Marlies Home to Griffins

The Toronto Marlies continue their eight-game home stand against Grand Rapids on Saturday.

by Clayton Hansler
February 19, 2011

RELATED: NYE Shootout Loss for MarliesLeafs Acquire Colborne | Marlies Sign Two Goalies
VIDEO: Joe ColborneJohn Bartlett
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After a disappointing loss Friday night, a defeat that cost the Marlies the North division's third spot, the Toronto team will gear up for what will surely be another spirited contest against the Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday. The biggest story going into the matinee game at Ricoh Coliseum is surely the debut of Joe Colborne, a towering centre acquired from the Boston Bruins on Friday afternoon.

"I can't explain how excited i am to finally be here, to get the blue and white on and start playing," stated the 21-year-old in his first meeting with the Toronto media Friday evening.

A former first-round pick of the Boston Bruins, Colborne is amidst his first full season of professional play. In 55 AHL games thus far this season, Colborne has contributed 12 goals and 26 points with a Providence Bruins team that is four games under .500.

Colborne described his game during the late-night media scrum this way, "I like to have the puck on my stick as much as possible whether that's skating through the neutral zone and setting up a play on the rush or controlling it down low using my size - its something i've really tried to incorporate in my game now that I've been putting on weight in the last past few years I've really taken advantage of my size down low."

The stature of the rookie forward along with his willingness to fight hard down low will be a welcome addition to the Marlies squad. Of the four forwards that centred their linemates Friday against Hamilton, Alex Foster was the tallest at 6-foot-1, a full four inches below Colborne, and the Captain weighs in 17 pounds lighter at 196.

Along with Colborne, the Toronto Marlies made a second 6-foot-5 addition on Friday. Former Marlies goaltender Andrew Engelage was signed to a pro try-out contract as Ben Scrivens is set to become the 13th player to appear in both a Marlies and Maple Leafs uniform this season. Engelage has spent the season with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL compiling a quiet but impressive 0.921 save percentage. Signed to compliment Engelage as his backup, David Brown, former eighth round selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Stoney Creek, Ontario native, will wear #1 for the Marlies on Saturday.

The stage is set for the Marlies fifth meeting of the season against Grand Rapids, AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Having won only one of the four contests, the Marlies look to take advantage of a recent Griffins slide that has seen the Michigan team garner only two victories in seven outings.

The Griffins achilles heal recently has appeared to be their offence. Of the 12 losses the team has experienced in 2011, Grand Rapids has only once managed to score more than two goals. However, over the same time period when the Griffins have scored three or more goals they have an impressive 8-1 record.

With a victory, the Marlies can move back into a tie for third place in the North division, presently the last playoff spot in the Western conference. Jeff Finger is day-to-day a could re-enter the lineup at any time. Simon Gysbers, who was under the weather on Friday, may too return for the Marlies.

Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00pm at Ricoh Coliseum will all the action being televised on RogersTV and broadcast online on AHL Live. Follow the Toronto Marlies, John Bartlett and Chansler on twitter for updates on all the action, and join the game long conversation on the Marlies Facebook page.

Having a problem putting a name to a number? Check out the full Marlies' roster here.


STARTING IN GOAL: #32 Andrew Engelage


Brunnstrom - Zigomanis - Hodgman
Mueller - J. Mitchell - Kadri
Hamilton - Foster - Scott
Cowan - Colborne - Voros


Lashoff - Engel
Richmond - Brennan
Mikus - Holzer

Notes: Toronto, who has won only 12 of 34 games against divisional foes, will face a North division rival in 14 of their final 23 games - Hamilton has amassed nine points over seven games, including four goals and five points in the past two outings - Foster has notched two assists in each of his past two outings - Player to Watch: Greg Scott. Scott's two assists in seven games are little indication of the energy created by the Marlies' speedy winger.

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