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Homesick in the Six

Dec 10, 2023
Written By: Dylan Rider
1st 2nd 3rd Final
Grand Rapids Griffins 0 1 0 1
Toronto Marlies 1 1 1 3

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS 1 at Toronto Marlies 3

TORONTO -- The Grand Rapids Griffins finished their four-game Canadian road trip with a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Marlies at the Coca-Cola Coliseum on Sunday. The Griffins also finished their first three-in-three of the season tonight.

Joel L’Esperance scored the lone Griffins goal in the defeat, which is his third goal of the four-game trip up north. Both Trenton Bliss and Alexandre Doucet made their season debuts for Grand Rapids with Doucet's being his first game in the AHL.

December 10, 2023  ·  3 Minutes

Toronto Marlies vs. Grand Rapid Griffins | Game Highlights | December 10, 2023

Shortly after finding their first shot of the game at 9:44, the Marlies put themselves on the board with a high-slot shot from Topi Niemela that beat Sebastian Cossa with 9:39 left in the opening frame. Despite the Griffins' 5-1 shot advantage against Toronto to begin the period, they ended the stanza being outshot 10-9.

While on the power play, Nick Abruzzese added his eighth point in four games against Grand Rapids as he slipped the puck past the pad of Cossa on the doorstep for a 2-0 Marlies lead at 11:07. With a 5-on-3 power play in the final minutes of the second period, the Griffins found the back of the net for their first of the evening when L’Esperance directed a laser from the bottom of the left circle past Dennis Hildeby with 1:09 left in the middle frame

Roughly midway through the final period, Pontus Holmberg restored Toronto’s two-goal lead after he took control of a rebound and fired it into an open net from the bottom of the left circle at 9:56. Following the tally, Toronto held on to cement a 3-1 win against Grand Rapids. 

- Wyatt Newpower skated in his 150th as a pro.
- The Griffins were not able to collect a win against Toronto, as they finished the season series with a 0-3-1-0 record. 
- Grand Rapids finished their three-in-three weekend, going 1-2-0-0 in the trilogy of games. 

Box Score
Grand Rapids 0 1 0 - 1
Toronto 1 1 1 - 3

1st Period-1, Toronto, Niemelä 3 (Abruzzese, Steeves), 10:21. Penalties-Villeneuve Tor (tripping), 5:59.

2nd Period-2, Toronto, Abruzzese 4 (Shaw, Holmberg), 11:07 (PP). 3, Grand Rapids, L’Esperance 6 (Edvinsson, Rafferty), 18:51 (PP). Penalties-Johansson Gr (holding), 9:43; Shine Gr (diving/embellishment), 10:54; Ovchinnikov Tor (holding), 10:54; Doucet Gr (boarding), 16:12; Niemelä Tor (interference), 17:49; Blandisi Tor (high-sticking), 18:18.

3rd Period-4, Toronto, Holmberg 6 (Tverberg, Villeneuve), 9:56. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Grand Rapids 9-8-4-21. Toronto 10-6-9-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Grand Rapids 1 / 3; Toronto 1 / 2.
Goalies-Grand Rapids, Cossa 3-5-2 (25 shots-22 saves). Toronto, Hildeby 5-3-2 (21 shots-20 saves).

Three Stars
1. TOR Abruzzese (goal, assist); 2. TOR Holmberg (goal, assist); 3. TOR Niemela (goal)

Record / Next Game
Grand Rapids: 8-11-2-1 (19 pts.) / Wed., Dec. 13  vs Texas 7 p.m.
Toronto: 10-7-3-1 (24 pts.) / Fri., Dec. 15 at Providence 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Toronto Marlies