Toronto: F. Gauthier (4) (B. Leipsic), J. Holl (7) (Unassisted), B. Leipsic (16) (A. Nielsen, T. Moore), K. Rychel (18) (S. Griffith, R. Valiev), K. Rychel (19) (S. Oleksy)
Goaltender: G. Sparks 20/22
St. John’s: M. Friberg (11) (Unassisted), C. Hudon (25) (N. Scherbak, C. Terry)
Goaltender: Y. Danis 29/33
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Frederik Gauthier put the Marlies on the board with a shorthanded goal at 9:29 of the second period. Gauthier has scored in consecutive games and has 12 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 41 games with the Marlies this season.
- Justin Holl tied the game at 16:37 of the second period with his seventh of the season. Holl has 18 points through 67 games.
- Brendan Leipsic scored his 16th of the season and picked up a shorted handed assist on Gauthier’s second period goal, extending his point streak to six games (4 goals, 4 assists). Leipsic has 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 44 games this season.
- Kerby Rychel scored twice in the third period, including an empty net goal to give the Marlies a 5-2 lead. Rychel leads the team in scoring with 50 points (19 goals, 31 assists) through 68 games.
- Trevor Moore extended his point streak to three games (3 assists). Moore has 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 52 games.
- Andrew Nielsen, Seth Griffith, Rinat Valiev and Steve Oleksy all registered an assist tonight.
- Garret Sparks stopped 20 of 22 shots for his 20th win of the season. Sparks holds the league’s third best Goals Against Average (2.07) and Save Percentage (.927).
- With the win this afternoon, the Marlies move four points ahead of Syracuse for first in the North Division.
- The Marlies improve to a 23-10-3-0 record at home this season.
- Toronto went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-4 on the power play. Gauthier’s second period goal was the team’s eighth shorthanded goal of the season. The Marlies have not allowed a power play goal against in four straight games.
- Toronto outshot St. John’s 34 to 22. Rychel led the way with five shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 9-1-0-0 in their last ten games and have won a season’s best seven games in row.
HEAD TO HEAD
- The Marlies are 6-4-0-0 this season against the IceCaps (3-3-0-0 at home) and will close out the regular season with back-to-back games in St. John’s.
- Toronto has outscored the IceCaps 29-19 through ten games.
- Andrew Nielsen leads the Marlies with seven points (2 goal, 5 assists) in ten games against the St. John’s this season.
- Seth Griffith is two games away from playing in his 200th AHL game and three points away from reaching 200 career points.
- Frederik Gauthier is three games away from playing in his 100th AHL game.
Overall thoughts: I liked our third period. I liked parts of our first period. We scored two goals in the second period, that’s the one period I didn’t like very much. We didn’t break the puck out very well at all in the second period, so we spent a lot more time running around our own end as a result. We wanted to clean that up going into the third and I thought we did. We built a lot of speed coming up out of our zone that leads to the two goals that we get and then I thought our guys did a really nice job of not giving up very much defensively. All in all, it was a good game for us. There’s parts of it that we don’t like that we can get better at for sure, but we like to see how we pulled it out here today.
On upcoming three-in-three: “We’re feeling good as a team. We just have to continue to find another level. Each time out we want to get better and better as a team, we want to understand how it is we need to play to be successful, how to take care of leads, how to give ourselves an advantage early in games, those kinds of things. It’s going to get harder from here. Today we’re playing a team that’s fighting to get into the playoffs, we’re fighting to get in ourselves. We’re going to be in Utica on Friday, so it’s going to be a playoff-type atmosphere, with a team that’s trying to make their way in and then Hershey’s going to come here on Saturday, it’s going to be more of the same, another desperate team. It’s playoff-type hockey here, it’s good and healthy for our team to have to find their way through this. We’ve liked our response here thus far, but we need to continue to get better, there’s still things in our game that are showing up that we need to eliminate and clean up. We have a little bit of time here left. What’s good is we’re getting confidence, we’re winning games, we’re getting points and guys are starting to settle into their roles and their lines and all those kinds of things. So a lot of healthy stuff going on.
– Sheldon Keefe, Marlies Head Coach
Friday, April 7 at Utica – 7:00 p.m. EST
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
The Marlies host the St. John’s IceCaps Tuesday for the first of three meetings between the two teams in the final two weeks of the season. It’s the final school day game of the season, as the Marlies welcome local students to Ricoh Coliseum for the third time this season.
The Marlies took sole possession of first place in the North Division this past weekend, downing Syracuse twice. They’ve now won six straight and enter the game with a 39-26-4-1 record on the year.
St. John’s are in a tight battle for the final playoff spot in the North. They currently sit third in the division with a record of 33-27-8-2 and sit one point ahead of fifth-place Utica.
Tuesday’s game is the tenth meeting of the season between the Marlies and IceCaps. The Marlies hold a 5-4-0-0 lead in the regular season series.
Trevor Moore has five points (1G, 4A) against the IceCaps this season through six games, while Seth Griffith also has five points (1G, 4A) through four meetings.
Brendan Leipsic has scored in consecutive games and is riding a five-game point streak heading into Tuesday’s contest. He’s scored three goals and three assists in that span.
The Marlies enter the game with the best home record in the North Division (22-10-3-0), while St. John’s hold the best road record in the division (17-13-3-1).
Puck drop is scheduled for 11 am and you can watch live on TSN 2. Join the conversation online by following the Marlies on Twitter and tuning in to our #MarliesLive chat.