Toronto Hosts the Western Conference’s Top Team, the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday Evening
Opponents This Week:
(Feb. 5): The Marlies begin their two-game week on Friday night with a game against the Grand Rapids Griffins, AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, at Van Andel Arena. The Griffins currently post a record of 22-26-0-1 for 43 points and rank seventh in the North Division. They are currently on a six-game losing streak. The matchup will be the sixth and final meeting between the two division rivals. The teams last met on January 22 in Grand Rapids, with the Marlies snapping a seven-game losing streak with a 4-1 win. Joey MacDonald was the game’s first star, turning aside 24 saves on 25 shots. Jonas Frogren’s second period goal held up to be the game-winning goal. Tim Brent scored his first goal of the season in the game. Christian Hanson led all Marlies skaters with two assists in the win. Grand Rapids is a perfect 11-0-0-0 when taking the lead into the third period this season. Patrick Rissmiller paces the Griffins in scoring with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists), followed by Jeremy Williams who has 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists). Williams ranks first on the club in power play points (12) and power play goals (six). Kris Newbury, the Marlies all-time goals leader, ranks first on the Griffins in penalty minutes with 125. Newbury holds the record for most points all-time by a Marlie, racking up 168 points (56 goals, 112 assists) in 198 career games. Marlies assistant head coach, Derek King played four seasons in Grand Rapids (1999-2000; 2002-04), and ranks seventh on their all-time games played list with 264. King ranks third on their all-time goals list (73), fourth in assists (130) and points (203), and second with a plus-71 rating.
(Feb. 6): The Marlies return home on Saturday night when they host the Western Conference’s top team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, at 7:00 p.m. The game will be the sixth of 12 meetings this season, and fourth in Toronto, between the two teams. The Marlies hold a 3-2-0 advantage against their division rivals. In their most recent matchup on January 23, Christian Hanson led the way with three points as the Marlies downed Hamilton 4-3. Toronto got power play goals from Tim Brent and Viktor Stalberg, and Joey MacDonald made 25 saves to lead them to victory. The Marlies hold an all-time record of 29-10-3 against their QEW rivals. Hamilton currently leads the North Division and the Western Conference with a 31-12-3-4 record for 69 points. Their 69 points is currently six more than any team in the conference. The Bulldogs enter the week on a four-game winning streak, only allowing five goals during that stretch. After their game on Saturday, the Bulldogs will play 12 of their next 14 games at Copps Coliseum. Bulldogs goaltender Cedrick Desjardins and defenceman P.K. Subban both took part in the AHL All-Star game festivities. Recently recalled defenceman Yannick Weber was named to Switzerland’s Men’s Ice Hockey Team for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In 44 games with the Bulldogs, Weber has tallied two goals and 21 assists. He’s also skated in four games with the Montreal Canadiens this season. Forward Brock Trotter ranks fourth in the AHL in scoring with 50 points (24 goals, 26 assists). During the month of January, Trotter notched 13 goals and nine assists. David Desharnais also had a huge January, collecting 17 points (two goals, 15 assists). He ranks 13th in the league with 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists). Goaltender Curtin Sanford recorded three wins last week, including a 25-save shutout over the Rockford IceHogs on January 27.
What Happened Last Week: The Marlies went 1-2-0-1 in four games last week. They began their week on Wednesday morning with a 4-3 shootout loss to the San Antonio Rampage. The line of Ben Simon, Justin Hodgman and Kyle Rogers struck twice, with each player recording two points in the game. The Marlies led 2-1 against the Monsters on Friday night at the first intermission, but allowed four goals in the second period. Joey MacDonald made his fifth straight start in Toronto’s 6-3 loss to Lake Erie. On Saturday, the Marlies were shutout 2-0 by Tyler Plante and the Rochester Americans. Andrew Engelage got the start for Toronto and made 32 saves, earning third star honours. On Sunday the Marlies downed the Monsters 4-2 on home ice, snapping a four-game losing streak. The Marlies currently rank sixth in the North Division with an 18-22-5-4 record for 45 points and sit four points out of a playoff spot.
Home Sweet Home: The Marlies have played their best hockey on home ice this season, holding a 13-6-3-2 advantage at Ricoh Coliseum. The Marlies have earned a point in six of their past seven home contests. They greeted their season-high crowd of 7,084 with a 4-3 win over Hamilton on January 23 after their season-high, eight-game road trip. The Marlies have earned at least a point in 16 of their past 21 contests on home ice. Toronto will play their final home game on Saturday before hitting the road for four straight games.
Putting Up Points: Since joining the Marlies line-up on January 22 in Grand Rapids, Tim Brent has posted a point in six of his seven games (four goals, four assists). On Sunday afternoon against Lake Erie, Brent notched a goal and an assist in Toronto’s 4-2 win. Brent was the game’s first star on Sunday. Greg Scott has registered a point in seven of his past nine games, recording four goals and five assists during that span. On Sunday, Scott notched his fourth multi-point game of the season (one goal, one assist), picking up third star honours. Kyle Calder has tallied a point in five of his past seven contests (one goal, five assists).
