TORONTO, ON – After battling back from three one-goal deficits in the first two periods, Stockton (9-8-1-0) could not find the equalizer late as the Toronto Marlies (9-8-0-1) held on for a 4-3 decision Monday at the Coca-Cola Coliseum.
The home team notched the lone goal of the opening frame, Nic Petan finishing off a loose puck 4:27 into the action.
The scoring picked up in the second with Stockton and Toronto trading goals, started by Adam Ruzicka’s team-leading eighth score of the season as he finished a feed from Zac Leslie to even the footing. After the Marlies jumped ahead at the 9:01 mark of the second, Connor Beck answered just 22 seconds later with his first score with Stockton, lighting the lamp off a faceoff to tie the game at two. The Marlies took the upper hand once again with 3:06 left in the middle frame before another swift response from Stockton less than two minutes later to tie the game at three before the second intermission.
Toronto claimed the only goal of the third period, Alex Brooks scoring on the power play 4:03 into the final frame with the game-winning goal.
The Marlies finished the game 1-for-4 on the man-advantage, including the game-winner, while the Heat did not get an opportunity on the power play in the contest.
– Adam Ruzicka snapped an 11-game goalless streak with his team-leading eighth goal of the season, tying the game at 1-1 in the second period.
– Zac Leslie recorded his 100th AHL point with an assist on Ruzicka’s goal.
– Colton Beck netted his first goal with the Heat, tying the game at two in the second. Byron Froese recorded his first assist of the season on the goal.
– Connor Mackey pushed his scoring streak to three games with a goal in a second-consecutive contest. He has five points in the three-game spurt.
– Stockton’s four-game win streak against the Marlies was snapped with the result.
STK PP – 0-0
STK PK – 3-4
First – Kenny Agostino (2 assists)
Second – Nic Petan (1 goal)
Third – Adam Ruzicka (1 goal)
W – Joseph Woll (21 saves on 24 shots faced)
L – Artyom Zagidulin (22 saves on 26 shots faced)
The Heat continue their road trip Wednesday against the Marlies and then wrap up with three against the Laval Rocket (April 2, 4 and 6).