Coming off their home-opening shootout victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Toronto Marlies (1-0-0) will look to make it two in a row this Saturday as they welcome the Grand Rapids Griffins (1-0-0) at the Ricoh Coliseum.
James Reimer will likely start in between the pipes for the Marlies after starting goalie Joey MacDonald was recalled by the Toronto Maple Leafs to replace the injured Jonas Gustavsson, who is suffering from a groin injury.
MacDonald had a solid debut for the Marlies turning aside 32 of 34 shots in the 3-2 shootout win.
Reimer played in only three games for Toronto’s AHL club last season finishing 1-2 with a .882 save percentage.
Andrew Engelage has been recalled from the Reading Royals of the ECHL as his backup.
The 20-year-old appeared in one pre-season game with Toronto stopping 13 of 14 shots on Sept. 30 against Hamilton.
Last year Engelage played for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League posting a sparkling 46-4-1 record with a 2.35 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. He also led the team to a Memorial Cup championship with a 14-2-1 record during the playoffs.
The Griffins were also victors in their opening matchup, beating the Peoria Rivermen 3-1 on Saturday afternoon. Rookie Swedish forward Dick Axelsson was strong notching a goal and an assist.
Grand Rapids finished third in the North Division, ahead of the Marlies, with 98 points last year.
They were ousted in the second round of the playoffs, however, after being swept by the Manitoba Moose.
There will be a number of familiar faces at Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday including former Marlies Kris Newbury and Jeremy Williams who were picked up by the Detroit Red Wings organization as unrestricted free agents this past summer.
Also making a surprising appearance in the Griffins lineup will be former Leaf Brad May who is doing some fine-tuning before he gets called up to the big club.
“He’s not here to play a full season in the AHL. He’s here to make sure he’s in shape in the event that an NHL team needs him,” Griffins’ GM Bob McNamara told mlive.com.
“I expect him to work hard, get himself into shape and maybe provide some leadership to some of our young guys while he’s here.”
Meanwhile Marlies’ Jiri Tlusty will be looking to continue his torrid streak against the Griffins after scoring 13 points in just seven games against Grand Rapids last season.