|FINAL | 2017-18 Season, Game 36 | Wednesday January 3, 2018
Place Bell, Laval, QC
Forward lines and defense pairings:
[one_half]Terry – Cracknell – Scherbak
[one_half_last]Gelinas – Taormina
Willie Corrin, David Broll, Michael McNiven
Jeremy Gregoire (day-to-day), Jeremiah Addison (shoulder)
After going three-for-three on the road last week, the Rocket got back on home ice Wednesday night to take on their recently struggling division rivals, the Toronto Marlies. Zach Fucale and Brett Lernout both returned to Laval earlier in the day, from the Brampton Beast and Montreal Canadiens, respectively. Fucale would back up Charlie Lindgren on this night, and Lernout would set up shop with Stefan Leblanc on the third pairing.
The opening period was quick, fast-paced, and tightly played. The Rocket had a couple of prime scoring opportunities from Matt Taormina and Nikita Scherbak, but both either just missed the net or hit iron.
In a flurry of activity in Lindgren’s crease, Chris Mueller fed the puck over to Andreas Johnsson who dished it back door into the net to give Toronto an early 1-0 lead.
Laval’s penalty killers were put to the test late in the period when Eric Gelinas took the frame’s only penalty: four minutes for drawing blood on a high-sticking infraction. The Rocket succeeded in keeping Toronto out of the net, and headed to intermission down by just one goal.
Toronto didn’t waste any time extending their lead in the second period when Kerby Rychel fired a big shot from the high slot that Lindgren wasn’t able to see. Then Daniel Audette got a goal back after Markus Eisenschmid dug the puck off the end boards and fed it out in front of the net.
Lindgren continued to rally his team and the crowd at Place Bell by making some spectacular glove saves in close, and standing tall as he was peppered with shots when the Marlies rallied at the end of a Taormina hooking penalty.
Late in the period the Marlies regained their two-goal lead when Adam Brooks deflected a shot from Travis Dermott in close to make it 3-1 for Toronto.
Finally, in the third period, the Marlies began to take some penalties of their own. Toronto headed to the box four consecutive times in the period, and Adam Cracknell capitalized on the man advantage with a hard wrister from the faceoff circle.
But then Toronto surged back when Rinat Valiev scored his first goal of the season with a hard shot from the blue line. Shortly after, with just over two minutes left in the game, Markus Eisenschmid went to the box for cross-checking and the Marlies made sure to put the game away on their power play opportunity.
The Rocket go back on the road for two quick back-to-back games this weekend in Utica and Binghamton where they’ll need to get back to winning games.
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Markus Eisenschmid
▼ Eric Gelinas
|1 for 4||Power Play||1 for 5|
|AHL Three Stars|
Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report
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