Hard-Fought Effort on the Road
The Toronto Marlies lost a hard-fought effort in Syracuse on Wednesday night, falling 5-4 to the Crunch.
Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring in tonight’s game, finishing off a nice pass from Kasperi Kapanen just three minutes into the first period. It was Johnsson’s eleventh of the season.
Dennis Yan scored two straight for Syracuse, putting the Crunch in the lead, until Chris Mueller tied things up with a top shelf shot with under five minutes remaining. Mueller’s seventh of the year was assisted by Dmytro Timashov.
Thirty seconds before the first intermission, Mathieu Joseph scored to put Syracuse ahead 3-2 at the intermission.
The scoring continued in the second, with Frederik Gauthier broke in and went upstairs to even things up again just over a minute into the middle frame. Colin Greening and Kerby Rychel had the helpers on Gauthier’s third.
With under three minutes left, Kevin Lynch scored to give Syracuse the lead but Miro Aaltonen responded for the Marlies just 26 seconds later, taking the two teams to the third tied at 4-4.
Adam Erne scored less than four minutes into the final frame and that would prove to be the game winner, as the Marlies fall by one goal for the second straight day.
With the loss, the Marlies move to 22-10-0-0 on the season, 14-4-0-0 on the road and 16-5-0-0 against North Division opponents.
Syracuse improves to 16-12-1-2 with the victory.
Garret Sparks made 28 saves in the game for the Marlies while Louis Domingue stopped 22 in the Syracuse net.
The Marlies return to action Friday night at Ricoh Coliseum when they host the Rochester Americans for the first time this season. Tickets are still available.
Toronto: A. Johnsson (11) (K. Kapanen), C. Mueller (7) (D. Timashov), F. Gauthier (3) (C. Greening, K. Rychel), M. Aaltonen (5) (Unassisted)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (28/33)
Syracuse: D. Yan (4) (A. Volkov), D. Yan (5) (M. Peca, M. Spencer), M. Joseph (7) (M. Peca), K. Lynch (8) PP (D. Yan, M. Stephens), A. Erne (9) PP (M. Joseph, C. Verhaeghe)
Goaltender: L. Domingue (22/26)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring for the Marlies at 3:10 of the first period. Johnsson has 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) this season.
- Chris Mueller had Toronto’s second goal of the game at 15:04 of the first period. Mueller has 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists) this season.
- Frederik Gauthier recorded his third goal of the season at 1:45 of the second period.
- Miro Aaltonen scored Toronto’s fourth goal at 18:12 of the second period.
- Kasperi Kapanen registered the lone assist on Johnsson’s first period goal. Kapanen has a point (2 goals, 3 assists) in his last four consecutive games with the Marlies.
- Dmytro Timashov had the lone assist on Mueller’s first period goal. Timashov has registered 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last four games.
- Colin Greening recorded the primary assist on Gauthier’s second period goal.
- Kerby Rychel registered the secondary assist on Gauthier’s second period goal.
- Garret Sparks stopped 28 of 33 shots. Sparks is now 11-4-0-0 on the season with a .936 Save Percentage and a 1.85 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto went 1-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play.
- Syracuse had a 33-26 edge in shots in all situations.
- Kasperi Kapanen and Andrew Nielsen led the Marlies with four shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 16-5-0-0 against North Division opponents this season. Toronto is 14-4-0-0 on the road this season.
Goals: B. Smith (15)
Assists: C. Mueller (14)
Points: B. Smith (27)
PPG: A. Johnsson (4), K. Kapanen (4), C. Mueller (4)
Shots: K. Rychel (69)
+/-: B. Smith (+22)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (60)
On trends through recent results:
There’s been some unique things in each game but there’s definitely been some trends. Our penalty kill hasn’t been nearly as effective and that’s been a big factor for us, for our success. Our penalty killing being as good as it was for the majority of the season up until this point, essentially makes us one goal better every game and now we’re losing games by virtually one goal. So, we gave up two today and don’t get any on the power play so obviously that’s a significant factor when we’re giving up too many grade A scoring chances. We knew coming into this game here today that they could really skate and we had to be really diligent with the puck and with our reads and we failed to do that in the first period. Give up three in the first, that’s trouble. Offensively, we’re able to capitalize on our own scoring chances on the rush here today but were not generating nearly enough offensively in the offensive zone so that’s been a trend here for us so we’ve got to get that figured out.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
December 29 vs Rochester – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 31 vs Belleville – 3:00 p.m. ET
January 3 at Laval – 7:30 p.m. ET
January 5 vs Lehigh Valley – 7:00 p.m. ET
January 6 vs Bridgeport – 4:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies will look to rebound from a tough loss in the Boxing Day Classic when they head to Syracuse to face the Crunch tonight.
It’s a short turnaround for the Marlies who will play Syracuse for the fifth time this season. Toronto has won three of the first four meetings.
Coming off yesterday’s loss, the Marlies enter tonight’s game with a 22-9-0-0 record and are tied for the top spot in the North Division.
The Crunch, who struggled to start the season, have won seven of their last ten and now sit third in the division with a 15-12-1-2 record.
Always a tough building to play in, the Marlies will look to put their league-leading road record to the test against Syracuse’s division-leading home winning percentage. The Crunch are currently 8-4-1-0 at home this season while Toronto is 14-3-0-0 on the road.
In their only trip to Syracuse this season, the Marlies won 4-2.
Ben Smith is leading the Marlies offensively this season with 15 goals and 12 assists. Andreas Johnsson, who had an assist in yesterday’s game, is second in goals with 10. His 20 points also put Johnsson in a tie with Chris Mueller for second most points on the team.
The Crunch are led by Matthew Peca, who has 23 points (6G, 7A) and Anthony Cirelli with 21 points (6G, 15A) on the season.
Puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:00 and fans can tune in on AHL Live or listen in with Todd Crocker online.
Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as live updates from Syracuse.
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