Following a win on Wednesday against Brett Leason and the Hershey Bears, the Toronto Marlies returned to action on Saturday evening at Coca-Cola Coliseum as they welcomed in Marko Dano and the visiting Cleveland Monsters.
After taking down the Hershey Bears with a stellar performance on Wednesday night, Kasimir Kaskisuo was given the start opposing Veini Vhehvilainen between the pipes.
From the centre ice dot as the game got underway, the Cleveland Monsters would win the draw, sending it back into their own zone, very quickly forcing the first whistle of the afternoon.
The Toronto Marlies, starting off strong, would then invade the Monsters zone before being called for a stoppage of their own before meeting again just in front of the blue line. Kenny Agostino would then force the puck around Vhehvilainen and the Monsters net, Timothy Liljegren with Toronto’s first opportunity, but quickly fanning as the play would be halted.
Hudson Elynuik would then look for an opportunity of his own, unable to do so on the wrap around, forcing the play into the Marlies own zone before sending it back out the other side and down the ice. This would then find Darren Archibald with a chance in the Monsters zone, but unable to find a hole as the play would be whistled down.
From the left-side dot, Pierre Engvall would send the puck to Jordan Schmaltz as the Marlies would look to start early before losing possession and halting the play. From the right-side dot, Tyler Gaudet would take the draw, losing it to the Monsters before converting the play into Cleveland’s zone.
Gaudet, with the chance again, would send the puck up to Jeremy Bracco who would find himself an open shooting lane, but shooting high and wide on Vhehvilainen. This would give the Marlies their first four shots of the game as they prepared for the first power play of the game, taking the draw from Cleveland’s right-side dot.
This would find Egor Korshkov with a chance out front of the net, sending the puck up to Agostino who would send it back to Gaudet. However, Agostino would then take a shot on Vhehvilainen, but saved and stopped.
With the game back to even strength, Liljegren would find himself in a battle, sending the puck to Matt Read who would clear it across the ice. The Monsters would then gain possession, but very quickly losing it as Garrett Wilson would interfere and send it back down the ice on a rush.
A scuffle behind the Marlies net would then cause a stoppage of play at 8:36, Toronto up on shots 6-4 with twelve minutes to play in the frame. After resuming play from their left-side dot, Schmaltz would gain possession behind the net before sending it up into Cleveland’s zone with a shot attempt taken, but stopped and saved. Engvall would then rush up and take a shot of his own on Vhehvilainen as it would hit the cross bar and bounce back out, giving Wilson a chance of his own.
Elynuik, surrounded by Toronto, would then take a shot from the right-side dot, failing to enter the net before the play was turned around the other way. Engvall, rushing the puck down, would attempt another shot on Vhehvilainen, but unable to find the gap as Cleveland would once again re-gain possession. With a shot on Kasimir Kaskisuo, the game would be brought to a stop with just under nine minutes remaining.
The puck would then be drawn from the Marlies right side dot, Gaudet back for the face-off, winning it and sending it back to Rasmus Sandin up along the boards. However, the play would be whistled down, forcing another face-off in the Marlies zone.
Liljegren, taking it down the ice, would send a pass across down to Agostino who would once again take a shot wide open, but fan on the chance before converting the play. This would cause a stop with 7:10 left to play in the frame.
Toronto, still looking to add, would force the play into Cleveland’s zone, Elynuik up along the boards before losing the puck at centre ice. Adam Clendening would then find himself open in front of Kaskisuo and the Marlies net, but unable to get the job done as Toronto would turn it around.
With 5:20 left to play, Darren Archibald would send it to Teemu Kivihalme, but unable to do anything with it as the Marlies lose it to Cleveland. The Monsters would then look to create their first scoring opportunity of the game, but unable to poke it by Kaskisuo as he would send it behind the net and around.
A battle at centre ice would find the play whistled down and stopped with 3:28 left to play on the clock. At this point, Cleveland would lead in shots by one, 8-7. From the Monsters left-side dot, Engvall would take to the face-off, but lose it to Dillon Simpson who rush up the ice before losing it.
Engvall, back at the boards, would send the puck across to Schmaltz, who wend send it to Adam Brooks, but unable to send it further down, allowing a battle for the puck with Cleveland. Toronto, invading again, would find a shot opportunity in front of Vhehvilainen, but struggling to perfect their formation as Clendening would send it back up.
With less than a minute remaining, Gabriel Carlsson would receive the puck at the blue line, sending it upwards to Clendening who would send it to Kole Sherwood up along boards in a battle with Toronto. This would be before Jordan Schmaltz, playing the puck with Agostino, headed back to the Monsters zone with another opportunity in fruition. With one last rush back up towards the Marlies, the game’s first frame would then come to a close with the Monster’s ninth shot saved by Kaskisuo.
