The Marlies returned to action Friday night looking to even the season series against Rochester and bounce back from a 4-1 loss on Boxing Day. Heading into tonight’s game, the Marlies were short staffed with three key regulars out of the lineup due to illness. After 40 minutes of play, the Marlies found themselves in a hole that they were unable to climb out of as the Americans cruised to a 5-1 win.
The opening frame saw little action as the Marlies went 0/1 on the power play while the Amerks went 0/2. The Marlies outshot the Amerks 8-5 but the score remained 0-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The home team opened the scoring at 3:21 as Wayne Simpson capitalized on a Marlies miscommunication and scored a shorthanded goal to put the home team up 1-0. At 8:18, the Amerks converted on a power play opportunity and Zach Redmond buried his 15th of the season to give Rochester a 2-0 lead. Two minutes later, the Americans added a third goal, giving themselves a nice cushion at the halfway mark of the game. At 16:50, the Marlies found success on a two-man advantage as Sam Gagner sent the puck into the crease where Chris Mueller was waiting on the doorstep. Mueller lifted the puck up and over Scott Wedgewood, scoring his 14th of the season to get the Marlies on the board. Late in the frame, the Amerks restored their three-goal lead as Justin Bailey floated a shot in from the point that beat Eamon McAdam.
Danny O’Regan added a goal in the third for the Amerks and the Marlies were unable to come back from the four-goal deficit.
The Marlies return home on New Years Eve to host the Charlotte Checkers for a 3:00 PM start at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
GAME SUMMARY | GAME SHEET
Toronto: C. Mueller (14) PP (S. Gagner, D. Timashov)
Goaltender: E. McAdam (22/27)
Rochester: W. Simpson (11) SH (E. Cornel), Z. Redmond (15) PP (K. Criscuolo, V. Olofsson), B. Guhle (4) (V. Olofsson, D. O’Regan), J. Bailey (8) (S. Malone, D. Smith)
Goaltender: S. Wedgewood (35/36)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Chris Mueller opened the scoring for the Marlies at 16:50 of the second period on the power play. Mueller has recorded 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) on the power play. Mueller had a season-high 11 shots on goal.
- Sam Gagner registered the primary assist on Mueller’s second period goal. Gagner has 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) through 24 games.
- Dmytro Timashov recorded the secondary assist on Mueller’s second period goal. Timashov has 18 points (5 goals, 13 assists) in 29 games this season.
- Eamon McAdam stopped 22 of 27 shots he faced. McAdam is now 7-4-2-1 on the season with a .891 Save Percentage and a 2.99 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto went 3-for-5 on the penalty kill and 1-for-8 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 36-27 edge in shots in all situations.
- Chris Mueller led the Marlies with 11 shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 10-11-3-2 against North Division opponents and are 0-1-0-1 against the Rochester Americans this season.
- Toronto will play eight games split evenly between home and the road over 16 days from December 28 to January 12. They will face the Rochester Americans three times, the Charlotte Checkers twice as well as the Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Devils and the Utica Comets through this span.
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
- Goals: C. Mueller (14)
- Assists: J. Bracco (20)
- Points: C. Mueller (32)
- PPG: C. Mueller (6)
- Shots: T. Moore (92)
- +/-: C. Grundstrom, M. Marchment, C. Rosen (+4)
- PIMS: M. Marchment (44)
- The Marlies are 4-3-0-0 when tied after the first period and 1-12-1-1 when trailing after the second period.
- Toronto is 8-7-2-1 when leading their opponent in shots.
- The Marlies are 4-3-1-2 in Friday games and 6-6-0-0 in through December.
- Adam Brooks, Jeremy Bracco and Pierre Engvall (illness) did not dress for tonight’s game.
- Timothy Liljegren (ankle) did not dress for tonight’s game. He is week-to-week with a high ankle sprain.
- Andreas Borgman (concussion) did not dress for tonight’s game. He left Toronto’s game on December 19 vs. Binghamton and did not return.
- Rasmus Sandin (World Juniors) did not dress for tonight’s game.
- December 28: Recalled forward Derian Plouffe from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
- December 27: Recalled forward Trevor Moore from loan by Toronto (NHL).
- December 27: Returned defenceman Alex Gudbranson on loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
- December 27: Returned forward Scott Pooley on loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
- December 26: Recalled forward Griffen Molino from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s game:
I liked our first period. I thought we had plenty of opportunities to score first which I thought would have been real key to the game today. Coming on the road today and having seven regulars out of the lineup and you’re just trying to find something to rally around. I thought the guys gave us a good start. We didn’t surrender a shot for the first 10 minutes or so of the game. Any time they had chances, I thought we recovered really well. We had power plays early but couldn’t score first and to give them the shorthanded gift there to score first in the game is probably the worst-case scenario for us. Special teams, much like scoring first, special teams would be a real factor again here today. I think the bodies we were missing really kind of showed themselves on special teams
December 31 vs Charlotte – 3:00 p.m. ET
January 4 at Binghamton – 7:05 p.m. ET
January 5 at Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
January 6 vs Charlotte – 4:00 p.m. ET
January 9 vs Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET
The Marlies and Americans meet for the second time this season tonight at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester. The North Division leading Americans (19-10-2-0) have won six of their previous 10 games and are fresh off a 4-0 win over Cleveland. The Marlies (14-12-3-2) have won five of their last 10 and will look to get back in the win column following a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Belleville Senators.
In their previous match-up this season the Americans edged the Marlies 5-4 in a close fought battle that required a shootout decision. To see success, a key area in tonight’s game for the Marlies will be converting on power play opportunities. The Marlies have gone eight for 26 on the power play in their last six games and will need to get back to taking advantage in special teams situations.
The Marlies are still without defencemen Timothy Liljegren (ankle), Andreas Borgman (concussion), and Rasmus Sandin (World Juniors), as well as leading goal scorer Trevor Moore, who has been recalled to the Toronto Maple Leafs on an emergency basis.
Players to watch: Chris Mueller sits fifth in the league in points amongst active skaters and continues to lead the Marlies with 31 points in 29 games. Morgan Klimchuk returns to the lineup tonight following a three-game suspension, and defenceman Calle Rosen returns for the first time since leaving the game on December 19th.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM and fans can catch all the action on AHLTV.
Head to Head (2018-19 Regular Season)
||Head To Head
||Power Play Percentage
||Penalty Kill Percentage
|T. Moore (17)
||Leading Goal Scorer
||Z. Redmond (14)
|C. Mueller (31)
||Leading Points Scorer
||C. Smith (27)
|E. McAdam (7)
||S. Wedgewood (10)