MarliesTV continue their Rookie Class mini-documentary series with an episode entitled “Road Warriors” featuring Greg McKegg, Spencer Abbott and Kenny Ryan.
MarliesTV continue their Rookie Class mini-documentary series with an episode entitled “Road Warriors” featuring Greg McKegg, Spencer Abbott and Kenny Ryan.
The Abbotsford Heat (13-4-3-2), the top team in the AHL, came into town to face off with one of the hottest teams in the AHL, the Toronto MarliesÂ (13-8-0-1). The Marlies played and won their last game less than 24hrs ago against the Rochester Americans and entered this game on the strength of a four-game winning streak and great play at home (7-1-0-1).
Courtesy of the Marlies:
The Toronto Marlies earned six points this past weekend in three games against divisional opponents.
On Friday, Toronto travelled to Rochester where they defeated the Amerks by a score of 4-1. Matt Frattin recorded two goals and Ben Scrivens stopped 28 of 29 shots to earn the victory.
Dallas Eakins stopped by to talk Marlies on the Jeff Blair Show.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. The American Hockey League announced today that Toronto Marlies center Nazem Kadri has been selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 18, 2012.
Kadri tallied eight points (one goal, seven assists) and a plus-3 rating in four games last week, sparking the Marlies to a 3-1-0-0 record.
The Game in 6, Dallas Eakins interview and game summary after the jump.
The now-surging Marlies finish up their eight-game road trip tonight in Hamilton before returning for the back half of the home and home against the Bulldogs tomorrow at the Ricoh (tickets). The Marlies finish up the weekend by hosting Abbotsford on Sunday (tickets).
The big news in Marlie land today is that of Matt Frattin’s return to the lineup after an off-season of rehab following knee surgery. Don’t expect immediate dividends, but Frattin made a mockery of AHL goaltenders in the Marlies Calder Cup run to the tune of 10 goals, his tenth being the play that ended his 2011-12 season. It’s a welcomed addition and a rare case of a player benefiting from this lockout situation – he’ll have time to get his game back in shape before someone else can take his spot on the Leafs.
The Toronto Marlies defeated the Oklahoma City Barons 6-5 in what was a wild, high-scoring affair.
For a more detailed account, here is a live blog transcript from the Edmonton Journal.
9:37Â â€“ That didnâ€™t take long. 1-0 Marlies on a soft goal on Roy. The Baronsâ€™ defenceman (didnâ€™t see who it was for sure) couldnâ€™t get over to cut off the Marliesâ€™ Will Acton, and he fired a hard shot from the far side of the left wing that squeezed between Royâ€™s arm and body.
9:39Â â€“ No replay on the goal, so Iâ€™ll try to go back and look at it at the intermission.
9:45Â - Magnus Paajarvi drew a penalty with some good work in the corner, and this first power play shift has been a shooting gallery; no goals yet but Hall and Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins keep getting shots from good areas.
9:47Â â€“ No goal on the power play. Nelson went right to the fourth line for the shift after the man advantage ended â€“ with veteran Dane Byers alongside defensive forwards Chris VandeVelde and Tanner House, this seems to be his preferred line for defensive matchups when an opportunity (own zone draws late in the third, after power plays, etc.) arises. Theyâ€™ve had a strong game so far and do a nice job covering the Kadri line.
9:50Â â€“ Hybrid icing call on a long Teubert dump. I really like this rule â€“ it makes the game go by quicker (it eliminates all those long skates back to the red line) and removes those ugly plays where everybody knows one guy will get there first so the other guy just goes for a hard hit on a player in a vulnerable spot. A faster game, less injury risk, and they donâ€™t blow the whistle when the other team can negate the icing. This is an excellent rule change.
9:52Â â€“ Marincin takes a nice shot at point blank range off a nice setup by Chris VandeVelde.
