A depleted Marlies lineup falters in game 76

Gordon Brown
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Cleveland (5) Toronto (1) Final

Photo credit: @TorontoMarlies

TORONTO — The Cleveland Monsters defeated the Toronto Marlies __ on Sunday in the final game of the American Hockey League regular season.

In a triumphant effort, the Monsters (37-29-8-2) clinched a playoff berth with their victory paired with a Belleville Senators loss. 

The Marlies (39-24-9-4) opted to rest a slew of key contributors in preparation of the playoffs and failed to reach the 40-win mark on the last day of the AHL regular season. It snaps a streak of seven consecutive years dating back to 2011-12.

It’s certainly not the effort you expect to see before heading into the postseason—but it’s ultimately not a reflection of Toronto’s everyday roster.

An early power play was awarded to Toronto as a result of Doyle Somerby’s tripping infraction, however, it did not work in their favour as Cleveland dominated the inexperienced Marlies lineup.

Cleveland outshot Toronto 20-2 through the opening twenty minutes and seemingly dominated the pace of play throughout. Ryan Moore and Kristians Rubins each recorded a shot to highlight the Marlies’ offensive firepower in the frame.

Eamon McAdam single-handedly kept the Marlies in a position to counter the opposition but could only take them so far. The Monsters broke open the scoring twenty seconds into the second period to take a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Zac Dalpe’s 33rd goal of the season.

In a surprising turn of events, the Marlies tied the game 1-1 on their fourth shot of the game. Hudson Elynuik recorded his first career American Hockey League goal after tipping Eemeli Rasanen's point shot—it was also Rasanen's first career AHL point.

Toronto struggled to suppress the Monsters’ offence and surrendered back-to-back goals in a span of 2:04. Mark Letestu scored his 21st goal of the season before Somerby notched his eighth to give Cleveland a 3-1 advantage.

Cleveland continued to pad their lead in the third period and scored twice in a span of 1:25, further lowering Toronto’s morale and the chance of a comeback. Justin Scott and Derek Barach each scored, consecutively, with intentions of clinching a playoff berth for their team.

The score would stand at 5-1 in favour of Cleveland at the end of regulation time.

Toronto will face-off against the Rochester Americans in Round 1 of the playoffs.