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Marlies Face New-Look Rochester for the First Time

An opportunistic Marlies club will look to capitalize against not-so familiar Rochester club.

by Clayton Hansler
October 22, 2011

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ROCHESTER AMERICANS (3-2-0-1) -AT- TORONTO MARLIES (3-1-0-0)


After nearly a week of practice the Toronto Marlies are back on the ice for competition Saturday at Ricoh Coliseum as they face a different team wearing the familiar red and blue of the Rochester Americans jersey. With a victory, the Marlies will extend their fledgling streak to three games, after two victories at home last weekend.

After two road games to start the season before opening up at home, the Marlies proved their ability to score by committee as eight different players combined for the nine goals Toronto has scored on Ricoh ice. Leading the way for the Leafs affiliate club, has been the top-line trio of Joe Colborne, Joey Crabb and Jerry D'Amigo. After the short weekend affair, the three combined for four goals and 13 points.

The victories came much to the credit of Marlies net minders as well. Jussi Rynnas made his season debut with a perfect 21 saver performance, notching both the win and a shutout. Ben Scrivens, backstopping the team in the weekend's other contest, also secured the club with a commanding performance.

The Americans enter Toronto on the heels of a shoot-out loss to the Hamilton Bulldogs Friday night. The Rochester team already showing the early benefits of their newly formed affiliation with the Buffalo Sabres despite not being able to capture the extra point. Rochester has registered seven points in their last four games, raising the Americans to the top of the AHL's North division.

Despite battling the division rival eight times in each of the past three seasons, the Marlies will be forced to wipe their slate clean when it comes to notes on the Rochester group. Only two members remain of the Buffalo organization that resided in Rochester prior to moving to the Portland Pirates at the conclusion of 2007/08, a club Toronto never faced in the three seasons as the Sabres affiliate.

Like the Marlies, Rochester has frequently activated their rearguards on the offence. Nick Crawford, T.J. Brennan and Brayden McNabb all have recorded three points, leading the top-six defence corps that has 11 points in between them.

Between the pipes for the Americans, veteran Drew MacIntyre and the less-seasoned David Leggio have split duty evenly. The less experienced Leggio may very well see action on Saturday after MacIntyre played in Hamilton. The undrafted New York native spent a season in the SM-liiga, the top Finnish hockey league, with ten-time champion TPS Turku team. Leggio and his TPS club finished the playoffs as champions and recipients of the Kanada-malja trophy.

The Marlies week of practice did not see much alteration to the line combinations that earned the victories in the team's opening weekend. Both Rynnas and Scrivens are expected to see time in net during the team's two-game set, though Head Coach Dallas Eakins offered which netminder was scheduled to play first.

Puck drop is scheduled for 3:00pm at Ricoh Coliseum with all the action broadcast online on AHL Live. Follow the Toronto Marlies 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.


EXPECTED MARLIES LINEUP


STARTING IN GOAL ... to be announced


FORWARD LINES

D'Amigo - Colborne - Crabb
Mueller - Zigomanis - Hamilton
Wilson - Boyce - Scott
Caputi - Acton - Brenner


DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Mikus - Finger
Aulie - Holzer
Lashoff - Blacker


Notes: Rynnas played for SM-liiga's Assat Pori during the same season Leggio earned the league's championship trophy. Both came to the AHL the following year … Toronto has yet to surrender a goal while shorthanded this season, one of only two AHL teams to have maintained that streak … Joey Crabb lead the Marlies last weekend with six points (2g, 4a) in two games while Joe Colborne has registered at least one point in each of the team's four games this season … Player to Watch: Mike Zigomanis. Zigomanis' point position for the Marlies powerplay could be a key to turning around the club's 20th ranked man-advantage statistics.

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