The Toronto Marlies hosted the Cleveland Monsters today for a North Division matchup at Coca-Cola Coliseum. Looking to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday, the Marlies came out flying in the opening minutes of the game, looking to set the tone early on. Josh Jooris opened the scoring at 1:55 to give the Marlies an early lead. Jooris’ eighth of the season was assisted by Tom Sestito and Steve Oleksy. Adam Brooks extended the Marlies’ lead to 2-0, scoring his 15thof the season at 12:56. Jeremy Bracco recorded the primary assist on the goal while Nicholas Baptiste picked up his first point with the Marlies with the secondary assist.
The Marlies had three power play opportunities in the second period but were unable to convert on the man-advantage. At 6:02, Tanner MacMaster had a breakaway opportunity but was hauled down and awarded a penalty shot. Cleveland’s Brad Thiessen stood tall and made the save to keep the score 2-0. Late in the frame, MacMaster found redemption, beating Thiessen with a shot from the slot. Brady Ferguson and Gabriel Gagne picked up the assists on MacMaster’s third of the season and first with the Marlies. That would be the lone goal of the frame as the Marlies held a 3-0 lead heading into the third period.
Adam Clendening solved Michael Hutchinson at 4:14 of the third period to cut the Monsters’ deficit to 3-1. Mark Letestu and Justin Scott assisted on the goal. Monsters’ leading scorer, Zac Dalpe brought the Monsters within one with 6:17 remaining in the third period, but the Marlies held on for a 3-2 win.
The Marlies will be in Laval for games on Wednesday and Friday before returning home for back-to-back games on Sunday, March 10 and Monday, March 11.
Cleveland: A. Clendening (4) (M. Letestu, J. Scott), Z. Dalpe (21) (R. MacInnis) Goaltender: B. Thiessen (25/28)
Toronto: J. Jooris (8) (T. Sestito, S. Oleksy), A. Brooks (15) (J. Bracco, N. Baptiste), T. MacMaster (3) (B. Ferguson, G. Gagne) Goaltender: M. Hutchinson (34/26)
ON THE SCORESHEET
Josh Jooris opened the scoring unassisted at 1:55 of the first period. Jooris has 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) in 58 games with Toronto.
Adam Brooks scored Toronto’s second goal at 12:56 of the first period. Brooks has eight points (5 goals, 3 assists) in eight games. The Marlies are 10-1-0-2 when Brooks records a goal.
Tanner MacMaster scored at 17:03 of the second period. This was his first goal and second point for Toronto in 10 games with Toronto.
Tom Sestito picked up the primary assist on Jooris’ first period goal. Sestito has two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in four games with Toronto.
Steve Oleksy had the secondary assist on Jooris’ first period goal. Oleksy has four points (2 goals, 2 assists) through 14 games with the Marlies.
Jeremy Bracco recorded the primary assist on Brooks’ first period goal. Of his league-leading 42 assists, this was Bracco’s 30th primary assist of the season.
Nick Baptiste registered the secondary assist on Brooks’ first period goal. This was his first point for Toronto in his second game. Baptiste has 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 55 games with Milwaukee this season.
Brady Ferguson had the primary assist on MacMaster’s second period goal. This was Ferguson’s first point with Toronto this season.
Gabriel Gagne picked up the secondary assist on MacMaster’s second period goal. Gagne has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 17 games with Toronto this season.
Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 of 36 shots he faced. Hutchinson is now 10-6-5-1 on the season with a .906 Save Percentage and a 2.94 Goals Against Average.
Toronto is 15-6-3-1 since January 4 and have outscored their opponents 81-68, facing 13 different teams. In 19 of 25 games, Toronto has earned a point (34).
Toronto went 1-for-1 on the penalty kill and 0-for-5 on the power play.
Cleveland had a 36-28 edge in shots in all situations. Adam Brooks led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
The Marlies are 20-13-6-3 against North division opponents and 3-1-1-2 against the Cleveland Monsters. Five of seven of their matches this season have gone to extra time and Toronto has been outscored 31-29 by Cleveland.