9:54Â â€“ Magnus Paajarvi generates all sorts of trouble on a 2-on-2 rush, going wide around the Marlies defender and then cutting in; heâ€™s an ice fit with Hartikainen because even though Paajarviâ€™s initial shot was weak Hartikainenâ€™s presence in the crease made it exponentially more dangerous. Hartikainen with a nice chance off the rebound too, which Rynnas was equal too.
9:54Â â€“ Nugent-Hopkins rings a shot off the post.
9:56Â â€“ Mark Arcobello bails out Alex Plante. Plante had two strides on the forechecking Marlies forward racing for a loose puck, but got beat; Arcobello came in and turned the 1-on-1 battle into a 2-on-1, which got the puck moving the other way.
9:59Â â€“ Entering the offensive zone, Chris VandeVelde flipped the puck high and over to Tanner House. Even though it was a difficult pass to intercept, Nazem Kadri (impressively) batted it out of the air and went the other way. Without missing a beat, VandeVelde wheeled and caught up with him by center ice, pinning him against the boards and preventing a rush the other way. A small play, to be sure, but impressive hand/eye coordination by Kadri and a very nice recovery for VandeVelde.
10:02Â â€“ The Marliesâ€™ Aucoin snuck behind the Schultz/Marincin pairing andÂ receivedÂ a breakout pass, but Schultz wheeled back and cut him off before anything could happen. A good play for Schultz, who I think was the defenceman who misplayed Aucoin on the first goal.
10:03Â â€“ Teubertâ€™s stick breaks, and chaos ensues around the crease. Itâ€™s now 2-0 Marlies on the play. As with the first goal, I believe I caught what happened but Iâ€™ll wait until the end of the period to confirm.
10:04Â â€“ A hard shot from the slot off a weird bounce beats Roy cleanly. That will do it for Roy, who had a clear look at the shot and really should have had it. 3-0 Marlies.
10:05Â â€“ This is turning into a rout. There was a long shot from the point that Danis kicked out, but the defence failed to adequately cover the crease and a Marlies forward scored from point blank range. 4-0 Marlies.
10:07Â â€“ Jake Gardiner rushes in on left wing and Colten Teubert canâ€™t keep up, so he goes for the bear hug. The Marlies head to the power play.
10:08Â â€“ Thatâ€™s it for the first. Now Iâ€™ll try and get replays and more detailed descriptions of the scoring plays.
10:09Â â€“ Eberle calls the first period â€œembarrassing,â€ and says the Barons are â€œgetting beat all over the ice.â€
10:15Â â€“ Reviewing the 1-0 goal. All three Barons forwards (Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins and Hall) were trapped deep as the play started back toward the Barons zone; this left Justin Schultz and Martin Marincin facing a 3-on-2 rush. Nugent-Hopkins got back to the zone in time to do something but floated ineffectually rather than picking a check. Schultz cheated to the middle to handle the puck carrier and gave Will Acton lots of room on his side of the ice, and then couldnâ€™t get back in time to prevent a good shot. Roy should have had it â€“ it was a shot from a good area, but it wasnâ€™t especially hard or fast and he had a clear look, but there was lots of blame to go around on the play.
10:20Â â€“ Reviewing the 2-0 goal. This was just an ugly, ugly sequence as the Baronsâ€™ NHL line was thoroughly outworked for the entire shift leading up to the goal. On the goal itself, Colten Teubert got caught running around a bit, but then took Paul Ranger behind the net, which should have been fine because three Barons â€“ Taylor Fedun, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins â€“ were clustered in the crease area versus just two Marlies. Fedun took his man away at the side of the net, but Nugent-Hopkins and Hall watched from the crease area as a totally ignored Nicolas Deschamps took the Ranger pass and scored from right in front of Roy. No chance for the goaltender here; this one is on the forwards (and to a lesser extent Teubert).
