The Marlies picked up another win on Saturday, defeating the Belleville Senators 7-6 with an overtime goal that capped off a comeback from being down 4-1 at the end of the first period.
It was the second win of the weekend against the Senators, meaning four important points were earned to keep the Marlies in the North Division playoff race.
Marlies Lines Saturday
Kenny Agostino - Adam Brooks - Mason Marchment
Egor Korshkov - Tanner MacMaster - Pontus Aberg
Garrett Wilson - Tyler Gaudet - Matt Read
Darren Archibald - Hudson Elynuik - Scott Pooley
Teemu Kivihalme - Mac Hollowell
Kevin Gravel - Michael Kapla
Kristians Rubins - Joseph Duszak
The Senators continued to roll with a setup of eleven forwards and seven defenceman. It’s worked quite well for them this season; you can’t argue with it when it’s put them at first place in the division.
The Senators started the game with Filip Gustavsson in net. Frank Corrado was a scratch, by the way.
It was Bad. Very bad. After the win on Friday night, it was surprising to see such a dramatic reversal for the team; that missing consistency often noted by Coach Greg Moore after a loss. The Senators controlled this period from the start. They kept the puck largely in the Marlies zone, often with the Marlies having to ice the puck out only to then face them in their own zone again.
I won’t say they were fantastic at shooting, Woll certainly made some easy stops in addition to some big stops, but they could take their time and cycle seemingly for as long as they wanted to set up shots which made his job very difficult. It’s why they scored four goals in a row in the first 14 minutes of the game.
Things finally broke for the Marlies when Scott Pooley got them on the board for the end of the first period.
So, the first period ended and it was 4-1.
The Marlies looked more alive to start the second period, but it was still some time for them to start setting up their own solid scoring chances. Six minutes in to the period, Pooley got a chance courtesy of the Senators flubbing the puck multiple times, but he wasn’t able to get it in. Great speed on his breakaway though.
It was the Senators who would score first again, and it felt rather deflating, but all that was about to change at the halfway point of the period.
Enter Mason Marchment. The high energy of his play continues; getting under the skin of opponents—notably Andreas Englund in this game—and the scoring which has gone off the charts lately. He’s on a five game goal streak, with eight goals and an assist in that time as of the end of Saturday’s game. Marchment got that opportunity to continue his streak on a power play, one of only three for the Marlies in this game.
Hollowell was next to get his first of two in the game spotting the puck popping out from under Gustavsson while he was sprawled out on his back after making the initial save.
We’re right back to Hollowell again. Scoring only after only 3:31 of game time passed from his last goal. This is a great shot. Pooley and Elynuik set it up well. The Growlers are representing their team (ex-team now?) well here.
Now it’s 5-4. Szwarz scores to put the Senators up 6-4 with 13 minutes left in the game. There’s a power play opportunity for the Marlies, but they can’t convert on it.
We get down to three minutes left and Woll comes out of the net for the extra attacker. Despite some pre-game trouble with the puck, it cooperated for Read here to tie up the game and the Growlers guys get the assist again.
Now it’s 6-5. Marchment gets a penalty, and it looks bleak because the Marlies will be fighting to get one more goal on a penalty kill, but after what felt like an eternity of chit chat and indecision, the officials gave one to the Senators’ Jordan Murray too. So it’s now four-on-four hockey.
With the clock down to 17 seconds left in the game, this happens.
The place goes nuts. Absolutely nuts. It wasn’t even a full house, but it sounded like one. The Marlies have come back from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game 6-6.
It’s all about Korshkov. He handles this one perfectly, waiting until Gustavsson bites in the wrong direction, leaving Korshkov a wide open net to make the shot.
Post-game Thoughts and Comments
The game came to an abrupt end for Brooks a few seconds into overtime when he crashed into the boards behind the Marlies net. It looked bad. He needed several minutes to even move, then another to get up and skate off the ice with help from two teammates. There was no update on his status after the game. Brooks seems stuck in an unfortunate equilibrium where for each good thing that happens to him, one bad thing also happens. Hopefully the recovery is quick.
Everyone was quick to point out Woll was not responsible for the four Senators goals in the first period. “We hung him out to dry,” said Greg Moore.
Garrett Wilson jokingly said he wants Korshkov to stop making the rest of the team look bad. “He only scores highlight-reel [goals]. It would be nice to see him get a garbage one here every once in a while and make us all feel a little bit better.” When you watch clips of Korshkov from a year ago, and from the KHL before that, you notice how much his skating has improved too. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was called up to the Leafs at some point soon...
The Marlies face the Binghamton Devils on Family Day Monday at the Scotiabank Arena. Then they will play them again on Wednesday morning for a school day game at the Coliseum.
The Marlies are sitting in a playoff spot now with some buffer space for a loss too. There’s so many games going on this holiday weekend that things could change quickly, so I will wait to look at the standings again unit after Monday’s game.