The Toronto Marlies (who lead their division at 20-11-2-2) were in action twice this past week, visiting the St. John’s IceCaps (19-15-1-2) for an away from home double header on Friday and Saturday, kicking off a seven-game road trip for the Baby Leafs. The Marlies boasted a season series record of 2-0 against the IceCaps heading into their matchup.
Recently sent down Peter Holland would make his debut in the games, taking a spot on the Marlies’ top line alongside Wade Macleod and leading scorer Spencer Abbott. The Marlies would jump out to an early lead with Petter Granberg and Peter Holland both scoring in the opening minutes of the game, Holland’s coming by way of the man advantage.
The rest of the period would go scoreless, though Brad Staubitz would drop the gloves with the IceCaps’ Cody Lampl. Throughout the second period the Marlies would pepper goaltender Eddie Pasquale with 16 shots, but were turned aside until Sam Carrick would slip one past the Toronto native to put the Marlies up 3-0.
The second frame would feature a fight, with Toronto’s Andrew MacWilliam taking on Will O’Neill. St. John’s would rally in the third period, notching two tallies but ultimately falling short, the game ending 3-2.
The next day’s match would prove to be even more spirited, with five fights breaking out, four coming in the opening period. David Broll, Jamie Devane, Wade Macleod, Andrew Crescenzi, and AHL all-star T.J. Brennen being the pugilists for Toronto.
The Marlies would open the scoring early again, Wade Macleod notching his fourth of the season just 23 seconds into the affair. Adam Lowry would then coutner for St. John’s, scoring twice to put St. John’s up after one.
As the second period began, journeyman Patrice Cormier would score for the IceCaps and double the lead. Toronto would control much of the third period, outshooting the IceCaps 14-6. Peter Holland would score an early power play goal to cut the lead to one but Carl Klingberg would reply quickly for the Caps, redoubling the lead.
In the final ten minutes TJ Brennen and Peter Holland would score for the Marlies, erasing the lead and sending the game to extra time. Overtime would not break the tie and a shootout was needed. Spencer Abbott would score first for the Marlies, but after him Eddie Pasquale would shut the door on all Toronto shooters. St. John’s would score on three of their four tries, ending the game.
All in all, it was a pretty good week for the Marlies. They collected three out of a possible four points to shore up their North Division lead and newest addition Holland (who was called back up to the big club yesterday) looks comfortable in his role as the Marlies’ top centre. The Marlies will be in action again on Wednesday night in Iowa as they take on the Wild, Minnesota’s farm club.