Strong Road Performance in Rochester
The Toronto Marlies won their third straight game on Friday night, defeating the Rochester Americans by a 4-2 final on the road. It also marked the team’s twelfth consecutive game earning a point, as the Marlies hold an 11-0-0-1 record over that span.
In their last meeting, the Marlies and Amerks fought in a tight checking defensive battle and this one looked to be the same in the first period. Neither team could find the back of the net in the first period, and the shots were limited to a combined 16 in the opening frame.
Eight minutes into the second, Rich Clune broke the scoreless tie as he cut to the net, fought through a slash and slid the puck through the pads of Rochester goalie Linus Ullmark for his second goal of the season. Andreas Johnsson and Martin Marincin had the assists as the Marlies went on the board.
That sparked a flurry of goals, as Rochester responded with goals from Arvin Atwal and Brian Gionta just 50 seconds apart, before Andreas Johnsson tied things up again just 41 seconds after the Marlies fell behind. Johnsson’s team-leading 21st goal of the season was assisted by Nikita Soshnikov and Rinat Valiev.
The 2-2 scoreline held up well into the third period, when Miro Aaltonen pounced on a loose puck and fired it home to put the Marlies ahead with under five minutes to play. Aaltonen’s eighth was assisted by Trevor Moore and Johnsson.
Vincent LoVerde added an insurance marker with less than two minutes left in the third, connecting on a hard one-timer from the slot after a great pass from Aaltonen. Calle Rosen had the second assist on LoVerde’s second of the season.
With the 4-2 victory, the Marlies improve to 33-11-0-1 on the season and 21-4-0-1 on the road this year. Toronto also leads the season series against Rochester 3-1-0-0. The Amerks now fall to 25-11-5-5 on the season.
Garret Sparks, who was named the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month yesterday, made 26 saves for his eighteenth win of the season.
Johnsson’s three-point performance was his second straight and he now leads the team in both goals (21) and points (35).
It was Aaltonen’s fourth multi-point game of the season.
The Marlies will now return home for an afternoon matchup with the Rocket tomorrow at Ricoh Coliseum. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 and fans can tune in on Leafs Nation Network or AHL Live. Tickets are still available.
Toronto: R. Clune (2) (A. Johnsson, M. Marincin), A. Johnsson (21) (N. Soshnikov, R. Valiev), M. Aaltonen (8) (A. Johnsson, T. Moore), V. LoVerde (2) (M. Aaltonen, C. Rosen)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (26/28)
Rochester: A. Atwal (1) (S. Percy, C. Smith), B. Gionta (1) (M. Tennyson)
Goaltender: L. Ullmark (27/31)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Rich Clune opened the scoring with his second goal of the season at 8:11 of the second period.
- Andreas Johnsson scored the Marlies second goal at 13:07 of the second period. Johnsson would add two primary assists on Clune’s second period goal and Aaltonen’s third period goal. Johnsson has 16 points (11 goals, 5 assists) in his last 15 games.
- Miro Aaltonen scored the Marlies third goal of the game at 15:27 of the third period. Aaltonen has scored 23 points (8 goals, 15 assists) this season.
- Vincent LoVerde scored the Marlies fourth goal of the game at 18:10 of the third period.
- Martin Marincin recorded the secondary assist on Clune’s second period goal. Marincin has nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) this season.
- Nikita Soshnikov had the primary assist on Johnsson’s second period goal.
- Rinat Valiev registered the secondary assist on Johnsson’s second period goal. This is Valiev’s second consecutive game with a point (2 assists).
- Trevor Moore had the secondary assist on Aaltonen’s third period goal Moore has recorded three assists in his last three games.
- Calle Rosén recorded the secondary assist on LoVerde’s third period goal. ‘
- Garret Sparks stopped 26 of 28 shots. Sparks is now 18-6-0-1 on the season with a .944 Save Percentage and a 1.62 Goals Against Average.
- The Marlies have extended their point streak to 12 games (11-0-0-1 – 23 points).
- Toronto went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 31-28 edge in shots in all situations.
- Andreas Johnsson and Calle Rosén led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 23-6-0-0 against North Division opponents this season and 3-1-0-0 against the Rochester Americans. The Marlies have outscored the Americans 9-6 with four games left in the season’s series.
- Goals: A. Johnsson (21)
- Assists: C. Mueller (17)
- Points: A. Johnsson (35)
- PPG: A. Johnsson (6), C. Mueller (6)
- Shots: K. Rychel (95)
- +/-: B. Smith (+27)
- PIMS: A. Nielsen (86)
On tonight’s game:
We knew we were playing a good team. We knew there was going to be a good crowd. We knew there’d be a lot of excitement around the game today. We expected our opponents to be really good and that posed a challenge for us to make sure we dialed in real quick. That first period really was a saw-off between both teams, not a lot happening either way. In the second, I thought we took our foot off the gas and took a little bit of a nap in that second. Really challenged the guys to step up in the third … and credit to the guys because it was an excellent period for us and obviously, it was enough for us to win the game here on the road.
On Andreas Johnsson’s recent play:
He’s just using his skills that he has and he’s bringing it on a consistent basis. Very talented guy but he works, he’s in the right spots all the time. He made a mistake on the second goal today but then he just comes back on his next shift and makes a big time play to tie it back up for us. That’s the kind of player he is. He’s a resilient guy and he’s very responsible and clearly is becoming a big part of our team.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
February 3 vs Laval – 4:00 p.m. ET
February 9 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
February 10 vs Binghamton – 4:00 p.m. ET
February 11 vs Binghamton – 4:00 p.m. ET
February 16 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies will hit the ice for their first game since the all-star break tonight in Rochester, as the top two teams in the North Division face off for the second time in a week.
Last Friday, the Marlies fought their way to a 2-0 victory at home over the visiting Amerks and will look to build off the momentum of two straight wins when playing in front of a road crowd tonight.
The Marlies (32-11-0-1) currently hold the top spot in the North Division and have a league-best 20-4-0-1 record on the road. Over their last ten games, the Marlies are 9-0-0-1 and have earned a point in eleven straight.
Rochester (25-10-5-5) sits five points back of the Marlies in the standings. They are 11-7-0-2 at home this season.
The two sides have faced three times this season and the Marlies hold a 2-1-0-0 record so far on the year. The only game in Rochester so far was the Marlies’ 3-2 victory on December 15.
Coming into February, the Marlies will look to continue building on the momentum from a successful January.
Andreas Johnsson, who scored his first career hat trick last Saturday in Syracuse, leads the Marlies in goals with 20.
Ben Smith maintains the team lead in points with 34 (18G, 16A) and also leads the way in points earned against Rochester this season, with four points (1G, 3A) in three games. Kerby Rychel is second on that list with a point-per-game, scoring once and adding two assists in the three games so far.
At the other end, the Amerks are led by rookie C.J. Smith who has 38 points (14G, 24A) while defenceman Zach Redmond is second in scoring with 28 points (8G, 20A).
Puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:05 and fans can tune in to all the action on AHL Live or Marlies Radio.
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