Brooks' hat trick pushes Marlies to comeback victory over Comets
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, December 1, 2019
Marlies (5) - Comets (3)
Adam Brooks scored a hat-trick, including two goals in the third period as the Toronto Marlies came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Utica Comets 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.
Brooks’ third goal came as part of a four-goal onslaught in the final period, giving the Marlies an insurance goal and sealing the victory with 2:21 remaining in the game.
The Winnipeg native had his first breakout game since missing a month due to injury and says it was nice to get the monkey off his back during a tough portion of the team’s schedule.
“This is definitely a [good] weekend to test it out when you play three in three. I missed a month and I’ve wanted to get up to full speed,” said Brooks, following the game. “It was definitely nice to get rewarded after being a little snake-bitten for a couple of games.”
Toronto (15-3-2-1) looked sluggish for much of the game but came to life with just over nine minutes remaining in the game, scoring three goals in 5:26 to take the lead.
In his post-game scrum, coach A.J. MacLean credits his team’s effort and ability to adjust for the comeback victory.
“The guys just stuck with it. That's what we asked of them in between periods,” said MacLean. “We asked them to get a little more traffic on the net, they did exactly that and pucks went in for us.”
Sunday’s game marked the third game in as many nights for the Marlies and MacLean praised the character of his team for fighting through the first of five such weekends this season.
“It showed good character from the guys and good leadership all the way through. They didn't give up,” said MacLean. “It would've been an easy game to say, 'we'll live to fight another day' but they dug in and stuck with it and as a coaching staff we're extremely proud.”
Jeremy Bracco added three assists for Toronto who have won eight of their last nine games. The three helpers gave Bracco 100 for his AHL career, a fact that does not shock his linemate Brooks.
“His vision is like no one I've ever played with. You know you're getting the puck the whole way down the ice,” said Brooks. “We pushed each other to get better In the second period, that's the kind of player Jeremy is and I'm fortunate to be on his line.”
Hudson Elynuik scored his first goal of the season to start the comeback, while Jesper Lindgren’s first goal of the season tied the game at 14:45 of the third period.
Kasimir Kaskisuo made 17 saves to earn his eighth victory of the season.
Jonah Gadjovich, Lukas Jasek, and Justin Bailey scored for Utica (13-8-1-0), who had their three-game win streak snapped with the loss.
Michael DiPietro allowed five goals on 22 shots in the loss.
The Marlies will have two days off before facing off with the Rochester Americans on Wednesday night.