Carter Ashton's scoring touch returns in Marlies' 5-2 win over Monsters

Sunday, 03.02.2014 / 5:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Carter Ashton's scoring touch returns in Marlies' 5-2 win over Monsters

TORONTO - Carter Ashton scored a hat trick to power the Toronto Marlies to a 5-2 victory over the visiting Lake Erie Monsters in on Sunday American Hockey League action.

Ashton broke a 2-2 tie during a goal-mouth scramble when he deposited a rebound into the net past Monsters goalie Calvin Pickard at 6:16 of the third period. Defenceman T.J. Brennan, with his team-leading 21st of the season, gave the Marlies a two-goal cushion 45 seconds later when his point shot trickled through Pickard's legs.

Brandon Kozun closed the scoring for Toronto (33-18-4) with an empty-netter, while centres Spencer Abbott and Greg McKegg collected two assists apiece in front of 4,351 fans at Ricoh Coliseum.

Joey Hishon and Mike Sgarbossa scored for the Monsters (23-26-6), who dropped their second game in a row.

Marlies goalie Drew MacIntyre was sharp making 26 saves, while Pickard stopped 18-of-22 shots in net for Lake Erie.

Toronto led 1-0 after the first period and the score was tied 2-2 through 40 minutes.

The Marlies opened the scoring 53 seconds into the first period when Ashton took a pass from Abbott in the slot, cut to the left and whipped a wrist shot past Pickard's blocker. The Monsters had some chances of their own in the opening frame — including a two-minute 5-on-3 power play and a breakaway by right-winger Guillaume Desbiens — but they couldn't beat MacIntyre.

Ashton gave the Marlies a two-goal edge when he deflected McKegg's point shot past a screened Pickard at 10:02 of the second period. The advantage was shortlived, however, as Hishon put the Monsters on the scoreboard 52 seconds later when he redirected a slapshot past MacIntyre.

Sgarbossa tied it up when he whacked in a rebound for a power-play goal at 18:35 of the middle frame.

Ashton regained the lead for Toronto with his third goal of the game at 6:16 of the third period, and Brennan's goal 45 seconds later sealed the win for the Marlies. Kozun capped the scoring with an empty-netter at 17:51

Toronto went 0 for 3 on the power play while Lake Erie was 1 for 6.

The Marlies and Monsters are off until next weekend, when Toronto visits Lake Erie for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

Quote of the Day

You've got to focus on playing good hockey. When we do that we give ourselves a chance to win games. Win games and then maybe we''ll have a chance at the end. You can't worry about something like (the division title) when we're not playing our best hockey down the stretch. We'll figure things out together the way we always do and get back on the right page.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews after loss to Flyers on Wednesday left them five points out of first place in Central Division
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