10:24Â â€“ Reviewing the 3-0 goal. This one is on Curtis Hamilton. Alex Plante lumbered around ineffectively â€“ Mark Arcobello beat him to a loose puck at the back of the net and played it up to Hamilton, who had time to do something with the puck. Instead, Hamilton allowed the puck to be taken off his stick by Kenny Ryan, Plante closed the gap with Ryan too slowly to be able to do anything, and Ryan beat Roy cleanly. Roy had a good look at the shot, but itâ€™s hard to put a lot of blame on him for that one.
10:30Â â€“ Reviewing the 4-0 goal. This essentially comes about after Justin Schultz is left in a 2-on-1 situation in front of the crease. Martin Marincin and Chris VandeVelde were both patrolling the area right in front of Yann Danis moments earlier, where they bumped into each other accidentally. Both responded to the bump by moving away from the net and into the slot. Schultz took Joe Colborne right in front of the net (Schultz has shifted to the left side of the net here, though heâ€™s the right side defenceman, because heâ€™s the only guy back for the Barons), but that left Greg Scott alone almost n the blue paint; when the point shot crept through there was nothing anybody could do to stop him. Schultz was tied up with Colborne; both Marincin and VandeVelde had been pulled forward when the puck went to the point. Danis is pretty much blameless on the play, Schultz deserves some fire for committing to Colborne with nobody else around, but Marincin gets most of the blame for leaving his position to wander around aimlessly. The bump with VandeVelde seemed to throw him and VandeVelde is far from perfect here, but Marincin getting sucked into no-manâ€™s land is the biggest problem.
10:33Â â€“ Nugent-Hopkins stopped on a backhand shot; I still donâ€™t know how that didnâ€™t go in. It was a bit of a sloppy shift for the Oilers line but they created a glorious opportunity off a broken play there.
10:35Â â€“ Yann Danis stops Joe Colborne at point blank range; Colborne snuck in behind Plante and Danis was forced to make a great save.
10:36Â â€“ Justin Schultz with a nice pokecheck on a Kenny Ryan rush; Ryan fell flat on his backside and the puck went out of danger.
10:38Â â€“ Teemu Hartikainen draws a tripping penalty with a partial break where he bulled toward the middle of the ice.
10:40Â â€“ A great shot by Schultz leads to a rebound; Jordan Eberle skates in tight with the puck but Rynnas manages to stop him. Once again, the Oklahoma power play looks great but they arenâ€™t quite able to score.
10:46Â â€“ 3-on-2 rush for Toronto. Marincin made a great play to knock the puck away, but the trailer picked it up and got a good shot anyway. Marincin didnâ€™t like the way the Marlies rushed the net after Danis made the save, and took a penalty for going after one Marlies forward (didnâ€™t catch the number).
10:48Â â€“ The Barons are out shooting Toronto 18-13 heading into this penalty kill.
10:52Â â€“ Magnus Paajarvi just playing keep away in a now 4-on-4 situation. Goes for a skate here, a skate there, doesnâ€™t allow the Marlies the puck but doesnâ€™t do much with the possession either.
10:56Â â€“ A little bit of revenge for the Baronsâ€™ NHL line. A gorgeous passing play on the power play makes it 4-1 Marlies.
10:56Â â€“ Hall finished the play off; primary assists go to Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle. The nicest goal of the morning.
11:02Â â€“ That was a much better second period, although there were some ugly moments. The game is now 4-1 Marlies. Things seem heated between the teams â€“ Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s a product of the score (guys like Hall are involved in hostilities) or last yearâ€™s playoffs.
11:06Â â€“ Reviewing the 4-1 goal. Just nice puck movement all the way around; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made the final pass to a streaking Hall in front of the net and Hall just touched the puck home for a goal. Whatever else can be said about the NHL kids in this game, theyâ€™ve been superb on the power play.
11:23Â â€“ Some faceoff statistics, courtesy of the Barons play-by-play crew: Chris VandeVelde has gone 6-for-9, Nugent-Hopkins 4-for-9, Arcobello 9-for-14 and Lander 7-for-11.
11:24Â â€“ Tyler Pitlick with a nice rush down the left wing; it was a solid play and he blew by Paul Ranger but he couldnâ€™t quite cut into the middle for a scoring chance. He did manage to draw a penalty, though.
