Toronto vs Texas - Ryan Hamilton

It may be four days and counting until Santa comes to town, but for the Marlies it’s only two.

Friday will be the club’s second last game ahead of the Christmas break, both contests against teams that – at least according to the standings – appear conquerable. The first, a rare Friday night contest at home, will feature a San Antonio team that presently resides in the league’s basement with only 23 points.

Conversely the Marlies, with two wins this weekend, could tie division leader Abbotsford.

Hear are my notes ahead of the game:

  • The talented trio of Jake Gardiner (upper), Nazem Kadri (lower) and Mike Zigomanis (upper) remain out of the lineup with various ailments
  • Captain Ryan Hamilton is one goal shy of taking the team’s all-time goal scoring record, having tied Jeremy Williams at 74 on Wednesday in Cleveland
  • Although falling in overtime in their most recent game, the Marlies have collected points in seven of their past eight outings
  • Mike Kostka’s consecutive points streak continues as he now has seven points over the past six games
  • San Antonio has lost five straight
  • Goaltender Grumet-Morris has only a pair of wins on the season, while mainstay Markstrom has suffered four straight losses between the pipes

There are many ways which you can tune into Friday night’s game. Catch the action on Rogers TV as Jon Abbott and Bob McGill call all the action. The Marlies duo will also be featured over the airwaves (for all of you driving in your car or sitting in front of the transistor radio) as TSN 1050 continues their unparalleled Marlies coverage. If internet’s more your thing, tune in on AHL Live where the audio feed is always free, and video costs only a few dollars.

As a heads up, the team’s annual Boxing Day game is held at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday as the Marlies take on AHL rival Hamilton. The game starts at one, and a whole lot of happy people will walk away with Mike Zigomanis bobbleheads. If you can’t make it down, the game will be broadcast nation wide on SportsNet One.

As always, catch me on twitter (@chansler) where I’ll provide lineup news and notes as they become available.

***

Ben Scrivens is expected to get the start between the pipes. Scrivens last appeared in a 4-3 shootout win over Rochester on December 15th. Two hundred feet down ice, San Antonio’s Jacob Markstrom looks as if he will start for the Rampage.

EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP

IN GOAL: #30 Ben Scrivens

FOWARD LINES
Hamilton – Aucoin – Abbott
Ashton – Colborne – Frattin
D’Amigo – Acton – Scott
Ross – Ryan – Deschamps
McKegg

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Ranger – Kostka
Fraser – Holzer
Gysbers

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