Spencer seals the deal in Rochester
Heading into Rochester where the Marlies have not won this season,
this was a huge game with their rivals chasing them in the North Division for top spot.
An enthralling and entertaining game would see the Marlies make a dream start just 37 seconds in, as Abbott and Smith combined, with the former finding the twine. Both goaltenders would make huge saves off the rush, as the game was end-to-end following the early marker.
There is no love lost between these division rivals and Petrecki making his debut for Rochester, tried to impress his new fans as he dropped the gloves with Broll. Carrick would be called for tripping as he made a great play to deny a 3 on 1 rush. It would be to no avail however as the home team tied up the game on the man advantage. Zigomanis teeing up a one-time shot from Ristolainen, would beat Christopher Gibson.
As the home side pressed after opening their account, Gibson had to stay strong to deny a great chance for Catenacci after a nice set up from Hutchings. Toronto earned themselves a pair of power plays but due to some fine goaltending from Nathan Lieuwen and good scrambling from his defense, they had the door shut on them. The opening period would end with chances for Catenacci and Gillies after a giveaway in the Toronto zone, but once more Gibson came to the fore.
The second frame would be scoreless but not through a lack of trying as the Marlies out-shot Rochester 14-6. On an early power play Brennan had two efforts stopped before throwing the puck out in front to McKegg who could only find the iron with his effort. Lieuwen was keeping Rochester in the game almost single-handedly. A shot from Brennan which may have been tipped, hit the post and the rebound fell to Devane, who sent a backhand effort toward the net that looked a goal all the way until the Rochester netminder threw himself to his left and made a tremendous glove save.
After some nice interplay with Abbott, D’Amigo found some space but yet again Lieuwen flashed the leather with Carrick waiting on the doorstep for a rebound. Christopher Gibson must have almost been falling asleep in the Marlies net but he was alert when Larsson came calling and he made a nifty toe save. That stop set up a rush going the other way and Broll finally beat the glove hand of the home goaltender but his effort rang off the crossbar.
It was more of the same in the third period as the Marlies dominated proceedings, until Rochester earned a power play with around seven minutes to play. A tremendous shot would hit the iron and Gibson had to fall backwards in time to scramble the puck away from his net. A sustained spell of pressure from the home side was weathered by Toronto until they themselves earned a man advantage with less than two minutes to play. Too many passes instead of shots on net meant we were heading to overtime.
Kozun would try an individual effort as he utilized his speed before trying to go short side, while Porter and Larsson would see their shots turned aside by Gibson. After five failed attempts with the man advantage, Toronto would earn a sixth and this time make it count. A shot from Brennan taking a wicked deflection into the path of Abbott, who duly buried the chance, earning the extra point for the Marlies.
· Christopher Gibson took the start tonight and improved his record to 4-1 with the Marlies, sporting 1.39GAA and 0.949SV%
· The Marlies registered 40 shots on net for the second time in four games
· Spencer Abbott took his goal tally to 16 and points accrued to 64
· Trevor Smith assisted on both markers and has 17 points in ten games