11:26Â â€“ A weird start to the power play; the Barons couldnâ€™t gain the zone and seemed out of sync in their own end. Ultimately the puck wobbled into the offensive zone and goaltender Jussi Rynnas came way, way, way out of his net to freeze it.
11:28Â â€“ Mark Arcobello with a goal to make it 4-2 with just a second left on the power play. Tyler Pitlick made a nice pass to Martin Marincin on the side boards; Marincin took a hard shot and Arcobello was in place to put the rebound home.
11:29Â â€“ Marincin took three shots in maybe thirty seconds to close out the power play there, all of them good shots to take. It will be interesting to see what he can do running the first unit once Schultz is promoted to the NHL.
11:31Â â€“ Odd play. Nugent-Hopkins loses the draw (just outside the blue line) cleanly to Acton, who wins it back to the defenceman Mike Kostka, who promptly ices it.
11:32Â â€“ The Barons are going on the penalty kill. Taylor Hall got his stick in Joe Colborneâ€™s skates as the latter attempted to exit his own end with the puck, resulting in a tripping minor.
11:34Â â€“ 5-2 Marlies. A point shot on the power play was tipped in front of the net; not much else to say about that one.
11:37Â â€“ Lander with a quick stick to break up a hard pass. Landerâ€™s line is the only one that hasnâ€™t been scored against today.
11:40Â â€“ Hall is frustrated. He tried to split the Paul Ranger/Dylan Yeo pairing and couldnâ€™t quite do it; he ended up on his back. As he got back up he punched at Ranger. No penalty on the play, but the frustration was obvious.
11:42Â â€“ Another scrum in front of the net, as the line of Paajarvi, Lander and Hartikainen mix it up yet again. Theyâ€™ve easily been that Baronsâ€™ best even-strength line on the game.
11:43Â â€“ Great pass from Nugent-Hopkins to Eberle; Eberle fired the puck quickly and it went off first goaltender Jussi Rynnas and then the crossbar before heading over the glass.
11:48Â â€“ The Barons were headed to the power play, and with the goalie pulled for the extra man defenceman Jordan Henry tried to carry the puck into the Marlies zone. As he pulled up to the blue line, Marlies rearguard Korbinian Holzer hammered Henry with a hip check; Henry went down and stayed down for a minute. Predictably a scrum ensued, as Dane Byers went after Holzer immediately. Henry looks okay; it was a big, tough, clean check by Holzer.
11:50Â â€“ Barons power play results. It looks like Mike Zigomanis took the initial minor, and that Byers and Mark Fraser will both be penalized. Interestingly Byers is sitting in the box, but it seems that Fraser has been ejected from the game.
11:51Â â€“ Byers and Fraser both got roughing minors and 10 minute misconducts.
11:52Â â€“ Carter Ashton, killing the penalty, takes a hooking minor. Lengthy 5-on-3 coming up.
11:53Â â€“ Eberle robbed at the side of the net by Jussi Rynnas; the 5-on-3 is nearly over.
11:54Â â€“ Rynnas tried to head to create a break by asking for water prior to the Marliesâ€™ defensive zone draw; a little transparent perhaps but the sort of thing that needs to be tried.
11:54Â â€“ Another 5-on-3. The Marlies take a bench minor; it isnâ€™t clear why but the commentators are guessing that Dallas Eakins is getting it for yapping at the referees. Apparently Eakins has been tossed from the game.
11:55Â â€“ It looked like Nugent-Hopkins had just scored; it will probably be reviewed but the referee waved it off immediately.
11:57Â â€“ 3:16 left in the game, and the Barons have a two-man advantage for almost a full minute yet. The Nugent-Hopkins shot is till under review; the AHL live feed has yet to supply a replay. The Nugent-Hopkins shot is ruled a goal, making it 5-3 and giving the Barons a 5-on-4 power play.
