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Full Team Effort Lifts Marlies Over Comets

Game Recap

 

The Toronto Marlies scored four straight goals to pull away from the Utica Comets and secure a 5-2 victory on the road Wednesday night.

Miro Aaltonen opened the scoring for the Marlies on a power play opportunity late in the first period. With under a minute remaining, Aaltonen took a pass from Timothy Liljegren at the Marlies blueline and went end-to-end, finishing with a backhand shot to make it a 1-0 game at the intermission. Mason Marchment also had an assist on the goal, his seventh of the season.

Just over six minutes into the second, Patrick Wiercioch responded for Utica, scoring a shorthanded goal to tie the game at 1-1.

Five minutes later, at the end of a 5-on-3 penalty kill, Justin Holl connected on a one-timer after a great pass from Ben Smith as the Marlies retook the lead. Trevor Moore also earned his first assist of the season on Holl’s go-ahead goal.

Dmytro Timashov extended the lead to 3-1 heading into the intermission, as he finished off a great passing display with Andreas Johnsson and Chris Mueller with under a minute to play in the second period. The goal was Timashov’s fifth this season.

Holl scored his second of the night early in the third period to make it a 4-1 game, as he took a long pass from Travis Dermott after stepping out of the penalty box and went top shelf on Comets’ goaltender Thatcher Demko.

Just past the midway point of the third, Mueller beat Demko five-hole for his third of the season. Timashov and Johnsson picked up the assists, capping off two-point nights for all three players.

In the dying moments, Reid Boucher added one for the Comets and the Marlies skated to a 5-2 final in Utica.

The Marlies have now won five straight games and improve to 14-4-0-0 on the year. They also improve to 9-1-0-0 against North Division teams and are 9-2-0-0 when playing away from home this season.

Garret Sparks commanded the crease for the Marlies in tonight’s game, making 28 saves as he picked up his ninth win of the season. He holds a .946 save percentage (SV%) through Wednesday’s win.

With the loss, the Comets fall to 6-9-0-1 on the season. Demko made 35 saves in goal for Utica.

The Marlies return to Toronto for a pair of games against the Belleville Senators this weekend, including the first Air Canada Centre series game of the season on Saturday afternoon.

Game Notes

GAME SUMMARY        GAME SHEET

SCORING SUMMARY

Toronto: M. Aaltonen (3) PP (T. Liljegren, M. Marchment), J. Holl (2) SH (B. Smith, T. Moore), D. Timashov (5) (C. Mueller, A. Johnsson), J. Holl (3) (T. Dermott, A. Nielsen), C. Mueller (3) (D. Timashov, A. Johnsson)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (28/30)

Utica: P. Wiercicoh (2) (M. Chaput, C. Darcy), R. Boucher (7) (J. Chatfield, Z. MacEwen)
Goaltender: T. Demko (35/40)

FROM THE SCORESHEET

  • Miro Aaltonen put the Marlies on the board with a power play goal at 19:11 of the first period. This was Aaltonen’s third goal of the season and second in as many games.
  • Justin Holl scored his second goal of the season at 11:52 of the second period and later added a second goal at 6:48 of the third period. Holl has eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) this season.
  • Dmytro Timashov scored his fifth goal of the season at 19:22 of the second period and later added the primary assist on Meuller’s third period goal.
  • Chris Mueller recorded a goal at 10:48 of the third period and added the primary assist on Timashov’s earlier goal. Mueller has 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists) this season.
  • Timothy Liljegren had the primary assist on Aaltonen’s power play goal.
  • Mason Marchment added the secondary assist on Aaltonen’s first period goal. This was Marchment’s 12th point (5 goals, 7 assists) of the season.
  • Ben Smith recorded the primary assist on Holl’s shorthanded goal.
  • Trevor Moore registered the secondary assist on Holl’s second period goal for his first assist of the season.
  • Andreas Johnsson had the secondary assist on Timashov’s second period goal and the primary assist on Mueller’s third period goal. Johnsson has recorded a point (2 goals, 5 assists) in five consecutive games.
  • Travis Dermott recorded the primary assist on Holl’s third period goal for his fifth assist of the season.
  • Andrew Nielsen added the secondary assist on Holl’s third period goal.
  • Garret Sparks stopped 28 of 30 shots. Sparks is now 9-2-0-0 on the season with a .946 Save Percentage and a 1.56 Goals Against Average.

