Coming off a 5-1 win over the Binghamton Devils last night, the Marlies hoped to carry that momentum into tonight’s game against the Syracuse Crunch. With three first period goals and one in each of the second and third periods, the Marlies were able to pull things out of reach for the Crunch as they picked up their third straight win and improved to 17-13-3-2.
Adam Brooks opened the scoring at 6:09 with his sixth of the season and second in as many nights. The goal came on a power play as Chris Mueller set up Brooks for the one-timer in front of Eddie Pasquale. Sam Gagner picked up the extra assist on the opening goal. At 12:23, Gagner added a goal of his own as the Marlies capitalized on the power play again. Gagner created some space in the slot and fired the puck which was redirected off a leg into the back of the net brining the score to 2-0. The Marlies converted again late in the frame as Steve Oleksy beat Pasquale with a blast from inside the blueline to give the Marlies a comfortable 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
As expected, the Crunch came out strong in the second and Carter Verhaeghe got them on the board just seven seconds into the frame. At 7:08, Cory Conacher brought the home team within one as the Crunch capitalized on a power play opportunity. Later in the frame, the Marlies restored a two-goal cushion as Chris Mueller scored on a nifty backhand, tallying his 500thcareer AHL point. Gagner and Calle Rosen assited on the milestone goal as the Marlies held a two-goal lead heading into the final frame.
Late in the third the Crunch pulled Pasquale in favour of an extra attacker as they looked to cut the deficit and force things into overtime. The Marlies were able to take advantage of the empty cage as Brooks scored an empty netter with his second of the night to seal a 5-2 win.
The Marlies return home for a 4:00 PM puck drop against the Charlotte Checkers tomorrow at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
GAME SUMMARY | GAME SHEET
Toronto: A. Brooks (6) PP (C. Mueller, S. Gagner), S. Gagner (9) PP (C. Rosen, J. Bracco), S. Oleksy (2) (D. Timashov, S. LeBlanc), C. Mueller (19) PP (S. Gagner, C. Rosen), A. Brooks (7) EN (S. Gagner)
Goaltender: E. McAdam (24/26)
Syracuse: C. Verhaeghe (15) (C. Gaunce), C. Conacher (14) PP (C. Gaunce, C. Verhaeghe)
Goaltender: E. Pasquale (20/24)
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Adam Brooks opened the scoring at 6:09 of the first period on the power play and added the empty net goal at 18:50 of the third period. Brooks has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in two consecutive games. Brooks has collected 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) through 22 games this season.
- Sam Gagner scored Toronto’s second goal on the power play at 12:23 of the first period. He added the secondary assist on Brooks’ first period power play goal, had the primary assist on Mueller’s second period power play goal and the lone assist on Brooks’ third period empty net goal. This is Gagner’s first four-point game of the season. He has seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) through four games.
- Steve Oleksy scored Toronto’s third goal of the game at 19:24 of the first period. This was Oleksy’s second goal as a Marlie.
- Chris Mueller scored Toronto’s fourth goal and his 500th AHL-career point on the power play at 17:02 of the second period. He earlier recorded the primary assist on Brooks’ first period power play goal. Mueller has six goals in his last four games.
- Calle Rosen registered the primary assist on Gagner’s first period power play goal and the secondary assist on Mueller’s second period power play goal.
- Jeremy Bracco had the secondary assist on Gagner’s first period power play goal. Bracco leads the AHL in assists (26). He has collected six assists in three consecutive games.
- Dmytro Timashov recorded the primary assist on Oleksy’s first period goal. Timashov has six assists in four consecutive games.
- Stefan LeBlanc registered the secondary assist on Oleksy’s first period goal.
- Eamon McAdam stopped 24 of 26 shots he faced. McAdam is now 8-4-2-1 on the season with a .893 Save Percentage and a 2.92 Goals Against Average.
- Chris Mueller recorded his 500th AHL-career point (208 goals, 292 assists) in 684 games.
- Toronto went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 2-for-3 on the power play. On the road, Toronto’s penalty kill is 25th overall (77.1% – 54/70) and its’ power play is second overall (27.6% – 21/76).
- Syracuse had a 26-25 edge in shots in all situations. Adam Brooks and Chris Mueller led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies have outscored their opponents on the road 79-64. Toronto is second overall in goals on the road.
- The Marlies are 12-11-3-2 against North Division opponents and are 2-1-0-0 against the Syracuse Crunch this season. Syracuse has outscored Toronto 11-10 through three games with three remaining.
- Toronto is playing eight games split evenly between home and the road over 16 days from December 28 to January 12. Through four games, the Marlies are currently 3-1-0-0 and have outscored their opponents 16-12. Through this span, they will face the Rochester Americans three times, the Charlotte Checkers twice as well as the Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Devils and the Utica Comets.
REGULAR SEASON LEADERS
- Goals: C. Mueller (19)
- Assists: J. Bracco (26)
- Points: C. Mueller (38)
- PPG: C. Mueller (9)
- Shots: S. Gagner (98)
- +/-: C. Grundstrom (+6)
- PIMS: S. Oleksy (51)
- Toronto is 14-4-1-0 when scoring first.
