Toronto Marlies Fall To Utica Comets In Shootout

February 3, 2024

The Toronto Marlies fell 6-5 to the Utica Comets in a shootout on Saturday night. This was the Marlies final game of their annual Boat Show Road Trip, and final game before the AHL All-Star break. The Marlies went 5-2-1-1 on the nine game road trip.

In the first period, Josiah Slavin opened the scoring just 2:42 into the game, before Timur Ibragimov tied the game at one just a few minutes later.

In the second, both teams provided plenty of offence. Utica scored two goals in just over two and a half minutes to take a 3-1 lead early in the middle frame. Nick Abruzzese made it a one-goal game at 10:47 with his eight of the season. Justin Dowling reclaimed the two goal lead for Utica just over two minutes later. Before the period was over, Logan Shaw scored a power play goal, and Joel Gambardell scored one of his own before the period was over to make it 5-3.

In the third, Alex Steeves and Robert Mastrosimone both scored to tie the game at five and secure a point for the Marlies.

The game remained tied after 60 minutes of play so overtime was needed. In overtime, both teams exchanged chances but a shootout was needed. In the shootout, the Comets scored on their first two chances to secure the win and take home the extra point.

The Marlies return to Toronto following the AHL All-Star Break to host the Laval Rocket. Puck drop is at 7:00pm on Friday, February 9th on the Toronto Maple Leafs App and AHLTV.

Game notes:


Toronto: J. Slavin (6) (R. Mastrosimone, Z. Solow), N. Abruzzese (8) (J. Blandisi, J. Slavin), L. Shaw (16) PP (N. Abruzzese), A. Steeves (18) (K. Clifford), R. Mastrosimone (4) (T. Niemelä)Goaltender: K. Petruzzelli (19/24) SO/L

Utica: T. Ibragimov (6) (R. Russo, T. Vilen), A. Durandeau (4) (C. Stillman, T. Vilen), E. Middendorf (2) (S. Hatakka, R. Schmelzer), J. Dowling (9) (X. Parents, T. Ibragimov), J. Gambardella (7) PP (R. Russo, R. Schmelzer)Goaltender: I. Poulter (27/32) W


Josiah Slavin opened the scoring at 2:42 of the first period and later added the secondary assist on Abruzzese’s second period goal. He has points (2-2-4) in three consecutive games. Slavin has 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in 40 games this season.Nick Abruzzese scored at 10:47 of the second period and later added the lone assist on Shaw’s second period power play goal. He has points (2-3-5) in three of his last four games. He has 31 points (8 goals, 23 assists) in 41 games this season.Logan Shaw scored on the power play at 14:49 of the second period. He has 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists) in 38 games this season.Alex Steeves scored at 7:43 of the third period. He has 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists) in 36 games this season.Robert Mastrosimone scored at 15:15 of the third period and earlier had the primary assist on Slavin’s first period goal. He has points (3-2-5) in four of his last five games. Mastrosimone has nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 30 games this season.Zach Solow recorded the secondary assist on Slavin’s first period goal. He has points (2-3-4) in three consecutive games. Solow has 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in 36 games this season.Joseph Blandisi picked up the primary assist on Abruzzese’s second period goal. He has points (2-6-8) in five of his last six games. Blandisi has 36 points (11 goals, 25 assists) in 40 games this season.Kyle Clifford had the lone assist on Steeves’ third period goal. He has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 31 games this season.Topi Niemelä recorded the lone assist on Mastrosimone’s third period goal. He has 25 points (6 goals, 19 assists) in 38 games this season.Keith Petruzzelli stopped 19 of 24 shots he faced. He is 2-1 in the shootout this season.


Alex Steeves – No goal (2023-24: 2/3)Kieffer Bellows – No goal (2023-24: 1/3)2024


Toronto finished their annual Boat Show Road Trip with a record of 5-2-1-1 (12 points). The club faced six different clubs in nine games and return to Coca-Cola Coliseum on Feb. 9 against the Laval Rocket following the AHL All-Star Break.The Marlies outscored their opponents 36-29 through nine games. Alex Steeves led all Marlies in goals (6) and points (6-6-12) with Joseph Blandisi leading in assists (8). Logan Shaw recorded two game-winning goals, including the shootout winner against Lehigh Valley on Jan. 27.Dennis Hildeby was 3-2-1 through his six starts, including his fourth shutout of the season on Feb. 2 against Utica. Keith Petruzzelli was 2-0-1, making 82 saves in his three starts, including his second shootout win of the season over Lehigh Valley.Toronto’s power play recorded a goal in seven of the nine road games (7-for-33, 21.6).The Marlies road penalty kill is ranked third overall in the league (87.0). Through nine games, Toronto was 29-for-34 (85.3), allowing goals on the penalty kill in only three games.A penalty shot was awarded in three consecutive games to start the road trip. Robert Mastrosimone was awarded Toronto’s lone penalty shot and first of the season against Charlotte on Jan. 21. Dennis Hildeby faced two penalty shots, allowing a goal against Belleville on Jan. 14 and stopping Charlotte on Jan. 20.TEAM NOTES

The Marlies went 1-for-2 on the penalty kill and 1-for-4 on the power play. Toronto is 11-5-5-2 when scoring on the power play and 8-7-5-1 when allowing a goal on the penalty kill.Toronto had a 32-25 edge in shots in all situations. Robert Mastrosimone led the Marlies with eight shots on goal. Toronto is 12-11-4-2 when outshooting their opponent.The Marlies are 5-10-5-2 against North Division opponents and 2-0-0- against the Comets this season. Toronto has outscored Utica 14-8 through three games.Goaltender Dennis Hildeby and forward Alex Steeves were selected to represent the Marlies at the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic in San Jose from Feb. 4 to 5.


Scoring first                                        18-3-4-2

Tied after 1st                                        5-5-3-2

Trailing after 2nd                                  2-10-2-1

On the road                                        11-7-2-2

February                                              1-0-0-1

Saturday                                              6-3-2-1

MARLIES LEADERS *Amongst active AHL players

Goals               18 (K. Bellows, A. Steeves)

Assists            25 (J. Blandisi)

Points              37 (A. Steeves)

PPG                 5 (R. Tverberg)

Shots               115 (L. Shaw)

+/-                    +19 (M. Rifai)

PIMS                74 (K. Clifford)



On tonight’s game:We knew it was going to be tough coming into it. We beat a team that’s been playing pretty well the night before in their home building with the playoffs on the line. Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives. We weren’t great in the first but I thought we got better and at the end of the day, happy with the point that our guys got and all in all, it was a pretty successful road trip.


On the road trip:I’m very happy with the way the guys came out. It was a long trip, that’s my overall way to describe this trip but I’m very proud of the way we came out and especially coming into this weekend with two big games against Utica, I thought we played well. What we did best was battle right to the end. It would have been easy for us to fold the tent and just say it was a long trip and this one’s theirs but we did it right to the very end and I’m really proud of our guys for that. It was fun to be a part of. I think we grew as a team, we got closer and that’s what the road does, it brings everyone together and it was good for us.

UPCOMING GAMES:*All times Eastern Standard Time

February 9 vs. Laval – 7:00 p.m.

February 10 vs. Laval – 4:00 p.m.

February 14 vs. WB/Scranton – 11:00 a.m.

February 16 at Belleville – 7:00 p.m.

February 17 vs. Hershey – 4:00 p.m.

Game Recap
Become a

Marlies Insider

Sign Up Now

unlock exclusive access to special offers, discounts, contests & more!

Sign up below to receive the latest Insider offers, contests and more, as well as team news delivered straight to your inbox.