Toronto Marlies Fall To Charlotte Checkers In First Half Of Back-To-Back

Toronto Marlies
FiredUp Network Sports Writer

Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Toronto Marlies fell 3-2 to the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday afternoon. Toronto is now 1-1-1-0 on the season.

Charlotte opened the scoring with an unassisted goal from Patrick Giles 6:00 into the first period. Joseph Blandisi answered quickly for the Marlies, though, tying the game at one just over 6 minutes later with his first of the season. Josiah Slavin added the Marlies second goal late in the first, with a short-handed marker to give Toronto their first lead at 17:11 in the opening period.

In the second period, Michael Benning scored a game-tying goal for the Checkers at 6:45 and Lucas Carlsson added the game-winner two minutes later.

Despite the loss, head coach John Gruden liked what he saw from the Marlies offensive attack.

“I think at times we had them on their heels,” Gruden said. “Their goalie made some big stops. We had a chance. Started to get more traffic and we were more dangerous as the game went on. But they defended well. They made it hard on us. Our guys didn’t quit.”

Blandisi continued his hot start to the season against the Checkers. With a goal and an assist, he notched his second multi-point game of the season.

“I really liked the way he plays,” Gruden said after the game about Blandisi. “He plays with a lot of energy. You can play him up and down the lineup. His teammates love playing with him. He just brings that speed and that energy that any team needs and wants.”

“He brings so much energy to our team and that’s why he’s got an A on the jersey,” Slavin added. “He’s such a good leader. Just, getting passes like that from him is just a perk.”

The Marlies will be back in action Sunday afternoon against the Charlotte Checkers at Coca-Cola Coliseum at 4:00pm. You can watch the game live on the Toronto Maple Leafs app or on AHLTV.