TORONTO– The Toronto Marlies and Head Coach Greg Moore could not carry over the good tidings from Christmas into Boxing Day.
In the annual “Boxing Day Classic” at Scotiabank Arena, the Marlies would fall to their local rival Belleville Senators 3-2. This is the second win for the Senators against the Marlies this season, after losing to Toronto 7-3 last Saturday.
The Senators would start the scoring, with center Josh Norris recording his 14th goal of the season. The Marlies would deliver a comeback present for the 14,596 fans, scoring two unanswered goals. Kenny Agostino would score his 16th goal of the season from a Jeremy Bracco cross-ice pass. In the second period, Adam Brooks would capitalize on the power play with his eighth goal of the season, giving the Marlies their first lead of the game.
“In your third year with the team, you are more comfortable,” said Brooks. “We tightened up after the first period. The pace was high, we want to build on this for the next two games in Laval.”
But the Senators weren’t interested in receiving “coal in their stocking” in the form of two consecutive losses. Captain Jordan Szwarz got a tip-in goal on the powerplay, followed up by a Jack Dougherty short-handed goal (his second of the season). Despite a plethora of Marlies scoring chances in the third, the Senators would hold on, securing the victory bow.
Greg Moore and Marlies
The Toronto Marlies fall to 18-8-2-1 on the season. Thursday’s Boxing Day contest was Marlies head coach Greg Moore’s second game behind the bench. The Marlies hired Moore from the Chicago Steel to replace Sheldon Keefe when he got the promotion to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Before coaching the Marlies, Greg Moore spent two weeks with the Maple Leafs organization. From the big-picture goals to the intricate system details, Moore valued the chance to apply the knowledge he learned from the Maple Leafs.
“There was a good opportunity for me to know the staff and the details of the game,” said Moore. “We want to make sure there is cohesion between the two clubs so we are setting up players coming and going for success.”
For Bracco, the Marlies leader in assists (21), he looks forward to spending more time getting to know Moore and thriving under his system.
“Greg is very direct and lets the guys play,” said Bracco. “He’s very easy to talk to, particularly about new ideas.”
The Marlies have yet to win a game at Scotiabank Arena this season. Their first game at the home of the Maple Leafs was a 5-3 loss to the Utica Comets in support of “Hockey Fights Cancer.”
The Marlies’ contest against the Senators was their first of three straight games. They travel on the road to take on the Laval Rocket on Friday and Saturday.