Martin Marincin opened the scoring for the Marlies on the first shot of the game just over four minutes into the contest. Marincin drove hard to the net and took a great cross-ice pass from Pierre Engvall to send the puck into an open net and make it 1-0. Trevor Moore had the secondary assist on the goal.
Past the halfway point of the second, Vincent LoVerde connected on a one-timer from the top of the circle to extend the lead. Jeremy Bracco and Andrew Nielsen had the assists on his ninth of the season.
Cole Cassels scored for Utica with under five minutes left in the second to cut the lead in half and then Lukas Jasek scored late in the third to force the game beyond regulation.
Overtime solved nothing and Cassels scored the only goal of the shootout as the Marlies dropped a 3-2 decision in Utica.
With the point, the Marlies improve to 51-18-1-2 and secured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for best regular season points percentage in the American Hockey League.
The Comets improve to 37-24-7-4 and now sit in third place in the North Division.
On Saturday night, the Marlies will return to action in Rochester to face the Americans.
GAME SUMMARY | GAME SHEET
Toronto: M. Marincin (4) (P. Engvall, T. Moore), V. LoVerde (9) PP (J. Bracco, A. Nielsen)
Goaltender: C. Pickard (20/22)
Utica: C. Cassels (7) (T. Cameranesi, D. Blujus), L. Jasek (2) PP (M. Chaput, P. Weircioch)
Goaltender: T. Demko (37/39)
IN THE SHOOTOUT
Calvin Pickard – 1/2 (2017-18: 1/2)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Martin Marincin opened the scoring at 4:07 of the first period. Marincin has 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists) this season.
- Vincent LoVerde scored on the power play at 12:46 of the second period. LoVerde has 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists) this season, with nine points (7 goals, 2 assists) recorded in his last 14 games.
- Pierre Engvall recorded the primary assist on Marincin’s first period goal. Engvall has recorded six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in his seven games with Toronto.
- Trevor Moore registered the secondary assist on Marincin’s first period goal. Moore has five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in his last four games.
- Jeremy Bracco had the primary assist on LoVerde’s second period power play goal. Bracco has 10 points (1 goal, 9 assists) in his last 10 games.
- Andrew Nielsen recorded the secondary assist on LoVerde’s power play goal. Nielsen has registered an assist (4) in three consecutive games.
- Calvin Pickard stopped 20 of 22 shots. Pickard is now 20-9-0-1 on the season with a .923 Save Percentage and a 2.13 Goals Against Average. Pickard is now 14-1-0-1 on the road.
- The Toronto Marlies captured the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy with tonight’s shootout loss against the Utica Comets.
- Toronto went 2-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-4 on the power play. Toronto has scored 10 power play goals in their last 10 games.
- Toronto had 39-22 edge in shots in all situations.
- Trevor Moore led the Marlies with six shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 36-12-1-1 against North Division opponents this season and 5-2-0-1 against the Utica Comets. The Marlies have outscored the Comets 24-22. The Marlies clinched the North Division title.
Goals: B. Smith (27)
Assists: C. Mueller (31)
Points: B. Smith (57)
PPG: C. Mueller (7)
Shots: C. Rosen (155)
+/-: M. Marincin (+35)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (137)
HEAD COACH SHELDON KEEFE
On tonight’s game:
I thought we played a strong game. There’s patches of the game that we’d like to be better in but for the most part, I thought we did a nice job. We had all sorts of chances to score, should have scored more than we did. Ultimately, that’s why they were able to come back. We need to get to at least three to be able to win consistently. That’s been a problem for us but it wasn’t because of how we played or anything like that. We had lots of opportunities and their goalie was really good.
On the team’s success on the road:
Can’t quite put your finger on it. It’s one of those things that you don’t really track. You know you’re a good team on the road and you’ve been winning, you’ve been having success. You certainly aren’t looking at it as record breaking. But all of sudden it creeps up on you that you’re doing something unique. Credit to the players. This league is hard and to be able to win on the road means you’ve got to dig in, you’ve got to play tired, you’ve got to be very consistent in your play. I’ve said it before, our staff takes real good care of our players and give our guys every opportunity to succeed and be at their best every day. But they’ve still got to put their gear on and they’ve got to compete and they’ve got to play well each night to give yourself a chance to compete for something like that. It’s been a real good season for our players through the regular season. We’ll turn the page here and really gear towards playoffs as we’ve been doing of late but certainly we know what’s to come and it’s not going to be easy.
April 7 at Rochester – 7:05 p.m. ET
April 13 at Laval – 7:30 p.m. ET
April 14 vs Laval – 4:00 p.m. ET
April 15 vs Belleville – 4:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies will search for a sixth straight win on Friday night when they head to Utica for the second half of a home-and-home against the Comets.
It was Adam Brooks who scored the overtime winner in the school day game on Thursday before both teams boarded their busses and hit the road for Utica.
Friday’s game will mark the eighth meeting of the season between the two sides, with the Marlies holding a 5-2-0-0 edge in the series.
The Marlies (51-18-1-1) will look to continue their strong season on the road when the puck drops tonight. Last Saturday, Toronto set a new AHL record for most road wins in one season with 29.
At the other end, the Comets (36-24-7-4) have had some difficulties at home this season, winning just 15 of 35 games.
While the Marlies have won five straight, the Comets have also seen success in that stretch, winning four and earning a point in each of their last five contests as well.
Andrew Nielsen, who had a pair of helpers in yesterday’s victory, now leads the Marlies in assists against the Comets this season with six. He’s now registered points in consecutive games.
Brooks, who scored the game winner, has now picked up ten points (4G, 6A) in his past ten games while Trevor Moore, who had an assist on the game-winning goal, now has four points (2G, 2A) in his last four games.
Puck drop on tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:00 PM and fans can tune in on AHL Live and Marlies Radio.
Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as live updates from the Adirondack Bank Center.
Head to Head
||Power Play Percentage
||Penalty Kill Percentage
|B. Smith (27)
||Leading Goal Scorer
||R. Boucher (25)
|B. Smith (57)
||Leading Points Scorer
||R. Boucher (46)
|G. Sparks (30)
||T. Demko (23)