TORONTO– It was about as good as it could get this week for the Toronto Marlies as they extended their win streak to four games with three victories against North Division rivals.
Mike Zigomanis scored once and set up Joe Colborne’s winner on Wednesday in a 2-1 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters.
Drew MacIntyre stopped 29-of-30 shots for the victory as Tim Connolly picked up his first fighting major after dropping the gloves with Andrew Agozzino in the first period.
“(MacIntyre) was excellent, He made some huge saves. When your goalie’s making saves look easy, you know he has great confidence,” said Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins.
Ryan Hamilton played hero on Saturday as he recorded his second-career hat trick in a 6-1 win against the visiting Rochester Americans.
As always, the captain refused to take any credit for his performance without giving any to his line mates.
“That’s something you will look back on at the end of your career, but all the credit goes to my teammates,” said Hamilton about his game. “I just finished off their hard work.”
Kenny Ryan had a goal and an assist for Toronto, which improved to a league-best 23-8-2 on home ice, while Greg Scott scored the other.
Simon Gysbers chipped in with two assists and Kevin Marshall picked up an assist in his Marlies debut.
MacIntyre faced his old club for the second time since joining Toronto and made 30 saves for the win. In two starts against Rochester, the veteran goalkeeper has stopped 56-of-58 shots and has won both times.
On Sunday Toronto went to Cleveland and downed the Lake Erie Monsters 5-3 after Jerry D’Amigo scored twice in the final two minutes of the third period to break a 3-3 tie.
Brad Ross, Hamilton and Ryan also scored for the Marlies and Greg McKegg and Scott each had two assists.
Jussi Rynnas got the call in net and stopped 17-of-20 shots for his 10th win of the season, which is one of his career high set last year.
Newly acquired forward Ryan Lasch made his debut on Sunday and picked up an assist.
Currently the Marlies are 34-20-6, which is good for third in the Western Conference and first in the. North Division. Rochester is second in the North, six points behind Toronto, and the Abbotsford Heat trail by nine points. Lake Erie has fallen back 11 points.
Toronto’s next game will be a rematch against the Monsters on Tuesday in Cleveland. It will be the Marlies second of seven straight road games.
Here are the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of March 11th to March 17th.
Season Stats: 55 GP 29 G 16 A 45 PTS
With four goals in two games, Hamilton has moved into second in AHL scoring and is just three behind Tyler Johnson of Syracuse for first. The captain needs eight goals in final 16 games to break John Pohl’s single-season Marlies record set in 2005-06.
Season Stats: 9 GP 6-2-1 1.65 GAA .938 SV%
MacIntyre has basically secured the Number-1 spot in goal for Toronto and stopped 57-of-59 shots this week for two big wins. Toronto is 3-15-2 in games they score two goals or less and the 28-year-old has all three victories.
Season Stats: 54 GP 6 G 14 A 20 PTS
Scott was put into a shut-down role for the first half of the season, but has found his offence recently as he scored again Rochester and set up both of D’Amigo’s goals versus Erie. With three goals in last five games, the 24-year-old has doubled his season output.
Season Stats: 19 GP 5 G 4 A 9 PTS
Connolly failed to register a point this week after returning from a hip issue that cost him five games and against Lake Erie he dropped the gloves on a play, which likely cost his club a goal. Eakins currently has him playing up the middle on the second line.
Season Stats: 53 GP 11 G 8 A 19 PTS
Ashton battled through a foot problem only to miss two games this week with what’s suspected to be the same problem. The 21-year-old has been inconsistent for a while, so getting 100% healthy is a must heading into the home stretch.
Season Stats: 10 GP 1 G 1 A 2 PTS
Devane has sat out the last four games with a back injury and a time table for a return is uncertain as he hasn’t skated in practice. Expected to bring much-needed toughness to the roster, the club will welcome him back when he’s ready.
Look for the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers every Monday.