Staring down their longest road trip of the season, the Toronto Marlies came flying out the gate, outscoring their first three opponents by a combined 12-2. Halfway through the annual “Royal road trip,” the Marlies have won three consecutive games over Laval, Hershey and Lehigh Valley.
The road trip started with the team’s first ever trip to Laval last Wednesday. Andreas Johnsson scored twice, Colin Greening added another and Garret Sparks posted an 18-save shutout as the Marlies blanked the Rocket. The shutout was Sparks’ second this season and eleventh of his career, moving him into first in the all-time franchise lead for career shutouts.
Following a couple days off, the Marlies were back in action Saturday night in Hershey. Ben Smith and Mason Marchment each had three-point nights, while Dmytro Timasov scored his third power play goal of the season in a 4-1 win over the Bears. Sparks started for the Marlies, earning his sixth win this year, as he stopped 21 of 22 shots.
The Marlies were back on the ice less than twenty-four hours later in Allentown, taking on a high-scoring Lehigh Valley team. Despite giving up the first goal, the Marlies answered back with five unanswered on route to a 5-1 victory over the Phantoms. Trevor Moore scored twice in the game, while Chris Mueller, Nikita Soshnikov and Smith all found the back of the net. Calvin Pickard made 35 saves in the victory, his second of the season.
Over the week, Marchment racked up seven points over the three-game span (1G, 6A) and was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for his efforts.
The Marlies return to action on Wednesday when they face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to close out the Pennsylvania portion of the road trip, before heading to Binghamton for back-to-back games against the Devils on Friday and Saturday.