Toronto Looks to Continue Winning Ways on Saturday with Battle Against Hamilton
Opponents This Week:
(March 20): The Marlies begin their two-game week on Saturday afternoon when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs, AHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, at 4:00 p.m. at Ricoh Coliseum. The game will mark the 10th of 12 meetings between the two clubs. The Bulldogs used overtime to beat the Marlies last Tuesday night, 3-2 in Hamilton. Brendan Mikkelson and Alex Foster scored the two Marlie goals; while Bulldogs’ defenceman Yannick Weber scored the game-winner in overtime. The Marlies hold an all-time record of 28-14-4 against their QEW rivals. Hamilton currently leads the North Division and the Western Conference with a 44-15-3-5 record for 96 points. Hamilton’s 96 points are currently six more than any other team in the conference and 18 more than any team in their division. The Bulldogs have won nine of their past 10 games and have clinched a playoff berth. Saturday’s game in Toronto marks the Bulldogs’ second contest of a seven-game road trip. Each of the Bulldogs’ last four victories has come in extra time. Bulldogs forward Brock Trotter is currently sixth in the AHL in scoring with 28 goals and 36 assists for 64 points. Defenceman P.K. Subban set a Hamilton franchise record two weeks ago for points by a defenceman in a single season. Subban’s assist in their win over Adirondack on March 3 was his 45th point of the season, setting the record. He now has 14 goals and 33 assists to go along with a plus-37 rating, which ranks second in the AHL. The tandem of Cedrick Desjardins and Curtis Sanford has been impressive this season, combining for a league-best 2.21 team goal-against average. Desjardins’ 1.93 goals-against average ranks first in the league; while Sanford’s mark of 2.07 is second.
(March 21): The Marlies and Abbotsford Heat, AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, meet up on Sunday for a 1:00 p.m. contest that will air live on CBC. The game will be the seventh meeting, and third at Ricoh Coliseum, between the two clubs. Toronto posts a record of 2-3-0-1 against the Heat through the first six games. The past two of three meetings between the two clubs have been decided in a shootout. The last time these two clubs met was on February 15, with the Heat taking the 5-1 decision in Toronto. Mikael Backlund and Olivier Latendresse each scored twice in the Abbotsford win. The Heat currently ranks tied for second in the North Division with a record of 38-28-2-0 for 78 points. They’ve only lost once in regulation time over their past 10 contests, winning their past two games. After their game on Sunday against the Marlies, the Heat will play six straight home games. Abbotsford ranks first in the American Hockey League in penalty minutes with 1582. The Marlies and Heat have combined for 379 penalty minutes through their first six games this season. Abbotsford has four players with over 100 penalty minutes this season (J.D. Watt, Garth Murray, Matt Pelech and Ryley Grantham). Jason Jaffray paces the Heat in goals, assists and points (25 goals, 29 assists) and also has a team-high plus-25 rating. Jaffray has been deadly on the penalty kill, scoring four shorthanded goals. Goaltender David Shantz, who picked up the 5-1 win against Toronto in the last matchup, has a record of 11-7-3 with a 2.80 goals-against average and 0.908 save percentage. Former Heat defenceman, Keith Aulie played in 43 games with the Heat, tallying two goals and four assists for six points.
What Happened Last Week: The Marlies went 2-0-1-0, grabbing five out of a possible six points in three road games last week. They opened up the week on Tuesday night in Hamilton with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bulldogs. Yannick Weber’s third goal of the season lifted Hamilton past Toronto. On Friday night in Chicago, the Marlies shutout the Wolves, snapping their 16-game home unbeaten streak. Joey MacDonald made 40 saves for his second shutout of the season; while Kyle Calder finished the game with three points (two goals, one assist). The following night in Milwaukee, the Marlies edged the Admirals 3-2. James Reimer was the game’s first star, making 27 saves and Alex Foster’s third period goal held up to be the game-winner. Toronto is currently in sixth place in the North Division with a 27-30-6-5 record for 65 points, sitting seven points out of the final playoff spot in the division.
