Marlies Battle Hard in Close Contest Against Crunch
The Toronto Marlies dropped a close contest against the Syrcause Crunch on Wednesday night at Ricoh Coliseum, putting an end to a seven-game win streak.
It was a tough, gritty game from the start with both teams playing strong defensively and limiting chances.
Syraucse struck first midway through the first period as Christopher DiDomenico fired a shot off the post and in to open the scoring. The Crunch took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Nine minutes into the second period, Kevin Lynch extended the lead to two as he found the back of the net for the Crunch.
Frederik Gauthier responded for the Marlies early in the third period as he drove hard to the net and deflected a cross-crease pass from Timothy Liljegren to cut the lead in half. The goal was Gauthier’s first of the season and came on the power play.
Cory Conacher added an empty net goal for Syracuse as the Crunch won by a 3-1 final.
Garret Sparks was named the third star of the game after turning aside 30 shots in the game.
In the Syracuse net, Louis Domingue stopped 27 of 28 shots for his third victory of the season.
With Wednesday’s result, the Marlies record moves to 16-5-0-0 on the season. They are now 7-3-0-0 at home and 11-2-0-0 against North Division opponents.
Syracuse moves to 8-9-1-2 with the win.
The Marlies hit the ice again on Friday for their first ever trip to the Yardmen Arena in Belleville to face the Senators for the third time in a week. They return home Saturday to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack at Ricoh Coliseum.
Syracuse: C. DiDomenico (4) (C. Conacher, M. Bodie), K. Lynch (5) (R. McNeill, A. Volkov), C. Conacher (7) EN (R. McNeill)
Goaltender: L. Domingue (27/28)
Toronto: F. Gauthier (1) PP (T. Liljegren, T. Dermott)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (30/32)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Frederik Gauthier put the Marlies on the board with his first goal of the season on a power play at 4:24 of the third period.
- Timothy Liljegren registered the primary assist on Gauthier’s power play goal. Liljegren has seven points (1 goal, 6 assists)in 13 games this season.
- Travis Dermott had the secondary assist on Gauthier’s third period goal for his seventh assist of the season.
- Garret Sparks stopped 30 of 32 shots. Sparks is now 10-3-0-0 on the season with a .946 Save Percentage and a 1.54 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 1-for-4 on the power play.
- Syracuse had a 33-28 edge in shots in all situations.
- Travis Dermott and Kasperi Kapanen led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 11-2-0-0 against North Division opponents this season.
Goals: A. Johnsson (9), B. Smith (9)
Assists: C. Mueller (10)
Points: A. Johnsson (17), B. Smith (17)
PPG: A. Johnsson (4)
Shots: K. Rychel (49)
+/-: M. Marincin (+12), B. Smith (+12)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (47)
On tonight’s game:
We didn’t play our best game but we have to give some credit to them. That’s a good team, they are winning games now, they are finding ways to get on the other side of it. They are getting goaltending. I felt right from the start of the season that they are a better team than what their record shows. We’ve played them four times now and if they haven’t outplayed us in all four they were certainly right there. Like I said they are getting more stable goaltending now and they are turning their fortunes around – that’s a good hockey team. They have given up the least amount of shots in the entire league all year even though they aren’t winning so when you play like that, you’re eventually going to be on the right side of it. Credit to them, they played really well and we didn’t play our best but they made it really hard on us as well.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
December 1 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 2 vs Hartford – 4:00 p.m. ET
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
The Toronto Marlies (16-4-0-0) host the Syracuse Crunch (7-9-1-2) at Ricoh Coliseum on Wednesday in search of their eighth straight victory.
It’s the fourth meeting between the two sides, with the Marlies unbeaten through the first three contests against Syracuse. The Marlies have outscored the Crunch 9-4 through those games, which include a 4-2 win on the road and 3-1 and 2-1 victories at home.
The Marlies come into Wednesday’s game after defeating the Belleville Senators by a 5-1 final in their last outing on Sunday. The Crunch are also coming off of a win as they beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-3 on Saturday.
Andreas Johnsson will look to extend his point streak as he’s currently recorded a point in each of his last seven appearances, putting up nine points (4G,5A) over that span.
Johnsson is tied with Ben Smith for the team lead in both goals (9) and points (17) so far this season.
Chris Mueller also enters the game riding a point streak as he’s put his name on the scoresheet in three straight outings, as well as five of his last six. He has two goals and two assists over the past three games and now leads the Marlies in assists with 10.
The Crunch are led offensively by veteran forward Cory Conacher, who has 13 points (6G, 7A) so far this season with Syracuse. Michael Bournival leads the team in goals scored with seven this season.
Puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:00 and tickets are still available. Fans can also tune in to the game on Leafs Nation Network, AHL Live and the NHL Network.
Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as live updates from Ricoh Coliseum.
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