Monday, March 8, 2010

Hartford Wolf Pack 2 at Toronto Marlies 3 (OT) - March 7, 2010



After watching the Leafs in Ottawa the night before, I grabbed a Porter flight to Toronto on Sunday morning and made my way back to Ricoh Coliseum to watch their affiliate take on the Rangers' AHL team, the Hartford Wolf Pack. In a neat coincidence, the Rangers were the other team I had seen in Ottawa.

Ricoh Coliseum with the CN Tower in the background

When I saw the Marlies play last week, Joey MacDonald was the star in shutting down the league-leading Hershey Bears. But he was traded to Anaheim on deadline day, so I didn't expect him to be here. As it turns out though, the Ducks don't have an AHL affiliate of their own, so MacDonald stayed put, but today he was on the bench as James Reimer got the start.

I was also hoping to see Miika Wiikman again. He played for the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers when I saw them in Gwinnett back in January, and had recently been assigned to Hartford. But he was also moved on deadline day, this time to Phoenix, so the Hartford keeper was Chad Johnson.

The Game

Kyle Calder

After the great game last night, today was bound to be a bit of a letdown, and the first two periods were pretty dull. The Marlies' Ryan Hamilton scored on a snap shot late in the first but the shots were just 10-3 Toronto. The teams traded power play goals in the second, with ex-Leaf Kris Newbury tallying for Hartford, but the shots were a woeful 6-5 in Toronto's favour.

Chad Johnson relaxes in net


In the third, Hartford picked it up, and tough guy Donald Brashear (pictured above) tied the game midway through the period. The Wolf Pack pressure continued but Reimer was solid and the game went to overtime. It looked like I would witness another shootout, but with just a few seconds left, Brendan Mikkleson broke in down the right wing and snapped a shot that beat Johnson. There was just 1.1 seconds left, but it was enough as the Marlies won 3-2 in overtime. A great way to end the trip!

One note is that Wolf Pack defenceman Corey Potter also played for the Rangers in Ottawa just a few days ago. He was recalled for a few games while Michael Del Zotto was hurt, but was returned to Hartford once Del Zotto recovered. That's him below battling Andre Deveaux for the puck.


The final score

Thoughts

I now know why the Marlies have such trouble drawing fans. Parking at the CNE is $12 and it takes at least 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot after the game, with just 3, 000 fans. I'm afraid the Ricoh Coliseum, despite being a good arena, is in a bad area for transit and driving. I'm sure this is why Toronto fans would rather just avoid the team.

Thanks to Boyd and his family for joining me today and for the drive back to the airport hotel, which took over an hour due to the traffic getting out of the parking lot.

Next Up

I'm back in Japan for two days. On Thursday, I'm starting a 10-day non-sports trip to Thailand and the Philippines. The blog will be quiet for a while, but check back in late March for news of the summer's plans!

Best,

Sean

2 comments:

  1. As always, thanks for sharing your trip adventures.

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  2. Sean, I'm happy to hear your enjoying "semi retired" life. I'm looking forward to seeing you again in the summer in Minneapolis. Safe travels. Thanks for keeping me abreast of your latest adventures. You're truly all world. I'm just all North American.

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