Second Period Surge Lifts Marlies Over Rocket in Laval

Game Recap


When Saturday afternoon’s game started in Laval, it looked to be a repeat of Friday’s gritty, low-scoring contest between the two sides.

Neither team was able to score in the opening period, but the game broke wide open in the second as the Marlies and Rocket combined for six goals in the middle frame alone.

Andreas Johnsson got the scoring started just over a minute into the second period, as he fought off the defenceman and went top shelf for his tenth of the season. Travis Dermott and Timothy Liljegren each had an assist on the goal.

Laval responded midway through the second with Chris Terry beating Calvin Pickard for his thirteenth goal this season.

Five and a half minutes later, Jeremy Bracco scored his first career professional goal to put the Marlies ahead yet again. Bracco brought the puck across the blueline, made a great move to take it to his backhand and found the net. Dermott earned his second assist of the game on the goal while Kerby Rychel also had a helper.

The Rocket offered another quick response as Niki Petti scored his second goal in as many days less than two minutes later to tie the game.

By then, the Marlies offense was rolling. Frederik Gauthier took a cross-ice pass from Bracco as the Marlies retook the lead 35 seconds later, with Dmytro Timashov earning the secondary assist.

Two minutes after that, a loose puck bounced to Kasperi Kapanen who buried it on the power play to extend the lead to 4-2. Rychel earned his second assist on the goal while Chris Mueller also had a helper.

Much like in Friday’s game, the Marlies defense limited Laval’s opportunities in the third, allowing the Rocket just five shots on net.

Ben Smith scored an empty-net goal for his tenth of the season as the Marlies finished with a 5-2 victory.

Pickard made 17 saves for the victory, his eighth of the season. He now holds a 1.77 goals against average (GAA) and .935 save percentage (SV%) on the season.

Michael McNiven had the start for Laval, stopping 27 of 31 shots.

The Marlies converted on the power play twice in the contest, improving the season percentage to 16.8%. They also killed off all four shorthanded situations as the penalty kill improves to 90.4%.

The Marlies are the first team to reach 20 wins this season as they move to 20-5-0-0. With the victory, the Marlies are now 12-2-0-0 on the road and 14-2-0-0 against divisional opponents.

Laval falls to 10-11-4-2 on the year and 6-7-1-1 at home.

After returning to Toronto, the Marlies will have a week off before starting a busy three-in-three next Friday in Rochester. They’ll return to Ricoh Coliseum for a pair of games against the Manitoba Moose after that, including the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Saturday.

Game Notes



Toronto: A. Johnsson (10) (T. Dermott, T. Liljegren), J. Bracco (1) (K. Rychel, T. Dermott), F. Gauthier (2) PP (J. Bracco, D. Timashov), K. Kapanen (8) PP (K. Rychel, C. Mueller), B. Smith (10) EN (C. Greening)
Goaltender: C. Pickard (17/19)

Laval: C. Terry (13) (A. Cracknell, S. Leblanc), N. Petti (3) SH (S. Leblanc)
Goaltender: M. McNiven (27/31)


  • Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring at 1:17 of the second period for his 10th goal of the season.
  • Jeremy Bracco scored his first career American Hockey League goal at 13:43 of the second period and later added the primary assist on Gauthier’s second period goal. Bracco has six points (1 goal, 5 assists) this season.
  • Frederik Gauthier registered his second goal of the season on the power play at 15:27 of the second period.
  • Kasperi Kapanen scored on the power play at 17:30 of the second period. Kapanen has three points (2 goals, 1 assist) in his last two games.
  • Ben Smith scored his 10th goal of the season on an empty net goal at 19:21 of the third period.
  • Travis Dermott had the primary assist on Johnsson’s second period goal and the secondary assist on Bracco’s second period goal. Dermott has recorded a point (2 goals, 4 assists) in his last five games.
  • Timothy Liljegren registered the secondary assist on Johnsson’s second period goal for his eighth assist of the season.
  • Kerby Rychel recorded the primary assists on both Bracco’s and Kapanen’s second period goals.
  • Dmytro Timashov had the secondary assist on Gauthier’s second period goal.
  • Chris Mueller had the secondary assist on Kapanen’s second period power play goal. Mueller leads the Marlies with 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) on the power play.
  • Colin Greening registered the lone assist on Smith’s empty net goal in the third period.
  • Calvin Pickard stopped 17 of 19 shots faced.. Pickard is now 8-2-0-0 on the season with a .935 Save Percentage and a 1.77 Goals Against Average.


  • Toronto went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 2-for-8 on the power play.
  • Toronto had a 32-19 edge in shots in all situations.
  • Kasperi Kapanen led the Marlies with seven shots on goal.
  • The Marlies are 14-2-0-0 against North Division opponents this season.


Goals: A. Johnsson (10), B. Smith (10)
Assists: C. Mueller (14)
Points: A. Johnsson (19), C. Mueller (19)
PPG: A. Johnsson (4), K. Kapanen (4), C. Mueller (4)
Shots: K. Rychel (55)
+/-: M. Marincin (+13), B. Smith (+13)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (54)


On tonight’s game:
We liked our second and third period a lot. I didn’t like our first period. It was probably the worst of our four. We responded really well in the second period. We played a lot better, had the puck a lot more, had a lot more opportunities to score. We were resilient too. I liked how we responded from a shorthanded goal against and then we ended up getting two power play goals in that period and that gives us a lead going into the third and we didn’t give up much from there. It was a good effort by our guys, happy to get two road wins. We’ll enjoy that and get back home and get rested up this week and prepare for a real tough weekend ahead.

– Head coach Sheldon Keefe


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
December 20 at Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 22 at Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET

Game Preview


The Toronto Marlies will look to win their second straight game in Laval on Saturday afternoon, coming off of a 3-1 victory over the Rocket on Friday.

Kasperi Kapanen, Chris Mueller and Travis Dermott powered the offense in Friday’s win, while Calvin Pickard stopped all 16 shots he faced.

The Marlies (19-5-0-0) enter Saturday’s contest on a three-game winning streak and have won 13 of 15 games against North Division opponents this season.

The Rocket (10-10-4-2) have dropped two straight efforts.

With his goal in last night’s game, Dermott now has four points (2G, 2A) in his last four outings for the Marlies.

Kerby Rychel added an assist on Dermott’s empty-net goal and he now has six points (2G, 4A) over his last six games.

In Saturday’s game, the Marlies will look to once again eliminate chances for the high-scoring Rocket offense, which currently leads the division in goals scored.

They held the Rocket to just 22 shots and killed off all six shorthanded situations on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Marlies power play continued to perform, scoring twice on five opportunities to improve the season percentage to 16.3%.

Puck drop for today’s game is set for 3:00 and fans can tune in on AHL Live or listen to Todd Crocker’s call online.

Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as in-game updates from Laval.

Head to Head


Marlies Primary Logo
19-5-0-0 Overall Record 10-10-4-2
2-1-0-0 Head-to-Head Record 1-2-0-0
Win 3 Streak Loss 2
78 Goals For 80
45 Goals Against 92
16.3% Power Play Percentage 18.0%
90.0% Penalty Kill Percentage 77.6%
B. Smith, A. Johnsson (9) Leading Goal Scorer C. Terry (12)
A. Johnsson, C. Mueller (18) Leading Points Scorer M. Taormina (23)
G. Sparks (11) Wins Leader Z. Fucale (4)
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