Weekly Wrap-Up: January 8, 2018
The Toronto Marlies’ offense exploded for 14 goals over the past week, outscoring opponents 14-5 and picking up three important wins to retain the top spot in the North Division.
The week started with the Marlies hitting the road to face the Rocket in Laval. Andreas Johnsson opened the scoring early as he went hard to the net and redirected a pass from Chris Mueller for his thirteenth goal of the season.
Kerby Rychel extended the lead less than two minutes into the second with a cannon from the high slot for his seventh of the season, before Daniel Audette responded for the Rocket to make it 2-1. Midway through the period, Adam Brooks scored his second goal in as many games and the Marlies took a two-goal lead into the final frame.
With just over five minutes remaining in the third, the Rocket cut the lead to one again but Rinat Valiev and Chris Mueller added a pair for the Marlies to wrap up a 5-2 victory.
After a day off, the Marlies returned to Ricoh Coliseum on Friday night to face the Phantoms. Miro Aaltonen scored less than a minute into the game, deflecting a Kasperi Kapanen shot to open the scoring. The one-goal lead held into the second period, when Lehigh Valley scored back-to-back goals.
With less than five minutes left in the third, Colin Greening stole the puck in the corner, cut to the net and made it count on a second chance to tie the game at 2-2. Overtime solved nothing and the Marlies and Phantoms went to a shootout. Both Aaltonen and Kapanen scored, while Garret Sparks turned aside both Phantoms’ shooters to claim a 3-2 win in the extra time.
Less than 24 hours later, the Marlies were back on the ice to host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for their first meeting of the season. It was a slow start for the Marlies, who gave up the opening goal just six minutes into the game and were heavily outshot.
After calling timeout following Bridgeport’s goal, the Marlies launched an offensive strike that led to six straight goals, starting with Andreas Johnsson’s response just 25 seconds later. Andrew Nielsen added another midway through the first.
Greening extended the lead with a shorthanded goal in the second, followed by closely by a Kapanen blast. In the third, Greening scored his second of the night and Brooks added one last tally to close out a commanding 6-1 victory.
Colin Greening led the week offensively, scoring three goals and adding a pair of assists over the course of three wins. Rinat Valiev had a strong week on the blueline, scoring once and totaling three points.
Kasperi Kapanen had two goals and two assists, while Andreas Johnsson and Adam Brooks each had two goals and a helper.
Garret Sparks earned his thirteenth and fourteenth victories of the season and now boasts a 1.83 goals against average (GAA) and .937 save percentage (SV%).
Calvin Pickard picked up his eleventh win on Saturday and holds a 2.12 GAA and .924 SV%.
The Marlies return to action Friday night for their first road game in Charlotte since January 2015. The two sides split a weekend series at Ricoh Coliseum earlier this season.