The Toronto Marlies concluded their Royal Winter Fair road trip with a pair of 4-1 victories in Binghamton last weekend.
Toronto finished the road trip with a 5-1-0 record after outscoring their opponents 22-8.
Special teams were a key component of the success as they gave up just one goal on 23 attempts. Toronto’s penalty kill is now ranked inside the top four in the league.
There’s still work to be done on the power play, but it struck five times on 28 opportunities, an improvement over their pre-road trip form. At the time of writing, Toronto led the league in power play opportunities, drawing 88 chances with the man advantage over 15 games.
Toronto’s last goal of the weekend was their 50th of the season and also marked the eighth time they’ve scored four or more goals in the first 15 games.
Saturday’s victory was the first time they’ve picked up points when trailing after two periods this season.
The Marlies have improved to 8-2-0 on the road overall while allowing just 18 goals in those 10 games. They are now 6-1 against North Division opponents with recent wins against Laval and Binghamton and have drawn six points clear of their closest division rivals.
– Nikita Soshnikov recoded a goal and an assist, extending his point streak to four games (3-1-4). His call-up to the Leafs may be as much to do with the clause in the contract as anything, but there is no doubt his outstanding play in the AHL deserved to be rewarded.
– Miro Aaltonen makes a lot intelligent plays in the offensive zone but he doesn’t seem to be fully reaping the rewards of those yet. A pair of assists this week takes his season tally to seven points in 14 games.
– The Ben Smith scoring train doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
Two goals and three points in the last two outings puts him at a point-per-game pace through 15 games. He’s currently eighth in AHL scoring.
– In a 33-save performance from Garret Sparks on Friday, the goaltender also recorded an assist on the team’s fourth goal. Sparks now owns a 7-2-0 record and his .944 save percentage leads all AHL goaltenders.
– Calvin Pickard wasn’t especially overworked in his victory but made some big saves when required of him. He’s now 3-2-0 on the season with a .918 save percentage.
– Martin Marincin tallied twice — his first goals in a Marlies uniform. He’s become a bit of an offensive threat on the blue line for Toronto on the blue line, and his first goal this week was skillfully finished. The defenseman has accrued six points (2-4-6) in 10 games since being sent down to the AHL.
– Kerby Rychel picked up a goal — his first since opening weekend — but he’s still in the midst of an offensive slump with just one point in the last six games and five total on the year.
– Kasperi Kapanen scored on Saturday in what was his first action since rejoining the Marlies. That’s his fourth AHL goal in seven games.
– Dmytro Timashov had his point streak end at four games (2-3-5) but his one assist this week was his 10th point of the season.
– Calle Rosen added a pair of assists to take his totally to five points in eight games.
Yet to record his first AHL goal, it wasn’t for a lack of trying throughout the road-trip — defenseman put 21 shots on net over the six games.
– Justin Holl registered his first multi-point haul of the season with a pair of assists vs. Binghamton. He’s also yet to find the net this year and has found offense difficult to come by early on with five points in his first 14 appearances.
– Andreas Johnsson is the fifth Marlies player to hit the double figure mark in points with an assist on Friday. That was followed by a tying goal which broke Binghamton’s resistance in Saturday’s come-from-behind win. He also added assist on Friday.
– Timothy Liljegren did not dress for either game and is considered day-to-day with an upper body ailment.
– Mason Marchment has been suspended for a retaliatory cross-check on Viktor Loov and will miss a pair of games. Marchment was likely given further discipline because Loov was injured on the play.
– Jeremy Bracco played in consecutive games for the first time this season. With the recent transaction involving Soshnikov, the rookie could find himself with more playing time in the coming weeks.
– Eric Fehr has been loaned to San Diego Gulls but has yet to suit up for his new team as of the time of writing.
– Martins Dzierkals was officially added to the Marlies roster before being reassigned to the Orlando Solar Bears. There’s been no sight of the winger since a promising pre-season showing, and I can only assume he suffered an injury of some kind.
– Frederik Gauthier rejoined the Marlies to make room for the addition of Soshnikov to the big-club roster.
– Kasimir Kaskisuo registered yet another defeat for Chicago Wolves but he isn’t receiving much in the way of goal support. Despite a 1-4 record with the Wolves, Kaskisuo has posted a .923 save percentage.
Orlando Solar Bear News
There was just one game for the Solar Bears this week and it was another home loss, although they had some crazy bounces going against them. Their 4-3 reverse came despite outshooting Florida 38-26.
Joshua Winquist had a hand in every goal (1-2-3) and now has nine points in as many games. Cal Heeter took the loss in net and his numbers so far this year aren’t flattering: A goals against average over four, a 0-4-2 record, and a .852 save percentage.
Toronto Marlies Player Stats – November 16
Toronto Marlies Goalie Stats – November 16