TORONTO– If the Toronto Marlies recent success proves anything, it’s how important home-ice advantage will be in the post season.
The Marlies split two games this weekend to finish their 10-game home stand at 7-2-1.
In 28 games this season, at the Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto is 18-6-4. It’s .714 winning-percentage is tops in the Eastern Conference and second in the league only to the Connecticut Whale at .720.
Former Marlies forward Fabian Brunnstrom scored the winning goal on Saturday as the Grand Rapids Griffins edged Toronto 2-1.
Francis Pare also scored for the Griffins, who sit eight points out of the final playoff spot in the East.
Nazem Kadri scored the lone goal for the Marlies, who have lost all four meetings this season against Grand Rapids, while Marcel Mueller picked up an assist.
Recently demoted from his parent club, the Detroit Red Wings, Ty Conklin made 24 saves for the win, and the game’s first star, while Ben Scrivens turned away 38 shots in a losing effort.
Neither club could score on the power play as Grand Rapids went 0 for 5 and Toronto 0 for 4.
Nicolas Deschamps scored twice and set up three more as Toronto defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-1 on Sunday.
Philippe Dupuis had a goal and three assists for the Marlies, who squared the season series with Hamilton at four games apiece, Simon Gysbers had a goal and two assists while Juraj Mikus and Greg Scott added single goals.
Mueller chipped in with two assists.
Joonas Nattinen scored for the Bulldogs at 5:27 of the third period after the game was already 6-0.
Mark Owuya made 27 saves for his ninth win of the season as Nathan Lawson allowed three goals on 13 shots through 20 minutes of action.
Robert Mayer came in to start the second period and stopped 17 of 20 shots in relief.
Toronto went 2 for 4 on the power play while Hamilton failed to score on four chances of their own with the man advantage.
The Marlies next game is this Wednesday when they face the Bulldogs in Hamilton at 7pm.
- Forward Kyle Neuber was reassigned to the Reading Royals of the ECHL
- Defenceman Drew Paris was loaned to the Chicago Express of the ECHL
- Left-winger Jay Rosehill made his Marlies season debut against the Bulldogs
- Centreman Joe Colborne has been held pointless in four straight games and has scored only once in his last seven
- Left-winger Nicolas Deschamps has four goals and 19 points in 22 games since being acquired from the Syracuse Crunch
- Left-winger Marcel Mueller leads the Marlies with a plus-12
- Goalie Jussi Rynnas is expected to rejoin the Marlies at some point this week.
- The Marlies have the second best goals against at 136. Oklahoma City Barons are number one with only 121
- The Marlies penalty kill is tops in the AHL at 87.7% while their power play is 25th at 15.1%
- The Marlies are 13-13-2 on the road