The Marlies fell 3-2 in overtime to the Hershey Bears onSaturday afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum. After picking up a point, the Marlies are now fourth in the North Division with a 21-16-7-2 record.
Matt Strome opened the scoring with a goal 9:30 into the second period. Alex Limoges added a second goal 1:17 into the third, extending the Bears lead to two early in the third period. Joseph Blandisi cut the lead to one elven minutes later before Dylan Gambrell tied the game with just over 6minutes remaining in regulation.
After both teams traded chances in overtime, Garret Roe ended the game with a goal 3:14 into the extra frame.
After the game, head coach John Gruden said he was proud of the team battling back in the third to secure a point against the league-leadingBears.
"Yeah, especially being down two, having to kill all those penalties,” Gruden said. “Playing back-to-back nights where they're waiting for us, I'm happy with a point. Always nice to get the two. When you battle back like that it shows some character within our locker room. Again, against a really good hockey team, Calder Cup Champions. A team that's by far in first place. Good way to get that point.”
Blandisi’s third period goal was the 100th in hisAHL career. Gruden said Blandisi’s value extends beyond his on-ice play.
“Well, he's got a lot of energy, we all know that. He plays with passion, plays hard, plays on instinct,” Gruden said. “He's valuable to have on and off the ice. He's a good person, he likes being around the rink, he's good to his teammates. Every team needs a Joe Blandisi.”
The Marlies will be back in action on Monday afternoon against the Rochester Americans at Scotiabank Arena. Puck drop is at 2:00pm on the Toronto Maple Leafs App, AHLTV and NHL Network.