After a convincing victory on Saturday, Toronto would’ve been a little disappointed to split a pair of weekend games with the Charlotte Checkers, who were in the third game of a three-in-three when they beat the Marlies in the rematch on Sunday.

Despite suffering a first defeat on home ice, Toronto’s record of 5-2-0 is good enough to put them in the lead in the North Division, although teams below them in the standings possess games in hand.

Special teams were somewhat of a mixed story over the weekend, although the power play showed encouraging signs of improvement. The Marlies have drawn a league-high 46 opportunities with the extra man at the time of writing, but the power play remains ranked 21st overall with a 13% success rate.

Player News

– A pair of assists for Ben Smith puts him at a point-per-game pace through seven outings. He continues to lead the Marlies in scoring.

– Two power play markers and an assist for Dmytro Timashov this week. The latter was a secondary assist, but it came on a skilled play to create space for himself. He put five shots on goal over the two games.

Chris Mueller hasn’t lived up to expectations production wise as of yet. He did, however, record his first multi-point haul of the season with two assists on Sunday. Whether it’s finding the right line-mates or chemistry, you have to think sooner or later the experienced AHL producer will hit his stride.

Mason Marchment has been a development project for the organization from a skills perspective, but the Marlies organization has been willing to bet on his work ethic, character and grit. He rewarded Toronto with a pair of goals last weekend, giving him three on the season in four games. He’s making a strong case to be a regular in the line-up and has been given a net-front role on the power play by Sheldon Keefe.

Andrew Nielsen is finding goals hard to come by this year but does have four assists in five games. The deficiencies of his game inside the defensive own zone continue to persist, however, and he now faces a fight for ice-time with the Marlies defensive core further bolstered by the addition of Calle Rosen.

Kasperi Kapanen scored his third of the season but has yet to record an assist. That is mostly down to the fact that his linemates Kerby Rychel and Miro Aaltonen are currently snakebitten around the net.

– Two points including a short-handed tally for Nikita Soshnikov, who has quietly accumulated five points in six games. The Russian forward continues to shoot on sight and currently leads the Marlies with 20 shots on goal.

Garret Sparks claimed a shutout on Saturday, the tenth of his AHL career, to tie the Marlies franchise record along with Antoine Bibeau. He’s 3-1-0 this season with a 0.933 save percentage.

Calvin Pickard took the loss on Sunday but the reverse certainly wasn’t on his shoulders. He faced almost 20 shots in the final 20 minutes and certainly did his best to keep the game within reach despite Toronto’s defensive issues. Pickard and Sparks will now duel it out with Kasimir Kaskisuo out on loan.

Timothy Liljegren saw his points streak end at four games, but he continues to grow in confidence with every game his plays. He was paired with Marincin on Saturday and Dermott the following day.

Colin Greening and Trevor Moore scored their first goals of the season, while Kerby Rychel picked up his first point since opening weekend.

Eric Fehr has cleared waivers but has not yet been assigned to the Toronto Marlies.

– Defenseman Calle Rosén has joined the Marlies after being reassigned. He’s expected to make his debut on Friday night.

– It’s been quite the week for Kasimir Kaskisuo. After allowing six goals on season debut for Orlando, the Finnish goaltender bounced back the following day to help the Solar Bears clinch an overtime win. With Cal Heeter reactivated from injury reserve, Kaskisuo was loaned by Toronto to the Chicago Wolves.

Orlando Solar Bear News

– Orlando split a pair of games in Texas over the weekend against the Allen Americans. After being taken apart 6-2 on Saturday, Orlando responded by winning the second game in overtime the following day on a goal by Josh Winquist.

– The Solar Bears special teams have been poor, to say the least, so far this season: They were a combined 0/15 on the power play over the weekend and are scoreless on 21 attempts so far this season. The penalty kill gave up three goals on the Americans’ 14 opportunities.

Alex Gudbrandson was injured during Saturday’s game and took no further part over the weekend.

Kristian Pospisil scored in the first game of the weekend but was hurt early in Sunday’s encounter.

Kasimir Kaskisuo gave up six goals on 32 shots Saturday but bounced back with a 35-save victory on Sunday.

Matias Cleland tallied a goal, Max Novak chipped in with two helpers, J.J. Piccinich registered an assist, and Chris Crane put up three points over the weekend (2-1-3).

– With Cal Heeter returning to action, the goaltending situation for Orlando is now in flux with Matt Hackett suspended by the Solar Bears for pursuing other avenues outside of the ECHL.

Toronto Marlies Player Stats - October 27

RWSmith, Ben734760000811
RWSoshnikov, Nikita6235260112000.83
LWJohnsson, Andreas522424020610.8
DLiljegren, Timothy6134221101200.67
DNielsen, Andrew5044-12020800.8
LWMarchment, Mason43032110001120.75
RWKapanen, Kasperi6303161001100.5
LWRychel, Kerby7213002001610.43
LWTimashov, Dmytro7213-162001300.43
DLoVerde, Vincent712330011700.43
CMueller, Chris7033-220201000.43
CGreening, Colin7112-29010600.29
DMarincin, Martin302240000800.67
CGauthier, Frederik402200000100.5
CAaltonen, Miro6022100101400.33
DHoll, Justin7022-140001400.29
LWClune, Richard410120000300.25
LWMoore, Trevor6101-200001200.17
RWBracco, Jeremy201102000200.5
CBrooks, Adam601120000200.17
DDermott, Travis6011414010700.17
DValiev, Rinat6011-18000600.17
DPaliotta, Michael2000-10000100

Toronto Marlies Goalie Stats - October 27

Sparks, Garret41.770.93331001
Pickard, Calvin23.590.90111000
Kaskisuo, Kasimir110.96310000