The Toronto Marlies’ completed a comeback victory on Wednesday night despite twice trailing in the third period.

With the 5-4 win over Cleveland, the Marlies extended their point streak to four games (3-0-1) and moved into fifth in the division with an 8-7-4 record.

The cherry on top to the victory was that it was the 158th win for Sheldon Keefe, making him the winningest bench boss in Toronto Marlies franchise history just 246 games into his coaching tenure. His overall record now stands at an impressive 158-70-18.

First Period

The Marlies started fast initially, but they were fortunate to emerge from the first 20 minutes with the game tied after Cleveland carried the majority of the play in the opening frame.

Both teams exchanged goals in the opening two minutes thanks to mistakes from each goaltender. Cleveland’s Matiss Kivlenieks ventured forward out of his crease to clear the puck but fanned on the attempt, gifting Dmytro Timashov the easiest goal he’ll score this year just 34 seconds into the game.

Unfortunately for Toronto, Eamon McAdam then followed suit except from behind his cage, where he was too cute with an attempted pass instead of ringing the puck around the boards. Kevin Stenlund took advantage to tie the score after Nathan Gerbe and Alex Broadhurst worked the puck to him in the slot.

The lone penalty of the period arrived shortly after, and the Marlies again struggled for a while with the extra man as they failed to deal with Cleveland’s ultra-aggressive penalty kill.

Keeping things simple paid dividends, however, as (finally) the Marlies were able to work the puck back to Sandin at the point, where the rookie scored his fourth of the season with a one-time slapshot.

McAdam made up for his earlier misadventure with some good saves to keep the lead intact, but the Marlies only created one chance of note at the other end before the end of the period. Carl Grundstrom was on the end of a crisp passing play from his linemates, but his top-shelf attempt from the slot was grabbed by Kivlenieks.

Second Period

The Marlies were arguably the better team in the middle frame, but they found themselves trailing after 40 minutes after the Monsters scored twice without reply.

A fast start from Toronto in which Grundstrom and Josh Jooris both came close was nullified by consecutive power plays for Monsters. However, the Marlies killed off both and were by far the better team until Cleveland grabbed a fortuitous goal with nine minutes on the clock.

Paul Bittner’s shot missed wide of the net and took a sharp bounce off the backboards and out the other side, where Eric Robinson tapped it in to tie the game at 2-2.

With the game tied, Sandin struck the post following a nice feed from Jeremy Bracco and looked set to score again until he was clearly tripped with no call from the officials.

The Monsters go-ahead goal came courtesy of a surge down the left wing from Eric Robinson, resulting in a 2-on-2 situation. Robinson shifted the puck to Justin Scott coming down the middle of the ice and Calle Rosen neither engaged the Cleveland forward or gave McAdam a clear sight of the incoming shot — instead, he partially turned his back on the play — and the Marlies now trailed 3-2.

With Mason Marchment tabbed for unsportsmanlike conduct following the goal, the Marlies went down a man for a third time in the period. After a successful kill, Toronto finished the period with the momentum and really should have tied the game up — Bracco missed an empty net on his backhand after taking the puck around the goaltender following excellent work from Jooris.

Third Period

The Marlies evened up the score at 3-3 just 96 seconds into the final frame, when Trevor Moore’s pinpoint pass found Andreas Borgman streaking down the slot before Adam Brooks banked in the resulting rebound off of the defenseman’s initial shot.

There was no shortage of action in the final frame as the Marlies looked to build on their quick goal, but despite controlling the majority of possession, they gifted Cleveland a go-ahead goal.

Moments after McAdam robbed Sonny Milano following a terrible giveaway from Timothy Liljegren, the Marlies earned themselves a power play, but a misplay in the offensive zone led to Zac Dalpe escaping all alone to put Cleveland ahead.

What could’ve been a deflating shorthanded marker didn’t deter the Marlies, who responded by scoring on the same power play. Moore fired home from the slot after a give-and-go with Timashov to level the score at four apiece.

Opportunities to win it in regulation were at a premium for both teams at 4-4, but the best chance fell to Grundstrom, who was denied on a breakaway after a five-hole attempt on Kivlenieks.

A power play apiece also failed to break the deadlock, meaning that for the fourth time this season, Cleveland and Toronto were headed to overtime.

The extra frame was high octane and full of rushes both ways, and somehow the Monsters failed to register a shot on goal despite two clear breakaways.

The Marlies ended up claiming the extra point on a delayed penalty, as the oncoming Bracco set up Chris Mueller, who chipped a backhand attempt top shelf for his third game-winner of the season.

Post Game Notes

– This was the first time this season that the Marlies have won when trailing after two periods this season. They were 0-7-1 before tonight.

Dmytro Timashov (1-1-2) and Jeremy Bracco (0-2-2) both had multi-point games, although neither impressed at 5v5 play.

Trevor Moore scored his 10th goal of the season to send this game to overtime and played a pivotal role in the goal to tie the game at 3-3. This was his fifth multi-point haul of the season.

Adam Brooks will feel good about his goal after missing some glorious opportunities in the last outing. He extended his points streak to four games (1-4-5).

– It’s 10 games into his North American career and Rasmus Sandin is just impressing more and more with each passing game. He scored his fourth goal on the year and could easily have had a couple. Sandin is now tied for the AHL lead in goals (four) among rookie defensemen.

Eamon McAdam recorded his fourth win of the season with a 28-save effort, although this was his least impressive performance of late. He gave up far too many rebounds and was clearly at fault for the opening goal.

Game Highlights