Total Team Effort as Marlies Sweep Weekend
The Toronto Marlies closed out a weekend sweep with a 5-2 victory over the Binghamton Devils on Sunday, giving them seven straight victories stretching back to January 21. The win also extends the Marlies’ point streak to 16 games and they have gone 15-0-0-1 over that span.
It was the second straight game between the Marlies and Devils after Toronto took a 3-1 decision on Saturday.
It was Binghamton who struck first on Sunday, as Michael Kapla scored on a bouncer from the point with 6:31 left in the opening period.
Nikita Soshnikov tied the game two and a half minutes later as he sped to the net and took a great pass from Ben Smith. Andreas Johnsson had the secondary assist on Soshnikov’s seventh of the season.
Early in the second, the Devils took the lead again on a goal from Jan Mandat but the Marlies struck back from there.
Colin Greening scored on a nifty short side shot before the midway point of the period with Chris Mueller earning the assist. Kerby Rychel gave the Marlies the lead five minutes later, as he planted himself at the top of the crease and tapped in a Mueller pass on the power play. Dmytro Timashov had the second assist on that.
With less than two minutes left in the second, Andreas Borgman intercepted a pass and collected his own rebound to bury the second chance shot and score his first career AHL goal.
The two-goal led held until the final five minutes of the third period when Greening took a drop pass from Frederik Gauthier and fired a quick release to make it 5-2.
With the win, the Marlies improve to 37-11-0-1 and hold a 27-6-0-0 record against the North Division.
Binghamton falls to 13-26-6-3. The teams will meet just once more this season on February 21 for a school day game.
Garret Sparks made 29 saves for his twentieth victory of the season.
Andreas Johnsson extended his point streak to six games with 13 points (5G, 8A) in that time. Chris Mueller is now on a four-game point streak after earning two assists tonight, with one goal and five assists over that span.
Frederik Gauthier is on a four-game point streak, as well, with a goal and three helpers in that time, as is Ben Smith, who has two goals and two assists in his last four outings.
The Marlies return to action on Friday when they head to Belleville for another Battle of Ontario matchup. Their next home game is on Monday, February 19 for the 2018 Family Day Game held at Air Canada Centre.
Binghamton: M. Kapla (4) (C. Bertschy, B. Pietila), J. Mandat (1) (Unassisted)
Goaltender: K. Appleby (31/36)
Toronto: N. Soshnikov (7) (B. Smith, A. Johnsson), C. Greening (12) (C. Mueller), K. Rychel (8) PP (C. Mueller, D. Timashov), A. Borgman (1) (Unassisted), C. Greening (13) (F. Gauthier, R. Valiev)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (29/31)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Nikita Soshnikov scored the Marlies first goal of the game at 15:59 of the first period. Soshnikov has recorded five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in five games.
- Colin Greening scored at 9:38 of the second period and at 16:27 of the third period. This is his third two-goal game of the season.
- Kerby Rychel scored the game-winning goal on power play at 14:13 of the second period. Rychel has scored three game-winning goals this season.
- Andreas Borgman scored his first American Hockey League-career goal unassisted at 18:32 of the second period.
- Ben Smith registered the primary assist on Soshnikov’s first period goal. Smith has recorded a point (2 goals, 2 assists) in each of this last four games.
- Andreas Johnsson had the secondary assist on Soshnikov’s first period goal. Johnsson has 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in six games.
- Chris Mueller recorded the primary assists on Greening’s second period goal and later on Rychel’s power play goal. Mueller has a point (1 goal, 4 assists) in each of this last four games.
- Dmytro Timashov had the secondary assist on Rychel’s game-winning goal.
- Frederik Gauthier registered the primary assist on Greening’s third period goal. Gauthier has a point (1 goal, 3 assists) in each of his last four games.
- Rinat Valiev had the secondary assist on Greening’s second goal.
- Garret Sparks stopped 29 of 31 shots. Sparks is now 20-6-0-0 on the season with a .940 Save Percentage and a 1.72 Goals Against Average.
