TORONTO- The Toronto Marlies couldn’t make up much ground this week in the Western Conference standings as they played only two games and split the decisions.
Joe Colborne and Will Acton scored for the Marlies as they were dropped 3-2 on Tuesday by the host Hamilton Bulldogs.
With the game tied at two late in the third period, the Bulldogs scored the winner on what Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins believed was put in with a high stick.
Eakins wasn’t pleased with the call and was eventually tossed form the game after voicing his concerns.
“I’m not sure who’s keeping an eye on the officials, what is their standard? Questionable penalty late in the game, a puck that’s high-sticked into the net and we have four (officials) who can’t see it,” Eakins told LeafsTV after the game. “I never swore, I called the referee incompetent and then after we got the two minute penalty I told him I loved the job he was doing and that he was excellent. That got me tossed.”
Rookie Jamie Devane scrapped with veteran Zac Stortini for the second game in a row while Jussi Rynnas made 25 saves in a losing cause.
Toronto, which has struggled all season on the road, fell to 10-12-3 away from the Ricoh Coliseum with the loss.
Drew MacIntyre, who was recently signed to fill in for Jussi Rynnas after he was summoned by the Maple Leafs, made his debut on Saturday and stopped 17-of-18 shots in a 2-1 win over the visiting Hershey Bears.
Tim Connolly scored the eventual winner after Andrew Crescenzi opened the scoring for Toronto.
While MacIntyre, who is on his fourth pro team this season, was happy with his performance, he would have liked to have had the goal back that beat him five-hole and cost him a shutout.
“Second period I took a little dip and should have had that goal for sure,” said MacIntyre.
Toronto, which has dominated home ice for two straight seasons, improved to 16-5-1 at the Ricoh.
The Marlies are now 26-17-4 overall, which is good for sixth in the Western Conference and second in the North Division, three points behind the Abbotsford Heat.
The club’s next contest will be Monday Feb. 18th when they host the Houston Aeros for the first time this season. Houston is currently fifth in the Western Conference, three points ahead of Toronto.
Here are the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of Feb. 11th to Feb. 17th.
Season Stats: 4 GP 1 G 0 A 1 PTS
Crescenzi’s goal against the Bears wasn’t pretty, but it will be memorable as it was the first AHL goal of his career. The 21-year-old plays a tight-checking, physical game and if he can earn his way into an everyday bottom-six, Eakins may be able to move Greg Scott up into a more offensive role.
10 GP 4 G 2 A 6 PTS
Connolly was the only player to find the score sheet in each game this week, which is a good thing after going five games with just one assist. Eakins has used Connolly on both sides of special teams and against the Bears he played the point on the PP.
Season Stats: 1 GP 1-0-0 1.00 GAA .944 SV%
MacIntyre’s had a run-around season as he started in the KHL before breaking his ankle, but his first AHL start, which Eakins called an “assessment game”, went over well with his new club as he back stopped Toronto to its first win all year when they scored two goals or less.
Season Stats: 31 GP 6 G 14 A 20 PTS
Ranger has been sidelined since Jan 13th with a concussion and his time table for a return is still unknown. “He’ll play when he’s ready” is how Eakins referred to his recovery. He is making progress as he’s skating on his own this week after spending his time only doing off-ice workouts.
Season Stats: 19 GP 1 G 0 A 1 PTS
Ross had been in and out of the lineup all year and it was recently announced that he’ll be out of action for at least another week after breaking a bone in his wrist. He is skating at practice, but in a non-contact jersey.
Season Stats: 42 GP 3 G 11 A 14 PTS
Scott has answered Eakins request and filled the role this season as a shut-down player, however his offence has taken a drastic decline because of it. He has just one goal in his last 31 games and is on pace to score his lowest point total in four AHL seasons.
Look for the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers every Monday