Weekly Wrap-Up: January 2, 2018
The Toronto Marlies closed out 2017 with a big, divisional win in the Battle of Ontario to round out a week of tough, hard-fought games against North Division opponents.
After a short holiday break, the Marlies hosted Belleville in the Boxing Day Classic at Air Canada Centre. Andrew Nielsen scored the lone goal for the Marlies, while Calvin Pickard made 13 saves in a hard-fought, 2-1 loss to the Senators.
The Marlies were back at it the next night, traveling to Syracuse for a meeting with the Crunch. Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring for the Marlies, kicking off a back-and-forth affair to the final whistle.
Chris Mueller, Frederik Gauthier and Miro Aaltonen all scored in the game, but the Marlies were unable to erase a late deficit and lost 5-4 in the offensive showdown.
Last Friday, the Marlies faced another tough opponent in the Rochester Americans, as the top two teams in the North Division battled it out at Ricoh Coliseum. It was a tight, defensive game throughout and Garret Sparks made 30 saves for the Marlies, who were unable to defeat the Americans, falling by a 2-0 final.
On New Year’s Eve, a determined Marlies team bounced back and put an end to the losing streak with a powerful, full-team performance to beat Belleville at home.
Johnsson opened the scoring for the Marlies on a 5-on-3 power play before Kasperi Kapanen added a shorthanded goal to extend the lead. Gauthier scored a pair in the third period, including another shorthanded marker, before Adam Brooks capped the night off with his first career professional goal in a 5-1 victory.
Gauthier, who was recalled by the Maple Leafs earlier today, finished the week with three goals and an assist while Johnsson scored two goals and a helper. Travis Dermott had three assists, returning to the lineup for Sunday’s game.
Mueller earned a goal and an assist, Timashov and Justin Holl each had a pair of assists.
As the Marlies hold the top spot in the North Division at the end of December, head coach Sheldon Keefe has been named head coach for the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic in Utica.
The Marlies return to action tomorrow night in Laval with a 23-11-0-0 record on the season. They are 14-4-0-0 on the road and 17-6-0-0 against North Division opponents.