Toronto, ON – The Adirondack Flames fell 5-3 to the Toronto Marlies on Friday evening at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, ON.
David Wolf, Turner Elson and Brian McGrattan found the back of the net for Adirondack, who lost to the Marlies for the third time in five meetings thus far this season. Brad Thiessen, the goaltender of record for the Flames for the sixth straight game, made 22 saves in defeat.
Toronto opened the scoring tonight, as Ryan Rupert swatted home his eleventh of the season on a rebound in front of Brad Thiessen to make it 1-0 for the home side. Thiessen was able to turn aside two Toronto efforts, shots from defenseman Petter Granberg and forward William Nylander, but Rupert capitalized on the third try right in front of goal and backhanded the puck past Thiessen, who could do nothing to keep it out.
The Marlies doubled their advantage less than three minutes into the second period, as Byron Froese buried a nice feed from teammate Josh Leivo to make it 2-0 Toronto. Leivo collected a pass from Granberg on the left wing boards and came in 2-on-1 with Froese on Thiessen. Leivo’s pass hit the Winkler, MB native Froese in stride and he buried into the back of the net for his ninth of the season. Granberg collected his second helper of the night with the secondary assist.
Adirondack cut their deficit in half at the 4:10 mark of the second, after a strong offensive shift resulted in David Wolf’s team leading 14th goal of the season. Wolf’s individual effort to keep the puck in the zone got the puck to winger Garnet Hathaway, who put a backhanded feed to Wolf on the back post, where the German winger guided it past Gibson and into the back of the net. Center Max Reinhart had the secondary assist on the play for the Flames.
The one-goal deficit would not last long for Adirondack, however, as Matt Frattin regained Toronto’s two goal lead 8:33 into the middle frame. The goal for Frattin was his seventeenth of the season, which broke a tie with teammate Connor Brown for the team high in tallies. Granberg collected the lone assist on the play, his third helper of the evening, a career high in both assists and points for the Swedish defenseman.
Frattin’s advantage would be short lived, however, as Connor Brown took a homerun pass from Granberg and slotted the puck past Thiessen on the glove side to make it 4-1 Toronto. Granberg’s feed from his own zone hit Brown in stride past the Adirondack defense, and Toronto’s leading scorer converted to extend the advantage to three. The goal re-tied Brown with Frattin for the team lead with 17 goals, while the assist was Granberg’s fourth of the evening, one shy of the AHL single game high in 2014-15.
The Flames got one back late in the third as Turner Elson beat Gibson from the slot to cut the score to 4-2. Elson, who was posted up in the high slot, one-timed a feed from Markus Granlund into the back of the net. The goal for Elson was his seventh goal and ninth point over his past nine games played. Defenseman Mark Cundari extended his scoring streak to six games with the secondary assist, his tenth point over his past nine games.
After an empty net goal from Froese made it 5-2 Toronto, the Flames completed the scoring with a goal from Brian McGrattan, his first with Adirondack. Winger Kenny Agostino fired a shot from the left flank, which McGrattan redirected home in front to make it 5-3. The tally was McGrattan’s first in the AHL since March 26, 2011, with the bruising winger having spent much of the time in between in the NHL. Elson picked up the secondary assist on the play.
The Flames continue their Canadian road trip with a Saturday matinee rematch tomorrow afternoon, scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The Flames will return home for three games next week, beginning on Tuesday night against Hamilton, set for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff.
Adirondack Flames Hockey • Fired Up