Over the weekend, the Marlies swept a back-to-back against the first-placed Eastern Conference team, the St. John’s IceCaps. They now sit first in the North Division with Â 27 points and a 12-5-2-1 record. With Joe Colborne and Joey Crabb making positive contributions with the big club, the likes of Nazem Kadri, Marcel Mueller and Mike Zigomanis have stepped up and filled the offensive void. Meanwhile, Mark Owuya and Jussi Rynnas continue to perform well between the pipes in Ben Scrivens’ absence. The Maple Leafs lead the Northeast, the Marlies lead their division, and the quality organizational depth Brian Burke and his management team have assembled is shining through as we approach December. It’s a good time to be a Toronto hockey fan. Your weekly Marlies release:
“The Marlies went 2-0-0-0 in their two games last weekend. Jeff Finger scored the overtime winner with 29 seconds remaining in regulation time on Friday night to lift the Marlies past the IceCaps, 4-3. Nazem Kadri factored in on each of the Marlies goals, registering four points (two goals, two assists); while Mark Owuya won his third straight game, making 29 saves. The Marlies power play clicked twice, with Mike Zigomanis recording assists on both of the man-advantage tallies.
On Saturday, the Marlies dropped St. Johnâ€™s, 6-3. Torontoâ€™s three goal second period propelled them past the IceCaps for the second straight night. Ryan Hamilton was named the gameâ€™s first star, finishing with a goal and two assists. Finger, Darryl Boyce and Marcel Mueller also registered multi-point games in the win. Jussi Rynnas made 25 stops for his third consecutive win between the pipes.
- The Marlies are currently first in the North Division with a record of 12-5-2-1 for 27 points. Toronto has won six straight contests and has recorded 13 out of a possible 14 points over their past seven games. The Marlies will play four of their next six games at Ricoh Coliseum.
- Mark Owuya has won three straight games and ranks second in the AHL with a 1.73 goals against average and 0.937 save percentage. Owuya has posted a 4-1-1 record through his first seven games.
- Mike Zigomanis has recorded 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) so far this season. He ranks tied for fourth in the AHL in assists.
- Nazem Kadri has posted 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his first 13 games of the season. He tallied a four point night on Friday in Torontoâ€™s 4-3 OT win in St. Johnâ€™s.
- Marcel Mueller has notched 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) over his past nine games. Mueller ranks third on the team in points this season with 18.
- Jeff Finger scored his first goal of the season on Friday night in overtime. Finger has tallied three points over his past two games.
- The Marlies penalty killing unit ranks first overall in the AHL with an 89.8% success rate. Toronto has only allowed power play goals in six of their first 20 games so far this season.
- The Marlies are 9-0-0-0 when leading after 40 minutes.
- The Marlies are the only team remaining in the AHL without a home regulation loss. Toronto is 6-0-1-0 at Ricoh Coliseum this season.
- The Marlies power play has scored four goals overÂ their past two games going 4-for-9 (44.4%) over that stretch.
The Marlies play the Grand Rapids Griffins twice this week. On Tuesday night the two clubs meet in Toronto for the first time this season. The Griffins won the previous matchup on October 14 in Grand Rapids, 3-2. Chris Conner leads the Griffins in points with 23 (seven goals, 16 assists). Grand Rapids has lost two straight, and have only won three of their past 10.
On Saturday the Marlies host the Houston Aeros at Ricoh Coliseum for a 3pm puck-drop. Toronto defeated the Aeros 6-2 three weeks ago in Houston. Marcel Mueller recorded three assists; while Mark Owuya won his first pro/AHL game in his first career start.
The Marlies host the St. Johnâ€™s IceCaps on Sunday at 1pm. Toronto just won back-to-back games against the IceCaps last weekend. Marco Rosa notched four points against Toronto in the two losses.
The Reading Royals rank second in the Atlantic Division with a 7-9-2-1 record. The Royals are winless in five straight games. On Monday, Matt Caruana was recalled by the Marlies from Reading. In 11 games, Caruana had five points.”