Ross scores first AHL goal in loss to the Heat
After matching a season high four game-win streak on Saturday,
the Toronto Marlies hosted the league’s hottest squad on Sunday, the Abbotsford Heat. Toronto was looking to climb up the standings in the Western Conference with the two teams separated by only four points. The game also marked the Marlies annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
The first period wasn’t all that exciting with both teams exchanging multiple chances but remaining unable to beat their opponent’s hot goalie. For Toronto, Ben Scrivens made his 15th start of the season and for Abbotsford it was Barry Brust. Brust is one of the many players using the lockout to his advantage. At 29 years old, Brust is hoping that his record setting season with the Heat will help him land a job in the NHL once the lockout ends. Brust entered yesterday afternoon’s matchup with a record of 6-1-0 in 7 starts, while compiling a 0.99 GAA and a .958 SV%. A scoreless first period saw the shots favour Abbotsford 10-4.
The second period saw much more action, starting with a goal that saw Max Reinhart beat Scrivens to give the Heat a 1-0 lead. The goal was Reinhart’s second of the season. Just before the 10-minute mark, the Heat struck again when Ben Street beat Scrivens for his 6th of the season. Toronto would get two powerplay opportunities in the period but failed to convert. Despite the fact, they trailed 2-0, the Marlies played a much better period overall.
The third period got off to a much better start for Toronto. Just over four minutes in, Greg McKegg picked the corner and beat Brust, sending a barrage of teddy bears to the ice. The delay caused by the collection of the aforementioned stuffed animals seemed to benefit the Marlies, serving as an unofficial timeout. With the crowd roaring and the game within reach, the Marlies pressure paid off. At the 13-minute mark, Mike Kostka’s point shot was deflected in front by Brad Ross tying the game at two. For Ross, it was his first career AHL point and goal. With the game tied late, it appeared that overtime might be necessary. With less than five minutes to go, Paul Ranger put the Marlies on the PK after a questionable call. On the powerplay it was Roman Horak who beat Scrivens for his 13th of the season, giving the Heat the 3-2 lead. The Marlies would pull their goalie but couldn’t convert. Final score 3-2 for Abbotsford.
• After taking a hard hit in the game on Saturday, Jake Gardiner was scratched from the lineup as a precautionary measure.
• The Marlies powerplay struggled against the league’s top penalty kill (they were 0/2 on the night)
• Keith Aucoin was a plus-one but failed to register a point and is now one away from 600 career points in the AHL
The Marlies next game is Saturday in Rochester against the Americans. The next home game is Sunday when Toronto hosts the Grand Rapids Griffins.