The Toronto Marlies continued their dominant form by taking all 10 points on offer against divisional rivals.
The final victory of the weekend was the seventh straight success for Toronto, tying a franchise record. Their 16-4-0 record leads the AHL and provides them with a seven-point cushion at the top of the North Division.
Toronto’s record against divisional rivals improved to 11-1-0 and their current +30 goal differential and 1.85 goals-against-average lead the AHL in both categories.
Toronto’s penalty kill continues to prove ultra reliable, allowing just one goal against on the 20 occasions they went to work in the past five games. It’s now ranked second best in the league at 89.5% and also recorded its third shorthanded goal (tied for fourth best in the league).
The Marlies power play struck five times but still relied on moments of individual brilliance and also gave up shorthanded goals in consecutive games. Despite continuing to draw the most man-advantage opportunities in the league (114), Toronto’s power play is registering at 14.9% (22nd in the AHL).
For game-by-game breakdowns, highlights, notes, and quotes from the dressing room:
- Toronto Marlies prevail over Syracuse in special teams battle
- Toronto Marlies complete weekend sweep of Syracuse
- Miro Aaltonen scores highlight-reel goal, Justin Holl nets twice as Toronto Marlies win fifth in a row in Utica
- Shootout win over Belleville gives Toronto Marlies their sixth straight victory
- Toronto Marlies tie franchise record with seventh consecutive victory
– Andreas Johnsson led the way in scoring this week with seven points (3-4-5) to his name. He extended his point streak to seven games (4-5-9) and is now tied with Ben Smith for the Marlies lead in goals (9) and points (17).
– For all of Justin Holl’s offensive abilities at this level, he struggled to put up points early in the season and only found the net for the first time during this five-game stretch. As it usually goes with offensive production, the second and third goals (including a short-handed tally) came shortly after. Paired with an assist this week, he now leads Marlies blue liners in point scoring with nine in 18 games.
– Miro Aaltonen scored just his second and third goals of the season, breaking an eight-game drought. They included a game winner against Syracuse and a magnificent power play goal in Utica. He followed that up with an assist and by scoring in the shootout vs. Belleville this past weekend.
– Chris Mueller helped himself to five points (2-3-5) this week and now leads all Marlies skaters with 10 assists. His eight points on the power play leave him tied with Andreas Johnsson for the team lead.
– Kasperi Kapanen added two goals and three assists this week and also passed the 100-game milestone in the AHL. His speed, offensive skill and penalty-drawing ability is well know, and he has become even more effective in a penalty killing capacity this season. He’s been an integral part of one of the best shorthanded units in the league.
– Mason Marchment marked his return from suspension by recording an assist for his 12th point of the season.
– Rinat Valiev dressed for the first time in a month against Syracuse but is hurt again with a separate injury.
– Kerby Rychel put up four points this past weekend (1-3-4), ending a barren spell that saw him record just a single goal through the month of November (nine games).
– Timothy Liljegren returned to action in Utica after suffering an upper body injury that kept him out for six games. He recorded a primary assist in that game and looks none the worse for his absence.
– I’m running out of superlatives when it comes to writing about Garret Sparks. He recorded his 10th win of the season on Saturday in his 12th start and is yet to lose home ice. Having given up just four goals in his last three outings, Sparks’ save percentage now sits at a league-leading .947.
– Two wins this week for Calvin Pickard, who continues to improve game by game. He’s given up just a single goal in each of his last four starts and seen his save percentage rocket up to .930.
– Kasimir Kaskisuo’s varied fortunes with Chicago took a downturn this week. A 2-1 overtime loss (18 saves) was proceeded by a regulation defeat to Manitoba (6-4 final) in which he gave up five goals (two on the PP) on 30 shots faced. He did pick up victory in his last outing, however, posting 33 saves as Chicago prevailed 4-3 over Rockford.
Orlando Solar Bears News
– It’s been a busy period for Orlando and they’ve finally clicked into gear. After losing back-to-back games, the Solar Bears have gone 4-0-1 since, including an epic comeback win that saw them clinch a 7-6 victory after scoring four times without reply in the third period.
That’s been somewhat of a theme for Orlando, who also clawed their way back from three behind to take a point in an overtime loss. The latest shootout victory came thanks to a tying goal inside the final 30 seconds of regulation.
– Joshua Winquist has propelled himself to 11th in ECHL scoring with 20 points (5-15-20). After his eight-game point streak came to an end, he picked up an assist and the shootout winner in the latest comeback victory.
– Max Novak is third in Orlando scoring with 14 points (6-8-14) after recording three goals and as many assists in the last seven games. He’s proving a key man on both sides of special teams with a shorthanded marker and three power play goals to his name.
– Martins Dzierkals finally got into some competitive action and has really come on after a slow start. His four goals include a game winner, a tying goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation, and a goal in the resulting shootout. He has five points (4-1-5) through seven games overall.
– J.J. Piccinich also recorded five points (3-2-5) to take his season totals up to 10 points in 17 games.
– Jean Dupuy bounced back from a five-game lean spell by recording six points (4-2-6) in the following five outings.
– While he’s not a Toronto prospect, defenseman Nolan Valleau is impressing with his offensive production. He’s second in Solar Bears scoring with 16 points in 17 games. Four of his six goals have come on the power play.
– Kristian Pospisil made his return from injury, recording two assists in as many games.
– Cal Heeter has bounced back from a poor beginning to the year by winning four straight games (one in relief). The goaltender posted a combined .941 save percentage in those victories, giving up just six goals.
Toronto Marlies Player Stats – November 28
Toronto Marlies Goalie Stats – November 28