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Toronto Marlies recap: the kids run out of gas, lose to Belleville Senators in OT

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Mistakes and tired legs cost Marlies squad that are thin on depth right now

Jeremy Bracco
Credit: Christian Bonin

The Toronto Marlies found themselves on a bit of a roll heading into Sunday's game against the Belleville Senators. They had won three of four games, including shutting out their opponent in two of those contests; one each for Michael Hutchinson and Kasimir Kaskisuo.

In their fifth game in 10 nights, that run of good play faltered. The noticeably tired Marlies fell to the Belleville Senators 4-3 in overtime. The B-Sens have been a real thorn in the butt of the Marlies in 2019. The one other game the Marlies lost this month was also against the Senators, a 7-6 overtime loss on February 5th. Hutchinson was in net that night, Kaskisuo started in this one.

Hutchinson wasn't that great when he gave up seven to the Senators in that game, but the Marlies gave up a lot of chances back. The same could be said for this game. Kaskisuo did well to keep his team in the game long enough to get back in, but as the game came closer and closer to overtime the skaters just ran out of gas. Eventually, the combination of tired legs and tired brains allowed the fresher Senators to score two goals late, stealing the win from Toronto.

Let's go through the recap.

The Team

From yesterday to today, head coach Sheldon Keefe didn’t feel the need to make any changes to the personnel, except for his goalies. Rasmus Sandin made his Marlies debut in 2019 after missing all the games since December 15 due to the World Juniors and then an injury. He skated with Jordan Subban for the second straight night.

At forward, the lines have been very consistent, apart from Michael Carcone and Gabriel Gagne (not the one from Vancouver) swapping spots on the second and fourth-line right wing again.

Forwards

Pierre Engvall - Chris Mueller - Jeremy Bracco

Tanner MacMaster - Josh Jooris - Gabriel Gagne

Trevor Moore - Adam Brooks - Sam Gagner

Dmytro Timashov - Colin Greening - Michael Carcone

Defense

Calle Rosen - Vincent LoVerde

Andreas Borgman - Martin Marincin

Rasmus Sandin - Jordan Subban

Goalies

Kasimir Kaskisuo

Michael Hutchinson


Here’s the Sens roster, in case anyone cares. Neither of the former Marlies in Stuart Percy or Morgan Klimchuk skated.


The Game

First Period

0-1

30 seconds prior to this goal, Engvall and Borgman were just inside the offensive blueline. Engvall thought Borgman was going to back out as a result of the pressure, but the two got their signals mixed up and Engvall unfortunately tossed the puck out of the zone. Two Senators along with the two Marlies raced for it, but Borgman and Engvall both had to commit some interference in order to stop a chance against.

Engvall ended up being the only one called, and 20 seconds into the penalty, Jordan Murray took a shot from the point and Drake Batherson knocked in the rebound from the side of the net.

The Marlies were doing a great job sticking in the offensive zone for much of the first half, but after the opening goal, the Senators came alive and evened up the shot count. It didn’t take until near the end of the period for the Marlies to fight back.

1-1

And with 1.4 seconds left in the period, MarMar got the Mar(lies) even. The shift began when Sandin cut through the defenders in front of him off the rush to initiate a cycle. As the play developed, Marincin found an opening at the top of the left faceoff circle and whipped a shot past Marcus Hogberg. This was a pretty funny goal because just as Marincin got the puck, the crowd was yelling at him to shoot. He did, and he scored much to the enjoyment of the fans.

After One

On the aggregate, it was a pretty good period for the Marlies. They out-shot the Senators 11-7 in the first, led by two apiece from Gagne, Borgman, and Carcone. Gabriel Gagne was all over the offensive zone, and especially in the slot against his former team.

Sandin looked sharp, so did Rosen and LoVerde on the back-end. Borgman and Engvall made that mistake before the first goal and weren’t quite as dynamic as I usually see them. It’s very hit or miss with Borgman now-a-days.

Second Period

1-2

It was a pretty even period, but you could tell the Senators were getting the better chances in the period. With about seven minutes left, Borgman got his lefts and rights mixed up and nearly ran into his partner Marincin during an odd-man rush against. The Sens were able to get a good chance that Kaskisuo stopped, but they ended up getting their revenge on the next shift.