11:58Â â€“ The Nugent-Hopkins goal was a nice shot from the side of the net with the 5-on-3 advantage; it must have just squeaked across the line.
12:00Â â€“ The Barons pull their goalie and score on the 6-on-4 advantage. They shave enough time to tie this game. Eberle tallied his seventh of the year with a hard low shot through a crowd.
12:02Â â€“ 5-5! With the goalie pulled the Barons score again, with Nugent-Hopkins slapping the puck over the line on a broken play.
12:06Â â€“ A deflected shot goes high and catches Paul Ranger, who is lying on the ice and in some difficulty. The score is still 5-5; overtime coming up.
12:10Â â€“ Back and forth here in the extra frame, but no great chances so far.
12:12Â â€“ Shout-out to the Cult of Hockey on the Baronsâ€™ official feed. Right now theyâ€™re reveling in the fact that colour guy Doug Sauterâ€™s prediction â€“ that Toronto might blow this 4-0 lead â€“ turned out to be true. Absolutely need to enjoy that kind of prediction!
12:13Â â€“ Barons on the 4-on-3 penalty kill now. VandeVelde, House and Teubert out for Oklahoma.
12:15Â â€“ Danis makes a big save after Colten Teubert failed to clear the puck; finally the penalty killers get a break.
12:16Â â€“ Lander gets a quick cameo, and then Nelson goes right back to VandeVelde and House.
12:17Â â€“ Jake Gardiner scores moments after the penalty to Alex Plante (hooking) expires; the Marlies walk away with a 6-5 win despite blowing a 5-2 lead in just over three minutes in the third period.
Where it’s been positive information overall coming out of the CHL when it comes to Leafs prospects, the same can’t be said for the NHL hopefuls currently plying their trade with the Marlies one month into the AHL season.
While the Marlies came back in resounding fashion last night, finally finding some offense to the tune of four third period goals, it was no thanks to the prospects we were hoping to take the next step or at least challenge for it in Joe Colborne, Nazem Kadri, or Ben Scrivens (no disrespect to Carter Ashton, who it was nice to see make an impact last night).
It was met with a lot of skepticism when the St. John’s Maple Leafs were relocated to Toronto in 2005.Â Seven years later, the move just continues to look better and better.
The Leafs’ AHL affiliate had excellent attendance numbers and were highly popular in St. Johnâ€™s during their time there. The move was a result of the Leafsâ€™ desire to reduce travel costs and fill the Ricoh. While the attendance was terrible for the Marlies’ first few years of existence â€“ including a low point when barely 2800 people showed up for their first ever home playoff game in 2006 – the team is finally establishing a presence in the city. As the lockout drags on, many Toronto hockey fans are now turning their attention to the Marlies and even taking in a game or two if possible.
The Marlies bounced back as well as you could have hoped last night against Hamilton with a 5-0 win. An early goal for Greg McKegg, evidence good things can happen in the offensive zone after the Marlies pumped 84 shots and only mustered one goal the last two games, seemed to be the necessary positive bounce to get the team settled and clicking again. From there, two players patiently awaiting game action in Jussi Rynnas and Kenny Ryan headlined the show in their season debuts with the former playing his way to a shutout and the latter potting two goals. Nicolas Deschamps and Mike Kostka rounded out the scoring.
The Marlies play their third game in under 72 hours this afternoon at 3 p.m. against the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Griffins are 1-4 this season but do have the benefit of a night’s rest between today and their last game. You can catch the game on Leafs TV.
Consider this your game thread. Anthony Petrielli will have a much more in depth look at the three games this weekend in tomorrow’s notebook. Last night’s Game in Six is after the jump.
After a combined 8-1 loss the last two games, the Marlies look to get back on track tonight in the return leg of a home and home against Hamilton.
