TORONTO– The Toronto Marlies felt the impact of an American Hockey League schedule this past weekend as they played three games in under 48 hours, winning only once.
Friday night the Marlies fell to North Division opponent the Grand Rapids Griffins by a score of 6-3.
Louis-Marc Aubry and Francis Pare led the Griffins with a goal and two assists each.
Brendan Smith and Doug Janik both had a goal and an assist while Adam Estoclet chipped in a single goal.
Nazem Kadri led the Marlies with a goal and an assist as Marcel Mueller and Ryan Hamilton each scored once.
Korbinian Holzer, Kelsey Wilson and Jerry D’Amigo had one assist each.
Tom McCollum made 23 saves for the win while Jussi Rynnas allowed all six goals on 33 shots.
Grand Rapids scored twice on six opportunities with the man advantage as Toronto went 1-for-7.
After an overnight bus ride from Grand Rapids to Toronto, the Marlies hosted the Houston Aeros on Saturday afternoon and came away with a 4-0 victory.
Greg Scott played a part in every goal scored by the Marlies as he came away with two goals and two assists.
Mueller had a goal and an assist as rookie Will Acton scored the other.
Acton’s goal was the first of his professional career.
Jeff Finger, Holzer, Kadri, Hamilton and Jesse Blacker all had one assist each.
Mark Owuya made 20 saves for his first shutout as a pro in North American while Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves in defeat.
Toronto Was 1-for-5 on the power play as Houston failed to score on five extra man chances.
On Sunday afternoon the Marlies hosted the St. John’s IceCaps and were downed 4-2 for their first regulation time loss at the Ricoh Coliseum this season.
Marco Rosa led the IceCaps with a goal and two assist while Jason King and Kenndal McArdle each scored once.
Darryl Boyce and Wilson scored for Toronto as Holzer, Kadri and Mike Zigomanis chipped in an assist each.
For Zigomanis, it was his first game since missing the last three with an undisclosed injury.
David Aebischer made 20 saves for the win and Ben Scrivens, who was returned to the Marlies on Saturday, stopped 35 shots for the loss.
St. John’s found success on the power play, scoring three times on six chances while Toronto went 0-for-4.
Although the Marlies only picked up two points over the weekend, they still maintained a seven-point lead for first in the North.
Perhaps the biggest story coming out of the last three days is that each game was started by a different goalie for the first time since Adam Munro, James Reimer and Justin Pogge in 2008.
Scrivens return to the Marlies locks up the number one position, but at this time it’s uncertain who they will call his back up. Before Scrivens promotion, Rynnas was the number two and Owuya was playing in the ECHL with the Reading Royals.
But with Owuya out playing Rynnas almost every game, having the Swede sticking around hasn’t been ruled out as of yet.
“It’s gonna be a conversation once our management guys get back,” said head coach Dallas Eakins. “With Reimer’s return, now we have a nice problem on our hands.”
The only other comment Eakins made about Owuya was simple but complimentary.
“Lots of wins, he has great numbers. He’s developing nicely.”
Owuya’s numbers are 5-2-1, 1.78 GAA and .938 SV% while the struggling Rynnas’ are 4-6-0, 3.59 GAA and .879SV%.
Rynnas did back up Scrivens on Sunday and will likely stay there as it’ll give Owuya more games to play with Reading. But Owuya has raised some attention with his play and Eakins and his crew will make a final decision.
The Marlies will spend their week practicing as their next game isn’t until Friday when they head to Hamilton to face the Bulldogs for the first time this season.