- The Marlies are 11-1-1-0 when leading after the first period and 11-0-1-0 when leading after the second period.
- Toronto is 5-6-1-1 when outshot by their opponent.
- The Marlies are 6-4-0-0 in Saturday games and are 2-0-0-0 in January.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
- Jeremy Bracco has assists (5) in three consecutive games.
- Adam Brooks has goals (3) in two consecutive games and points (3-1-4) in two consecutive games.
- Chris Mueller has points (5-1-6) in three consecutive games.
- Calle Rosen has assists (2) in two consecutive games.
- Dmytro Timashov has assists (5) in four consecutive games.
- 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.
- January 4: Returned goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo on loan from Toronto (NHL).
- January 3: Recalled goaltender Michael Garteig from loan to Newfoundland (ECHL).
- January 3: Recalled goaltender Michael Hutchinson from loan by Toronto (NHL).
- January 3: Recalled goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo from loan by Toronto (NHL).
- January 2: Recalled forward Trevor Moore from loan by Toronto (NHL).
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s game:
I think the effort was great. Our guys worked hard and in terms of the effort, I thought it was probably as close to perfect as we could get. Structurally, it wasn’t perfect. It was a funny game where we come out of the first period 3-0 and I think that’s our worst period of the game as weird as that sounds. On special teams, on the power play, it was really good all game for us. We got a goal late in the period but I thought they took it to us pretty good five-on-five in that period. Second period, we settled them down. Despite the bad break on their first goal and then their power play goal, I thought we had a good period in the second. In the third period, we’d like to have spent more time in their end and stuff like that but in terms of how we defended, I thought our guys were full marks.
On Chris Mueller’s milestone:
It’s outstanding. It’s a testament just to the impact he’s made not just in our organization but others obviously to accumulate such numbers. When you look at a game like today, he gets a huge goal for us, that’s what he’s been doing all year but he also just competed hard, was very vocal on the bench and is a big part of our team.
FORWARD CHRIS MUELLER
On his 500th career point:
It was pretty cool. The guys kind of reminded me on the road trip that I was close and Bracco was in my ear the whole time and that he’d get the puck. It’s awesome. It’s a testament to all the teammates that I’ve had. Means I’m pretty old to be staying in the minors for that long but I’m just very thankful for the teammates I’ve had especially these guys in Toronto, a lot of the points, a lot of the goals I’ve been getting in this year are from unbelievable plays from some guys like Gags and Bracco, the power play’s been clicking. It’s a great milestone like you said but I’m more pumped because (Syracuse was) putting pressure on us and it was a big power play goal. It’s a really big win for our team.
On the support he’s received through his career:
More than a lot of people see and I’m just thankful that I have a wife who likes to travel around and put up with the hockey schedule. We’ve got three kids so she’s on her own a lot and just grateful for her and my parents who probably would have been here but are helping out life in Toronto because we’ve got the kids. My dad doesn’t miss many games and he’s been there so much with my mom and my sister and that. It’s a milestone for me but there’s so much support that goes into it that just to play the game of hockey, to play pro your family’s a huge part of it, your friends and the support and I can’t thank them enough.
January 6 vs Charlotte – 4:00 p.m. ET
January 9 vs Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET
January 11 at Rochester – 7:05 p.m. ET
January 12 vs Rochester – 4:00 p.m. ET
January 19 at Charlotte – 6:00 p.m. ET
The Marlies started off 2019 on the right foot after picking up two points in a 5-1 victory over the Binghamton Devils last night. As they get set for their second game in as many nights, they will be looking to carry that momentum into tonight’s game against a tough Syracuse team.
These North Division rivals are meeting for the third time this season with the series even 1-1. In their last meeting on December 12, the Marlies dropped a tough 8-1 decision at home that they will definitely be looking for redemption from. With wins in their last two games, the Marlies have improved to 16-13-3-2 on the season, while the Crunch (21-9-2-0) sit second in the North Division and fifth in the league.
Special teams will be a key area in tonight’s matchup as the Crunch and Marlies have two of the league’s top power plays. The Marlies sit fourth in the league overall and have the second-best road power play while the Crunch sit second overall and have the top home power play.
Players to watch: Syracuse is home to two of the league’s leading scorers in Carter Verhaeghe (38 points) and Cory Conacher (37 points). Chris Mueller is not far behind as he leads the Marlies with 36 points, and Jeremy Bracco sits 14th with 32 points including 17 in his last 11 games.
Puck drops at 7:00 PM and fans can catch the action on AHLTV.
Head to Head (2018-19 Regular Season)
||Head To Head
||Power Play Percentage
||Penalty Kill Percentage
|C. Mueller (18)
||Leading Goal Scorer
||A. Barre-Boulet (16)
|C. Mueller (36)
||Leading Points Scorer
||C. Verhaeghe (38)
|E. McAdam (7)
||E. Pasquale (12)