Don’t look now, but the Toronto Marlies might be back on track. Even with a swap of Travis Dermott and Martin Marincin happening a few hours prior, the blue and white were able to stay focused and take home two points against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday Night, extending their win streak to three games.

A. Johnsson C. Mueller B. Smith M. Marincin V. LoVerde
D. Timashov M. Aaltonen K. Kapanen R. Valiev J. Holl
C. Greening J. Dupuy T. Moore A. Nielsen C. Rosen
K. Rychel A. Brooks R. Clune G. Sparks

Toronto got the advantage of a massive head start in this one, as it took them next to no time to get on the scoresheet. Kasperi Kapanen found himself in scoring position just 49 seconds into the first period, and while he didn’t put his shot into the back of the net, he did put it off of teammate Miro Aaltonen, who guided it across the line. The goal was the only one by either team in a back and forth period, played entirely at even strength.

Misfortune hit the Marlies early in the second when an attempted shot on goal by Andrew Nielsen ended up being blocked by Alex Krushelnyski, who had no issue corralling it and sending himself off on a breakaway. Krushelnyski was able to deke out Garret Sparks to tie the game, and six minutes later, luck would find the Phantoms once again, when Oscar Lindbolm’s attempt to make a centring pass bounced off of Rinat Valiev’s skate and gave him an easy rebound.

Toronto, now playing in a trailing position, began to put the pressure on in the third period. While it looked like their chances would end up being unfruitful, Colin Greening eventually found a way to defeat Alex Lyon, making the most of a giveaway by former Marlies defenceman TJ Brennan and slipping the puck into the Lehigh Valley net with fewer than four minutes remaining in the game. This sent the contest to overtime, which Toronto looked strongly in control of, particularly after earning a powerplay, but couldn’t turn that into a game-winning goal.

Thankfully for the Marlies, the shootout was about as seamless as they could hope for. Up front, Aaltonen and Kapanen each scored on their attempts, while Sparks capped off his first-star performance with saves on Lindbolm and Chris Conner.

With the win, the Marlies improve to 25-11-0 on the season, restoring their North Division and Eastern Conference leads. The returned to the ice on Saturday afternoon to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers; that game is still underway.

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