TORONTO– It was a successful weekend for the Toronto Marlies as they won three games in three days, including two against division rival the Rochester Americans (Buffalo affiliate).
“It’s huge,” said head coach Dallas Eakins about the importance of the wins. “Those division wins, with the way the playoffs are set, you want win your division. Anytime we can put our foot on a division rivals throat, we want to push real hard.”
The Marlies finished their nine-game road trip on Friday with a 2-1 victory against the Americans.
Greg Scott led Toronto with a goal and an assist while Jerry D’Amigo scored the game winner short-handed late in the third period.
Joe Finley scored the lone goal for Rochester.
Mark Owuya made 26 saves for the win as David Leggio stopped 22 shots in defeat.
The Marlies went 0-for-5 on the power play as the Americans failed to score on four opportunities with the man advantage.
On Saturday, Rochester and Toronto met again, but this time at the Ricoh Coliseum.
Owuya, making his fifth start in six games, led the Marlies to a 3-2 victory by turning away 32 shots including 14 in the third period.
Simon Gysbers had a goal and two assists while Mike Zigomanis and Korbinian Holzer added singles to round out the Marlies scoring.
T.J. Brennan and Marcus Foligno scored for the Americans.
Leggio got the start in goal again and made 25 saves for his third loss of the season against Toronto.
The Marlies went 1-for-4 on the power-play as Rochester went 0-for-7.
On Sunday, Toronto capped their successful weekend by beating the Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis affiliate) 4-3.
Marcel Mueller led the way with a goal and an assist as Nazem Kadri chipped in two helpers of his own.
Josh Engel, D’Amigo and Scott rounded out the Marlies scoring.
Phil McRae, Tyler Shattock and former Rocket Richard trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo responded for the Rivermen.
Jussi Rynnas got the start in goal and made 27 saves to pick up his third win of the season while Jake Allen stopped 31 shots for the loss.
Toronto scored once on four power-play opportunities while Peoria went 1-for-5.
“Our penalty kill has been very good,” said Eakins about the success his team had all weekend with a man down. “We have so much confidence in it that even on a night when the calls aren’t going your way, there’s no panic.
The Marlies will practice at the MasterCard Centre Tuesday and Wednesday before heading to St. Johns to play the IceCaps on Friday.
While it’s the first time in club history Toronto will play a team from St. Johns, the IceCaps roster will be familiar as they are last year’s Manitoba Moose; a former North Division rival.
Toronto P.K. is top in the AHL at 91.2%. Their P.P is 25th at 13.7%
The Marlies finished their nine-game road trip with a 3-4-2 record
The Marlies have picked up points in five straight games, going 4-0-1 and are currently first in the North Division at 10-5-2-1
The Marlies are 6-2-3 in one-goal games
Joe Colborne returned from injury to play Friday but missed Saturday and Sunday’s game after being recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs
Korbinian Holzer was told in the locker room after Saturday’s game against the Americans that he would be joining the Leafs
Dale Mitchell scored in his first game with the ECHL Reading Royals. It was his first game in six months after having knee surgery
Mark Owuya is now 3-1-1 with a 1.51 GAA and .944 SV% since being recalled from the Royals