TORONTO– The Toronto Marlies aren’t making it any easier for themselves as the Western Conference standings continue to tighten up.
Toronto came back from a 4-1 third-period deficit on Wednesday against the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs before giving up two late goals in a 6-4 loss.
Ryan Hamilton and Jerry D’Amigo each had a goal and an assist for the Marlies while Jesse Blacker and Jamie Devane added single goals.
Devane’s goal was his first in the AHL and came on a breakaway after leaving the penalty box.
Greg Scott and Mike Mottau both had two assists while Jussi Rynnas stopped 20-of-25 shots in the loss.
Joe Colborne, Jake Gardiner and Blacker had two points apiece on Saturday as Toronto doubled up the visiting Chicago Wolves 4-2.
Colborne, Blacker, Mike Zigomanis and Carter Ashton scored for the Marlies while Gardiner had two assists in his best performance since being demoted back to the AHL.
Rynnas, who made his 10th start in Toronto’s last 11 games, turned away 24 shots to pick up his eighth victory of the season.
Mark Owuya got the start in goal for the Marlies on Sunday against the Western Conference leading Texas Stars. However, his 30-save performance wasn’t enough as Toronto fell 3-2.
Greg McKegg and Hamilton scored for the Marlies, who fell to 14-5-2 on home ice.
Paul Ranger missed all three games this week as he continues to regain form from a concussion suffered on Jan. 13th while Brad Ross sat out all three games as a healthy scratch.
The Marlies are now 25-16-4, but only 3-6-1 in their last 10, which puts them seventh in the Western Conference and third in the North Division. While Texas holds down first place in the West, fifth through 11th are only separated by four points and Toronto is just two points from falling out of a playoff position.
Toronto’s next game is Tuesday Feb. 12th when they head to Hamilton to face the Bulldogs for the 12th and final time this regular season.
Here are the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of Feb. 4th to Feb. 10th.
Season Stats: 41 GP 20 G 10 A 30 PTS
Hamilton picked up three points in three games this week and his goal against the Stars was his 20th of the season, which means he’s hit the 20-goal mark in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his career. The 27-year-old is on pace to crush his career-high of 25 goals.
Season Stats: 42 GP 6 G 19 A 25 PTS
Colborne had a goal and an assist against the Wolves and he’s recorded four goals and 15 points in his last 13 games. The 22-year-old has also improved on the draw and is skating more upright, with better balance, which has allowed him to control the offensive zone on the power play.
Season Stats: 36 GP 2 G 5 A 7 PTS
Blacker scored his first goal of the season against the Bulldogs and he followed that up with a goal and assist versus the Wolves. The 21-year-old dealt with various injuries in the first half of the season and, now, finally seems healthy.
Season Stats: 43 GP 10 G 6 A 16 PTS
Ashton picked up an empty-net goal against the Wolves, however his production is still on pace to be less than his rookie season. He plays a physical game, which is expected, but to earn another look with the Leafs he will need to pick up his scoring.
Season Stats: 4 G 6 A 10 PTS
Ryan has been one of the fortunate ones to earn more playing time since the NHL resumed, however he has gone 12 games without a goal. He’s played mostly a bottom-six role and has seen very little in terms of special teams.
Season Stats: 8 GP 3 G 1 A 4 PTS
Connolly scored in three straight games after his demotion, however he has just one assist in his last five outings. The veteran has been given a chance to succeed with top-line status and minutes of both sides of special teams. Now being paired with Ashton, perhaps they can find some success together.
Look for the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers every Monday.