An early-season test awaits the Toronto Marlies this weekend when they play a pair of games against the Rochester Americans.
The Marlies (2-1) and Americans (2-1-1) will play a home-and-home series on Friday and Saturday, the latter taking place Saturday at 3 p.m. at Ricoh Coliseum.
Left-winger Jiri Tlusty leads the Marlies with four points and 11 shots on goal, while the Amerks have three players pacing the squad with four points — Michal Repik, Jeff Taffe, and Graham Mink.
Tlusty, the Czech Republic native, is on pace to eclipse his 2008-09 point total of 66, second on the club to Tim Stapleton.
Meanwhile, the goaltender position continues to be in constant shuffling for the Marlies. In their last game, Toronto got a sub par effort from James Reimer in a 5-3 loss to the Rockford IceHogs.
Reimer allowed the five goals on just 26 shots in a game where the Marlies out chanced Rockford, 30-26, and was then recalled by the Maple Leafs.
Andrew Engelage will likely get the nod this weekend, and the team signed Adam Munro to fill the backup position.
The 20-year-old Engelage returns to the Marlies after appearing in just one preseason game.
Against Rochester netminder Alexander Salak, points could be at a premium. Salak allowed just one goal on 32 shots in the Americans 4-1 win over Syracuse on Monday and has a .913 save percentage this season.
Home cooking will be scarce for the Marlies over the next couple of weeks, as they will play nine of their next 11 games on the road after Saturday’s contest.
Last season, the Marlies went 17-17-2-4 away from Ricoh Coliseum as they reached the playoffs.