Headed into the second period, the Toronto Marlies would win the draw before Engvall would retrieve it in the Monsters zone as the play would be whistled down. With there face-off taking place from Cleveland’s left-side dot, Toronto would lose it before gaining possession at centre ice, sending it up the boards. The Marlies would then take a chance on Vhehvilainen, but saved and stopping the play once again.
Bracco, up along the boards, would then retrieve the puck from behind the Monsters net, sending it back to the Marlies zone before Matt Read would find a chance of his own in an open shooting lane. Archibald would then send the puck to Sandin who send it to Liljegren in the Marlies zone before receiving the puck in Cleveland’s zone, opening the scoring just four minutes in. His first goal of the season would be assisted by Liljegren and Sandin.
As the frame then continued to play out, the Cleveland Monsters, now looking for revenge, would plot their formation back in their own zone before Nathan Gerbe entered the Marlies zone where he took a shot both high and wide of Kaskisuo.
After a scuffle on Kaskisuo’s left side with Gerbe looking to poke one right under his pad, the play would be whistled down before Toronto gained possession and took charge. This would find Gaudet in front of Vhehvilainen looking to do further damage for Toronto.
With seven minutes now having passed, Toronto would send it down to Kaskisuo, causing a battle on the boards with Adam Lindgren who would lose the battle in the zone surrounded by Monsters.
Andrew Peeke would then take a shot from the blue line, but going high and wide, stopping the play. As the game resumed from Toronto’s right-side dot, the Marlies would be handed a penalty for interference, giving the Monsters a one man advantage as they would look to fight back and tie the game.
Sandin would then find the puck and send it up to Timothy Liljegren who would send it up to Matt Read in Cleveland’s zone, just coming short of another potential scoring chance. This would then halt the play again as the Marlies would open in their left-side dot. Engvall, looking to double the lead, would then rush up and take a shot on Vhehvilainen, but stopped and saved, halting play once again.
Engvall, this time near the benches, would clear the puck in the Marlies zone, but lose it to Cleveland, now jumping on their guns, as Matiss Kivlenieks would hit Toronto’s crossbar, but miss. That wouldn’t be all as Ryan Collins took a shot from the blue lime, but Kaskisuo stopping the puck, sending it forward to his Marlies teammates.
Pontus Aberg would then rush up the ice and send the puck to Garrett Wilson who would make the pass to Tanner MacMaster who would take a shot on a busy Vhehvilainen. As the play resumed with just under nine minutes to go, Schmaltz would send the puck up to Aberg who would lose the puck, converted back to Toronto’s zone.
Liljegren, now in a battle with Gerbe, would send the puck to the Monsters zone, the Marlies working hard on both sides of the ice to preserve their dignity and keep Cleveland held scoreless. MacMaster would then find the puck, sending it along to Kristians Rubins who would take it up and behind the net, but unable to find himself a wrap around opportunity.
With just under six minutes remaining, the play would be whistled down and the game brought to a stop. As the second period resumed, Liljegren would battle for the puck behind the net, sending it to Jeremy Bracco across the ice, defending the path in front of Kaskisuo.
Aberg, nearby the team benches, would skate up the ice after gaining possession before sending it up along the boards, but losing it to the Monsters. This would then see Dillon Simpson with another chance up nearby Kaskisuo before sending the puck back to Marko Dano, making him work with the sprawling save which would stop the clock.
From Toronto’s right-side dot and Cleveland not giving up, Simpson would find himself in a scuffle with the Toronto Marlies and Kaskisuo between the pipes. Kaskisuo would then face another shot that would see him make another sprawling save, but not stopping the play as he’d send the puck up as Toronto would look to double up.
In a battle along the boards, Sherwood would grab it and take a shot on Kaskisuo, but unable two find an empty hole as the Marlies would come up swinging with a chance in the Monsters zone. With 29.8 seconds remaining, this would bring the play to a stop as Toronto would be put on the power play.
Korshkov would then find himself busy, skating with the puck behind the Monsters net before Ben Harpur took a shot on Vhehvilainen, putting it by him as the buzzer then sounded. The goal would not count for the Marlies, keeping them up by one at the frame’s end. The Monsters, at this point of the game, would lead in shots by nine, 24-15.
With the third and final period now underway at Coca-Cola Coliseum, Egor Korshkov and Kenny Agostino would find an instant battle in Cleveland’s net, forcing a scuffle with the Monsters to open the frame before seeking another opportunity spearheaded by Aberg. The Marlies would then take a timeout as they would be handed the power play with five-on-three action.
starting out from Cleveland’s left-side dot, Korshkov would find himself busy once again, making a short-handed pass to Bracco who would look to poke it in past Vhehvilainen, but unable to do so. Now up along the boards, Bracco would pass it to Sandin who would send it back as the power play formation would aline with Sandin now working with Bracco to double their lead.
