The Toronto Marlies close out 2019 with a tough loss on home ice, falling 4-1 to the visiting Cleveland Monsters.
The Monsters opened the scoring at 13:20 of the first period with a goal from Paul Bittner. The visitors outshot Toronto 9-7 in the opening frame and held a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.
Kenny Agostino got the Marlies on the board at 9:17 of the second period. Timothy Liljegren found Agostino coming out of the penalty box and Agostino walked into the zone, picked his spot, and fired a shot underneath the glove of Veini Vehvilainen. Matt Read had the secondary assist on Agostino’s 17th of the season. Kasimir Kaskisuo turned away 16 shots in the second to keep the score locked at one apiece heading into the final frame.
The Monsters added three unanswered goals in the third, including an empty netter to improve to 15-15-1-2 on the season. The Marlies peppered Vehvilainen with 16 shots but couldn’t find the back of the net to cut the deficit.
The Marlies will head to Syracuse on Friday before returning home to host the Rochester Americans and Lehigh Valley Phantoms this weekend.
GAME SUMMARY | GAME SHEET | PHOTOS | SCRUMS
Cleveland: P. Bittner (4) (D. Simpson), J. Scott (5) (S. Johnson, D. DeSalvo), K. Sherwood (4) (D. DeSalvo), J. Scott (6) EN (A. Clendening, M. Fortier)
Goaltender: V. Vehvilainen (28/29)
Toronto: K. Agostino (17) (T. Liljegren, M. Read)
Goaltender: K. Kaskisuo (32/35)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Kenny Agostino scored at 9:17 of the second period. This was Agostino’s 300th career AHL game. He has 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) in 27 games. He is tied for third overall in goals (17).
- Timothy Liljegren recorded the primary assist on Agostino’s second period goal. This was his 50th career AHL point (7-43-50). Liljegren set a career-high in points (3-15-18) in one season through 28 games.
- Matt Read registered the secondary assist on Agostino’s second period goal. Read has nine points (3 goals, 6 assists) in 24 games this season. He has assists (2) in consecutive games.
- Kasimir Kaskisuo stopped 32 of 35 shots he faced. He is now 10-4-1-0 on the season with a 0.916 Save Percentage and a 2.45 Goals Against Average.
A DECADE OF MARLIES
- Toronto is 417-228-41-33 since the 2010-11 season. The club has finished with 40 or more wins seven times, capturing two MacGregor Kilpatrick trophies with the best regular season record.
- The Marlies have advanced to two Calder Cup finals (2011-12 vs Norfolk, 2017-18 vs Texas), winning their first championship in 2017-18.
- Toronto has qualified for the postseason in eight consecutive seasons, advancing to the Conference Finals five times. The club is 63-38 in the playoffs with nine series sweeps.
- The Marlies have recorded 2,261 goals and allowed 1,905 goals.
- The Marlies are 5-2-1-3 on New Year’s Eve and have outscored their opponents 30-29.
- Toronto was 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and was 0-for-6 on the power play. This is the 12th game this season Toronto has not allowed a goal on the penalty kill.
- Cleveland had a 36-29 edge in shots in all situations. Pontus Aberg led the Marlies with five shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 9-5-2-1 against North Division opponents and are 2-1-0-0 against the Cleveland Monsters.
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
- Goals: K. Agostino (17)
- Assists: J. Bracco (23)
- Points: P. Aberg, K. Agostino (27)
- PPG: P. Aberg, E. Korshkov (4)
- Shots: P. Aberg (86)
- +/-: G. Wilson (+10)
- PIMS: G. Wilson (58)
- The Marlies are 7-5-1-0 when trailing after the first period and 4-3-0-1 when tied after the second period.
- Toronto is 12-6-1-1 when outshot by their opponent.
- The Marlies are 0-1-0-0 in Tuesday games and finish 5-7-0-0 in December.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
- Timothy Liljegren has assists (2) in consecutive games.
- Kevin Gravel (illness) did not dress for today’s game against Cleveland.
- December 30: Returned defenceman Timothy Liljegren on loan to Toronto (NHL).
- December 30: Recalled defenceman Teemu Kivihalme from loan by Toronto (NHL).
- December 30: Recalled defenceman Timothy Liljegren from loan by Toronto (NHL).
- December 28: Returned forward Kenny Agostino on loan from Toronto (NHL).
HEAD COACH GREG MOORE
On the team’s first period:
I was actually really happy with it. I liked our energy, I liked our focus, I liked our execution of our details. Our bench was really good and we got some looks, so I was really happy with the start. The second period, I thought early on got away from us a little bit. We got in our D-zone, just need at the end to close out some plays a little bit quicker. But overall, I liked our process to start the game.
On Kasimir Kaskisuo:
He definitely made big saves. He’s been playing well lately. He had a good weekend this past week and it’s just one of those nights. I thought their goalie played really well, too. We had some backdoor empty nets on the power play we just couldn’t finish on, so we got our looks. Our staff really liked our process, our energy and a lot of things that we talked about the guys were executing. So, we’ll just build on focusing on the process and not the result.
January 3 at Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
January 4 vs Rochester – 4:00 p.m. ET
January 5 vs Lehigh Valley – 4:00 p.m. ET
January 10 at Texas – 7:00 p.m. ET
January 11 at Texas – 7:00 p.m. ET
The Marlies will close out the decade on home ice today as they host the Cleveland Monsters for the third time this season.
Toronto will be looking to bounce back from a tough 6-1 loss to Laval on Saturday, and get back in the win column heading into 2020. The Marlies sit in third place in the North Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference with 41 points. Pontus Aberg leads the way for the Marlies with 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) through 26 games while Jeremy Bracco holds the team lead in assists with 23. Bracco has assists (5) in four consecutive games.
The Monsters have a quick turnaround, returning to action today after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Charlotte Checkers last night. The Monsters are 3-6-0-1 in their previous 10 contests and currently sit in seventh place in the North Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference.
The Marlies hold a 2-0 lead in the regular season series against the Monsters after picking up back-to-back wins on home ice in October. The Marlies are 9-5-2-1 against North Division opponents and they have home ice on their side today, which has proven to be advantageous to the blue and white with their current 12-4 home record.
Puck drops at 3:00 PM on Leafs Nation Network and fans across Canada can also stream the game live in the Maple Leafs App.
Head to Head (2019-20 Regular Season)
||Head To Head
||Power Play Percentage
||Penalty Kill Percentage
|K. Agostino (16)
||Leading Goal Scorer
||N. Gerbe (8)
|P. Aberg (27)
||Leading Points Scorer
||N. Gerbe (25)
|K. Kaskisuo (10)
||M. Kivlenieks (7)