TORONTO– Earning five of a possible six points isn’t a bad week for a team pushing for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Toronto Marlies played three times this week and came away with two victories and an overtime loss.
Sam Carrick and Jerry D’Amigo scored for the Marlies on Wednesday, but fell to the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 after Mike Connolly beat Mark Owuya 21 seconds into overtime.
Owuya finished the game with 26 saves and was reassigned to the Reading Royals of the ECHL right after.
The Marlies gave up two goals on just two power-play chances to Lake Erie, which didn’t sit well with head coach Dallas Eakins.
“We want two points every night and tonight our penalty kill let us down,” said Eakins. “It shows you how important it is to do things like clear the puck strong. There has to be a realization from the guy with the puck that it needs to get put all the way down the ice.”
Toronto’s fortune was reversed on Friday as Greg Scott scored the winner 2:20 into overtime as the Marlies edged the host St John’s IceCaps 3-2.
Ryan Lasch and Jesse Blacker also scored for Toronto as Drew MacIntyre turned away 23-of-25 shots for the win.
Mike Komisarek returned to the lineup after sitting out since March 22nd with a knee injury and went plus-2 with three shots on net.
Garret Sparks earned his first AHL victory on Saturday as the Marlies swept their two-game series with the IceCaps with a 4-2 decision.
Sparks, who is one of four players to join Toronto since having their junior season finish, made 23 saves for the win and is the fifth goaltender to earn a win for Toronto this season.
“I was pretty nervous heading into it but the coach gave me a chance and I didn’t want to let him down,” Sparks told LeafsTV after the game.
Stuart Percy, in his first AHL game since finishing his junior season, scored his first AHL goal for Toronto while fellow rookies Spencer Abbott and Kenny Ryan had a goal apiece.
Scott also scored for the Marlies, who improved to 5-1-0 against St. John’s this season.
Toronto dressed nine draft picks on Saturday, the most they’ve had in the lineup all year.
The Marlies have picked up at least one point in 13 of their last 14 contests, going 10-1-3, with their only regulation-time loss at the hands of the Rockford IceHogs on Mar. 27th.
Toronto is now 40-21-9, which is good for second in the Western Conference with just six games remaining before the playoffs start.
The Marlies returned to Toronto on Sunday and practice Tuesday before flying west to Abbotsford on Wednesday to face the Heat in back-to-back contests, starting Friday.
Here are the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of Apr. 1st to Apr. 7th.
Season Stats: 64 GP 11 G 16 A 27 PTS
Scott scored in back-to-back games against the IceCaps, including the overtime winner on Friday. After a terribly slow start to the season, the 24-year-old has produced eight goals and 11 points in his last 17 games while still maintaining his two-way game.
Season Stats: 52 GP 2 G 9 A 11 PTS
Acquired for Nicolas Deschamps, Marshall has added more than just depth to the Marlies blue line. Eakins has used him on the regular, despite having 11 blue liners on the roster, and has scored one goal and six points in 11 games with Toronto. The 24-year-old has also gone plus-14 since the trade.
Season Stats: 65 GP 16 G 11 A 27 PTS
D’amigo’s goal against the Monsters gave him a new career-high with 16, which is also second on the team behind only Ryan Hamilton. The third-year pro has seven goals in 14 games and could reach the 20-goal mark with six games remaining in the regular season.
Season Stats: 26 GP 5 G 7 A 12 PTS
Connolly was held out against the Monsters as a precaution for NHL trade deadline day and responded by being held pointless in both contests against the IceCaps. The veteran hasn’t scored since Feb 18th against the Houston Aeros, a span of 15 games, and is averaging only 0.46 point-per game in the AHL.
Season Stats: 11 GP 4-5-1 3.22 GAA .883 SV%
Owuya had a respectable start against the Monsters, his first in 16 games. However, after dropping a 3-2 OT decision, he was shipped back to the Reading Royals of the ECHL. To make matters worse for the 22-year-old, he’s playing back-up for the Royals as their current goaltender Riley Gill has posted back-to-back shutouts.
Season Stats: 15 GP 1 G 1 A 2 PTS
Crescenzi hasn’t played since March 16th because of injury (undisclosed) and since he’s been out the Marlies have added three new forwards that will fight for his playing time. He is now one of nine rookie skaters on the roster and Eakins can only play so many of them until the club clinches a playoff berth.
Look for the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers every Monday.