The Marlies are having a difficulty converting their edge in shots and possession into goals at the moment. Theyâ€™ve outshot their opponents 84 to 39 the last two outings and lost by a combine scored of 8-1, which speaks to issues beyond just scoring goals and certainly their defence hasnâ€™t been itself the last two games. Considering the Marlies were the least scored on team in the AHL last season and have returned the same goalie and what should be an even better D group, the Marliesâ€™ offence (that was middle of the pack last season) is a little more concerning if weâ€™re going to be concerned about anything three games in.
Let’s move on from the depressing CBA talk to the Marlies, whose league isn’t locked out and who play three games in three nights this weekend against Hamilton (B2B) and Grand Rapids. Unfortunately tonight’s game hasn’t been picked up by any of Leafs TV, Sportsnet or TSN Radio, but you can buy a stream to the game over at AHL live for $7, listen in on am820 Hamilton starting at 7:30 p.m., or there’s always the option of following along on Twitter. Sportsnet One is showing tomorrow’s game, Leafs TV has Sunday’s and both will be broadcast on TSN Radio.
We got some good news today on the Matt Frattin front. According to Jon Abbott, he skated in full gear this morning at the Ricoh before the team departed for Hamilton for their first of 12 meetings with the Bulldogs.
Since thereâ€™s no NHL to speak of at the moment, Leafs Notebook is turning into Marlies Notebook until this lockout is over.
Hereâ€™s the thing though: with different leagues comes different expectations and viewing experiences.
When it comes to watching and evaluating the NHL, itâ€™s very simple: winning is all that matters. Each team in the league continuously tries to get better, figuring out how to start winning or continue winning. In the AHL, that is not necessarily the case. At the end of the day the Marlies will probably be judged by many based on the win and loss column, but what really matters – to me – is the progression of their players and how they can eventually help the Leafs win at the next level.
Everything that went right for the Marlies yesterday went wrong today against the Lake Erie Monsters – they failed to convert on 11 powerplay opportunities and 40 shots for. The Marlies saw a more aggressive penalty kill from Lake Erie, and as Eakins suggested in his post game interview, the reaction from the powerplay units was to stray from the structure as opposed to stick to the game plan. Seems simplistic to begin and end with the powerplay in this brief game analysis (and the Marlies were far from error free defensively), but bad things are bound to happen when you spend a full period with the man advantage and fail to find the net. The hot goalie in the Lake Erie net didn’t do them any favours.
Game in Six after the jump.
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.
From the Toronto Marlies:
The Toronto Marlies announced Thursday, the teamâ€™s 2012-13 opening day roster. The Marlies, who will begin their eighth season on Saturday, open with 24 skaters and three goaltenders.
Ben Scrivens and Jussi Rynnas split a shutout in the Marlies’ second and final matchup of their 2012 preseason last night. Scrivens held the Hamilton Bulldogs goalless despite facing 17 shots to the Marlies’ 6 in the first. A breakaway goal from captain Ryan Hamilton in the second proved enough to win as Rynnas preserved the shutout the rest of the way. Greg McKegg (assist) and Sam Carrick (scorer), two AHL rookies vying to remain on the Marlies roster when the cuts come down the pipe today or tomorrow, combined for an insurance marker and the Marlies walked out of Brantford with a 2-0 victory.
Dallas Eakins is expected to make his round of cuts today and pare his group down to the 26 or so players he’s going to keep on his roster to start the season. The indication is that Eakins is willing to carry as many as five forward lines (15), four pairings of defencemen (8) and three goalies, and based on the performances in the exhibitions and hints out of Eakins we can guess the 26 are:
Forwards: Nazem Kadri, Keith Aucoin, Greg Scott, Mike Zigomanis, Joe Colborne, Ryan Hamilton, Nicolas Deschamps, Jerry D’Amigo, Leo Komarov, Carter Ashton, Will Acton, Greg McKegg, Brad Ross, Kenny Ryan, Spencer Abbott (15)
Defencemen: Jake Gardiner, Mark Fraser, Korbinian Holzer, Paul Ranger, Mike Kostka, Jesse Blacker, Dylan Yeo, Simon Gysbers (8)
Goalies: Ben Scrivens, Jussi Rynnas, Mark Owuya (3)
Headed to Fort Wayne (ECHL): Sam Carrick, Andrew Crescenzi, Jamie Devane, Tyler Brenner
Update: Damien Cox reports the Marlies have sent Sam Carrick, Andrew Crescenzi and Tyler Brenner to Fort Wayne of the ECHL. That means Kenny Ryan, Greg McKegg and Brad Ross stay with the Marlies to start the season. No word yet as to the status of Devane.