Home Sweet Home: The Marlies have played their best hockey on home ice this season, holding an 18-10-3-2 advantage at Ricoh Coliseum. With their 3-2 overtime win over Hartford in their last home game, the Marlies have earned at least a point in 11 of their past 16 home contests and have won five of their past seven contests at Ricoh Coliseum. Their home game on March 3 versus Chicago was the third and final school day game and drew a season-high 7,726 fans. The Marlies have scored a power play goal in seven of their past nine home games, going 8-for-40 during that span (20.0%). Toronto plays both of their games this week at Ricoh Coliseum.
Another Brick in the Wall: James Reimer has guided the Marlies to at least a point in 12 of his past 15 starts (9-3-2). Over his past 15 starts, he’s recorded a 0.934 save percentage and 2.08 goals-against average. Reimer was the game’s first star on Saturday night in Milwaukee, making 27 saves on 29 shots. Reimer recorded his first career AHL shutout on February 20, making 31 saves and earning first star honours in the club’s 2-0 win over Manitoba. In 17 games this season, Reimer has a record of 10-5-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average and 0.928 save percentage. Joey MacDonald made 40 saves on Friday night in the Marlies 3-0 win over Chicago for his second shutout of the season. MacDonald has only allowed one goal against in his past two games.
We’re Going Streaking: Kyle Calder has scored in back-to-back games for the Marlies, including his three-point evening on Friday night in Chicago. Calder notched two goals and an assist to go along with a plus-three rating in the Marlies 3-0 win over the Wolves. The following night in Milwaukee, Calder scored a power play goal in the club’s 3-2 win. Calder had his Marlies season-high seven-game point (four goals, four assists) streak snapped on February 24 in Hamilton. Calder has tallied a point in 16 of his past 24 contests (10 goals, 12 assists). Defenceman Brendan Mikkelson is currently on a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists). His streak started on March 7 with a game-winning goal in overtime and an assist.
Keeping It Close: The Marlies have a very impressive record this season when the game is decided by one goal, marking a record of 18-2-6-5. 18 of their 27 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 a 19-0-3-2 record when taking the lead into the third period. Toronto holds an 18-7-6 record when scoring the game’s opening goal and are 22-6-6 when they score three or more goals in a game.
Multi-Point Games: The Marlies had four players notch multi-point games last week. Kyle Calder, Andre Deveaux, Tim Brent and Brendan Mikkelson each collected multi-point contests. Calder registered three-points (two goals, one assist) on Friday night against the Chicago Wolves. Christian Hanson paces the club with nine multi-point games this season.
1. Hanson 9
2. Stalberg 8
3. Deveaux 6
4. Calder 5
In the Community: The Marlies participated in their sixth and final community practice on Monday night when they traveled to the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Whitby, Ontario. The team hit the ice at 5:30 p.m. for an hour long practice and then had a full team autograph signing afterwards. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the MLSE Team Up Foundation and RONA, in collaboration with the city of Whitby, unveiled new plans to refurbish Luther Vipond Memorial Arena at the practice. The rink refurbishment will mark the 14th project as part of the MLSE Team Up Foundation Hockey Rink Legacy Program.
Reading Report: The Toronto Maple Leafs ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals currently rank second in the East Division with a 31-27-1-3 record for 66 points. The Royals dropped a 6-3 decision to Elmira on Sunday. The Royals have won six of their past 10 games. Stefano Giliati has notched nine points (four goals, five assists) over his past four games. Robert Slaney had his four-game point streak (four assists) snapped on Sunday in Reading’s loss. Slaney has registered one goal and 10 assists in 19 games with Reading to go along with 18 penalty minutes. In 36 games this season with the Royals, Giliati has recorded 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists). Andrew Engelage has won two of his past three starts and posts a record of 6-2-0 in nine games with the Royals.
MARLIES QUICK HITS:
– Joey MacDonald made 40 saves on Friday night in the Marlies 3-0 win over Chicago for his second shutout of the season. MacDonald has only allowed one goal against in his past two games.
– Kyle Calder was recalled by the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
– Andre Deveaux currently leads the team in goals (14), points (36), power play goals (five) and penalty minutes (184).
