For the second time in the past week, the Toronto Marlies scored three third period goals to earn a comeback victory on the road.
This time it was in Rochester, where the Marlies trailed 3-2 with five minutes to go before a pair of quick goals from Chris Mueller and Kerby Rychel put the Marlies ahead and a Miro Aaltonen empty netter sealed the deal.
It was a game in which the Marlies dominated the shot category and maintained possession for most of the game but stared down a strong goaltending performance by Linus Ullmark.
Rochester scored first tonight as Seth Griffith converted on a chance less than five minutes into the game. Calle Rosen tied things up leading into the intermission, as he fired a shot from the point with under three minutes remaining in the opening period and the Marlies on the man advantage. It was Rosen’s first career AHL goal, with Andreas Johnsson and Mason Marchment earning assists.
In the second, the Americans scored two straight goals to take a 3-1 lead just past the midway point of the game.
Mueller had a response for the Marlies before the break, scoring on the rebound after a Trevor Moore shot. It was Mueller’s eleventh of the season and cut the lead to 3-2 at the intermission.
Mueller scored his second of the night with just under five minutes remaining in the third, taking a pass from Martin Marincin and beating Ullmark with a quick release to tie things up. Ben Smith had the secondary assist on the goal.
Less than a minute and a half later, Mueller almost completed the natural hat trick as his shot from the slot trickled through Ullmark and sat in the goal crease. Rychel went hard to the net and tapped the puck in to give the Marlies their first lead of the game with under three minutes to play. The goal was Rychel’s tenth.
With just eight seconds remaining, Aaltonen took a pass in the slot and slid the puck into the empty net to finish the game at a 5-3 final.
The Marlies improve to 39-14-0-1 with the victory and are now 4-1-0-0 against Rochester.
With the loss, the Amerks fall to 26-15-8-6 on the year.
Garret Sparks had the start for the Marlies and made 14 saves for his twenty-first win of the season.
Mueller’s three-point night was his ninth multi-point game of the season.
Johnsson finished with two assists in the game, giving him 19 points in his last 10 games. Moore’s two assists give him his fourth multi-point game of the year.
The two teams will have little time before meeting again as they will face off tomorrow in Toronto for the second half of the home-and-home.
Very limited tickets remain for that game which will also be broadcast on Leafs Nation Network.
GAME SUMMARY | GAME SHEET
Toronto: C. Rosén (1) PP (A. Johnsson, M. Marchment), C. Mueller (11) (T. Moore), C. Mueller (12) (M. Marincin, B. Smith), K. Rychel (10) (C. Mueller), M. Aaltonen (14) EN (A. Johnsson, T. Moore)
Goaltender: G. Sparks (14/17)
Rochester: S. Griffith (12) (K. Criscuolo, C. Blackwell), J. Bailey (3) (Z. Redmond), A. Nylander (5) (J. Bailey, S. Malone)
Goaltender: L. Ullmark (30/34)
FROM THE SCORESHEET
- Calle Rosén scored his first American Hockey League-career goal at 16:56 of the second period on the power play. Rosen has 14 points (1 goal, 13 assists) this season.
- Chris Mueller scored at 14:14 of the second period and at 15:47 of the third period. Mueller has 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) this season.
- Kerby Rychel scored the game winning goal at 17:02 of the third period. This was Rychel’s fourth game winning goal of the season.
- Miro Aaltonen scored an empty net goal at 19:52 of the third period. Aaltonen has 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) in his last nine games.
- Andreas Johnsson recorded the primary assists on Rosén’s power play goal and on Aaltonen’s empty net goal. Johnsson has 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists) in his last 10 games.
- Mason Marchment registered the secondary assist on Rosén’s first period goal.
- Trevor Moore had the lone assist on Mueller’s second period goal and the secondary assist on Aaltonen’s empty net goal. Moore’s first assist of the game was his 50th point (20 goals, 30 assists) of his career.
- Ben Smith recorded the secondary assist on Mueller’s second goal of the game.
- Martin Marincin registered the primary assist on Mueller’s second of the game.
- Garret Sparks stopped 14 of 17 shots. Sparks is now 21-8-0-1 on the season with a .935 Save Percentage and a 1.82 Goals Against Average.
- Toronto went 4-for-4 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play.
- Toronto had a 35-17 edge in shots in all situations.
- Chris Mueller and Calle Rosén led the Marlies with seven shots on goal.
- The Marlies are 29-8-0-0 against North Division opponents this season and 4-1-0-0 against Rochester Americans. Toronto
- has outscored the Americans 14-9 with three games left in the series.
Goals: A. Johnsson (23)
Assists: A. Johnsson (25)
Points: A. Johnsson (48)
PPG: A. Johnsson (6), C. Mueller (6)
Shots: K. Rychel (118)
+/-: M. Marincin (+32)
PIMS: A. Nielsen (108)
On tonight’s game:
I thought that was as good of a game as we’ve played, certainly against this team this season but even for our group for quite a while here we played a real good hockey game. Obviously, we made some mistakes which led to goals against where we got ourselves in a hole. Win or lose today, we come out of this one feeling good about our process and the effort that our guys put forth. A lot of really good signs, it’s just a sign when you just stay with it, keep going, don’t get discouraged, that good things can happen. And we found a way to win this game today and get our two points and that makes it feel extra special to see our guys get rewarded. Win or lose today, we feel good about the game that the guys brought today. Hopefully we can bottle this up and bring it home with us.
– Head coach Sheldon Keefe
February 24 vs Rochester – 4:00 p.m. ET
February 28 vs Syracuse – 11:00 a.m. ET
March 3 vs Rochester – 4:00 p.m. ET
March 4 at Belleville – 3:00 p.m. ET
March 10 vs Providence – 4:00 p.m. ET
The Toronto Marlies will look to rebound from two straight losses when they hit the ice on Friday night to take on the Rochester Americans.
Coming off a pair of close, hard-fought contests earlier this week, the Marlies will look to get pucks to the net and finish their offensive chances.
“We still need to be better as a team and follow the structure more, take pucks to the net,” said Dmytro Timashov after Wednesday’s 3-1 loss.
“The competition gets a lot harder from here and we have to continue to find ways to get better and generate more offence,” added head coach Sheldon Keefe after that game. “Not even generate but just finish our opportunities.”
They’ve found success against Rochester so far this season. The Marlies (38-14-0-1) hold a 3-1-0-0 record against the Amerks this season and remain in the top spot in the North Division, beating divisional opponents 28 times in 35 contests.
At the other end, Rochester (26-14-8-6) have also struggled to collect victories of late, winning just two of their last ten games. They have lost three consecutive one-goal games, most recently falling 2-1 to Syracuse on Wednesday.
Ben Smith leads the Marlies in scoring against Rochester this season, averaging a point-per-game with one goal and three assists in the four games played. Miro Aaltonen, who has 12 points (6G, 6A) in his previous eight games, has two goals and an assist against the Amerks this season, while Kerby Rychel has scored once with two helpers.
For Rochester, Seth Griffith has four points against the Marlies this season, with a goal and three assists. Rookie C.J. Smith leads the Amerks in overall scoring with 39 points (14G, 25A) this year.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 and fans can tune in on AHL Live or Marlies Radio.
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Head to Head
||Power Play Percentage
||Penalty Kill Percentage
|A. Johnsson (23)
||Leading Goal Scorer
||K. Criscuolo (15)
|A. Johnsson (46)
||Leading Points Scorer
||C. Smith (39)
|G. Sparks (19)
||L. Ullmark (18)