There are many great reasons to go to Marlies games. They are the the reigning Calder Cup champions after obliterating the Texas Stars 6-1 in a Game 7 blowout on June 14, bringing home the Cup for the first time.
The Marlies roster features top Maple Leafs prospects we have talked about over the summer like Timothy Liljegren, Adam Brooks, and maybe even new draft pick Rasmus Sandin (still to be determined). The Marlies also play their weekend home games at a time convenient for families, usually starting at 4:00 p.m.
Now is a good time to plan a trip to some Marlies games.
But which games?
We know a lot of our readers are interested in watching Marlies games but can only commit to one or two each season. I’ve taken a look at the Marlies 2018-19 schedule and picked out some games I think will be interesting. If you want to go to a Marlies game, these are some dates you should consider.
Thanksgiving Home Opener: Marlies vs. Monsters
Monday October 8, 3:00 p.m.
The festivities start early on Thanksgiving Monday with a pre-game celebration to commemorate the Calder Cup Championship and a banner raising ceremony. This is also the first Marlies game played against the Cleveland Monsters whom the AHL moved out of the Western Conference and into the AHL North Division for this season. The Monsters are AHL affiliates of the Columbus Blue Jackets. They have an interesting recent history, making the AHL playoffs only one time in the past seven seasons, yet in that one season they made it all the way to win the Calder Cup. They played in the AHL Central Division which has tough competition from the Grand Rapids Griffins who were perpetual Cup contenders and winners in those same years.
Eastern Conference Rivals: Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Sunday December 2, 4:00 p.m.
The Marlies and the Phantoms have quite a bit of history. As teams in different divisions they don’t see each other that often, but when they do it’s usually a rough and tumble kind of game. Our own Dmytro Timashov gave a Phantom a literal bloody nose in one of the matchups last season.
The teams later faced-off against each other in the Eastern Conference Final where the Marlies swept the Phantoms out of the playoffs in four games. You can bet they will not be happy campers on their first trip back again to see the Marlies this season.
I am hoping the Marlies will get to play the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the conference final solely for the opportunity to reference that their logo is basically a Pokemon. pic.twitter.com/DtQPlbDh8n— Pension Plan Puppets (@PPPLeafs) May 9, 2018
Games at the Scotiabank Arena
These are a treat for fans as tickets are generally priced the same or only slightly higher than what you would pay to see a game at Coca-Cola Coliseum.
- Sunday November 18 vs. the Binghamton Devils
- Wednesday December 26 vs. the Belleville Senators
(Yes, this is one of those unfortunate years where both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve fall on Mondays, meaning they are regular working days for many of us, and only the Tuesday/Wednesday is an actual holiday. BOOO!)
- Monday February 18 vs. the Syracuse Crunch (Family Day)
- Monday March 11 vs. the Belleville Senators (March Break for GTA schools)
Teddy Bear Toss! Saturday December 8, 4:00 p.m. vs. Laval Rocket
Everyone loves the Teddy Bear toss!
(Cameos in this clip by William Nylander and Zach Hyman. Remember when they were Marlies?)
Country Night: Saturday November 17, 7:00 p.m. vs. Binghamton Devils
There’s a live performance at intermission - artist to be announced. Last year it was the Washboard Union.
Star Wars Night: Saturday February 9, 4:00 p.m. vs. Springfield Thunderbirds
The elaborate costumes that fans put together for this game are worth the trip alone. This is also the only game of the season where the Florida Panthers affiliates will visit the CCC.
GO Transit will have significantly reduced service on weekends through the end of the year due to construction. Trains coming from the west end will take a detour to reach Union station, skipping the Mimico and Exhibition GO Stations entirely.
For nine weekends this fall, there will be service adjustments while we restore six century-old bridges between Mimico GO and Exhibition GO stations. Regular service will run hourly from Aldershot to Union Station and will not stop at Mimico and Exhibition. Trains will detour between Union and Long Branch.
The scheduled weekends are:
September 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30
October 13-14, 20-21, 27-28
If you are travelling from east of Exhibition – stay on the Lakeshore East train as it will travel to Exhibition and be out of service.
If you are travelling from west of Exhibition – stay on the Lakeshore West train and get off at Union Station. Switch trains and travel back to Exhibition.
Other team changes
There will be a few roster changes for the coming season, including some new faces, but at heart they are still the champions. There is however a change to the name of the arena. After a decade as Ricoh Coliseum there is a new sponsor and the site was renamed as Coca-Cola Coliseum.
One other notable change is the ECHL affiliate has now moved from the Orlando Solar Bears to the new Newfoundland Growlers. Did you know the Growlers are the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Also our PPP stickers are now back in stock and we’ll have a few to hand out at games again this season. See you there!