marchment led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 25-6-0-0 against North Division opponents this season and 5-1-0-0 against the Belleville Senators. The Marlies have outscored the Senators 23-10 with six games left in the season’s series.
Goals: A. Johnsson (22)
Assists: C. Mueller (19), K. Rychel (19)
Points: A. Johnsson (40)
PPG: A. Johnsson (6), C. Mueller (6)
Shots: K. Rychel (99)
+/-: B. Smith (+28)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (95)
On tonight’s game:
I thought we had a really great start. I liked our start with a 2-0 lead and then I didn’t like really anything about our game from there. We let them back in the game and were really sloppy on our own half of the ice. I thought for most of the game beyond the first five minutes that we were outplayed and we just played sloppy and not the way that we want to play so we have to be a whole lot better. We’re happy to score the way that we did today. Their goaltending is a factor here today. For sure it’s a different hockey game perhaps if you put our goalie at the other end. We just need to play better as a team. We have. We can. We’re capable of that. It’s just not a great day for us overall.
On Andreas Borgman:
It seems like he’s okay. I spoke to him briefly. I haven’t had the full medical report but I think it was just precautionary more than anything.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
February 10 vs Binghamton – 4:00 p.m. ET
February 11 vs Binghamton – 4:00 p.m. ET
February 16 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
February 17 at Laval – 7:00 p.m. ET
February 19 vs Hershey – 3:00 p.m. ET (Air Canada Centre)
The Toronto Marlies will look to win a fifth straight game on Friday night when they travel to Belleville to face off against the Senators.
It’s the sixth meeting between the two sides this season but is only the second trip to the Yardmen Arena this season. So far on the year, the Marlies have taken four of five contests and won 3-1 in Belleville back in December.
The Marlies (34-11-0-1) currently hold the top spot in the North Division and are coming off of wins over Rochester and Laval last weekend. They have outscored opponents 17-5 on the current four-game winning streak.
The Senators (20-25-1-3) hold fifth place in the North and come into tonight’s game after blanking Rochester 2-0 on Wednesday.
As the 401 Rivalry continues to heat up, the Marlies will look to keep building on their strong road record. With a league-best 21-4-0-1 record away from home, Toronto will hope to find success in front of what’s likely to be a mixed crowd in Belleville.
Andreas Johnsson has been leading the way offensively for the Marlies, with three straight multi-point games. He holds the team lead in both goals (22) and points (37) while Ben Smith sits second in each category with 19 goals and 35 points on the year.
Miro Aaltonen has four points in his last two games to improve his season total to 25 (8G, 17A).
Johnsson, Kerby Rychel, Justin Holl and Chris Mueller are all averaging point-per-game performances when playing Belleville this year and will look to continue that success against the Senators.
At the other end, the Senators will look to Jim O’Brien and Ethan Werek for offense. O’Brien leads Belleville with 24 points (11G, 13A) while Werek has recorded 20 (9G, 11A).
Special teams has played an important role in the season series so far. The Marlies have converted on 25% of power play opportunities (5-for-20) while also killing off 94.4% of shorthanded situations (17-for-18). On average this season, the Marlies record six fewer penalty minutes per game than Belleville and will look to create man advantage situations again tonight.
Puck drop is set for 7:00 and fans can tune in on AHL Live or listen to Marlies Radio with Todd Crocker.
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