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Tough Battle in Utica

SCORING SUMMARY

Toronto: M. Sislo (13) PP (B. Leipsic, S. Griffith)
Goaltender: G. Sparks 19/21

Utica: J. LaBate (6) PP (C. Robak, C. Billins), C. Kunyk (15) PP (D. Archibald), W. Hamilton (9) EN (B. Rendulic)
Goaltender: T. Demko 25/26

FROM THE SCORESHEET

  • Mike Sislo put the Marlies on the board with a power play goal at 6:52 of the third period. Sislo has 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 15 games since joining the Marlies.
  • Brendan Leipsic extended his point streak to seven games (4 goals, 5 assists) and now has 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) in 45 games.
  • Seth Griffith picked up a power play assist. Griffith has 40 points (9 goals, 31 assists) in 34 games with the Marlies this season.

NOTABLES

  • The Marlies have a 17-17-1-1 record on the road and hold a 26-19-3-1 record against the North Division this season.
  • Since January 20th, the Marlies have posted a 25-8-3-0 record, including ten wins in their past 12 games.
  • Toronto went 4-for-6 on the penalty kill and 1-for-7 on the power play.
  • The Marlies outshot the Comets 26 to 21.

PLAYOFF PICTURE

  • Despite losing tonight, the Marlies have officially secured a spot in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
  • The Marlies hold a three-point lead over Syracuse for first in the North Division with four games remaining.

HEAD TO HEAD

  • The Marlies finished up their season series against the Comets, winning five of eight meetings (1-3-0-0 on the road).
  • Toronto outscored the Comets 29-22.
  • Andreas Johnsson led the Marlies with 12 points (7 goal, 5 assists) through eight games while Brendan Leipsic picked up eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in five games against Utica this season.

MILESTONES

  • Seth Griffith is one game away from playing in his 200th AHL game and two points away from reaching 200 career points.
  • Frederik Gauthier is two games away from playing in his 100th AHL game.
  • Andrew Campbell is nine games away from his 600th AHL game.

POSTGAME QUOTES

“We wish we could have clinched on a winning note here today but it has been a long road for our group, we are in a much better place here now. With all that said the playoffs are not going to be easy, there’s no easy opponent no matter where we end up or who we end up facing, it’s going to be a battle in the first round. Today was a little bit of a taste of just how competitive the division is, so we’ve got to finish out the regular season here well, figure some things out to make sure our game is really in order when the playoffs begin because it’s going to be a battle.”
–       Sheldon Keefe, Marlies Head Coach

UPCOMING GAMES

Saturday, April 8 vs Hershey – 5:00 p.m. EST
Sunday, April 9 vs Rochester – 5:00 p.m. EST
Friday, April 14 at St. John’s – 7:30 p.m. EST
Saturday, April 15 at St. John’s – 7:30 p.m. EST


Preview

The Marlies kick off a three-in-three weekend on the road Friday night in Utica looking to clinch a spot in this year’s Calder Cup playoffs.

The Marlies enter tonight’s contest on a seven-game winning streak and sit at the top of the North Division with a 40-26-4-1 record. Utica currently hold the final playoff spot in the division with a record of 33-28-7-2.

Tonight’s game is the eighth and final meeting between the two teams this year. The Marlies hold a 5-2-0-0 lead in the regular season series.

Andreas Johnsson leads the Marlies with 12 points (7G, 5A) against the Comets this season. Johnsson has 20 goals and 45 points on the season so far.

Brendan Leipsic enters the game riding a six-game point streak, and has picked up four goals and four assists over that span. He has 47 points through 44 games with the Marlies this season.

Trevor Moore has a three-game point streak, earning an assist in each of those games.

The Marlies will look to capitalize on their power play chances tonight, as they hold the best power play percentage in the Eastern Conference. Kerby Rychel leads the Marlies with 11 power play goals on the season, and picked up his 50th point of the year in Tuesday’s win over St. John’s.

Puck drop for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:00 and you can catch all the action on AHL Live. Join the conversation online by following the Marlies on Twitter and tuning in to the #MarliesLive chat.

Following Friday’s game, the Marlies return home for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday against Hershey and Rochester, respectively.

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