It’s easy to see how, the longer this lockout goes on, the bigger the challenge gets for Eakins in distributing the ice time. He’s got to balance icing the best team he can against heightened competition with the individual development objectives of each of his players. Some might ask why GM Dave Nonis bothered adding Kostka, Ranger or Aucoin given the breadth of younger prospects looking for ice time, but – besides probably not foreseeing a lockout of any serious length – nurturing your young assets in a winning and internally competitive environment with veteran support remains important. The Marlies also needed a few players who both have experience and can provide mobility between the AHL and NHL. Ranger and Kostka fill out the 10 defencemen list Brian Burke likes to have on his depth chart going into the season and Aucoin gives a call up option up front with NHL time under his belt.
Fortunately these types of situations often look a little more convoluted on paper than they end up being; the AHL’s “play in bunches” schedule lends itself to player rotation to some degree, as opposed to playing the same group in triple headers back-to-back-to-back. Injuries and player performance also often make the decisions for you. Eakins isn’t totally unfamiliar with this game either as the Marlies carried Tyler Brenner and Kenny Ryan on the roster last season before assigning them to the ECHL a few months into the season.
One promising sign already for the Marlies’ prospects in 2012-13 is that they seem like a much better team than Hamilton, who they’ll play a whopping 12 times this season thanks to the AHL’s division-heavy, save-on-travel schedule.
Quick Highlights from last night’s win:
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
Stuart Percy: pointless, -1 in Mississauga’s 4-3 OT win over Brampton; 4 points in 7 games on the season; Percy is captaining the new Steelheads, who sit at 3-3-1 through seven games.
Tyler Biggs: pointless, +1 in Oshawa Generals’ 4-3 win over Belleville; 8 points in 7 games on the season; his Generals are atop the OHL at 6-1 with a whopping 34 goals scored.
Greg McKegg: caps off impressive training camp and exhibition showing with an assist in the Marlies 2-0 preseason win over Hamilton.
Sam Carrick: scored his first as a Marlie in the win.
Tonight in Cobourg, the Marlies defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-1 in the first of two preseason games against their divisional rival. The Marlies battled back after falling behind in the first period; Brad Ross (who also scored in each of the intrasquad scrimmages) tipped home a Jake Gardiner point shot in the second before Greg Scott won the game late in the third with a powerplay goal set up by Nazem Kadri. Greg McKegg sealed the deal with an empty netter.
The Toronto Marlies season opens – unofficially – tonight at the Cobourg Community Ice CentreÂ (7 p.m., am820 Hamilton) in their first of 14 meetings with the Hamilton Bulldogs this season (two primers, 12 regular season).
Competition is tough at Marlies camp due to the presence of would-be Leafs on the Marlie roster to start the season, including Jake Gardiner,Â Nazem Kadri, Ben Scrivens, and depending on his health, Matt Frattin. You can also include Joe Colborne, Leo Komarov and Korbinian Holzer as names tabbed to be in the mix for spots with the big club. For the time being, around four Marlie jobs aren’t available that would be accepting applications in a more ideal hockey world. That magnifies the challenge for some of the younger prospects trying to crack regular minutes in the AHL; the likes of Greg McKegg, Brad Ross, Andrew Crescenzi, Sam Carrick, Spencer Abbott and Jamie Devane.
While there is no roster size limit in the AHL, every game is still 60 minutes and it makes Dallas Eakins’ task a tall one as he tries to balance the numbers, player roles and individual player development objectives.