Liljegren would then gain possession, taking it back to Toronto’s zone before stopping the play just three minutes in. Toronto would then be called on the penalty, giving Cleveland the five-on-three as they would look to get on the scoreboard, making Schmaltz work hard in the Marlies zone.
From the Monsters left-side dot, Tyler Gaudet would lose the face-off to Cleveland who would rush it up into Toronto’s zone, but quickly stopped and saved by Kaskisuo. From the right-side dot, Engvall would win the next face-off for Toronto, Sandin playing it along the boards before losing it near the benches.
The Monsters, now looking to make headway, would play the puck from behind the Marlies net, keeping Kaskisuo busy on his feet, able to keep Cleveland out and scoreless. Korshkov would then find himself busy with the Monsters, looking to poke the puck by them at centre ice.
Toronto would then claim another power play, squaring off from the Monsters left-side dot as Bracco would send it to Agostino would wrap around the net and send the puck across to Aberg. with another potential scoring chance, Bracco would go shorthanded on Vhehvilainen before briefly losing possession to Cleveland as Bracco would come back with another opportunity.
Korshkov, now at the boards, would send the puck to Timothy Liljegren at the blue line who would send the puck to Pierre Engvall before passing it back to Liljegren who would unleash one. This would be his second of the season, giving the Marlies a 2-0 lead. Assists on the play would be given to Pierre Engvall and Jeremy Bracco.
With just under twelve minutes now remaining, Toronto would re-gain possession in their own zone, Rasmus Sandin and Garrett Wilson keeping busy, passing the puck back and forth before before halting the play.
With 10:30 now remaining, the puck would be dropped from the Marlies blue line, Toronto winning it on the face-off before getting intervened with by the Monsters defence who would bounce the puck of Aberg’s skate and back to the boards.
Zach O’Brien would then put up a battle with the continuing efforts of Cleveland’s defence as they would look to keep the Marlies held at two, but only able to keep quiet for a short time. Jordan Schmaltz would then snag the puck, taking it forward the other way, but the Monsters putting up a strong battle, working around Korshkov in front of the net.
Elynuik and Bracco would then put up a fight of their own, Cleveland able to find their way out, battling for possession along the boards near the benches. A short time later, Agostino would find himself alone in the Monsters zone with a scoring chance, but failing to bring it to fruition and make it happen.
With 6:20 left to play, the Marlies, skating around Cleveland’s zone, would look to put in a third goal as Pontus Aberg would give it his hand before being whistled down. This would bring to play to yet another stop with 6:05 left remaining.
From the right-side dot at the Monsters blue line, MacMaster would win the draw for Toronto before losing possession of the puck as it would make its way behind the net. Toronto, however, would work to knock it loose back in the down zone, allowing Liljegren to receive it, rushing up with the puck and nearly scoring.
With just under five left to play, Engvall would send the puck forward to Egor Korshkov who would give it his hand at Vhehvilainen, but missing the net before stopping the play.
Hudson Elynuik would take the face-off from the right-side dot in the Marlies zone, winning it as Matt Read would rush it down to Egor Korshkov would slap it through the open hole, but just missing as Vhehvilainen would save it, keeping Toronto busy and hustling for more.
As the final three minutes took place, Liljegren would battle for the puck along the boards, sending it behind him to Teemu Kivihalme who would make a spinning effort in front of Kaskisuo to keep the Monsters both scoreless and limited in chances.
From the Marlies right-side dot, Toronto would win the draw, but sending it along to the benches as the play would be quickly whistled down. From the left-side dot, Cleveland would win it as Clendening would look for the shot, but Toronto, not allowing the effort, would intervene and quickly turn it around. With Cleveland having cleared the net, Engvall would just miss the empty netter as the Monsters, with one minute left, would knock it off of his stick and around the net.
From Toronto’s left-side in a last minute effort for Cleveland, Eric Robinson would send it to Sam Vigneault, though the puck would bounce back into Robinson’s zone. After a short, but well-lived effort in front of Kaskisuo in the game’s final seconds, the Marlies would manage to keep the Monsters held out as Clendening would go wide as the buzzer sounded. This would give Toronto their second win of the three game homestand.
For Kaskisuo, it was a thirty-save shutout in the Marlies 2-0 victory as he would be named the game’s first star with Timothy Liljegren and Pontus Aberg behind him. Toronto is back in action on Sunday evening at 4:00pm as they look to seal the deal, sending Cleveland back home defeated. The game can be seen on AHL TV and Leafs Nation Network, meanwhile, it can be heard on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto.