AHL

Leivo, Ashton lead Marlies past Heat

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The Canadian Press
3/30/2014 7:01:46 PM
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TORONTO -- Drew MacIntyre knows the significance of his record-setting win Sunday.

The Toronto Marlies goalie made 30 saves in a 6-4 victory over the Abbotsford Heat, surpassing former Leafs prospect Justin Pogge in the record books with his single-season franchise best 27th win.

"It's cool. It's an honour," said MacIntyre. "I don't take stuff like that lightly. I've been in this league for a while so those kinds of things are nice."

Marlies head coach Steve Spott said the game puck will be going to his star goaltender.

"It's a special night for him and his family," Spott said. "He's done so much for this organization on and off the ice. He really embodies what I think our organization is all about."

Pogge, who now plays for Bofors IK in the Swedish Division 1 league, set the record during the 2008-09 season.

"Good goalie. We had lots of battles I remember," said MacIntyre of Pogge. "Big guy and it wasn't easy to beat him."

Leivo picked up the game-winner, giving Toronto a 5-4 lead at 9:51 of the third. He one-timed a shot from Greg McKegg from the side of the net, past Joni Ortio for his 18th of the season.

"Great keep on by (Petter Granberg), kept it alive and it ended up with (McKegg) in the slot," said Leivo of the play. "He found me back door and I was fortunate enough to get it through that D-man's stick and put it into the net."

Carter Ashton gave the Marlies a two-goal cushion at 16:19, beating Ortio for his 16th of the season.

Toronto (41-20-6) had second-period goals from T.J. Brennan, Jamie Devane, McKegg and Tyler Biggs.

Max Reinhart, Brett Olson, Ben Street and Shane O'Brien responded for Abbotsford (37-25-7).

Ortio, who was making his third straight start, made 21 saves in the loss.

The win stretches Toronto's unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1). The Marlies also won two of three over a three-game, three-night stretch this weekend.

The loss, meanwhile, halted Abbotsford's win streak at two games.

Abbotsford and Toronto combined for eight goals in a 16:40 span of the second heading to the third tied 4-4.

Brennan opened the scoring, on a power play, with his team-leading 22nd goal of the season at 3:15.

The fourth meeting between the two teams, and second in a week, was a heated affair with the physical play reaching its peak near the six-minute mark of the second.

Heat forward Tim Miller caught Marlies defenceman Andrew MacWilliam with a big open-ice, shoulder-to-chest hit leaving the Toronto blue-liner struggling to get up. MacWilliam was helped to the bench and did not return.

Spott said MacWilliam suffered a concussion as his head took a good bump when he fell to the ice.

MacWilliam's injury left the Marlies, who dressed just five defenceman because Eric Knodel was suffering from the flu, with just four blue-liners for over half the game.

"It's definitely a different type of challenge," said Brennan of playing with four defencemen. "We had a ton of help from our forwards helping out. We played together as one unit and pulled out the win."

Brad Staubitz caught Jordan Kremyr with an illegal check to the head and was assessed a minor penalty at 5:33 of the second period.

Then 1:13 later, Kenny Ryan was penalized for slashing, giving Abbotsford a two-man advantage for 47 seconds. The Heat, who entered Sunday with the league's sixth best road power play, scored twice.

Reinhart tied it 1-1 at 7:04 on the two-man advantage. With Ryan still in the box, Olson tipped a Corey Locke 2-on-1 feed past MacIntyre at 8:43 giving the visitors their first lead of the game, 2-1.

Street beat MacIntyre stick-side off a Staubitz neutral zone turnover, giving Abbotsford a 3-1 lead at 10:17 of the second.

Toronto then scored three unanswered to take a 4-3 lead.

Devane pulled Toronto to within one, one-timing a Jerred Smithson feed past Ortio at 10:34, and the Marlies tied it 3-3 at 11:48 as McKegg put home a loose puck off a scramble in front of Ortio for his 17th of the season.

Biggs gave Toronto its second lead of the game at 18:37 of the second, beating Ortio in the slot.

"It was nice being down 3-1 seeing the pushback that we had," said Spott. "We beat a very good hockey club here today. They're well coached, they play hard and we had to play our A-game. It was a good win by our team."

However, with just five seconds remaining in the second period, O'Brien tied it at four. Allan McPherson picked up his first career AHL point with an assist on the goal.

Marlies leading point scorer Spencer Abbott left the game near the end of the second with an upper body injury and did not return. Spott said Abbott would undergo precautionary X-Rays.

Notes: Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks was a healthy scratch as the team continues to carry three goaltenders. Toronto forward Brandon Kozun was a healthy scratch after taking a penalty late in Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss to Iowa. Frazer McLaren (hip flexor) is expected back at practice Tuesday and in game action Friday in Utica.

Toronto Marlies (Photo: AHL)

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(Photo: AHL)
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