– The Marlies have only allowed eight goals over their past five games.
– The Marlies were out-shot in all three games last week, but were able to post a record of 2-0-1-0.
– Simon Gysbers made his AHL debut on Friday night in Chicago. The 6’4, 200-pound defenceman was signed to an AT contract on Wednesday afternoon.
– Toronto has won seven of their past nine games when they’ve out-shot their opponent.
– Brennan Evans’ 173 penalty minutes currently ranks second in the AHL for defencemen and 11th overall.
Reebok/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
For the week ending March 14, 2010, the Toronto Marlies nominated forward Kyle Calder for consideration as the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week. Calder recorded four points (three goals, one assist) during the team’s three-game week. On Friday night in Chicago, he had the best night of the season, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the Marlies 3-0 win. The following night in Milwaukee, he scored the game’s second goal, his 11th of the season in Toronto’s 3-2 victory over the Admirals.
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, March 20 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs – Jonas Gustavsson Bobblehead Day
Sunday, March 21 vs. Abbotsford Heat – Game broadcast live on CBC & Salute to the Troops
Tuesday, March 9 at Hamilton Bulldogs
Marlies Dropped in Overtime by Bulldogs, 3-2
Marlies Goals: Mikkelson (7), Foster (7)
Bulldogs Goals: Desharnais (21), White (16), Weber (3)
Three Stars: 1. White (HAM), 2. Foster (TOR), 3. Weber (HAM)
Recap: The Marlies opened up their three-game road swing with a 3-2 overtime loss on Tuesday night in the Steel City. Brendan Mikkelson got the Marlies on the board first while on a 5-on-3 advantage in the first period. With the game tied at 1-1 late in the second frame, Alex Foster dangled a Hamilton defender and buried his seventh of the season. Ryan White tied the game for the Bulldogs eight minutes into the third period on a Hamilton power play. Yannick Weber fired a shot past James Reimer in overtime for the victory. Drew Paris notched two assists in his Marlie debut. Reimer finished the game with 33 saves.
Friday, March 12 at Chicago Wolves
MacDonald Makes 40 Saves to Snap Wolves’ Streak
Marlies Goals: Brent (8), Calder 2 (10)
Wolves Goals: None
Three Stars: 1. MacDonald (TOR), 2. Calder (TOR), 3. Brent (TOR)
Recap: Joey MacDonald made 40 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Marlies snapped Chicago’s 16-game home unbeaten streak. After a scoreless first period, Tim Brent got Toronto on the board one minute into the second frame. Kyle Calder scored less than two minutes later to put the Marlies ahead 2-0. Calder notched his second goal, and third point of the game mid-way through the period to give Toronto a three-goal advantage. Chicago fired 13 shots on goal in the third period, but couldn’t beat MacDonald, who earned first star honours. Calder and Brent both finished the game with plus-three ratings.
Saturday, March 13 at Milwaukee Admirals
Power Play Lifts Marlies to Second Straight Road Win
Marlies Goals: Hamilton (10), Calder (11), Foster (8)
Admirals Goals: Scatchard (13), Guite (8)
Three Stars: 1. Reimer (TOR), 2. Mikkelson (TOR), 3. Scatchard (MIL)
Recap: The Marlies won back-to-back road games for the first time this season on Saturday when they dropped the Admirals 3-2 in Milwaukee. Ryan Hamilton scored on a breakaway to put the Marlies on the board nine minutes into the game. After Milwaukee tied the game at 1-1 in the second period, Kyle Calder put the Marlies back in front with a power play goal. Andre Deveaux collected his second point (two assists) on Calder’s third goal of the weekend. Alex Foster made it 3-1 with a power play goal mid-way through the third period, which held up to be the game-winner. James Reimer made 27 saves in the win and was named the game’s first star.
COMING THIS WEEK BOX OFFICE REPORT
Sat., Mar. 20 Hamilton Bulldogs at Toronto Marlies 4:00 pm Ricoh Coliseum TICKETS 416-597-7825
Sun., Mar. 21 Abbotsford Heat at Toronto Marlies 1:00 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.