TORONTO– The Toronto Marlies played two games this past weekend and were able to pick up four important points with victories against the Rochester Americans and Grand Rapids Griffins.
On Saturday, Matt Frattin played hero as he forced extra time with a goal at 19:50 of the third period and then scored in the shootout as Toronto edged host Rochester 4-3.
Will Acton and Mike Kostka also scored for the Marlies, who have beaten the division-rival Americans in all five meetings this season, while Paul Ranger picked up two assists. Ben Scrivens stopped 12 shots for his ninth victory of the season.
Head coach Dallas Eakins did some line juggling on Sunday and Toronto looked strong as they blanked visiting Grand Rapids 5-0.
After battling a groin injury, Jussi Rynnas got his first start in net in over a month and he turned away 31 shots for his third shutout of the season.
Keith Aucoin returned to the lineup and scored twice for the Marlies, who improved to 8-2-1 on home ice, while Ryan Hamilton, who also sat out Saturday’s game as a healthy scratch, and Nazem Kadri had a goal and an assist apiece. Nicolas Deschamps added a single goal while Ranger picked up another two assists.
Aucoin’s two goals put him up to 801 career AHL points, which is good for 11th all time.
With the two victories, Toronto has won six of its last seven outings and is now 15-9-1 on the season, which puts them fourth in the Western Conference standings.
There next contest will be on Dec. 19th when they head to Lake Erie to face the Monsters, who are 1-1-0 this season against Toronto.
Here are the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of Dec. 10th to 16th.
Season Stats: 5 GP 4-0-1 1.55 GAA .950 SV%
Rynnas missed over a month with a groin injury, but bounced back with a 31-save shutout against the Griffins in his first appearance since Nov. 9th. The Finnish netminder has three shutouts in five starts this season and eight total in his career with Toronto, which is the new Marlies’ record. With Mark Owuya gone to the ECHL, it will be up to Rynnas to continue pushing Ben Scrivens for more playing time.
Season Stats: 21 GP 2 G 10 A 12 PTS
Ranger picked up some added responsibility with Jake Gardiner out of the lineup and he responded with four assists in two games over the weekend. Two of those assists came against the Griffins while on the power play, where he’s needed most with Gardiner out, and he now leads the club with a plus-12 rating, which is 10th in the AHL.
Season Stats: 24 GP 7 G 17 A 24 PTS
Kadri picked up points in both games this week, highlighted by a two-point outing against the Griffins. The 22-year-old has five goals and nine points in his last eight games and is now averaging a point-per game for the first time this season. Kadri and Frattin are currently paired together on the top line and, although Eakins has had a revolving third man on their line, the two of them have found some recent chemistry together and don’t look to be split up any time soon.
Season Stats: 22 GP 2 G 10 A 12 PTS
Zigomanis has been important for many reasons this season, including the penalty kill and valuable defensive-zone faceoffs, however Eakins was able to rest him against the Griffins without his club’s offence being affected. The 31-year-old did pick up an assist against the Americans, but that was his first point in eight games and he hasn’t scored in 10.
Season Stats: 10 GP 1 G 8 A 9 PTS
After starting the season with nine points in his first six games, Abbott has cooled off and has been held pointless in his last four outings. Eakins dressed him in both games this weekend, but without producing his time in the lineup can easily be taken away and given to another young prospect who’s looking for a chance.
Season Stats: 21 GP 3 G 4 A 7 PTS
D’Amigo is carving out a role as a shut-down forward as a member of Toronto’s fourth line and penalty kill, but his offence has taken a drastic decline in the process. The 21-year-old sat out against the Americans and he has just one goal in his last 11 games. His production pace is on the same level as his rookie season when he was sent back to junior, which is well below the 15 goals and 41 points he had last season as a sophomore.
Look for the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers every Monday.