TORONTO – It’s been a busy week in the Maple Leafs organization. The Newfoundland Growlers continue to be a juggernaut in the ECHL, and the Maple Leafs’ injuries have begun to trickle down to the Toronto Marlies. Some good news for the Marlies…they did break their recent slump on Sunday against the San Antonio Rampage.
MARLIES NEWS & NOTES
We begin first with the Marlies, who found their stride on Sunday against San Antonio. Toronto may have been outshot 41-34, but it didn’t stop them from taking down the Rampage, 6-1. Joseph Woll stood to the challenge and blocked 40 of the shots, while Scott Pooley, Tanner MacMaster, Pontus Aberg and Nic Petan all had multi-point nights.
The win marks the end of their three-game losing skid.
One of the losses came on Friday when moments before the game, Marlies Assistant Coach Rob Davidson suddenly suffered a stroke in the locker room. Friday’s game was delayed by a half hour originally, but Toronto refused to play. With this, the Baby Buds were left to forfeit the game, giving the Stars a 1-0 victory.
AHL statement regarding tonight's Marlies-Stars game: pic.twitter.com/wf3sXg172c
— AHL Communications (@AHLPR) January 11, 2020
GROWLERS NEWS & NOTES
Speaking of winning, Newfoundland has continued to trample on the league recently, winning their tenth straight on Monday evening against Kansas City. Parker Gahagen also recorded his first ECHL shutout on January 12 after being scouted and loaned from the SPHL in December.
In Sunday’s showing, Newfoundland found twine twice from Brady Ferguson and Marcus Power. Like the Marlies, the Growlers were outshot by their opponents (34-20), but Maine couldn’t find an opening on Gahagen. Newfoundland then defeated Kansas City by a score of 4-1, with goal support from Giorgio Estephan, Matt Bradley, Power, and Garrett Johnston.
INJURIES AFFECT THE MARLIES
The NHL -> AHL -> ECHL domino effect found its form on this week, as well. It was announced on Monday that the Maple Leafs would recall Rasmus Sandin to replace Morgan Reilly. Reilly left Sunday’s game against Florida with what appeared to be a broken foot. After a CT scan, it was determined that the Alex Barkov blast would be enough to break Reilly’s foot, leaving him sidelined for a minimum of two months.
The loss of Reilly may be devastating for the Leafs, but recalling Sandin could be another big shot to prove himself, especially after an impressive IIHF World Juniors run.
With Reilly gone, Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe talked about the importance of Reilly, both on and off the ice.
“He’s a team-first guy, and he’s out there doing everything he can for us,” Keefe told Sportsnet, “He’s an important guy for our team, and we’ve seen the improvements with his game.”
Timothy Liljegren found himself a spot on the big league roster as well. Liljegren could be dubbed as a replacement for Jake Muzzin, who, like Reilly, is out with a foot injury. Though Muzzin is listed as week-to-week, Coach Keefe told the media that he could be on the practice ice as early as tomorrow.
Reilly is expected to be out for almost eight weeks and Muzzin could still be a week or two. Whether Toronto keeps Sandin or Liljegren remains to be seen.
THE CALL-UPS FROM ST. JOHN’S
Having two guys down for the count on defence, the Marlies turned to Joseph Duszak and Michael Kapla from the ECHL, who have both had an impressive season so far. Duszak has potted 27 points in 29 games with the Growlers so far this year, and has spent six games in the AHL this season with the Marlies. Kapla’s experience brings over 130 AHL games to the table. Keeping things fresh defensively, Kapla also sports the “A” on The Rock for the Growlers.
Newfoundland plays Wednesday against Kansas City at 7:00 pm NST (5:30 pm EST). The game will be broadcast live on ECHL.TV. The Toronto Marlies have their second date against San Antonio on Thursday at 8:00 pm EST. The contest will be broadcast live on AHLTV.
WHAT’S COOL ON TWITTER
.@MapleLeafs 2019/2020 Roster – January 14, 2019
Leafs Position Data: https://t.co/Tgz3UPAjCW@TorontoMarlies Position Data: https://t.co/RX6Tplc2oT@NLGrowlers Position Data: https://t.co/JEGzMWP48t
Growlers Transactions: https://t.co/PIUW3Q2qFM pic.twitter.com/EWS8Tm0lfQ
— Chewie De Caria (@ChewieD23) January 14, 2020
Follow Zack on Twitter for his usual beat coverage of the Toronto Marlies! Don’t forget to also follow The Sin Bin on Twitter and Facebook for all additional AHL, ECHL, and SPHL minor league hockey news and insights!
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