It was the annual Teddy Bear toss at the Toronto Marlies game on Sunday but the stuffed animals weren’t the only things getting tossed around. The Marlies chucked the Moose back into the loss column at the Air Canada Centre as Toronto scored a lopsided 9-0 triumph to hand the Moose their third consecutive defeat. The Moose record falls to 5-14-2 on the season and they’ve now lost five of their last six games.
Toronto received goals from nine different players in the victory. Andrew Campbell, Richard Clune, Mark Arcobello, Casey Bailey, Brendan Leipsic, Josh Leivo, Richard Panik, William Nylander and Frederik Gauthier scored the goals for the Marlies. Jussi Olkinuora was in net for all nine goals and made 25 stops for the Moose in his first AHL start of the season for Manitoba.
Facing an NHL goalie for the AHL’s worst scoring team was a recipe for disaster. The Moose who are averaging a league worst 1.75 goals per game, were stymied by Jonathan Bernier.
Bernier, 27, is a six year NHL veteran who was recently sent down from the Toronto Maple Leafs on a conditioning assignment. He made 21 saves for the shutout and his second AHL win since getting demoted on Wednesday.
Midway through the opening period Campbell swatted the rebound behind Olkinuora and the stuffed bears began to reign down from the rafters. Clune and Zach Hyman assisted on the game’s opening goal and Toronto led 1-nothing.
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Panik was sent to the penalty box for boarding later in the period. And during the following powerplay Arcobello sent the puck out of the Marlies zone and down the ice. Clune outraced the Moose goalie to the loose puck and then fired it into the wide open net. Campbell had the other assist on the shorthanded goal and Toronto was up by two.
Right before the end of the first with the Marlies on a man advantage, Josh Leivo made a nifty no look pass to set up Arcobello. He buried the one timer for the powerplay goal to make it a three goal first period for Toronto. The Marlies outshot the Moose 12-7 in the period.
Early in period number two the Marlies carried into the Moose zone on the odd man rush. The long shot went wide of the net but Bailey pounced on the loose puck, making the deposit into the open side.
Just three minutes later Winnipeg’s Brendan Leipsic came racing in all alone on the breakaway. He beat Olkinuora high blocker side for his fifth goal of the season and the route was on with the Marlies leading by five.
Early in the third period with the ice still wet Leivo on a breakaway, ripped it high glove side on Olkinuora for his seventh goal of the season.
The Marlies didn’t relent as only minutes later Leivo set up Panik who had the gaping cage for his sixth goal of the season for a seven-nothing lead.
Toronto continued to take it to the Moose as Nylander made the tip-in for his 13th goal of the season and then with less than a minute remaining Frederik Gauthier rubbed a little salt in the wounds scoring his third goal of the season from a sharp angle to make the final score 9-0.
The Moose now return home for a four game homestand starting Saturday night against the Milwaukee Admirals at MTS Centre.