Marlies Fall Short Against Crunch in Home Clash

Cameron Gaunce of the Toronto Marlies in AHL action against the Syracuse Crunch on March 2, 2024 (image source: X / @TorontoMarlies)

In a Saturday night showdown at the Coca-Cola Coliseum, the Toronto Marlies stumbled against the Syracuse Crunch, succumbing to a 2-4 defeat in front of a crowd of 6,781 fervent fans.

The Marlies faced an early setback as Syracuse seized control with two quick goals in the opening period. A mere 51 seconds into the game, Goncalves found the back of the net for the Crunch, assisted by Finley and Barré-Boulet. Shortly after, Fortier capitalized on a power play opportunity at 8:27, extending Syracuse’s lead.

Toronto fought back when Clifford answered with a goal of his own at 10:31 in the first period, assisted by Shaw, injecting a surge of energy into the home crowd.

Despite a resilient effort, the Marlies were unable to convert their chances in the second period, resulting in a scoreless frame.

The Crunch reinforced their lead early in the final period, as Dumont widened the gap with a goal just 24 seconds into the third, assisted by Merelä and Myers.

Blandisi reignited hopes for the Marlies with a goal at the 15:01 mark, assisted by Shaw and Clifford, but Syracuse swiftly doused any comeback aspirations with an empty-net goal from Koepke in the closing minutes, sealing the victory.

Both teams engaged in a physical battle throughout the game, with penalties and skirmishes punctuating the action. Notably, Solow of the Marlies received a misconduct penalty for abuse of officials, while roughing infractions were handed out to multiple players on both sides.

In the goaltending department, Tomkins of the Syracuse Crunch stood tall, turning away 22 of 24 shots faced, while Cavallin guarded the net for the Marlies, making 16 saves out of 19 shots.

Despite the defeat, the Marlies showcased resilience and determination, vowing to regroup and bounce back stronger in their upcoming fixtures.

The officiating crew, comprised of referees Morgan MacPhee (#43) and Jack Hennigan (#58), along with linesmen Nick Arcan (#22) and Adam Burnett (#67), managed the game with precision and fairness, ensuring a spirited contest from start to finish.

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