Anthony DeAngelo scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just one goal as the Syracuse Crunch defeated the Toronto Marlies 3-1 at Ricoh Coliseum Wednesday.
The Marlies (5-3-0) had a solid first period, but were outplayed by a hard-working Syracuse team in the second and were unable to get back into the game.
“Well, I think we obviously ran out of gas and it happened quite early,” said Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe. “We didn’t seem to have much left and at the same time, they got a lot better. They were sleepy early and we came and took control, but we weren’t able to build much of a lead and they got better and better.
“I like how we started, it looked like we were on our way to doing what we wanted to do, but like I said, they kept getting better and we couldn’t seem to get it back.”
Toronto was playing in its fourth game in six nights following a three-in-three road trip over the weekend.
“We knew it was going to be a tough go for us here today,” said Keefe. “Just because of the schedule we’ve had coming into tonight.”
The Crunch (3-3-1) were chasing Richard Clune around for most of the night after the Marlies forward drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from David Broll late in the first period. Broll challenged Clune several times before dropping the gloves with an unwilling opponent.
“You know, every night guys want to fight me and I think I’m an unpredictable player,” said Clune post-game. “I think everybody talks about the fights I do get into, but there’s a lot more that I don’t get into. I’ll be the first guy if somebody gets hit from behind, I’ll go fight anybody and everyone in that room knows it.
“I want to win, I want to put my team on the power play and, I’m not going to bad mouth David Broll, I have respect for heavyweight players, but just because you ask me to fight, doesn’t mean I’m going to say, ‘yeah’.”
The Marlies opened the scoring at 5:29 of the first when Clune (2) slid one behind Syracuse goaltender Vasilevskiy with time winding down on the power play. Frederik Gauthier and Nikita Soshnikov added the assists.
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 28, 2015
It was the fourth goal from the line of Clune, Gauthier and Soshnikov in the last two games.
“I think Freddie Gauthier compliments Sosh (Soshnikov) and I well,” said the Toronto, Ont., native of his linemate. “Soshnikov and I are pretty able-skating wingers who can get in on the fore check and I think Goats (Gauthier) kind of reads off us and makes some room out there. He’s a pretty big guy and he’s good in the faceoff circle.”
Syracuse evened things up with a wrist shot from Joel Vermin that beat Antoine Bibeau glove side with 5:05 remaining in the opening frame.
Anthony DeAngelo gave the visiting team a 2-1 lead 6:56 into the second period with an unassisted goal with traffic in front of Toronto’s net.
The Crunch were the better team in the middle frame, outshooting Toronto 15-6 and netting the only goal of the period.
Toronto came out strong in the third but was unable to get the equalizer past a solid Vasilevskiy.
Matt Taormina put the game out of reach at 15:31 of the final period with Jonathan Marchessault and Jeff Tambellini picking up the assists.
Antoine Bibeau (4-1-0) got the start for the Marlies and made 26 saves in his first loss of the season.