TORONTO– The Toronto Marlies played three games in three days this past weekend and came away with a 1-1-1 record.
The Marlies played their first road game of the season on Friday against the Hamilton Bulldogs and, despite outshooting them 16-6 in the first period, they found themselves down 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Jake Gardiner scored a late goal in the third period, but that was all Toronto could produce from 40 shots and six power-play opportunities, as they fell 4-1.
Dallas Eakins made some line-up changes in Saturday’s rematch at home against the Bulldogs and the Marlies were a much different looking team offensively.
Greg McKegg and Kenny Ryan both scored on Toronto’s first two shots of the game and after Ryan added his second goal the Marlies were up 3-0 with only six shots on net.
In his first start of the season, Jussi Rynnas made 31 saves as Toronto went on to blank Hamilton 5-0.
On Sunday the Marlies jumped out to a 1-0 lead against the visiting Grand Rapids Griffins when Leo Komarov scored his first goal as a member of Toronto.
Mike Kostka made it 2-0 and the Marlies held a 3-2 lead heading into the third period, but Gustav Nyquist scored his second of the game to force extra time.
Overtime proved nothing and the Griffins won 4-3 after outscoring Toronto 3-0 in a shootout.
The Marlies are now 2-2-1 and will not skate on Monday, but will return to practice on Tuesday.
On Friday they return to Hamilton to kick off an eight-game road trip.
Here are they Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of October 15th-21st.
Season Stats: 2 GP 2 G 1 A 3 PTS
Ryan started the season as a healthy scratch but was inserted into the lineup on Saturday against the Bulldogs and scored two goals less than 11 minutes into the game. He set up Kostka’s goal against the Griffins and has already made it difficult for Eakins to remove him from the lineup, let alone send him back to the ECHL like last season.
Season Stats: 5 GP 2 G 3 A 5 PTS
Kostka scored in back-to-back games this weekend and chipped in an assist for three points. His five points lead the Marlies in scoring and his 21 shots-on-goal leads the entire AHL. Has formed some nice chemistry with blue-line partner Gardiner.
Season Stats: 2 GP 1-0-1, 1.44 GAA .952 SV%
Rynnas was given his first start of the year on Saturday against the Bulldogs and he didn’t disappoint as he made 31 saves for a shutout. His performance was good enough to get him a second start against the Griffins, where he stopped 28-of-31 shots before losing in the shootout. It’s the best start to a season the Finnish goaltender has had with Toronto as last year he went 1-5-0 to start and the year before 0-3-1 in his first five games.
Season Stats: 3 GP 0 G 1 A 1 PTS
D’Amigo picked up an assist on Friday against the Bulldogs, but found himself scratched for the next two contests. The expectations have increased this season and Eakins made it clear he needs more from the 22-year-old. D’Amigo is heavily relied on for the penalty kill, however Toronto has struggled early this season and gave up three goals in its first three games; two of which D’Amigo was on the ice for.
Season Stats: 3 GP 1-2-0, 2.36 GAA .896SV%
Scrivens hasn’t played poor, but he hasn’t shown what his club knows he’s capable of in net. He gave up early goals in back-to-back games and Eakins made him a healthy scratch against the Bulldogs on Saturday and the Griffins on Sunday. Eakins benched Scrivens once last season when he wasn’t playing well and he responded by winning five of his next six starts.
Season Stats: 5 GP 2 G 0 A 2 PTS
After scoring two goals in the first game of the season, Hamilton has been held pointless in the last four contests and was on the ice for all three even-strength goals against on Friday against Hamilton. Currently the captain is a team worst minus-4 and his chemistry with Mike Zigomanis on the second line has been lacking much of the season.
Look for the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers every Monday.