Marlies Score Six Straight Over Sound Tigers
The Toronto Marlies delivered a powerful performance on Saturday, defeating the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers by a 6-1 final in the last game at home before the annual Boat Show road trip.
Calvin Pickard turned in a tremendous game, making 36 saves while Colin Greening finished the night with two goals and two assists.
The game started out slowly for the Marlies, as Kyle Burroughs scored for Bridgeport just over five minutes into the game.
With the Marlies being heavily outshot at that time, Sheldon Keefe called a timeout to regroup. It worked.
Andreas Johnsson scored the tying goal just 25 seconds later, taking a no-look pass from Kasperi Kapanen and beating Christopher Gibson. The goal was Johnsson’s fourteenth of the year, putting him second in team scoring.
Four minutes after that, Andrew Nielsen rang a shot off the post and in from the blueline, putting the Marlies ahead 2-1.
Pickard made 20 saves in the opening period alone to help protect the one-goal lead at the first intermission.
In the second, the Marlies came out on the attack. They outshot the Sound Tigers 18-9 in the middle period and Colin Greening was able to extend the lead with a shorthanded marker as he picked up a loose puck, sped into the zone and made no mistake on the breakaway.
Three minutes later, Kapanen received a pass in the slot from Johnsson and fired one off the crossbar and in to further the lead to 4-1 after forty minutes.
Early in the third, Greening tallied his second of the night, as his shot deflected off a Sound Tigers defender and found the back of the net. Justin Holl and Jeremy Bracco had the helpers on that goal.
Before the midway point of the final frame, Adam Brooks snuck behind the D and fought off a defender on his heels to score his third in the past four games, delivering the final blow in a five-goal victory at home.
Pickard earned his eleventh win of the season in the game and now holds a .924 save percentage (SV%) and 2.12 goals against average (GAA).
Greening finished the night with four points (2G, 2A) becoming the first player on the team to achieve that milestone this season. Greening’s second period goal was the 100th point of his AHL career.
Johnsson and Kapanen each finished with a goal and an assist in the contest. Johnsson now has four points in his past four games while Kapanen has six points in his last six contests.
The Marlies improve to 26-11-0-0 with the victory and 8-3-0-0 against Atlantic Division opponents this season.
Bridgeport falls to 21-11-2-3 with the loss.
The Marlies will next head to Charlotte for a pair of games against the Checkers next weekend, as they kick off a five-game road trip. The Marlies and Checkers have split the only two games of the season series so far.
Bridgeport: K. Burroughs (2) (R. Johnston, P. Wotherspoon)
Goaltender: C. Gibson (24/30)
Toronto: A. Johnsson (14) (M. Aaltonen, K. Kapanen), A. Nielsen (2) (D. Timashov, C. Greening), C. Greening (7) SH (B. Smith, M. Marincin), K. Kapanen (10) (A. Johnsson), C. Greening (8) (J. Holl, J. Bracco), A. Brooks (3) (C. Greening, M. Marincin)
Goaltender: C. Pickard (36/37)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring for the Marlies at 6:10 of the first period and later added the lone assist to Kapanen’s second period goal. Johnsson has four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last four games.
- Andrew Nielsen scored the game-winning goal at 10:13 of the first period. Nielsen has 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) this season.
- Colin Greening recorded his first goal of the game shorthanded at 13:43 of the second period and later added the Marlies’ fifth goal of the game at 2:22 of the third period. Greening also had the secondary assist on Nielsen’s first period goal and the primary assist on Brooks’ third period goal. Greening is the first Marlies player this season to record a four-point game.
- Kasperi Kapanen scored his 10th goal of the season at 16:05 of the second period and earlier registered the secondary assist on Johnsson’s first period goal. Kapanen has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in six games.
- Adam Brooks registered the Marlies’ sixth goal of the game at 8:21 of the third period. Brooks has recorded four points (3 goals, 1 assist) in his last three games.
- Miro Aaltonen had the primary assist on Johnsson’s first period goal.
- Dmytro Timashov recorded the primary assist on Nielsen’s game-winning goal.
- Ben Smith registered the primary assist on Greening’s shorthanded second period goal.
- Martin Marincin recorded secondary assists on Greening’s second period goal and Brooks’ third period goal.
- Justin Holl had the primary assist on Greening’s third period goal. Holl has 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) this season.
- Jeremy Bracco recorded the secondary assist on Greening’s third period goal.
- Calvin Pickard stopped 36 of 37 shots. Pickard is now 11-5-0-0 on the season with a .924 Save Percentage and a 2.12 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 0-for-5 on the power play.
- Bridgeport had a 37-30 edge in shots in all situations.
- Kerby Rychel led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 8-3-0-0 against Atlantic Division opponents this season.
Goals: B. Smith (15)
Assists: C. Mueller (16)
Points: B. Smith (29)
PPG: A. Johnsson (5), C. Mueller (5)
Shots: K. Rychel (84)
+/-: B. Smith (+24)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (84)
On the team’s offensive strength:
I think we are doing a better job of attacking the net and I think that is a big thing for us. We need to be more willing to do that all the time. I think we got away from that when offence was harder to come by for us, I thought that was something that stood out. We still aren’t right were we need to be. Frankly, I think we can do a whole lot more. But guys are starting to realize that the more pucks you get to that area, the more opportunities you get. So, we want to have that mind set and we want to be on the attack when we have opportunities to be. It’s not just goals but generating offence, you get the puck back and you play in the offensive zone. We want to continue to grow in that area.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
January 12 at Charlotte – 7:15 p.m. ET
January 13 at Charlotte – 6:00 p.m. ET
January 19 at Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
January 20 at Binghamton – 7:05 p.m. ET
January 21 at Bridgeport – 5:00 p.m. ET
Following a thrilling shootout victory Friday night, the Marlies will have little time to celebrate as they are back in action less than 24 hours later for a battle with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday.
After yesterday’s win, Colin Greening spoke about the need for the Marlies to rest and reset ahead of today’s meeting with Bridgeport. It’s the Marlies third game in four days and brings a close to a busy two-week period that started with the Boxing Day Classic.
It’s the first meeting of the year between the two sides.
The Marlies (25-11-0-0) will look to extend their current win streak to four games in today’s matchup, while the Sound Tigers (16-12-4-1) have not been beaten in regulation in their past five outings.
For the blue and white, Kasperi Kapanen has been rolling lately as he added another assist in last night’s contest, giving him seven points (3G, 4A) in his past seven games.
Defenceman Rinat Valiev has also found the scoring touch of late, earning a goal and two assists in his last two games.
Leading the Marlies offensively is Ben Smith, who holds the top spot in both goals (15) and points (28).
At the other end, rookie Scott Eansor has been a source of goals for the Sound Tigers, leading the team with 13 so far this season. Defenceman Devon Toews leads Brigeport in points with 22.
Puck drop for today’s game is scheduled for 4:00 and tickets are still available.
Fans can tune in on Leafs Nation Network or AHL Live for all the action.
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