The Toronto Marlies defeated the the Cleveland Monsters 5-6 on Sunday in a shootout. It was their second win against the team for the weekend, and their sixth win in six games played this season.
The Marlies now stand atop the league standings as one of only two teams yet to lose a game. The Utica Comets have also yet to lose, but they have one fewer game played to date.
The lines on Sunday were similar to Saturday, with Jordan Schmaltz out for Ben Harpur, and Joseph Woll starting in net.
Kenny Agostino - Tyler Gaudet - Jeremy Bracco
Egor Korshkov - Hudson Elynuik - Matt Read
Garrett Wilson - Pierre Engvall - Pontus Aberg
Darren Archibald - Tanner MacMaster - Zach O’Brien
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren
Kristians Rubins - Ben Harpur
Teemu Kivihalme - Jesper Lindgren
Adam Brooks is still out with an injury, said on the broadcast to be a neck strain.
The Monsters also changed up their goalie to Matiss Kivlenieks. He’s an undrafted 23 year-old, now in his third season with the team.
It’s tough to decide how to recap this game. There were ten goals scored, ten man-advantage situations, including one in OT, and a shootout. It’s a mess of a game during which the Marlies never had the lead.
While the power play wasn’t as robust with success in this game as usual, it did bring us the first Marlies goal of the game and the first goal of the season for Sandin.
How about Aberg with the setup there? Does he ever continue to look great on this team, or what?
That’s a nice goal right off the faceoff which was won by Engvall. I believe Hardev noted in the previous game’s recap how Engvall has quite a knack for winning key faceoffs. That goal tied up the game 2-2 to close out the first period.
Aberg continues to be a key member of the Marlies power play, playing on the unit with Bracco, Korshkov, Agostino and Sandin. Unfortunately, Agostino had a slip up and the Monsters took advantage to score short-handed.
The Marlies continued to catch back up to the Monsters every time. Elyniuk started this play by breaking up a pass by the Monsters and then getting the puck over to MacMaster who beat the Monsters defender and goalie for his second goal of the season.
The see-saw continued with the Monsters getting one back on a power play of their own. The Marlies penalty kill didn’t have a great game through regulation time with the Monsters picking up three power play goals total. On this particular PK they couldn’t clear the puck out of the zone from the first faceoff for quite some time.
Then Agostino came through and tied up the game yet again. He puts the puckl in the net by banking it off the back of the Monsters goalie.
The second period ended with a scare where a puck did go in the net, but it was waived off for being batted in past Scott.
What happens in the third period? You guessed it. The Monsters scored, then the Marlies scored to tie the game yet again.
The game went to OT, and while there were no goals, it certainly was dramatic for the Marlies. Garrett Wilson took an Interference penalty which created a full two minutes of 4-on-3 hockey. That was a situation which Sheldon Keefe explained they haven’t gone through in practice. “We went through it on the timeout. We haven’t practised that at all,” he said, adding that they came up with their play based on a 5-on-3 from a previous game, and some last minute instruction. “Because it’s a full two minute though, we had a few other guys we had to bring up to speed,” said Keefe. “I thought the guys did well.”
They got through it and we went to a shootout. The first one to to score for the Marlies was Agostino. Then Korshkov does what he has been doing all season long.
After the Game
That shootout goal will of course not count to Korshkov’s season stats, so he slips off his goal per game pace, but still has a point per game pace along with Engvall, Aberg, and Bracco. Bracco didn’t pick up any assists at all in this game, but he was out there doing what he always does. This time none of the linemates he setup were able to score from his passes.
Sheldon Keefe summarised this game as a new one in the context of this season’s win streak. “We’ve been winning all sorts of different ways and this was a unique one here today,” he said and added praise for the team keeping it together while trailing for much of the game. “I like how we fought right to the end. I mean, penalty kill in overtime, we grind that out after it was a tough night for the PK. Joe Woll stands strong right to the very last shot to win in the shootout. A lot of really great signs for our guys to persevere through it.”
Despite a bad penalty kill and lots of goals against, the Marlies streak goes to six wins in six games this season.
The Marlies will be displaced from Coca-Cola Coliseum in a few days for the Royal Winter Fair. They will go on a long series of away games, probably broken up into three mini-trips through New York State, Quebec, and Michigan, then play their next home game on November 16th.
Fear not, PPP reader. We will have coverage of their out of town games for you!
Here’s Sunday’s Game in Six.