After a win on Saturday that one could argue that they didn’t totally deserve, the Toronto Marlies sought to bump up their competitive juices to ensure a favourable result to close the weekend. They did that to an extent but didn’t get the result that they were looking for in a 3-2 defeat.

To an extent, this a game where singular plays with the puck worked against Toronto, and that certainly rang true to start off the game. While the Marlies had the first powerplay of the game, they squandered it in the worst kind of way; Calle Rosen was outmuscled at the line, gave up the puck to Kyle Baun, and Daniel Carr roofed it past Pickard on his backhand.

That wasn’t a deficit that lasted super long, though. Nikita Soshnikov and Mason Marchment went to work for their next shift, and found a way to create themselves enough space for the latter forward to tie the game. It was yet another well-rewarded, hard-nosed play for Marchment, who has been causing commotion all season and earned his fourth goal in seven games from his effort.

Not long afterwards, Chris Mueller finished off a much-needed powerplay effort. For all the recent talk about how many assists a hockey goal should have awarded, this was one where you’d almost be happy with a third: Calle Rosen was left out for his initial pass to find Dmytro Timashov, but a deflection by Kerby Rychel and a snap reaction by Chris Mueller to move that bouncing puck into the net gave Toronto the lead late in the first period

Unfortunately, despite outshooting Laval for the first 40 minutes, early goals in each of the final periods would come back to haunt the Marlies. Justin Holl’s inability to secure the puck in the neutral zone gave Jordan Bouche a rush in the early goings of the second period, and a bounce off Miro Aaltonen’s skate into a line change-encouraged gap of nothingness gave Daniel Carr an opportunity to fire another high shot past Calvin Pickard. Toronto had a flurry of shots in the final minutes of regulation, but couldn’t get any more of them to sneak past Charlie Lindgren.

Forwards Defence
K. Rychel M. Aaltonen A. Johnsson T. Dermott V. LoVerde
D. Timashov C. Mueller T. Moore A. Nielsen C. Rosen
C. Greening F. Gauthier N. Soshnikov R. Valiev J. Holl
M. Marchment A. Brooks B. Smith C. Pickard

Other Items Of Note..

  • Without looking at the penalty sheet, you’d think that the refs swallowed their whistle this game. Looking at it, though, Toronto had seven powerplays. It didn’t feel like it at times, though, which I guess shows you just how much of an edge the Rocket were playing with, and evidently, how relatively non-threatening the Marlies were on the powerplay again tonight. They did get a goal out of it (and really, the Marchment goal came before Laval could set up for 5v5 again after their kill), but drew blanks for their final five opportunities.

  • Toronto’s penalty kill remained strong, though. Another two kills today bumps them up to 83.7% on the year; still in the lower-mid of the pack, but slowly climbing.

  • Andreas Johnsson seemed like Enemy #1 to the Rocket in the final moments of the game, to the point that he drew a cross-checking penalty from Matt Taormina in the final minutes of the contest to give Toronto that much-needed 6-on-4 advantage (that they failed to convert on). I wonder that’s something that’s been building up, or if he just knew that he had to make his presence known in front of the net and hope to either find an opening or create havoc. Either way, it somewhat worked.

  • Calvin Pickard was beat up high with all three of his goals against tonight. Maybe a coincidence. Maybe a sign that the Marlies defencemen were giving their opponents too much open space to work with (snipers with room tend to snipe, and snipers love going high). Whatever the case, that’s a second consecutive statistically poor performance out of the recent acquisition, who drops to 0.892 over three games after an incredible debut.

  • It was fun seeing a few ex-Marlies in today’s Laval lineup, and that should add to the fun that already comes out of the Leafs/Habs rivalry story arch. David Broll (above), Peter Holland, and Byron Froese all suited up for the Rocket and made their presences clear in some way, shape or form.

The loss today gives Toronto a 6-3-0 record through October; certainly not an awful start. They’ll be without home-ice advantage for much of the month ahead now, though; the Royal Winter Fair trip is about to begin. While they’ll squeeze in a few road games along the way, (the next of which is a rematch against Laval on Wednesday), they’ll be gone their home rink until November 18th.

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