New Faces: Toronto had three players make their Marlie debuts on January 22 in Grand Rapids. Tim Brent, Justin Hodgman and Ryan Stokes all skated in the Marlies 4-1 victory. Brent, who missed the first 42 games due to injury, scored in back-to-back games for the Marlies when he entered the line-up (both coming on the power play). Hodgman scored his first career AHL goal on January 22 against the Bulldogs. In six games so far, Stokes has recorded a plus-five rating and he recorded his first point (assist) on Sunday.
Keeping It Close: The Marlies have a very impressive record this season when the game is decided by one goal, marking a record of 11-0-5-4. 11 of their 18 victories this season have come in one-goal contests. Christian Hanson and Troy Bodie share the club lead with three game-winning tallies. The Marlies own an 11-0-2-1 record when taking the lead into the third period. Toronto holds a 11-5-4 record when scoring the game’s opening goal and are 16-5-5 when they score three or more goals in a game.
Christian Keeping the Faith: Christian Hanson posted eight points (three goals, five assists) over the past seven games for the Marlies before being recalled by the Maple Leafs on Tuesday morning. Hanson was the game’s second star on Sunday, scoring the first goal while shorthanded. He represented the PlanetUSA team at the 2010 Tim Warner AHL All-Star Classic on January 19 in Portland, Maine. The Glens Falls, NY native ranks first on the Marlies in points with 29 (12 goals, 17 assists). He currently ranks 10th (tie) in the American Hockey League in rookie scoring with 29 points, despite only playing in 29 games. He ranks first on the Marlies in plus/minus (plus-six), game-winning goals (three) and multi-point games (eight). On November 20 in Lake Erie, he had the biggest night of his professional career, registering his first career AHL hat-trick and added an assist for four points.
No Stal-ing for Viktor: Since being reassigned to the Marlies on January 19, Viktor Stalberg has tallied seven points (three goals, four assists) in the nine games. On Friday night in Lake Erie, Stalberg scored a goal and added an assist for his team-leading (tie), eighth multi-point game of the season. In 29 games this season with the Marlies, Stalberg ranks second (tie) on the team in scoring with 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists).
Foster The Statistics: Alex Foster returned to the Marlies line-up on January 8 against Peoria after missing the previous 18 games because of injury. In the three games he played on the road trip, Foster notched one assist. On November 23, the American Hockey League announced that he was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending November 22. In three games during the week, Foster recorded six points (five goals, one assist) and a plus-two rating. In 11 games this season, the Marlies assistant captain has registered six goals and three assists.
Multi-Point Games: The Marlies had six players record multi-point games last week. On Wednesday morning, Justin Hodgman, Kyle Rogers and Ben Simon each tallied two-point games. Tim Brent and Viktor Stalberg each notched two-point contests on Friday night in the club’s 6-3 loss to the Monsters. Greg Scott and Brent each had a goal and an assist on Sunday in the team’s 4-2 win. Christian Hanson and Stalberg pace the club with eight multi-point games this season.
Reading Report: The Toronto Maple Leafs ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals currently rank first in the East Division with a 23-18-1-3 record for 50 points. The Royals snapped their three game losing skid on Saturday night with a 3-1 win over Charlotte. Defenceman Eric Werner has picked up two assists over his past three games. Werner paces all defencemen on the Royals in points with 18 (three goals, 15 assists) and plus/minus (+17). Ben Gordon represented the Royals at the ECHL All-Star Game in mid-January. Gordon’s tallied 19 goals and 31 assists for 50 points in 37 games this season, ranking him fifth in the ECHL and first on the Royals in points.
MARLIES QUICK HITS:
– The Marlies added defenceman Keith Aulie on Monday, after the Leafs acquired him from the Calgary Flames. In 43 games with the Abbotsford Heat, Aulie posted six points (two goals, four assists) with 32 penalty minutes.
– The Marlies have picked up at least a point in five of their past seven games (3-2-0-2).
– The Marlies play their next eight games against North Division foes.
– Brennan Evans’ 146 penalty minutes currently ranks second in the AHL for defencemen and sixth overall.
– Andre Deveaux has registered three goals over his past seven games, including his team-leading 13th of the season on Sunday against the Monsters. He ranks second (tie) on the club in points with 28 (13 goals, 15 assists). Deveaux paces the club in goals and ranks fourth in assists.
– Toronto owns a 4-2 record in the shootout on home ice, but has lost both shootouts (0-2) on the road this season.
Reebok/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
For the week ending January 31, 2010, the Toronto Marlies nominated forward Tim Brent for consideration as the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week. Brent posted at least a point in three of the Marlies four games during the final week of January. He registered two goals and three assists this past week and took home first star honours on Sunday when he notched a goal and an assist. On Friday night in Lake Erie, he collected two assists and a plus-one rating in the Marlies 6-3 loss. In seven games this season, Brent’s recorded four goals and four assists.
