Losing streaks are such a 2017 thing. At least, that’s what the Toronto Marlies are looking to lead you to believe; after a 1-6 heading into New Year’s Eve, the team eked out their second consecutive win, defeating the Laval Rocket by a score of 5-2.

While the opening period largely consisted of two sides feeling each other out, the Marlies were still able to make the most of it. It took just six minutes for Toronto to take the lead in this one, thanks to a hard and sharp cross-crease pass from Chris Mueller that found Andreas Johnsson. The sophomore winger, who has been one of Toronto’s most consistent players this year, made no mistake in turning the feed into his 13th goal of the season.

The second frame was a lot more wide open, and the tone was set by both teams in the opening minutes. Within 90 seconds, Adam Brooks had set up Kerby Rychel for his seventh goal of the year, and less than a minute after that, Daniel Audette responded by potting his own rebound to keep the game within Laval’s reach. In a period that featured 24 combined shots, though, the most important may have been a deflection; Brooks managed to redirect a toss towards the net by Travis Dermott to regain the multi-goal gap.

Toronto maintained most of the control in the third period, but towards the end, found themselves in some penalty trouble. Colin Greening was sent off for a hook at the 12 minute mark, Rich Clune was quick to follow him in with a slashing infraction. Adam Cracknell made the most of the ensuing Laval powerplay to close the gap once again, but Rinat Valiev quickly responded with his first goal of the year. Shortly after, a scuffle gave Toronto their fourth powerplay of the game, which Mueller turned into his eighth goal of the season.

Tonight was the first game of the season where the Marlies had captains officially posted on the ice; Ben Smith, Rich Clune, and Colin Greening wore their letters for the first time. Interestingly, they combined to have a forgettable night on the stats sheet; combining for just one shot and four penalty minutes. With that said, Smith got an assist, Greening forced some pressure that led to Valiev getting his goal opportunity, Clune helped act as a bit of a screen on the Brooks goal.

Brooks, by the way, seems like he might be ready to shake off his slow start. In his last two games, he’s picked up his first two professional goals, and added a primary assist.

In between the pipes, Garret Sparks stopped 22 of 24 shots on goal, and got involved in the rough stuff late in the game, which was pretty hilarious.

With the win, the Marlies improve to 24-11-0 on the season, regaining sole possession of first in the North Division for now. Their next game comes on Friday night, when they take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Ricoh Coliseum.

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