The Marlies got the result they wanted in their home opener tonight at the Ricoh, finding all their goals on the powerplay in a 3-1 win over Rochester. A pretty dominant 40-minute performance by the Blue and White tonight with a slow second period in between.
Gardiner goal, 1-0:
Ryan Hamilton, 2-0 goal:
Ryan Hamilton, 3-1 goal:
Game in Six:
Jake Gardiner (1 goal) and Mike Kostka (2 assists, 7 shots) made a huge difference on a powerplay that was sorely lacking last season and playoffs. Gardiner was making a joke out of the competition, especially at 5 on 4, where he looked like he could do as he pleased. He was clearly an NHL player among AHL competition; a couple of times he hit the blueline with such speed the Amerks zone would’ve been equally as well protected by a set of pylons. The Kostka-Gardiner pairing was making zone entries with ease, setting up and holding the zone so that the Marlies forwards could cycle down low. Nice puck movement on all three goals.
It’s tough to gauge speed against AHL competition but Kadri (1 assist) did seem to have a little something extra in his step. He had the Amerks D on their heels and looked dangerous most shifts. A lot of Marlies looked good today – Scrivens (20 saves, 0.950 SV%) was his usual, Colborne (1 assist) was threading some nice passes, Holzer/Fraser were rock solid, captain Ryan Hamilton scored twice including a Grabo-rama, and McKegg made a nice debut.
The Marlies are right back at it tomorrow at 3 p.m. against the Lake Erie Monsters (Leafs TV).