The Toronto Marlies won their seventh straight game on Sunday, defeating the visiting Belleville Senators by a 5-1 final.
With the win, the Marlies improve to 16-4-0-0 after the first 20 games of the season and are now 11-1-0-0 against North Division opponents.
It was a solid effort from the word go on Sunday as the Marlies struck first less than ten minutes into the game.
Kerby Rychel opened the scoring as he fired a one-timer through the five-hole of Senators’ goalie Chris Driedger. Rychel’s fourth of the season was assisted by Colin Greening and Frederik Gauthier.
Just over a minute later, Andreas Johnsson extended the lead to two on a quick shot from the top of the crease. Johnsson is now tied for the team lead in goals and has registered a point in seven straight games, with four goals and five assists over that span. His goal tonight was assisted by Miro Aaltonen and Kasperi Kapanen.
In the final minute of the first, Colin Greening added another for the Marlies as he took a great drop pass from Rychel and went top shelf with the shot. Justin Holl had the second assist on Greening’s fifth this year.
The Marlies didn’t show any signs of letting up in the second, as Chris Mueller redirected a point shot by Calle Rosen on the power play to extend the lead to four. Rychel had the secondary assist, capping off a three-point night for him.
Gabriel Gagne had the Senators only answer six minutes into the third, as he was the only Belleville player to solve Calvin Pickard on the afternoon.
Kapanen scored an empty-net goal for the Marlies to close things out with a 5-1 victory.
Rychel, Greening and Kapanen all finished the game with multiple points.
Pickard made 28 saves in the victory and picked up his fifth win of the season. He now has a 2.03 goals against average (GAA) and .930 save percentage (SV%).
Driedger made 34 saves for the Senators and now falls to 1-2-0-0 on the season.
Belleville are now 9-10-0-2 overall on the season.
The two teams won’t have to wait long for their next meeting, as the Marlies will travel to Belleville for the first time ever on Friday.
Before then, the Marlies will host the Syracuse Crunch back at Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday. Tickets are still available for that winning weeknight game.
Belleville: G. Gagne (9) (F. Perron)
Goaltender: C. Driedger (33/37)
Toronto: K. Rychel (4) (C. Greening, T. Dermott), A. Johnsson (9) (M. Aaltonen, K. Kapanen), C. Greening (5) (K. Rychel, J. Holl), C. Mueller (4) PP (C. Rosén, K. Rychel), K. Kapanen (6) EN
Goaltender: C. Pickard (28/29)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Kerby Rychel opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season at 9:34 of the first period. Rychel later added the primary assist on Greening’s first period goal and the secondary assist on Mueller’s second period power play goal.
- Andreas Johnsson scored the Marlies second goal of the game at 10:37 of the first period – 1:03 after Rychel’s goal. Johnsson has recorded a point (4 goals, 5 assists) in seven consecutive games.
- Colin Greening recorded the third Marlies goal of the game at 19:07 of the first period and earlier added the primary assist on Rychel’s first period goal.
- Chris Mueller scored on the power play at 9:47 of the second period. Mueller has registered a point (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last three games.
- Kasperi Kapanen added an empty net goal at 16:19 of the third period.
- Travis Dermott picked up his sixth assist of the season with the secondary assist on Rychel’s first period goal.
- Miro Aaltonen registered the primary assist on Johnsson’s first period goal. Aaltonen has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) this season.
- Kasperi Kapanen recorded the secondary assist on Johnsson’s first period goal.
- Justin Holl registered the secondary assist on Greening’s first period goal. Holl has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last three games.
- Calle Rosén had the primary assist on Mueller’s second period power play goal.
- Calvin Pickard stopped 28 of 29 shots. Pickard is now 5-2-0-0 on the season with a .930 Save Percentage and a 2.03 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto tied the Marlies franchise record for consecutive regular season wins (7) with today’s win.
- Toronto went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 38-29 edge in shots in all situations.
- Miro Aaltonen led the Marlies with five shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 11-1-0-0 against North Division opponents this season.
Goals: A. Johnsson (9), B. Smith (9)
Assists: C. Mueller (10)
Points: A. Johnsson (17), B. Smith (17)
PPG: A. Johnsson (4)
Shots: K. Rychel (48)
+/-: M. Marincin (+13)
PIMS: T. Dermott (28)
On today’s game:
I thought we executed a lot better on offence and that allowed us to get around the net a little bit more. We were able to actually build the lead so that was better. I thought that they still had lots of chances, they still came at us with a lot of speed but we were able to execute and score and they weren’t and that was the difference in the game. Once we got to three or four nothing the game is pretty much a throw away from there.
On team’s defensive play:
The defence has been really good. I think that the real strength of our team is defence and goaltending. We have a lot of depth there so regardless of who we have in or out of the lineup we have a real good group there that we can rely on to not only defend really well but they are a big part of our offence. It starts with them in terms of how we break out and move the puck up the rink. I think that’s a big part of our team and they have been doing a nice job for us.
On aggressive play during the penalty kill leading to scoring opportunities:
We want to have that mindset and a lot of time on the power play you have four forwards out there and they aren’t always in good defensive positions when they turn the puck over so you can capitalize on that. I thought we pushed the envelope a little bit, maybe a little bit too much at times today and I think that is reflected in the score. That’s what I mean when I say after you get to 4-0 the game is a bit of a throw away and you don’t want to read too much into that. For both sides, you’re not playing as you normally would. But we do want to be on the attack. You always want to try and score regardless of the situation. If we have an advantage we always want to attack as much as we can.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
November 29 vs Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 1 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 2 vs Hartford – 4:00 p.m. ET
December 8 at Laval – 7:30 p.m. ET
December 9 at Laval – 3:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies and Belleville Senators will face off for the second time in as many days on Sunday afternoon, traveling a short distance west on the Gardiner to Ricoh Coliseum.
The Marlies took the first game of the weekend series on Saturday, defeating the Senators 2-1 in a shootout.
Andreas Johnsson had the lone goal for the Marlies in that game, as he now has points in five straight games.
With the win on Saturday, the Marlies extended their unbeaten streak to six straight games, all of which have come against North Division opponents. Toronto leads the North Division with an overall record of 15-4-0-0 to start the season and are 6-2-0-0 at home.
The Senators enter Sunday’s game with a 9-9-0-2 record and are 5-6-0-2 on the road.
In Saturday’s victory, the Marlies penalty kill was perfect, killing off both shorthanded situations to increase the season penalty kill percentage to 89.0%. Johnsson’s goal came on the power play, which has seen success recently, to increase the season success rate to 14.7%.
Puck drop for today’s game is scheduled for 4:00 and some tickets are still available. Fans can also tune in on Leafs Nation Network (TV) or AHL Live.
Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as live updates from Ricoh Coliseum.
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