The Toronto Marlies don’t typically get much of an opportunity to face the Providence Bruins, let alone host them. When they do, though, the games are usually entertaining, and tonight’s was no exception. In a battle of first overall against fifth overall, the team on top extended their lead, as Toronto eked out a 4-3 win at Ricoh Coliseum.

Toronto’s start wasn’t it’s sharpest, as it saw two of their forwards make their way to the penalty box in just as many minutes. Kyle Baun headed off for a trip in the opening minute, and while killing Baun’s penalty, Colin Greening was sent off for a slash. Normally, a 5-on-3 penalty kill in the first two minutes of the game would be a death warrant, but the kill was successful and turned into a counter-attack upon expiry.

At around the six-minute mark of the period, Toronto believed that they had the game’s first goal, as Timothy Liljegren fired a shot into traffic and it trickled past Zane McIntyre. However, the referees convened at the request of the Bruins, and despite not having video to review, decided that McIntyre was probably interfered with and reversed the goal:

The Marlies didn’t get too fussed about it, though. Instead, they kept pressing, and about a minute later, a low-percentage attempt by Greening managed to trickle through McIntyre and into the net, giving Toronto the 1-0 lead they were looking for. Despite three Marlies powerplays, that remained the game’s only goal through twenty minutes.

Andreas Johnsson Chris Mueller Ben Smith
Trevor Moore Frederik Gauthier Kyle Baun
Dmytro Timashov Colin Greening Rich Clune
Mason Marchment Adam Brooks Jeremy Bracco
Martin Marincin Justin Holl
Andreas Borgman Vincent LoVerde
Calle Rosen Timothy Liljegren
Calvin Pickard

Toronto’s fortunes improved in the second period, as Mason Marchment picked up his ninth goal of the season at the four-minute mark. The 6’4 winger made the most of his frame, catching a puck in mid-air to drop and tee off on in the blink of an eye. While the goal gave the Marlies some insurance, though, Providence quickly showed why the buffer was necessary, as Colby Cave scored two opportunistic goals; one off an odd line change, and one that trickled through Calvin Pickard’s pads, in the span of under a minute.

The rest of the game was dictated by special teams. With Jordan Szwarz in the box for Providence, Andreas Johnsson buried a knee-drop one-timer for his 25th of the season, giving the Marlies a powerplay goal on their fifth attempt. In the third period, a deep-range pass by Austin Czarnik set up Kenny Agostino, who beat Pickard to tie the game once again at 3-3.

This led to a down to the wire final few minutes. Martin Marincin almost played hero with a little under two minutes to go, but rang the puck off the crossbar. Heading the other way, Vincent LoVerde tripped over himself to give Ryan Fitzgerald a prime opportunity in front of the Toronto net, but Fitzgerald’s attempt went wide. Eventually, Paul Postma took a penalty to give Toronto one last powerplay, and on it, an attempted pass by Marlies captain Ben Smith took a fortunate deflection off of the stick of Bruins captain Tommy Cross, effectively giving Toronto the game in the last minute.

With the win, the Marlies improve to 41-16-1-1 on the season. Their next game comes on Monday night, against the Laval Rocket at the Air Canada Centre.

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