Toronto Marlies Defeat Hartford Wolf Pack

March 23, 2024

The Toronto Marlies won their second game of the weekend 5-1 over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday at Coca-Cola Coliseum. Toronto is now tied for third in the north division with a 29-20-9-2 record.

Nic Petan opened the scoring for the Wolf Pack 19:43 into the first. Josiah Slavin tiedthe game 13:37 into the second period. Topi Niemelä added a second Marlies goal just over a minute later, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes of play.

Dylan Gambrell scored off a deflection 6:17 into the third period. Nick Abruzzese added a power play goal 9:49 into the third, giving the Marlies a 4-1 lead. Alex Steeves fired home the Marlies fifth goal of the game with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation.

Head CoachJohn Gruden said that he was proud of how the team responded after playing last night.

“We knew they were going to push. They didn't play last night, and we did,” Gruden said. “And we just kept our composure. Said we were going to have to weather a little bit of their push in the beginning. I thought we did that. They did score a goal late, but I liked our second period, liked our third. Again, we stuck together as a group, and we did the things we needed todo to win a hockey game.”

"I think we're kind of in playoff mode already,” Luke Cavallin added. “Fighting for a spot here. We have to compete every night.”

Tate Singleton has registered points in back-to-back games since being recalled from the Newfoundland Growlers. Gruden said he’s been impressed with the forward’s performance.

“He's doing incredibly well. Him and along with Cruickshank, they're doing great,” Gruden said. “They bring energy, they're bringing some new life and energy to the group. We're putting them in an opportunity to succeed and they're running with it. Same way with Cavallin, boy he was outstanding.”

The Marlies are back in action tomorrow afternoon at Coca-Cola Coliseum against the Laval Rocket. Puck drop is at 4:00pm on the Toronto Maple Leafs app or on AHLTV.

Game notes:

Hartford: N. Petan (13) (M. Hollowell)
Goaltender: D. Garand (16/21) L

Toronto: J. Slavin (9) (Unassisted), T. Niemelä (7) (T. Singleton, M. Pietroniro), D. Gambrell (14) (T. Niemelä, M. Pietroniro), N. Abruzzese (14) PP (L. Shaw, M. Lajoie), A. Steeves (21) (D. Gambrell)
Goaltender: L. Cavallin (25/26) W


  • Josiah Slavin put the Marlies on the board unassisted at 13:37 of the second period. He has 23 points (9 goals, 14 assists) in 59 games this season.
  • Topi Niemelä scored the game-winning goal at 14:42 of the second period and later added the primary assist on Gambrell’s third period goal.He scored the game-winning goal in both games against Hartford this season. Niemelä has 32 points (7 goals, 25 assists) in 57 games.
  • Dylan Gambrell scored at 6:17 of the third period and later added the lone assist on Steeves’ third period goal. He has points (4-2-6) in four consecutive games. Gambrell has 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) 58 games this season.
  • Nick Abruzzese scored on the power play at 9:49 of the third period. He has 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) in 60 games this season.
  • Alex Steeves scored at 11:56 of the third period. He has points (1-3-4) in three consecutive games. Steeves has 48 points (21 goals, 27 assists) in 54 games this season.
  • Tate Singleton recorded the primary assist on Niemelä’s second period goal. He has assists (2) in consecutive games. He has 48 points (25 goals, 23 assists) in 59 games this season with Newfoundland (ECHL).
  • Matteo Pietroniro had the secondary assists on Niemelä’s second period goal and Gambrell’s third period goal. He has points (1-5-6) in three of his last four games.
  • Logan Shaw registered the primary assist on Abruzzese’s power play goal in the third period. He has 49 points (24 goals, 25 assists) in 57 games this season.
  • Max Lajoie picked up the secondary assist on Abruzzese’s power play goal in the third period.
  • Luke Cavallin stopped 25 of 26 shots he faced.


  • The Marlies went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-4 on the power play. Toronto is 20-6-5-2 when scoring on the power play on the power play and 18-8-2-1 when not allowing a goal on the penalty kill.
  • Hartford had a 26-21 edge in shots in all situations. Nick Abruzzese and Dylan Gambrell led the Marlies with four shots on goal. Toronto is 13-6-3-0 when outshot by their opponent.
  • Toronto is 9-4-2-0 against Atlantic Division opponents and finish their regular season series 2-0-0-0 against the Wolf Pack.


Not scoring first                                  3-16-2-0
Trailing after 1st                                  3-12-1-0
Leading after 2nd                                  20-1-3-0
At home                                              13-10-6-0
Saturday                                              9-6-3-1

MARLIES LEADERS *Amongst active AHL players

Goals               26
(K. Bellows)
Assists            29 (N. Abruzzese, J. Blandisi)          
Points              52 (J. Blandisi)
PPG                 7 (J. Blandisi)
Shots               181 (K. Bellows)
+/-                    +18 (J. Blandisi, T. Miller)
PIMS                126 (K. Clifford)


On the team picking up wins:

I just think it's our consistency with our team. Our guys being leaders and understanding what it takes to win and stepping up in that regard. Doing it by committee. We do it as a team, we don't rely on one person to do it all on himself. Doesn't have to feel that burden, so it's pretty impressive. With that comes consistency and that's what we're getting. Good goaltending too, it always helps.

On scoring throughout the lineup:
That’s our thing, we play four lines, six D. Again, it's by committee. Everyone at different times step up. It just brings a lot of energy and they all believe that they can help out any way they can. We keep getting that balance more, so that's important moving forward.

On Tate Singleton:

He's doing incredibly well. Him and along with Cruikshank, they're doing great. They bring energy, they're bringing some new life and energy to the group. We're putting them in an opportunity to succeed and they're running with it. Same way with Cavallin, boy he was outstanding.


On his performance:

I think for me winning is just the most important thing. Every game there's been some technical things that I thought I could work on. At the end of the day, if you get the win that's the most important part. There's been some games where I don't think I've played as well but we got the win. That was awesome. Just trying to get better every single day and compete whenever I'm in the net.

UPCOMING GAMES:*All times Eastern Standard Time

March 24 vs. Laval – 4:00 p.m.
March 27 at Manitoba – 7:00 p.m. (CDT)
March 29 at Manitoba – 2:00 p.m. (CDT)
April 3 vs. Springfield – 11:00 a.m.
April 6 vs. Utica – 4:00 p.m.

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