As the New Year arrived, my beloved
Toronto Marlies played host to their cross-border rivals Syracuse Crunch.
The New York team is well named, with a history of pounding their opponents physically if not always on the scoreboard…and the local boys were ready to give as good as they got.
Saturday, January 2: Toronto 3 – Syracuse 2 ( YouTube highlights)
As the teams took the ice to warm up, things got heated
Even after dispersing to practice, the combative clot reformed at centre ice.
Frederik Gauthier practically buries his head into the opposing centre to win the face-off
Giving up height, Ryan Rupert refuses to cede the crease
Puck frozen along the boards, Frederik Gauthier holds his man tight while Viktor Loov waits for an opening
Even flat on his back, goaltender Rob Madore has his eye on the puck
Sunday, January 3: Toronto 3 – Syracuse 2 (OT) ( YouTube highlights)
Despite the screen, Antoine Bibeau gets just enough of the puck to see if fly wide of the net
Justin Johnson and David Broll clear hostilities early in Game Two of the weekend series
David Broll manages the upper hand in the fight before finally taking to one knee
Clear in the mid slot, Nikita Soshnikov fires a bullet at Kristers Gudlevskis
As fast as he was, Antoine Bibeau couldn’t stop the puck from finding the five-hole for Syracuse’s first goal
Crowding the goalie, Casey Bailey chases a juicy rebound
After taking a shot off the collarbone, Kristers Gudlevskis takes a moment to regroup
Through a multi-layered screen, Nikita Soshnikov tries to thread the needle
With everyone busy, Nikita Soshnikov reaches in to clear the puck from the danger zone
The hard-hitting series sets up an interesting three-quel when Syracuse visits Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum yet again on Wednesday, January 20.
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