The Toronto Marlies played three games in as many nights this weekend following a four-day break. First it was the last two contests of a three-game stand against the Lake Erie Monsters, followed by a Sunday afternoon faceoff against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
It took one second for the first fight of the game to get underway. Frazer McLaren and Daniel Maggio were the combatants. David Broll and Guillaume Desbiens were next to go a few minutes later. The teams also did some playing in the first period as Brad Malone scored his seventh of the season to give the Monsters a lead.
Before the brawl resumed in the second period Lake Erie doubled their lead with Malone scoring again. Greg McKegg and Kevin Marshall fought with David van der Gulik and Mitchell Heard soon after the goal.
The third period had just one more fight, this time Tyler Biggs and Duncan Siemens were the combatants. The referees tried to stem the violence by tossing out players from both sides as eight misconducts were handed out in the period. Lake Erie also took a 3-0 lead. The Marlies made things interesting with two late goals but it wasn’t enough, the game finishing 3-2.
The next game proceeded similarly to the first. There were two fights in the first period and Lake Erie took a 1-0 lead, though Josh Leivo’s 14th tied things up headed into the second period.
The Marlies took control in the second period with three unanswered goals. Josh Leivo collected two more for a hat trick and Brandon Kozun scored his 17th.
With a win beyond Lake Erie’s reach the game took a turn for the worse in the final period. Three more fights broke out and a total of 81 penalty minutes were dealt by the officials. Jamie Devane’s instigator penalty in his fight against Gabriel Deaupre earned him a one-game suspension.
335 combined penalty minutes were given out in the Marlies’ two games against Lake Erie. They took part in 10 fights and 11 misconducts were handed out.
The Marlies hosted Wilkes-Barre/Scranton the next day. Returning to their lineup after a spell with the Leafs and a long stay on the injured reserve was Trevor Smith, the Marlies’ captain.
Smith, Kenny Ryan and Spencer Abbott all scored for the Marlies.
The Marlies struggled with discipline throughout the match, going shorthanded eight times. Their penalty kill proved more than up to snuff though, killing all eight opportunities.
Though they had trailed for much of the game, the Marlies got some momentum and scored twice in the third period to take a late lead. They could not hold it for the 4:01 remaining and Nick Drazenovik tied the game with 12.9 seconds left.
Overtime solved nothing and the game went to a shootout. The Penguins were clinical in the shootout, scoring on three attempts (the Marlies scored once) for the win.
Three Stars of the Week
First Star: Josh Leivo
Leivo netted a hat trick in the final Lake Erie game, almost single-handedly carrying his team’s offense on a night when most of their effort was directed at fighting over playing.
Second Star: Spencer Abbott
Abbott continued to provide his steady stream of offense this week, he recorded points in all three games for a total of two goals and two assists.
Third Star: T.J. Brennan
Brennan made sure to keep himself out of the box throughout the brawls against Lake Erie, collecting just one minor penalty in his games against them this week. He had an assist in every game this weekend and fired 18 shots on goal.