Friday will mark the latest battle in the Toronto and Rochester series. Heading into the game the two teams are tied with 19pts; the Americans have a slight advantage with a game in hand. Both vie for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
In years past the end of November isn’t usually the time to start watching the standings – and trust me, I’m not trying to start anything here – but recently the league has shows a parody and competition level that calls to mind the NHL’s conference by the same name.
At the conclusion of last season, only ten points separated the fourth from eleventh place in the Marlies conference. Despite finishing second, the Toronto club still had to wait until the final five games before being rewarded a certain spot in the league’s post-season.
With a weekend ahead of the Marlies filled with three games against two divisional opponents, the stock piling of points is important.
As mentioned above, first up is Rochester. My first three notes ahead of the game come care-of Paul Hendrick and Jon Abbott:
- Although having not played in Rochester yet this season, the Marlies won their last two meetings at the Blue Cross Arena in March earlier this year
- After scoring 34 goals in seven games, the Marlies have managed only five over the past three
- Toronto looks to snap their first three game winless streak of the season
- Rochester has only won three of their last eight
- Keep an eye out for 2009 fourth round draftee Marcus Foligno (tied for team lead with 17pts) and 2012 first round selection Zemgus Girgenson
With the team on the road you’ll have to turn your attention to trusty AHL Live for the feed of tonight’s game. Jon Abbott will bring you all the action from Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY, starting at 7:05pm. As always, the audio feed is free, it’s the video that’ll cost you a couple dollars. Alternatively, we’ll have video highlights throughout the game.
Keep in mind that as the Marlies return home on Saturday and Sunday both games will be televised. The first on Sportsnet One starting at 7pm (changed from the previous 3pm start time). Sunday’s matchup will air on Leafs TV at 3pm.
You can find me on twitter (@chansler) as I attempt to get you all the lineup news and notes ahead of puck drop.
EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP
IN GOAL: #30 Ben Scrivens
Kadri – Aucoin – Ashton
Deschamps – Colborne – Frattin
Hamilton – McKegg – Zigomanis
D’Amigo – Acton – Scott
Gardiner – Kostka
Blacker – Holzer
Ranger – Gysbers