MARLIES ON THE WEB
Follow the Marlies all season long for the latest, most up-to-date information on their official web site, torontomarlies.com
MARLIES UPCOMING PROMOTIONS:
Saturday, February 6 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs – Chinese Cultural Night
Monday, February 15 vs. Abbotsford Heat – Family Day Game at 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 27 vs. San Antonio Rampage
Rampage Edge Marlies in Shootout, 4-3
Marlies Goals: Hodgman (2), Rogers (4), Brent (3)
Rampage Goals: MacLean (19), Morgan (4), Perrault (11), Kolarik (SOW)
Three Stars: 1. Brent (TOR), 2. Perrault (SAN), 3. Hodgman (TOR)
Recap: Toronto lost their second straight game at home in shootout fashion on Wednesday morning in their second school day game of the season. Brett MacLean put San Antonio on the board late in the first period with a tip-in that beat Joey MacDonald, who was starting his fourth straight game. Justin Hodgman knotted the game at 1-1 six minutes into the second frame with his second of the season. Kyle Rogers picked up his fourth goal of the season 26 seconds into the third period to put the Marlies in front 2-1. While shorthanded the Rampage tied it, but Tim Brent put Toronto back ahead 3-2 on a breakaway while killing a penalty. San Antonio tied the game while they had Justin Pogge pulled for a sixth man. After a scoreless overtime, the Rampage’s first two shooters in the shootout beat MacDonald, giving them the 4-3 win. The line of Ben Simon, Hodgman and Rogers each finished with two point nights each.
Friday, January 29 at Lake Erie Monsters
Monsters’ Four-Goal Second Period Lifts Lake Erie Past Marlies
Marlies Goal: Hodgman (1), Brent (2), Stalberg (10), Hanson (10)
Monsters Goals: Sertich (9), Ford (8), Gawryletz (1), Mercier (7), Bartlett (4), Hensick (10)
Three Stars: 1. Mercier (LEM), 2. Bartlett (LEM), 3. Hensick (LEM)
Recap: The Monsters’ four-goal second period was too much for the Marlies, as Toronto dropped a 6-3 decision in Lake Erie on Friday night. Christian Hanson put the Marlies on the board first with his 11th tally of the season while on a power play. The Monsters tied it, but Greg Scott gave the Marlies the 2-1 advantage just before the first intermission. Lake Erie scored four second period goals on 20 shots, chasing Joey MacDonald after the fifth goal. Viktor Stalberg made it 5-3 late in the second frame with his 11th goal of the season. Andrew Engelage made 14 saves on 15 shots in a relief effort.
Saturday, January 30 vs. Rochester Americans
Marlies Shutout by Amerks, 2-0
Marlies Goals: None
Americans Goals: Wilson (7), Mink (12)
Three Stars: 1. Plante (RCH), 2. Wilson (RCH), 3. Engelage (TOR)
Recap: The Marlies got great goaltending from Andrew Engelage, but they couldn’t beat Americans starting goalie Tyler Plante at the other end on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 2-0 decision. Toronto came out strong, out-shooting Rochester 12-3 in the first five minutes of the game. Clay Wilson scored on a shot from the point that beat a screened Engelage to open the scoring late in the first period. Graham Mink made it 2-0 at the 12:43 mark of the second period. The Marlies were out-shot 26-8 in the final 40 minutes of play. Engelage was the game’s third star, making 32 saves on 34 shots. Juraj Mikus had a game-high four shots on goal.
Sunday, January 31 vs. Lake Erie Monsters
Marlies Snap Losing Skid with 4-2 Victory over Lake Erie
Marlies Goals: Hanson (12), Deveaux (13), Scott (6), Brent (4)
Monsters Goals: Ford (10), Willsie (13)
Three Stars: 1. Brent (TOR), 2. Hanson (TOR), 3. Scott (TOR)
Recap: The Marlies put an end to a four-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon with a 4-2 win over the Lake Erie Monsters. Christian Hanson banged home his 12th of the season while shorthanded to put Toronto in front 1-0. After the Monsters tied it at 1-1, Andre Deveaux scored his team-leading 13th goal to give the Marlies the lead at the first intermission. Greg Scott and Tim Brent each scored second period goals and the Marlies held onto a two-goal lead for the win. Brent and Scott both finished the game with a goal and an assist each. Joey MacDonald made 21 saves for his seventh win of the season.
COMING THIS WEEK BOX OFFICE REPORT
Fri., Feb. 5 Toronto Marlies at Grand Rapids Griffins 7:00 pm Van Andel Arena TICKETS 616-774-4585
Sat., Feb. 6 Hamilton Bulldogs at Toronto Marlies 7:00 pm Ricoh Coliseum TICKETS 416-597-7825
All start times are listed in Eastern Time
Marlies home & away games broadcast on THE FAN 590, fan590.com or torontomarlies.com
Watch Marlies home games this season LIVE on Rogers TV Cable 10 in Toronto and 63 in Scarborough.