Marlies Give Up 2 Late Goals Against Senators in March Break Game

Jerred Bapty
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@CaptainBapty

Monday, March 11, 2019


Belleville Senators 5 - Toronto Marlies 3 FINAL

TORONTO, ON – It wasn’t the outcome young Marlies fans were hoping for. Senators Nick Paul was the hero late in the 3rd period to lift Belleville to a 5-3 victory over the Toronto Marlies at the March Break Game at Scotiabank Arena that brought in a large crowd of kids off school. 

The youngsters were treated to an eventful opening two minutes however. Marlies right winger Jeremy Bracco ripped a shot past Belleville starting netminder Marcus Hogberg for the early 1-0 lead. That was Bracco’s 17th goal of the season, which puts him 2nd in Marlie scoring (Trevor Moore has 23 goals but is with the Leafs).

Less than a minute later, Senators centre Jim O’Brien threw a seemingly harmless shot on net that fooled Michael Hutchinson to tie the game. 

So, the first period started quicker than both goalies expected, with the first shot on goal for both the Marlies and the Senators resulting in goals. 

Right off the ensuing faceoff, Rich Clune and Joseph LaBate dropped the gloves for a quick bout and gave the kids even more to cheer about.

After all that, the 1st period calmed down drastically and came to an end tied at 1. 

Hutchinson didn’t return for the 2nd period. He was replaced by Kasimir Kaskisuo after facing just 6 Senator shots but, remained on the bench. 

Head Coach Sheldon Keefe said after the game that Hutchinson “just wasn’t feeling right." Keefe continued, "He reported that, so [the training staff] told me we had to take him out… and they’re going to spend some time with him.”

The penalties and goals piled up in the 2nd period. The Marlies went ahead first off the stick of Vincent LoVerde at 4-on-4. Sens young star Drake Batherson and Marlie Michael Carcone were both in the box at the time for tripping and delay of game respectfully. 

The newly acquired Vitaly Abramov scored his second goal in a Senators uniform soon after Sam Jardine returned to the ice from a cross-checking penalty to tie the game back up at 2. 

The Marlies came right back and scored on an Abramov penalty to retake the lead with a goal from Adam Brooks. Bracco assisted on that goal and continues to hold 1st place in Marlie points with 62. 

As a potential future Leaf, Bracco touched on his development over the course of this season in relation to his performance on Monday afternoon, saying, “You’ve just got to continue to evolve. Everyone’s goal is to play in the NHL and it’s obviously a goal of mine so I’m doing whatever it takes to get there.”

Drake Batherson scored his 20th goal of the season with just under 7 minutes left on a defensive collapse from the Marlies to tie the game at 3 in the 3rd period. Batherson continues to lead the Senators in points and became the goals leader with that one as well. 

Paul scored the game winner before Batherson chipped the 5th goal into the empty net to seal the win for Belleville. 

“I think anytime you blow a lead like that,” said Bracco post-game. “I don’t think anyone’s happy, so I think it’s a lesson for the whole group and it’s a little bit of a wakeup call. Obviously, it’s hard for [Kaskisuo] to come in like that but he gave us his best and we’ve got to play better in front of him.”

Coach Keefe was disappointed with the effort his team put forth as the game wore on.

“I thought we were exhausted,” he said. “I thought it was the second period that got us. That’s really where we started to get tired and then we just didn’t have anything for the 3rd period… With the state of our lineup right now, we need to play a perfect game… you can’t give up a soft one like we did early. We can’t give up the puck in the offensive zone in the 2nd period like we did because it’s hard to get the game back.”

The Marlies drop their 2nd straight game and their 3rd straight matchup against the Senators. Belleville has won 4 of their last 5 meetings with Toronto and bounce back from back-to-back losses to the Cleveland Monsters. 

The Marlies kick off a 4-game road trip in Hershey Thursday March 15th against the Bears, while the Senators head back to Belleville for a double-header against the Laval Rockets Thursday and Friday. 

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Twitter: @CaptainBapty

Email: jerred@barnburner.ca

Photo: Maple Leafs Hotstove