The Toronto Marlies’ week began with a visit to the Blue Cross Arena for a matchup against the Rochester Americans. Drew MacIntyre started in net for Toronto, his first appearance since returning from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Carter Ashton drew first blood with seconds left in the first period when he deflected Stuart Percy’s point shot into the net. Joel Armia tied it back up when he knocked his own rebound past MacIntyre. The Marlies’ fourth line produced the next goal, as Brad Staubitz scored his first and Jamie Devane drew the assist as they drove to the net together.
The Amerks tied it again in the third period before Sam Carrick scored the eventual winner. The Marlies won 4-2 with Trevor Smith picking up an empty-net goal before the final horn.
They were back in action at Ricoh Coliseum the next day, this time going up against the Iowa Wild. Wild goalie Johan Gustafsson was Iowa’s standout performer in the first period, turning aside 14 shots in the first period to keep the game scoreless.
Josh Leivo dropped the gloves with Bryce Aneloski in the period, responding to a missed hit by Aneloski. Sam Carrick also fought a few moments later, his dance partner being Kyle Medvec. Gustafsson’s fantastic performance continued into the second period, holding the Marlies goalless again while Jamie MacQueen scored his second of the season to make it 1-0 Iowa.
The Marlies eventually solved the Swede in the third period, with Peter Holland scoring his first Marlies goal of 2014 to even the score. Regulation time ended without another goal, and though they came close on a power play, the Marlies couldn’t win it in overtime. The Marlies couldn’t score on four shootout chances and the Wild buried two of three. Including shootout attempts, Gustaffson ended up stopping 42 of 43 shots.
The Marlies played their third game in as many days on Sunday, hosting the Abbottsford Heat for their fourth and final meeting of the season. The Marlies had another hot goaltender on their hands with Joni Ortio, who has posted a save percentage of .928 this season.
The first period was uneventful as both sides put 11 shots on net but neither registered a goal. Conversely, the second period saw eight pucks go in the net. T.J. Brennan was first to score with a power-play goal after Percy made a fantastic defensive play to give the Marlies an odd-man rush. Abbottsford responded quickly, scoring three of their own by the midpoint of the period.
Toronto’s role players stepped up through the rest of the period. Jamie Devane cut the lead in half with a one-timer in front of the net, a great play from David Broll led to Greg McKegg’s equalizer and Tyler Biggs took the lead for the Marlies soon after with his seventh. They couldn’t hold on for long though, as Shane O’Brien’s backhander with five seconds left in the period knotted the score heading into the break.
Josh Leivo scored halfway through the third to make it 5-4 Marlies, a deficit the Heat never came back from. Carter Ashton added to the lead with his sixth goal in seven games a few moments later. There would be no further action and the game ended 6-4 Marlies.