NOTABLES

  • Toronto went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play.
  • Toronto had a 40-30 edge in shots in all situations.
  • Justin Holl led the Marlies with six shots on goal.
  • The Marlies are 9-1-0-0 against North Division opponents this season.

TEAM LEADERS

Goals: B. Smith (9)
Assists: C. Mueller (9)
Points: B. Smith (17)
PPG: D. Timashov (3), A. Johnsson (3)
Shots: K. Rychel (43)
+/-: M. Marincin (+14)
PIMS: T. Dermott (26)

POSTGAME QUOTES

On tonight’s game:
They came out hard which we expected that they would and then there was penalty trouble, really going both ways which didn’t allow us to establish the five-on-five game that we wanted to. They were better than us at special teams really through the whole game so with it being a factor early, they got a lot of chances. Our goaltending was terrific and gave us a chance to win the game. A much different game if (Sparks) wasn’t sharp like he was early. Really after they tied it at one, we really seemed to get going, a lot of five-on-five play from there and I thought we did an excellent job of just carrying the play all the way through and building a lead, growing the lead and just sticking with it all the way through until the final five seconds which just was disappointing to see that goal go in especially for our goaltender who gave us a chance to win the game. All that said, it was a good road game here for us.

On the power play:
We’re finding ways to win hockey games and we’re doing a lot of good things at different times. Our power play, there’s been games as recently as just a couple of games ago where our power play gets us two goals. But in terms of where we’re directing a lot of our attention, it’s there for sure. We know that we have to get a lot better. The fact that were in the position we are as a team despite so much room for growth on the powerplay is a really positive sign for us so we want to continue to be good at even strength, continue to be good there as well. Penalty killing has been good, continue to be good there. And then complete the third factor there, the power play which would be a big advantage for us.

– Head coach Sheldon Keefe

NEXT GAME:

November 25 vs Belleville – 1:30 p.m. ET (Air Canada Centre)
November 26 vs Belleville – 4:00 p.m. ET
November 29 vs Syracuse – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 1 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 2 vs Hartford – 4:00 p.m. ET


Game Preview

 

The Toronto Marlies (13-4-0-0) will look to extend a four-game unbeaten streak on Wednesday when they make their first trip to Utica to take on the Comets (6-8-0-1).

It’s the first game against the Comets since opening weekend when the Marlies won two straight by finals 3-1 and 4-3, respectively.

Over their past four games, the Marlies have won two games over the Binghamton Devils and two over the Syracuse Crunch, both teams North Division opponents like the Comets.

The Marlies have been dominant on defence in that stretch, allowing just four goals in total and not allowing more than a single goal in any of the four games. Their last contest was a 3-1 victory, including goals by Justin Holl, Miro Aaltonen and Ben Smith.

Smith currently leads the Marlies in both goals (9) and points (16). Andreas Johnsson is second in both categories, scoring seven times this season and racking up thirteen points.

Wednesday’s contest marks the third and final game of the Comets’ current three-game road trip. They defeated Belleville 7-1 last Friday before dropping a 4-1 game to Hartford on Saturday.

Nikolay Goldobin and Reid Boucher are tied for the team lead in goals with six, while Goldobin is the points leader with 17 so far on the season.

The Comets have faced struggles at home, as they are 2-4-0-1 at the recently renovated Adirondack Bank Center. The Marlies, who just completed the Royal Road trip, are 8-2-0-0 away from Toronto.

Wednesday’s game should also present an interesting battle on special teams. The Marlies enter the contest with the second-best penalty kill in the league (88.0%), while Utica have a 21.3% success rate on the power play, good enough for second in the North Division.

Puck drop is set for 7:00. Fans can watch all the action on AHL Live or listen in online with Todd Crocker.

Follow us on Twitter for pre- and post-game coverage, as well as live updates from Utica.

Head to Head

Marlies Primary Logo
13-4-0-0 Overall Record 6-8-0-1
2-0-0-0 Head-to-Head Record 0-2-0-0
Win 4 Streak Loss 1
55 Goals For 44
33 Goals Against 46
13.7% Power Play Percentage 21.3%
88.0% Penalty Kill Percentage 83.1%
B. Smith (9) Leading Goal Scorer N. Goldobin, R. Boucher (6)
B. Smith (16) Leading Points Scorer N. Goldobin (17)
G. Sparks (8) Wins Leader T. Demko (5)
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