TORONTO – For the Marlies, this season has been a rocky road filled with two straight losses: Saturday’s 7-3 loss against the Rochester American’s, along with a 5-0 loss against the Manitoba Moose last weekend. Meanwhile, for Cleveland, they came into Sunday’s tilt on the back end of a three-in-three series.
Toronto looked to their recovered goaltender Joseph Woll, who returned for Sunday’s game. Meanwhile, the Monsters turned to veteran Jean-Francois Berube who was coming off a shutout performance against Belleville on Friday night.
They’re All-Ready for the Faceoff Now
The game started with the shot clock getting a workout. Near the 10 minute mark, the total read nearly 20 combined. But it was a squeaker that found twine.
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev took the initial shot, and Berube thought he had it deep in his pads. With the whistle in their mouths, the referees were about to blow the whistle when the puck squeaked through Berube’s pads for the opening goal by Marc Michaelis.
Marlies get the first.
CLE 0 – TOR 1 | 1st – 8:05 | #CLEvsTOR | ? AHL TV pic.twitter.com/WIbXFecVIi
— Zack Power (@FPHMarlies) October 24, 2021
It wouldn’t take long for the Monsters to bite back into the Marlies with a Cole Fonstad pick. Woll was in an awkward position and was awkwardly against the post in a hybrid standup-butterfly position. With a cloneable five-hole, Fonstad found the seam to tie the game.
After 20, there was something special to look forward to. Both teams seemed to be carrying the puck up and down the ice well. Toronto’s 17-7 lead in the shot department was aided by a power play that looked effective through 2:00. The momentum from that zone time resulted in a down-pour of shots but a tied first period.
The tired Monsters found themself out of gas and 40 minutes away from a service station when Joey Anderson found twine. A long stretch pass through a hair-sized seam from Kirill Semyonov caught Anderson streaking alone for the lead near the midway point of the second frame.
Even with how tired the Monsters got, they had an answer to the Marlies’ goal. Brendan Gaunce took the initial shot, but Josh Dunne was parked in front with the meter running and got just enough of a piece that Woll couldn’t track the shot. It was among a momentum slide by the Monsters in the second.
Back again, tied.
CLE 2 – TOR 2 | 2nd – 8:25 | #CLEvsTOR | ? AHL TV pic.twitter.com/QffMThXy0E
— Zack Power (@FPHMarlies) October 24, 2021
At the end of 40, the game was tied again. It kind of felt tied in a way. The first period was all Marlies, but Ohio seemed to be the place to be in the middle frame. For the third, it’s about sticking to what you know. The Marlies know the Monsters were out of gas, and the Monsters know that Toronto is desperate for a win, at times stepping on their own toes.
As for the third period, well, it was Monster dominance, but a part of me has to think that Cleveland was running on a 1/4 tank. Looking at the Monsters picking up on the Marlies’ mistakes and skating on fumes was, in a way, tough to watch on both sides.
The pair went to overtime and eventually a shootout where Justin Scott, who took the franchise lead for most games played at 265, took the shot. In front of 27 friends and family in Toronto, they scored in the third round to tie things to extra innings. However, his team couldn’t find the answer to Woll when needed, and the Marlies came away with the extra point.
The biggest of moods: #MarliesLive pic.twitter.com/OFiW6rWnrw
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 24, 2021
For Toronto, breaking the 2-game losing skid was a victory in itself. But for the team who wasn’t on a bus from Belleville, they struggled in the back half of the game.
The Marlies will play again on Wednesday in Laval. Field Pass Hockey will have coverage of the game at 7 pm.
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