TORONTO – On Friday night the Toronto Marlies and Milwaukee Admirals dropped the puck on hockey’s second season. The North Division champion Toronto Marlies struggled towards the end of the season but we’re able to end the year on a high note with a win against the Rochester Americans. For the Marlies, the matchup versus the Admirals would be one that would test patience, hockey sense, and most importantly their discipline.
In the first period Toronto struck first. A fairly even period for the most part, the Marlies benefitted from a Milwaukee mis-communication. With less than five minutes to play in the first, Greg McKegg and Sam Carrick broke into offensive zone. McKegg, despite losing the puck on a deke, was able to draw Bryan Rodney and Joonas Jarvinen out of the play while the puck went into the corner. A wide open Sam Carrick picked up the puck , walked right out in front and beat Admirals goaltender Marek Mazanec with a nice backhander for a 1-0 Toronto lead. Carrick has really grown as a player this season. His versatility has been a huge asset for Steve Spott, especially with the number of injuries and call ups the team has had to endure. Carrick finished the regular season with 35 points in 62 games and recorded a whopping 115 penalty minutes in the process. Toronto would head to the dressing room with the lead at 1-0.
In the second period Toronto’s powerplay got an opportunity to show what they can do. Just 1:55 into the period, T.J. Brennan, Stuart Percy and Trevor Smith made a beautiful passing play to find Josh Leivo, skating alone into the slot, who fired his 1st of the post season past Mazanec giving Toronto a 2-0 lead. Leivo had a fantastic season and really broke out as a dynamic goal scorer in his rookie year. The 20 year old from Innisfil, Ontario registered 42 points in 59 games which was good enough for 5th on the team in scoring. Leivo quickly became a main stay on the top two lines for the Marlies all season, developing great chemistry with centres Greg McKegg and Trevor Smith. Still in the second, the Admirals got one back. With less than two minutes to go, Patrick Cehilin snuck in behind the defense and one-timed a pass from Calle Jarnkrok and beat MacIntyre glove side bringing the Admirals to within one. Just over a minute later though, T.J. Brennan would fire a shot from the point that appeared to be tipped in front by Trevor Smith, giving Toronto a 3-1 lead after two.
In the third, the Marlies added another. Just 46 seconds in Jerry D’Amigo tipped home a Brennan point shot giving Toronto a 4-1 lead. Minutes later though, with Tyler Biggs in the box for slashing, Fillip Forsberg’s slap shot squeaked past MacIntyre bringing the lead down to two. MacIntyre made the original save and got up momentarily and unintentionally knocked the puck into his own net with his right skate. Late in the period, with the Marlies on the penalty kill and the Admirals net empty, Kenny Ryan landed a 200 footer into the empty net giving Toronto a 5-2 lead. Then, in the dying seconds, Sam Carrick would fire the puck into the empty cage for his 2nd of the night, 6-2 Toronto the final score.
- Andrew MacWilliam, Carter Ashton and Peter Holland, who were all game time decisions with minor injuries, were scratched.
- Carter Verhaeghe, Fabrice Herzog, Frederik Gauthier, Brad Staubitz, Spencer Abbott (injured), Eric Knodel, Jamie Devane, Viktor Loov and Zach Yuen were also scratched for Toronto
- Drew MacIntyre made 28 saves for the victory. He was named the game’s 2nd star
- T.J. Brennan had 2 points (1G 1A) and was the game’s 1st star
Photo courtesy of Christian at TSGphoto.com