TORONTO-The Toronto Marlies wrapped up their final week of the regular season by picking up seven of a possible eight points, clinching the North Division and securing the second seed in the Western Conference.
Drew MacIntyre stopped 30-of-31 shots Tuesday as Toronto edged the visiting Oklahoma City Barons 2-1.
Will Acton scored the winning goal at 10:56 of the second period for the Marlies, who won both meetings this season against the Barons, while Greg McKegg scored the other.
Greg Scott scored once and set up two more as Toronto downed the host Rochester Americans 4-1 on Friday.
The victory secured Toronto its second North Division title in as many seasons.
Mike Zigomanis had a goal and an assist for the Marlies, who finished the season 9-1-0 against the Americans, and Spencer Abbott and Jerry D’Amigo each scored once.
MacIntyre made 17 saves for his 13th victory with Toronto while Dylan Yeo picked up 16 minutes in penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of the official.
With the second seed in the Western Conference guaranteed, head coach Dallas Eakins dressed 14 rookies on Saturday in a 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting St John’s IceCaps.
Abbott had a goal and an assist for the Marlies, who fell for the seventh time this season by way of shootout, while Simon Gysbers and rookie Stuart Percy chipped in two assists apiece.
Ryan Lasch and Scott also scored for Toronto and Garret Sparks made 25 saves in defeat.
Veteran defenceman Mike Mottau returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a back injury.
Toronto rebounded on Sunday with nearly the entire same roster by defeating the IceCaps 4-3 in another shootout.
Yeo scored the winner as Sparks stopped 20 shots in regulation and all five shooters in the shootout.
Rookie Tyler Biggs scored his first pro goal for the Marlies while Lasch scored twice.
Toronto finishes the regular season with a record of 43-23-10 and one point behind the Texas Stars for top spot in the West.
With a record of 26-8-4 at the Ricoh Coliseum, the Marlies .737 home-ice winning percentage was best in the entire AHL.
The Marlies will face the Rochester Americans in the first round of the post-season and Game 1 is scheduled for April 27th at the Ricoh Coliseum. A playoff preview will be posted before then.
Here are the Toronto Marlies hot and cold performers for the week of April 15th to April 21st.
Season Stats: 69 GP 13 G 18 A 31 PTS
Commended by Eakins for stepping up his role since the absence of captain Ryan Hamilton, the PK specialist picked up four points this week, including an impressive tying goal on Saturday against the IceCaps to force overtime. Stuck for most of the season in a bottom-six position, Scott finished the year with seven goals and 14 points in his last 17 games.
Season Stats: 30 GP 6 G 4 A 10 PTS
Lasch scored three goals in two games this week, including his first two-goal performance in the AHL. In and out of the lineup since being acquired in mid-March, Lasch has been useful because of his speed and is now seeing time on the power play.
Season Stats: 21 GP 13-5-1 1.83 GAA .930 SV%
MacIntyre stopped 47-of-49 shots in two wins this week and will be the outright Number-1 goalie for the Marlies playoff push. Through 21 games, his stats would be good for top in the AHL and he will have a chance to show Rochester, his former club, what they gave up on when they meet in Round 1. The veteran went 4-0-0 against the Americans this season.
Season Stats: 21 GP 10-9-1 2.63 GAA .908 SV%
Rynnas still isn’t skating because of a high ankle sprain and now that the playoffs are here, chances of him playing again are very slim. MacIntyre has taken his job and even if the Marlies play for another month, it would be foolish to go back to the Fin, whose biggest let down is inconsistency.
Season Stats: 53 GP 11 G 8 A 19 PTS
Ashton is walking around and training off the ice, but a broken bone in his foot still has him on the side come game time. The Marlies could use his size for the post-season and Ashton could use the experience as he missed much of last year’s playoffs with a concussion. Timeline for a return is day-to-day.
Season Stats: 28 GP 5 G 7 A 12 PTS
Connolly was given the rest of the regular season to rest because of a hip injury and Eakins hopes to have him 100% for playoffs. The veteran could be useful for the Marlies, if healthy, and this would be a great chance to redeem himself within the Toronto organization.
With the post-season starting on April 27th, this will be the last of the weekly hot and cold performers until next season.