TORONTO– Starting off a nine game road trip with back to back games against the Lake Erie Monsters seemed like an advantage to team captain Ryan Hamilton.
“You’re ready, you know the faces,” said Hamilton. “You build a rivalry. We’ve had some physical games with them already and I know they want to get going in the standings.”
Unfortunately for the Marlies, the Monsters did pick up points in the standings as they won both games this past weekend.
On Saturday, Justin Mercier set-up both Lake Erie goals as they beat Toronto 2-1.
Brad Malone and Eric Hunter each scored their first goal of the season for the Monsters.
Joe Colborne scored the lone goal for the Marlies.
Trevor Cann made 31 saves for the victory while Jussi Rynnas stopped 31 shots in defeat.
Lake Erie went 0-for-2 on the power play as Toronto was unable to score on seven power-play opportunities.
On Sunday, Cedrick Desjardins made his season debut and turned aside all 29 shots he faced as the Monsters shutout the Marlies 4-0.
Luke Walker, Evan Brophey, Stefan Elliott and Hunter each scored for Lake Erie.
Rynnas made 25 saves but took his third loss of the season.
Toronto had another bad special team’s game as they went 0-for-7 on the power play and gave up two power-play goals.
“You can’t think too much,” said Rynnas about how he prepared for Lake Erie. “You just have to go in there and play your own game.”
Colborne, who scored the only goal all weekend for Toronto, gave most the credit to his line-mates efforts.
“They’re giving me a lot of confidence and a chance to go out there and be successful,” he said about Jerry D’Amigo and Joey Crabb.
Although it’s still early in the season, Hamilton knew that the two game series would be big down the stretch in terms of North division standings.
“We know they have a good team,” he said. “We want to get as many points as possible against these guys.”
The Marlies are now 2-3 against Lake Erie with three more meetings coming later in the season.
Next up for Toronto is the Texas Stars. They will meet Thursday night at 8:30pm.
- Joey Crabb’s point streak ended Saturday at seven games
- Nazem Kadri made his Marlies season debut on Saturday
- Joe Colborne’s point streak ended Sunday at eight games
- Matt Lashoff left Sunday’s game and did not return after taking a hit from behind. His status will be updated soon.
- Jussi Rynnas has been in net for all three losses to Lake Erie
- The Marlies have given up five power-play goals this season, all to Lake Erie
- The Marlies have played Lake Erie five of their last eight games.