As the Marlies battle Peoria in Illinois (2-2 in the 2nd, Mueller and Engel have the goals for Toronto), here is your weekly Marlies release:
The Marlies lost back-to-back games to their division rivals, the Rochester Americans last weekend. On Friday night in Rochester, the Marlies were blanked for the first time this season, 2-0. A.J. Jenks and Jordan Knackstedt scored the two Amerks goals; while Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season. Jussi Rynnas suffered the loss, making 25 saves on 27 shots.
On Saturday back at Ricoh Coliseum, the Marlies dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to the Americans. Toronto carried a 4-3 lead into the final frame, but the Amerks fought back and won 6-5 in a shootout. Juraj Mikus was the gameâ€™s first star, recording a goal and an assist. Michael Duco scored twice for Rochester and A.J. Jenks was the lone player to score in the shootout. Joey Crabb chipped in with two assists in the loss.
– James Reimer made his NHL debut last night with the Maple Leafs in a relief effort. He made four saves on four shots in the third period in the Leafsâ€™ 6-3 loss to Atlanta. In 11 games this season with the Marlies, Reimer has posted a 7-3-1 record with a 2.73 goals against average and 0.920 save percentage.
– Forward Jeff Cowan made his Marlies debut on Friday night in Rochester and on Saturday recorded his first point (assist). The veteran forward has skated in 413 career NHL games.
– Joey Crabb notched two assists on Saturday versus the Americans for his third multi-point game of the season. Crabb ranks second on the Marlies this season in points and paces the club in goals with 11.
– Jay Rosehill was reassigned to the Marlies on Monday afternoon. In 20 games with the Marlies heâ€™s posted seven points (four goals, three assists).
– Goaltender Ben Scrivens has picked up at least a point in each of his three starts with the Marlies this season (2-0-1). He made 17 saves on Saturday in Torontoâ€™s 6-5 shootout loss. Scrivens ranks first in the ECHL in save percentage (0.936) and third in goals against average (2.18).
– After their home game on December 30 versus Rochester, the Marlies will embark on a nine-game, 21-day road trip. The trip begins on New Years Eve at 6 p.m. in Grand Rapids and ends on January 19 in Manitoba.
– The Marlies penalty killing unit ranks 10th in the AHL with an 84.4% success rate.
– Toronto holds a record of 13-0-0-2 when leading after 40 minutes.
The Marlies kick off their three game week on Tuesday night with a game against the Rivermen. It will be the lone time the Marlies travel to Peoria and the first of two matchups. The Rivermen currently rank second in the West Division with a record of 20-7-2-1. They havenâ€™t lost in regulation time in their past 10 games.
Toronto plays their final game before the Christmas break on Wednesday night at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. The Griffins have dropped their past two games and rank seventh in the North Division with 31 points. The Marlies will head back to Grand Rapids on December 31.
The Marlies return to action on Boxing Day for a tilt against the Bulldogs at 3 p.m. at Ricoh Coliseum. The game will be the start of a three game homestand before the team hits the road for a nine-game, 21 day road trip.
The Reading Royals currently rank first in the Atlantic division with a record of 18-9-0. The Royals have won 15 of their past 19 games. Their 18 wins this season rank second in the entire ECHL. The Royals return to action on December 26 when they travel to Trenton to take on the Devils.”