- The Marlies have extended their point streak to 16 games (15-0-0-1 – 31 points).
- Toronto went 2-for-2 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 36-31 edge in shots in all situations.
- Nikita Soshnikov led the Marlies with five shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 27-6-0-0 against North Division opponents this season and 5-0-0-0 against the Binghamton Devils. The Marlies have outscored the Devils 19-5 with one game left in the season’s series.
Goals: A. Johnsson (22)
Assists: C. Mueller (22)
Points: A. Johnsson (42)
PPG: A. Johnsson (6), C. Mueller (6)
Shots: K. Rychel (106)
+/-: B. Smith (+29)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (100)
On tonight’s game:
There wasn’t a lot of offence going on out there so the fact that we were able to come away with five goals is a good thing. On their side of it, it’s probably frustrating for them. It’s a sign of how things have gone for them. They play a good hockey game, they’re very structured and they’re not giving up a whole lot but somehow the puck goes in the net five times. I thought this game was well played by their team, they didn’t give us a lot. I thought we played like a tired team. Just didn’t have a whole lot of rhythm to our game today, just in terms of lines and how we are rolling guys out and a lot of factors. But just the fact that, all of those things considered, we come out and win the game still and win the game with a three goal cushion. We got all the way down to four defenceman there in the third period and kind of had to call a timeout to let our guys settle down and regroup, I was a little concerned about them there. But to win a game like that on a three-in-three for our guys, not a lot of them played three-in-three, but most of them who played big minutes for us did. To come up with a win at the end of the weekend was very good.
On the point streak:
I don’t think it’s been a distraction and it’s up to me to make sure it’s not a distraction. Again, we don’t talk about it. We just focus on every day. We watch the game back and we see what we have done well, where we can be better. There are a lot of areas in every single game, there were chunks of this game today where the other team was outplaying us. So, there are a lot of things we can get better at and that is what we are trying to focus on. At the same time, we are trying to add different things to our team every week when practice time allows it, so we are trying to grow every chance that we get. We are at a point in our season now where we know that we are going to be in the playoffs and we are trying to prepare for that as best we can. We’ve got a lot of runway left to do that and we are going to make sure we focus on the big picture the whole time.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
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)
February 21 vs Binghamton – 11:00 a.m. ET
February 25 at Rochester – 7:05 p.m. ET
Coming off a hard-fought 3-1 win on Saturday, the Toronto Marlies will host the Binghamton Devils for a second straight day at Ricoh Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
With yesterday’s victory, the Marlies have now won six straight games and earned a point in 15 straight. They will look to keep the momentum going as they finish out the busy three-in-three weekend today.
Today’s game marks the fifth matchup between the two teams this season, with the Marlies holding a 4-0-0-0 record and outscoring the Devils 14-3.
The Marlies (36-11-0-1) are led offensively by Andreas Johnsson, who leads the team in both goals (22) and points (41). Johnsson is currently riding a five-game point streak with 12 points (6G, 6A) in that span.
Rinat Valiev has goals in consecutive games and will look to continue his contributions from the blueline when the Marlies return to the ice today.
For the Devils (13-25-6-3) Nick Lappin is leading the way in scoring with 17 goals, while Jacob MacDonald holds the team lead in points with 34.
Both teams had some time on the penalty kill yesterday and both were perfect, but the Marlies will look to convert on those opportunities in today’s meeting, with head coach Sheldon Keefe stating, “I would like to see our power play be able to get us a goal.”
Puck drop for today’s game is scheduled for 4:00 and limited tickets are still available. Fans attending the game can enter our Insider Seat Upgrade contest to be moved up to platinum seats.
Marlies Alley will be closed prior to today’s game and gates will open at 3:00.
Fans can also tune in on Leafs Nation Network and AHL Live with Todd Crocker and Bob McGill.
Follow us on Twiter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as live updates, from Ricoh Coliseum.
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