The Toronto Marlies topped the first place Utica Comets 6-4 on Wednesday afternoon.
It was a very back and forth game with both teams having plenty of chances early on. It was Alex Steeves who opened the scoring with his eighth of the year. He’s now scored three goals in two games against the Comets this year.
Utica’s Fabian Zetterlund tied the game at one just before the end of the first period. In the second, Chase De Leo gave the visitors the lead just over a minute into the frame, but the Marlies responded quickly as Matthew Hellickson recorded his first professional goal 43 seconds later.
But the scoring didn’t stop there. Brett Seney tallied his team-leading 12th goal just a few minutes later. Colton White added another one for the visitors to tie the game at three before Joey Anderson gave the Marlies the lead once again with his ninth of the year.
In the third Mikhail Abramov extended the Marlies lead to two, but Brian Flynn responded just moments later, once again making it a one goal game. But in the final minutes, Joey Anderson found the back of an empty Utica net, securing the win for the Marlies. Erik Källgren stopped 32 of the 36 shots he faced.
The Marlies return to action on Monday afternoon at 3:00pm when they host the Springfield Condors.
GAME SUMMARY | GAME SHEET | PHOTOS | SCRUMS
Utica: F. Zetterlund (9) (R. Walsh, A. Talvitie), C. De Leo (6) PP (A. Greer, R. Walsh), C. White (3) (R. Schmelzer), B. Flynn (5) (N. Okhotiuk, C. De Leo)
Goaltender: M. Mitens(25/30) L
Toronto: A. Steeves (8) (C. Douglas, M. Hollowell), M. Hellickson (1) (M. Abramov, C. Krys), B. Seney (12) (F. Král), J. Anderson (9) (B. Seney, M. Hellickson), M. Abramov (3) (B. Seney, J. Anderson), J. Anderson (10), EN, SH (J. Blandisi, M. Hellickson)
Goaltender: E. Källgren (32/36) W
ON THE SCORESHEET
- Alex Steeves opened the scoring at 15:13 of the first period. He has 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) in 16 games this season.
- Matt Hellickson scored at 1:49 of the second period and later added the secondary assists on Anderson’s second and third period goals. This was Hellickson’s first professional goal.
- Brett Seney scored at 5:25 of the second period and later added the primary assists on Anderson’s second period goal and Abramov’s third period goal. He has 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 23 games this season with the Marlies.
- Joey Anderson scored at 15:04 of the second period and added an empty net goal at 18:37 of the third period. He also had a secondary assist on Abramov’s third period goal. This was Anderson’s second shorthanded goal of the season and his third career three-point game.
- Mikhail Abramov scored the game-winning goal at 9:01 of the third period and earlier added the primary assist on Hellickson’s second period goal. He has points (2-2-4) in his three consecutive games.
- Curtis Douglas had the primary assist on Steeves’ first period goal. Douglas has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last four games.
- Mac Hollowell recorded secondary assist on Steeves’ first period goal. He has points (1-5-6) in his five consecutive games.
- Chad Krys picked up the secondary assist on Hellickson’s second period goal.
- Filip Kràl had the lone assist on Seney’s second period goal. He has six assists in his last six games.
- Joseph Blandisi registered the primary assist on Anderson’s third period goal. He has three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last two games.
- Erik Källgren stopped 32 of 36 shots he faced.
- Toronto went 2-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-0 on the power play. Toronto is 5-4-0-1 when not scoring on the power play and 5-5-1-1 when allowing a goal on the penalty kill.
- Utica had a 36-31 edge in shots in all situations. Ryan Chyzowski, Carl Dahlström and Brett Seney led the Marlies with three shots on goal. Toronto is 10-7-1-1 when outshot by their opponent.
- The Marlies are 8-7-1-1 against North Division opponents and 1-1-0-0 against the Utica Comets.
Scoring first 9-1-0-1
Tied after 1 3-2-0-0
Leading after 2 10-1-1-1
2 Goal Game 3-1-0-0
Goals 12 (B. Seney)
Assists 18 (J. Duszak)
Points 22 (B. Seney)
PPG 4 (J. Ho-Sang)
Shots 62 (B. Seney)
+/- +10 (B. Seney)
PIMS 50 (R. Clune)
HEAD COACH GREG MOORE
On today’s start:
It was a good start. We’ve mentioned it almost every time that last few games how important it is to get off to a strong start and not feel like you’re playing from behind. We’ve been changing up our routine on how we’ve been preparing whether it’s our staff, our players, mixing it up to get a new feel. It seems to be working so far and hopefully something we can build on.
On the line of Mikhail Abramov, Brett Seney and Joey Anderson:
(Anderson and Seney) have played really well together before. Today obviously to see them all have success on the scoresheet is really good to see. As the year builds and you start putting lines back together that been better before, they’ll usually start building more chemistry the more time they have with one another. They’re the type of guys that when they’re on the bench they’re talking to each other a lot about a lot of details, ironing things out in different zones.
On the team’s performance:
We feel that we have gotten better with every game since the break. We’re building in the right direction. Today was probably one of our most complete games in terms of effort, energy for 60 minutes, execution of the game plan that we set out against the opponent that we’re playing. It’s good. This is the time of year that we need to start seeing that consistency and today we saw that.
MATT HELLICKSON (1 GOAL, 2 ASSISTS)
On his first professional goal:
It was awesome. It felt great to finally get the monkey off the back. I jumped on the ice and the puck was in the O-zone. I think it was Abramov who had it out of the corner and passed it up to Chad (Krys) and I’m a leftie so I was calling for it and thankfully Chad heard me and got the puck, took a look up at the net and saw some space and just tried to put it there and thankfully, it went in.
MAC HOLLOWELL (1 ASSIST)
On today’s game:
We definitely got the start that we wanted to get again which is huge for our team moving forward. As the game went on, we had a lead there and we got just trying to defend it more than play which is what got us to the lead. We had to keep our foot on the gas pedal and keep moving forward.
On Utica’s play:
They come hard and they don’t stop. They’ve got a lot of skill on each line, all four lines forecheck, crash and bang in on our D. That was the biggest thing just getting back and getting first touch and getting pucks in our forwards’ hands.
*All times Eastern Standard Time
January 10 vs. Springfield – 7:00 p.m.
January 12 vs. Belleville – 7:00 p.m.
January 15 at Hershey – 7:00 p.m.
January 16 at Lehigh Valley – 3:05 p.m.
January 19 at Hartford – 7:00 p.m.
The Toronto Marlies host the Utica Comets on Wednesday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum. The Comets currently sit atop the AHL standings in first place, while the Marlies are 15th.
The two teams last met back on November 6th in Utica, where the home side came out victorious 5-2. Alex Steeves scored both goals for the Marlies in that matchup. This will be the second of four meetings between the two clubs this season, the Marlies will be looking to even the season series up at one apiece.
Utica are coming off of a 6-5 overtime loss to Lehigh Valley back on December 31st, while the Marlies are coming off of a 4-2 win over Belleville on Monday. This will be Utica’s first game of 2022.
Utica’s current leading scorer is Reilly Walsh with 17 points. For the Marlies, Brett Seney leads the team in both goals (11) and points (19).
Puck drops at 1:00 PM EST on Leafs Nation Network, and AHLTV. Fans can also follow along on Twitter (@TorontoMarlies) for game updates.