Weekly Wrap-Up: March 13, 2018
The Toronto Marlies earned a pair of important wins over the past week, turning in a strong performance against Providence on the weekend and then defeating the rival Rocket at Air Canada Centre yesterday.
Starting things out on Saturday, the Marlies hosted the Providence Bruins for the first and only time this season. Colin Greening opened the scoring from the corner and then Mason Marchment extended the lead with a shot from the slot early in the second. Providence fought back with two straight goals late in the second to tie things up.
With just 15 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Andreas Johnsson scored on the power play to reinstate the lead. The Bruins tied the game five minutes into the final frame but with a power play opportunity late in the third, Ben Smith scored the winning goal in the final minute to lift the Marlies to a 4-3 victory. With a Laval loss later that night, the Marlies became the first AHL team to secure a berth in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs.
On Saturday, the Marlies played their final Air Canada Centre Series game of the season. Trevor Moore scored first to give the Marlies a first period lead. Laval responded just 35 seconds later but Greening scored his second of the week before the intermission to put the Marlies ahead 2-1.
After a scoreless second period, Johnsson converted a power play chance to extend the lead to 3-1 and Justin Holl added an empty net goal to help close out a 4-1 victory. It was the Marlies seventh consecutive win over Laval this season. Garret Sparks made 20 saves in the victory, giving him is 72nd career win and moving Sparks into first place in franchise history for wins.
The Marlies now hold a 42-16-1-1 record on the season and sit first in the North Division. They return to action Wednesday night for a rematch with the Rocket at Ricoh Coliseum.