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
Goals: C. Mueller (24)
Assists: J. Bracco (42)*
Points: J. Bracco (57)
PPG: C. Mueller (11)
Shots: C. Rosen (127)
+/-: C. Rosen (+10)
PIMS: M. Marchment (56)
Toronto is 25-6-1-1 when they score first.
The Marlies are 19-2-1-1 when leading after the first period and 21-0-1-1 when leading after the second period.
Toronto is 13-9-2-2 when outshot by their opponent.
The Marlies are 12-5-0-0 in Saturday games and are 1-0-0-0 in March.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
Jeremy Bracco has assists (3) in three consecutive games.
Adam Brooks has points (2-1-3) in three consecutive games.
Andreas Borgman (concussion) did not dress for today’s game. He left Toronto’s game following the first period on February 16 against Springfield.
Frank Corrado (knee) did not dress for today’s game. He has not appeared for Toronto since February 5 against Belleville.
Mason Marchment (collarbone) did not dress for today’s game. He left Toronto’s game in the first period on February 1 against Laval and did not return.
Chris Mueller (hamstring) did not dress for today’s game. He left Toronto’s game in the third period on February 10 against Belleville.
Calle Rosen (foot) did not dress for today’s game. He left Toronto’s game in the third period on February 22 against Syracuse.
Feb. 25: Loaned forward Nicholas Baptiste from Toronto (NHL).
Feb. 25: Recalled forward Hudson Elynuik from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
Feb. 25: Recalled forward Brady Ferguson from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
Feb. 25: Recalled forward Josh Kestner from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
Feb. 25: Recalled forward Trevor Moore from loan by Toronto (NHL).
Feb. 25: Recalled forward Zach O’Brien from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
Feb. 24: Traded forward Emerson Clark to Milwaukee (AHL).
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On today’s game:
I thought the third period was just a matter of the first and second periods catching up with us. We were terrible during the game, the first period was probably worse than the third but we scored two goals in the two chances that we had. It wasn’t a good game from our guys from start to finish. So, clearly it was a very poor coaching job done here today because the team was not prepared to play after two practice days, so that’s extremely disappointing. Luckily, we were able to get two points here today, two important points but we’ve got to be a whole lot better than that and we’ve got to have a lot more accountability as a coaching staff, all the way through our lineup to be better than that.
March 6 at Laval – 7:30 p.m. ET
March 8 at Laval – 7:00 p.m. ET
March 10 vs Bridgeport – 4:00 p.m. ET
March 11 vs Belleville – 1:30 p.m. ET (Scotiabank Arena)
March 15 at Hershey – 7:00 p.m. ET
The Marlies (29-19-6-3) are back in action today to host the Cleveland Monsters (27-24-6-1) at Coca-Cola Coliseum. These teams are meeting for the seventh time this season, with the Monsters currently holding a 4-2 lead in the season series. With five of the six games between these North Division rivals this season needing an overtime or shootout decision, fans can expect another evenly matched game today.
The Marlies are currently sitting in third place in the North Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference with 67 points. Although the Monsters are currently out of playoff contention, sitting sixth in the division and 11th in the conference with 61 points, things are not totally out of reach as only six points separate them from the fourth place Utica Comets. Every point is important as these teams continue to jockey for positioning in a tight playoff race.
The Marlies will be looking to get back in the win column today after dropping a close decision to the visiting Manitoba Moose on Wednesday, while the Monsters will look to make it two straight wins after topping the Laval Rocket last night 4-1.
Players to watch: Jeremy Bracco has registered six assists in his past five games and is currently tied for first with Chicago’s Daniel Carr in assists with 41. He sits first in team scoring and third in league scoring with 56 points. Zac Dalpe leads the Monsters with 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists) and has registered nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past five games, including a three-point performance in last night’s game against Laval.
It’s 90’s Night at Coca-Cola Coliseum and the first 3,500 fans through the gates will receive a Marlies fanny pack! Come early for 90’s-themed activities and music in Marlies Alley. Puck drops at 5:00 PM on Leafs Nation Network and AHLTV. Fans can also stream the game live in the Maple Leafs App. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for behind-the-scenes action from Coca-Cola Coliseum.