Chase Balisy won the faceoff, Adam Tambellini walked around Marincin before crashing the net and allowing Darren Archibald a pair of unimpeded chances at Kaskisuo. Eventually on the third try, Kaskisuo was down and out and unable to get a hold of the puck.

This goal was far from Kaskisuo’s fault. I think the majority of the blame should go on the pair of Borgman and Marincin, as well as the first line of Bracco, Mueller, and Engvall. It was so easy for Tambellini to just walk down the right side and set up the chance, and there was no one around to tie up Archibald. It was a really sloppy play from what is expected to be the better players on the team.

After Two

The Marlies out-shot the Senators big in the second period: 12-8, but they never felt like they were owning their opponent. They looked...fine?

But by the end of the period, I started to see some tired legs and mistakes start to creep in as a result. Borgman was making mistakes. Sandin was chipping the puck off the glass because he couldn’t get it out. Timashov took a tripping penalty with less than five minutes left, and with the refs arm up, LoVerde stuck a knee out at a winger on the Senators because he was caught flatfooted at his own blueline. Thankfully, no one got hurt on the play. LoVerde was lucky to not get an intent call.

Third Period

2-2

Ladies and gentlemen, Martin Marincin scored again.

Last time, it was a slinging wrister from the top of the circle with 1.4 seconds left in the second. This time, it was a rocket from right at the corner of the blueline nine seconds into the third. Two goals on two shots. Someone should call him up and play him with Travis Dermott or something.

*Aide walks over to my chair and whispers something in my ear*

“Wait, seriously? Ugh.”

Okay, after a second look, it was deemed that Mueller had tipped the puck in while on its way to the net. So, no two goals for MarMar. Alas, he could’ve been on a hat trick.

3-2

Anyone remember Tobias Lindberg? You’re thinking about it. You’re trying to remember which trade he was in. Was it the Phaneuf deal? Yes. Wait, no, he was traded for Pickard last season. That makes no sense. He must’ve gone back to Ottawa, right?

Either way, Lindberg got called for a slashing penalty, and less than a minute later, Mueller fed Bracco for a tap-in, giving the Marlies their first lead of the game with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

3-3

Tambellini would kill the mood at Coca Cola Coliseum when he picked up the puck along the wall and deked his way through the Marlies and scored. Archibald got the assist this time along with Stefan Elliott.

About a shift later, the Marlies started to push the gas pedal down. On a broken play, Engvall was able to get into the offensive zone with Carcone with him. Engvall used his incredible reach to get the puck around his opponent and set up Carcone right in front of the net. Carcone got Hogberg down, but unfortunately, the winger couldn’t quite get the angle right and missed. A few minutes later, Nick Paul took a hooking penalty of his own, and sent the Marlies to the power play. They got close, but failed to score in the end.

The clock ticked down, and Carcone would get one last chance with 8.8 seconds left in the game, followed by a point shot by LoVerde that got deflected into the mesh leaving 2.7 seconds left, followed again by a whiffed shot attempt by Carcone off the faceoff.

After all that, regulation ended with the game tied, taking this game to overtime. Yay! 3v3!

After Three

The Marlies really turned it on in the third. They out-shot their opponents 11-7 once again for a three-period total of 34-22. Michael Carcone was pretty invisible for much of the game, but showed up and the beginning and especially the end where he had three or four chances on his own.

Overtime

3-4

A little over a minute into the overtime, Logan Brown deked the jock out of Sam Gagner’s pants before roofing the shot up and over Kaskisuo’s shoulder.

After the Whistle

  • Coach Keefe said after the game that Rasmus Sandin was tired. He tried to shelter the kid as much as he could on the second game of a back-to-back after a long layoff, but as a result of the score, he played him a little more than he would’ve liked. I think it’s going to take the kid a few more days before he’s fully functional. Not because of his injury, but because he’s an 18-year-old kid who has never played hockey at this level for this long. He had five games with Rogle in 2017, but the rest of his career has been against his age group.
  • Tanner MacMaster is another guy who is new to the team. Keefe described his early play as “hesitant” as a result of his new surroundings, but that the former member of the Utica Comets has come in with a positive attitude, which is always good to hear. The new #10 only has three shots and no points in three games so far with his new team.
  • The Marlies now go on the road for a week before returning home to the annual Family Day game at Scotiabank Arena. The SBA is going to be an attractive place over the next week as a result of the USA vs Canada “Rivalry” series this week on Thursday, the Arkells on Saturday, and the Marlies on Monday.