The Toronto Marlies rallied late, scoring twice in the final six minutes of the third and adding the overtime winner, to complete the comeback and steal two points away from the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday.
It was the second and final meeting between the two teams this season, and both spent the better part of the opening period feeling each other out. There were limited chances and the score remained 0-0 at the first intermission.
Less than five minutes into the second, Travis Dermott snuck in to the slot from the point and fired a one-timer into the net for his first goal of the season. Miro Aaltonen and Trevor Moore earned the assists as the Marlies took the first lead of the game.
Hartford responded six minutes later, as Ryan Gropp recovered a loose puck in front and slid it past Garret Sparks to tie the game.
In the dying minutes of the second, Vinni Lettieri took advantage of a power play opportunity and put the Wolf Pack in front at the second intermission.
Back on the power play early in the third, Gropp scored his second of the game to extend Hartford’s lead to two.
But the Marlies wouldn’t back down.
With the Marlies on the power play, Jeremy Bracco worked the puck down low to Colin Greening who made a nice no-look pass to Trevor Moore on the doorstep. Moore made no mistake, roofing it and cutting the lead to 3-2 with 6:38 left on the clock.
Andreas Johnsson was assessed a major penalty with 4:11 remaining, and the Marlies were forced to fight back on the penalty kill. However, Hartford took a tripping call that turned it into a 4-on-4 game for a full two minutes.
With the Marlies net empty, Moore scored his second of the game, ripping a shot top shelf to tie things up with under two minutes left to play. Bracco earned his second assist on the goal, while Timothy Liljegren also had a helper.
The 3-3 scoreline held up as the buzzer sounded and the game moved to overtime. The Marlies successfully killed off the remaining minute of Johnsson’s penalty leading to a remarkable finish by Dmytro Timashov, who went end to end and buried a backhander to end today’s contest.
Sparks made 34 saves in the victory for the Marlies, earning his 11th win of the season.
The Marlies now improve to 18-5-0-0 on the season and are 8-3-0-0 at home. The win was also the Marlies first in overtime this season, and pushes them to 2-0-0-0 in games that have gone beyond regulation this year.
Hartford falls to 8-12-3-1 with the loss.
Hartford: R. Gropp (4) (D. DeSalvo, A. D. Catenacci), V. Lettieri (9) PP (C. Schneider, P. Holland), R. Gropp (5) PP (S. Kosmachuk, J. Gilmour)
Goaltender: A. Georgiev (35/39)
Toronto: T. Dermott (1) (M. Aaltonen, T. Moore), T. Moore (4) PP (C. Greening, J. Bracco), T. Moore (5) (J. Bracco, T. Liljegren), D. Timashov (8) (M. Aaltonen, A. Nielsen)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (34/37)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Travis Dermott, with his first goal of the season, opened the scoring at 4:38 of the second period. Dermott has eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) this season.
- Trevor Moore recorded his first goal of the game at 14:22 of the third period on the power play and later added the game-tying goal at 18:06. Moore also had the secondary assist on Dermott’s second period goal. This is Moore’s second multi-goal game of the season (Nov. 5 at Lehigh Valley, 2 goals).
- Dmytro Timashov scored the game-winner at 2:56 into overtime. Timashov has three goals in his last two games.
- Miro Aaltonen recorded the primary assist on Dermott’s second period goal and later added the primary assist on Timashov’s game-winner.
- Colin Greening had the primary assist on Moore’s power play goal in the third period.
- Jeremy Bracco registered two assists in the third period, with the secondary assist on Moore’s first goal of the game and the primary assist on Moore’s game-tying goal.
- Timothy Liljegren added the secondary assist on Moore’s second goal of the third period.
- Andrew Nielsen had the secondary assist on Timashov’s game-winner in over time. This was Nielsen’s eight assist of the season.
- Garrett Sparks stopped 34 of 37 shots. Sparks is now 11-3-0-0 on the season with a .944 Save Percentage and a 1.64 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto went 4-for-6 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 39-37 edge in shots in all situations.
- Travis Dermott and Miro Aaltonen led the Marlies with five shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 6-3-0-0 against Atlantic Division opponents this season.
Goals: A. Johnsson (9), B. Smith (9)
Assists: C. Mueller (12)
Points: A. Johnsson (18)
PPG: A. Johnsson (4)
Shots: M. Aaltonen (51)
+/-: M. Marincin (+12)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (54)
On tonight’s game:
I was happy to see our guys stay with it. That was a big power play goal to give us some hope. Things worked out for us in the end to be able to get the power play back out there with the chance to tie it, so that was good. It was exciting; it put some energy into our bench and into the rink, which was good to see. We haven’t had that in quite some time. That’s something we talked about with our team. We’ve won a lot of games. When you win a lot of games you kind of miss that feeling, the expectation is that you’re going to win the next one. Today was probably the most energy and passion that we have had, I thought we had lost some of that and it was showing up in our game a little bit which was why we haven’t been playing our best for quite some time. It’s nice to finish off the weekend like that.
On a full team effort against Hartford:
I think they are really important, they are important in everything that we do. With so many guys out, just starting with the lineup that we had today, you take out (Justin) Holl, (Martin) Marincin and now you’re counting on a lot of young guys to do things that maybe they haven’t done at different times. Then Gauthier is out, Kapanen is out, and you lose Marchment so you have a shorter bench and it’s a chance for the younger guys to kind of get going. That’s what carried us I thought was the young guys but certainly the veterans are the foundation of everything that we do. They really set things up nicely for guys like Bracco and Moore, and Timashov to take a real step and have their moment.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
December 8 at Laval – 7:30 p.m. ET
December 9 at Laval – 3:00 p.m. ET
December 15 at Rochester – 7:05 p.m. ET
December 16 vs Manitoba – 4:00 p.m. ET
December 17 vs Manitoba – 4:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies (17-5-0-0) will play their second game in less than 24 hours on Saturday, as they host the visiting Hartford Wolf Pack (8-12-2-1) at Ricoh Coliseum this afternoon.
The Marlies are coming off of a 3-1 win over the Senators in Belleville last night while Hartford come to town after picking up a shootout win in Rochester.
Dmytro Timashov had a pair of goals in the Marlies victory last night, while Kerby Rychel also added one.
Chris Mueller had two assists in Belleville and will look to keep building on recent performances, as he has six points (2G, 4A) in his past five games.
Today’s game marks the second and final meeting of the season between the Marlies and Wolf Pack. They previously met in Hartford nearly two months ago, in a game that the Wolf Pack won 5-2.
One interesting storyline in this afternoon’s contest will be the matchup between two first round draft picks from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Timothy Liljegren, the Maple Leafs 17th overall pick, has seven points this season for the Marlies while Filip Chytil, selected 21st overall by the New York Rangers, has 12 points (5G, 7A) on the year.
Hartford has struggled of late, earning just three wins in their past ten games. The Marlies, who have eight wins in their last ten, will look to keep building on recent performances.
Puck drop for today’s game is scheduled for 4:00 and tickets are still available. Fans can also tune in to the game on Leafs Nation Network or AHL Live.
Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage of today’s game, as well as live in-game updates from Ricoh Coliseum.
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