Following the weekend in which Keith Aucoin recorded his historical 800th point and Jussi Rynnas became the Marlies all-time shutout leader, another week of play means more milestones to achieve.
In Wednesday’s overtime loss in Cleveland, Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton became tied with Jeremy Williams atop the all-time goals scored list. Hamilton’s 10th of this season was also his 74th in a Marlies uniform. This leaves the door open for a crack at number one on the list, with 75 and counting, perhaps as early as this weekend. Toronto’s leader is sporting the ‘C’ for his 2nd season and is playing in his 5th with the Leafs affiliate. Last year he realized his dream of playing in the NHL and did so with Toronto. This year he will take time to recognize the goal scoring feat, especially in passing a former roomie!
While the Marlies started the week by dropping their first overtime game of the year, in a 4-3 fashion to Lake Erie, they return to a place that has been very supportive to them in the standings…Ricoh Coliseum. No other team in the league has more home wins in fewer home games, then the Marlies. Producing 8 victories in only 11 matchups in their own backyard, the blue and white have once again made life miserable on visiting opponents. The Marlies D’ has surrendered only 22 goals against at home, while the offence has kicked in for 41. The grouping of San Antonio and St. John’s not only finishes play heading into the Christmas break, but it also starts a stretch of 5 games of their next 7 played in Toronto. Having won 4 of their last 5 games in front of their home fans, it could be a great way to end 2012 and start 2013.
The Florida Panthers farm affiliate is first on the menu and is looking for a different course. In the last meeting Toronto scored four straight goals between the 2nd and 3rd periods to take the game 5-3. That loss was the first of 8 straight for San Antonio and they have still not recovered in the standings. A stretch of 6 wins in 7 games was a temporary recovery, as they head into Toronto having lost their 5 games. Rookie Drew Shore is still among the team leaders in points, however newly acquired veteran Jon Sim has made immediate impact with 4 goals in 7 games.
St.John’s finished last season with two defencemen in their top three scorers. Not much has changed in that category a year later, as Derek Meech and Zack Redmond are 1 and 2 at the time of this posting. The biggest difference is the support staff of forwards, who have tailed off in offensive contribution. The Winnipeg Jets farm affiliate are in a tailspin in the month of December, having won only 2 of 8 games. Defeceman Zach Redmond leads the team with 8 goals and is riding a two game point streak.
Toronto is also enjoying points from the back end as Mike Kostka enters the weekend on a 6 game point streak with 1 goal and 6 assists over that time. Keith Aucoin has also strung together 2 goals and 1 assist over his last two outings.
As we enjoy great hockey heading into the Holiday break, here’s how to find the games on broadcast:
Friday December 21st 7pm vs San Antonio TSN 1050 AM Radio or Rogers TV Cable 10
Saturday December 22nd 3pm vs St. John’s TSN 1050 AM Radio or Rogers TV Cable 10
Thanks for reading up on the latest Pre Game Meal and Merry Christmas to you and yours! The blog will be back following the Boxing Day game at the ACC vs the Hamilton Bulldogs at 1pm.